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Vladimir Kramnik vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
World Championship Candidates (2018), Berlin GER, rd 14, Mar-27
Catalan Opening: Closed Variation (E06)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-27-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: That's no Shak, that's a fortress, and quite a strong one. Black's Exchange sacrifice constitutes a fine defensive resource. Even if the silicon monsters find better for White, OTB the fortress became too strong to overcome.
Mar-27-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Nice tactics, very much a swash-buckling type of game that for sure will attract more Kbitzers as time goes on
Mar-27-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Mamedyarov hoping Kramnik's final round woes will come back and haunt him. Not today. Great effort by Mamedyarov though.

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Tactical shot: if 22...Qxc4, white wins back that piece with 23.Rxd5. If 23...exd5 24.Bxd5 is a fork between the queen, and f7. Black king could be in trouble. Though who knows what could happen with the queen vs. rook and bishop ending.

If 24...f5, then 25.Rd2, and if black is greedy with 25...fxe4, then mate in 2 starting with 26.Rd8+. If 25...Qxe4, then 26.Qc3 and mate is coming in about 10 moves.

Mar-27-18  Albanius: This is an Open Catalan, not closed, ever if dxc4 was played on move 6.
Mar-27-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: 31. Nxc6?? Bg4! wins the Queen.

Shak is incredibly good, totally squelched Kramnik's attack. Even when desperately trying to win with white, K. couldn't beat him.

Mar-27-18  RookFile: I think both Kramnik and Mamedyarov wanted to win. It's a quality game that does credit to both players.
Mar-27-18  Albanius: If 52..Nxg3 discovered check, 53 Kc7 Nf5 (the only move to prevent a perp) 54 Rxg6 should suffice to draw.
Mar-27-18  Albanius: With 17 Bh6 Kram threatened h4-h5xg6, followed by a piece sac on g6. Shak played Qc5 and repeated moves although he needed a win considering that Fab was not losing. The point of ..Qc5 is that on Qb1 keeping pressure on g6, Nc3! picks up the loose N on e5 and leaves an isolani on c3.

Kramnik played 20 Qd3, keeping threats on g6.
If 20..Nf6 21 Qd8+ Bf8 22 Bxf8 Qxf8 23 Qxc7 ^Rd8 But 20..Qd6 was sufficient.

Mar-28-18  Nerwal: One of the best games of the tournament. At the press conference Kramnik showed the variation 22. ♕f3 ♕xc4 23. ♖xd5 c6! 24. ♕a3! c5 ▢ 25. ♖d2 ♕xe4 26. ♕xc5 ♕b1+ 27. ♔g2 ♕e4+ and draw since 28. f3? fails to 28... ♕xe2+!.
Mar-28-18  csmath: It is a nice and rich game but not really one of the best. Matter of taste perhaps.

30. Re8?! h3?!
[...Bg5 31. Nh5 Nxc6 and white returns pawn and continues attack without allowing black equalizing tactics that happened in 31st move.]

The pressure of the game imposed by white after pawn sac was really difficult to handle but white was the one that dropped the ball in 31st move.

Nice game though.

Mar-28-18  Nerwal: <Matter of taste perhaps.>

Most likely. I find this type of balanced games much more impressive than total squashes like Aronian - Kramnik. I don't think I could name 10 games better than this one anyway. Several games which could have been great were spoilt by serious mistakes and a lot of wins were due to one player having a horrible day. Here the pair 30... Re8, 31. h3 is the only flaw in an hard fought and tense game.

Mar-29-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: There were 8 Catalans in this tournament, and they were all drawn. In most of them a black ♗ on b7 was exchanged for a white ♗ on g2, and that exchange seemed to kill the game stone dead. Here that didn't happen but still White didn't get much out of the opening.
Jun-24-18  rcs784: "There were 8 Catalans in this tournament, and they were all drawn." Did you forget about Caruana-So from Round 1?
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