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Vladimir Kramnik vs Fabiano Caruana
World Championship Candidates (2018), rd 4, Mar-14
Russian Game: Cozio (Lasker) Attack (C42)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-15-18  JPi: <devere> I fell black better at this point but winning? Do you mean that black "h" pawn will be promoted before white "a" one? xa7 Ra7 move 2 tempos + 5 from a2 to a8; else f5-f3 2 tempos h7-h1 5 tempos. Still incredibly complex to me.
Mar-15-18  RookFile: Left this game at some point and was absolutely shocked to see Kramnik didn't win. It's a reminder that the game isn't over until it's over.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Peter Svidler annotates the game at
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: FSR--who do you pick to win the Candidates? I had Caruana, I think it's his time to step forward.
Mar-15-18  bubuli55: GM Kramnik may have done his homework but at the end he was digging with his hands. Tough game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <HeMateMe> I don't think anyone started as an odds-on favorite, and anyone was capable of winning. I thought that Aronian had the best chances. At the ChessBookie Game, I bet on Mamedyarov and Kramnik, the two highest-rated players, since the odds in favor of Aronian were too large. But obviously Caruana has the best chances at this point.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: In the press conference, it was clear that Caruana was fresher and that his appreciation of some key positions during the game was superior.
Mar-15-18  scormus: Amazing game to play through, very tricky tactics and real streetfighter stuff. It would have been ever better to go through not knowing the result, but I did often wonder how Caruana was going to win.

I know what it's like to lose a game like that :(

Mar-15-18  Mr. Bojangles: <>

This pic will haunt Kramnik for many years to come. What a devastating loss.

Kudos to Caruana for showing great nerves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: From chessbase: <46.Bc6 h2 47.Rh1 Rg1+ 48.Kb2 Rxh1 49.Bxh1 Nd1+ 50.Kb3 f3 51.Bxf3 Nf2 52.c6 and the white pawns decide.>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Thanks for the link <FSR>. Great unbiased analysis and explanations by Svidler. This was indeed a fantastic game, rich of turning moments, as he expresses.
Mar-15-18  Ulhumbrus: The commentary of Svidler and Gustafsson as well as the computer evaluations and analysis suggest or indicate what follows.

When Kramnik made the error 23 c5? he may have overlooked Caruana's devilish reply 23...f5!! keeping White's rook out of the square g4. This passed the advantage to Caruana. Then it was Caruana's turn to go wrong by 33...h6? instead of the counter-attack 33..Rxc2! Two more mistakes passed first the advantage and then a win to Kramnik. Kramnik then began to go wrong by 44 c4? instead of 44 b4 winning and eventually passed the advantage and then a win back to Caruana.

All of the above suggests that this game was full of mistakes, perhaps partly because there was no practical possibility of either player finding all of the right moves over the board.

Mar-15-18  frogbert: I think it's wrong to describe 23. c5!? as an error. It was this bold, aggressive move from Kramnik that started the fun/madness that could've seen both players winning afterwards. The "normal" reply 23. gxh3 would most likely have resulted in a rather dull draw well before move 40, so kudos to Kramnik for being ambitious and steering the game towards complications and imbalance!
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Joshka <morfishine> Calling Vlad a "goof" is ignorant. Vlad beat one of the worlds best players after trading queens in a World Chess Championship Match thus winning the title!> Hey, you goof, you could benefit from taking a course on how to detect sarcasm on social media

Here's an example, my first post: <Caruana has been tactically sharp so far. I don't expect any slips or gifts from Caruana to benefit Kramnik [ie: Erroronian]. For Kramnik to win this game, he will have to press into an endgame, which I expect him to attempt.>

Here's your test, is the post sarcastic or serious? Good luck


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <keypusher: I guess one rest day was not enough for aged Vlad>

Well...that was dumb.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: great fighting game -kudos to both players
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi K.P.

Me too. I tried to convince C.G. Kramnik had mated Fabiano so we could switch games. Thought it was going to be one of them games where two of the favourites back off each other.

phone call:

Stupid wife had left set of keys at home and I was ordered out to deliver them. Had to leave, came back just as game was entering final phase.

I would have had a festival of posts. The board is covered in pitfalls, snares, tricks, traps and trapeze artists.

If this game is crucial in Kramnik not making the final then yes it will haunt him. But he has been around long enough you cannot dwell on these things mid-tournament.

He still played some great chess after making the supposed called 'Blunder of the Century' (that mate in one v a computer....Wonder if that one will be in the book?) If you can get over that then you can get over anything.

Not forgetting his last round decision to go all out for a win in the 2013 candidates. If Kramnik had drawn that game v Ivanchuk then Chess History would have changed. No Anand - Carlsen 2013 World Final.

Also quote from that thread.

"Kramnik will remember this position for the rest of his life. White can't win."

Ivanchuk vs Kramnik, 2013 (kibitz #197)

Chess players have a lot of positions and games we can never forget. It is usually the losses containing huge blunders that pop into your head just at that moment you are about to drop off to sleep.

The picture of him laying collapsed over the board is a brilliant piece of chess theatricals.

Compare that with that with Aronian who has just played the worst game of his life (slight exaggeration there boys). He is all smiles.

Mar-15-18  Vitez: This game is on YouTube
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
Mar-15-18  lzromeu: War of tempos
War of ages
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Caruana offered a draw after <52...Nc2>, but Kramnik declined it only to resign 14 moves later.


Mar-17-18  sudoplatov: Interesting companion game.
C H Alexander vs Kashdan, 1937
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Great picture If it works...
Mar-18-18  The Rocket: <In the press conference, it was clear that Caruana was fresher and that his appreciation of some key positions during the game was superior.<

It was certainly not reflected in his play. Caruana made more severe inaccuracies and at one point appeared clueless how to proceed, simply pushing a slow h-pawn instead of accurately assessing the critical nature of the position.

Kramnik made a few inaccuracies throughout but it was really only the howler at the end that cost him the game. The c5-mistake was apparently not grave enough, since Caruana did not understand the position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: 23.c5 was wrong because it offended against one of the secrets of the game - if Black can play ...f5 without being worse, he's better.
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