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Sergey Karjakin vs Vladimir Kramnik
Tata Steel Masters (2018), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 11, Jan-26
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Neo Catalan Declined (A14)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-26-18  BOSTER: The draw is not so clear if white play f5.
Jan-26-18  Marmot PFL: White can play 46 bxa4, then e5, Kf3-e4, f5 creating another passed pawn and also black must be able to defend g7, so of course it is very unpleasant for black.
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  An Englishman: Good Morning: Happy Friday, all! This might count as one of those endings that interest me more than it interests the players. Looking at 48.a5,Bxa5; 49.f5,Ke7 and 48.Kf3,Ke7; 49.Ke4.
Jan-26-18  Marmot PFL: White is playing fast now, certain now maybe that with pawns this far apart the opposite color bishop doesn't help black.
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  offramp: It is not looking very good for Krammers at all.
Jan-26-18  Marmot PFL: Karjakin up from the board and Kramnik staring into space.
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  An Englishman: Good Morning: The passed pawns have three files between them, which usually means trouble for the defender. White can easily take over the d5 square via some sequence such as fxe6,Kxe6; Bc4+ and Kd5. Finally, his Bishop controls both queening squares. Poses quite a defensive challenge to Black.
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  ChessHigherCat: The venerable program FOCKSHI* has gone through the roof with +11.1!
Jan-26-18  Marmot PFL: Sergey made that look easy, good sign for the candidates.
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  ChessHigherCat: And now +128.34! But don't let that discourage you, Crumbnik.
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  Check It Out: Whaaat?? No Karjakin dancing rook?
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  offramp: +128... Isn't that more than both sides value in the opening array?
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  An Englishman: Good Morning: Just played over the entire game, and superficially it looks like a very good display of positional play by White, esp. 20.Ne5.
Jan-26-18  mrknightly: Can someone enlighten me on 29...c4? Giving up a pawn for???
Jan-26-18  Nerwal: <Can someone enlighten me on 29...c4? Giving up a pawn for???>

For some activity as per the game. Black's problem is that White has a clear plan to make progress if he stands passively : ♗c4 then if ♔f7, ♔g2-f3 followed by g4, when e4 and/or f5 will be effective regardless where the black king stands at f7 or f6 due to the pins. So he has to do something while he can; 29... c4 may not be best though.

Jan-26-18  mrknightly: <Nerwal> Thanks for your comment.
Jan-26-18  gokusano: This game proves karjakin is the top russian honcho at the moment. Gone is kramnik's fire power.
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  AylerKupp: <<offramp> +128 ... Isn't that more than both sides value in the opening array?>

A value of 128.xx is an artifact of the Syzygy tablebases; it indicates that a mate was found during the probing of a particular branch of the search tree. It has nothing to do with the evaluation as reported by the evaluation function.

Because the Syzygy tablebases do not have distance to mate information, they cannot tell you the number of moves to mate, or even whether a particular path to mate is the shortest one. To get that, you need to wait (and wait, and wait, ...) until the search/evaluation indicates "mate in nn" moves and provides the line(s) that result in mate.

Jan-26-18  dehanne: Karjakin got Kramnik's number.
Jan-26-18  Ulhumbrus: The result of the game suggests that the Catalan opening is so effective that it can be sometimes too much even for Kramnik.
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  plang: It can't be a Catalan if White doesn't play d4
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  ChessHigherCat: <plang: <Ulhumbrus: The result of the game suggests that the Catalan opening is so effective that it can be sometimes too much even for Kramnik.>

<It can't be a Catalan if White doesn't play d4>

Well then the Catalan is so effective that it wins even when it isn't a Catalan!

Jan-28-18  Ulhumbrus: <plang> <ChessHigherCat> I stand corrected. White does not play d4 even later, and unless it can be said to transpose at some point into some variant characteristic of the Reti opening, that appears to make it an English opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <Ulhumbrus> I was just kidding, I can't remember exactly what makes a Catalan either (even the Catalonians can't make up their minds, so why should we?). It just appealed to my Dadaist sense of humor.
Jan-28-18  Olavi: With pedantic regards, a Catalan requires d2-d4. It's named after a couple of games Tartakower played in Barcelona 1929, they don't seem to be in this database.
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