Photograph copyright © 2007 Milan Kovacs (  
Vladimir Kramnik
Number of games in database: 2,461
Years covered: 1984 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2787
Highest rating achieved in database: 2811
Overall record: +467 -134 =837 (61.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1023 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 English (115) 
    A15 A17 A14 A13 A16
 Sicilian (109) 
    B33 B30 B90 B52 B58
 King's Indian (103) 
    E97 E92 E94 E81 E86
 Slav (98) 
    D17 D15 D11 D12 D19
 Queen's Gambit Declined (91) 
    D37 D38 D31 D39 D30
 Grunfeld (75) 
    D85 D70 D87 D86 D82
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (255) 
    B33 B30 B31 B65 B57
 Ruy Lopez (108) 
    C67 C65 C88 C78 C84
 Petrov (102) 
    C42 C43
 Semi-Slav (100) 
    D45 D47 D43 D44 D46
 Queen's Gambit Declined (74) 
    D37 D38 D39 D30 D31
 Nimzo Indian (71) 
    E32 E34 E46 E21 E20
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Kramnik vs Leko, 2004 1-0
   Kasparov vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1994 1-0
   Gelfand vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
   Leko vs Kramnik, 2004 0-1
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2000 1-0
   Kramnik vs Morozevich, 2007 1-0
   Leko vs Kramnik, 2004 1/2-1/2
   Topalov vs Kramnik, 2006 0-1
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2001 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Kasparov-Kramnik World Championship Match (2000)
   Kramnik-Leko World Championship Match (2004)
   Kramnik-Topalov World Championship Match (2006)
   FIDE World Championship Tournament (2007)
   Anand-Kramnik World Championship Match (2008)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Linares (1997)
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens (1998)
   Cap D'Agde FRA (2003)
   13th Amber Blindfold (2004)
   Dortmund Sparkassen (2004)
   16th Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2007)
   Azerbaijan vs the World (2009)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2009)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2010)
   Dortmund (2011)
   World Cup (2013)
   Dortmund (2013)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Kramnik! by amadeus
   Kramnik on a King Hunt & vs the World Champions by visayanbraindoctor
   English: Vladimir Kramnik Collection by chess.master
   Vladimir Kramnik's Best Games by KingG
   Vladimir Kramnik - Immortal masterpieces by Karpova
   Some interesting games by Kramnik by fgh
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1990-1999 (Part 3) by Anatoly21
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 2000-2010 (Part 3) by Anatoly21
   Volodya versus Vesko by Resignation Trap
   Kramnik with Berlin Wall by tesasembiring by tesasembiring
   Kramnik & Carlsen play the Catalan by suenteus po 147
   Book of Samurai's favorite games 6 by Book of Samurai
   Kramnik g3 by Jason Harris
   Kramnik! by larrewl

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FIDE player card for Vladimir Kramnik

(born Jun-25-1975) Russia
[what is this?]
Former World Champion Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik was born in Tuapse, on the shores of the Black Sea, on June 25, 1975. As a child, Vladimir Kramnik studied in the chess school established by Mikhail Botvinnik. In 2000 he won the Classical World Championship from Garry Kasparov and then won the unified title when he defeated Veselin Topalov in 2006 to become the 14th undisputed World Champion. He relinquished the title in 2007 to his successor, the 15th undisputed (and now former) World Champion, Viswanathan Anand.


<Age> In 1991 he won the World Under 18 Championship in Guarapuava, Brazil.

<National> He was =1st in the 1990 RSFSR (Russian) Championship in Kuibyshev, Russia, but placed 2nd on tiebreak behind Andrei Kharlov. He was =3rd in the Russian Superfinals (2013) after a last round battle with Ian Nepomniachtchi for =1st and the possibility of the title for the first time. However, he lost the game and scored 5.5/9, placing =3rd.

<World> Kramnik’s early attempts at storming the citadel of the World Championship met with mixed results. In 1994, he lost a Candidates quarter finals match for the PCA championship to Gata Kamsky by 1˝-4˝, and a few months later he lost a Candidates semi-finals match for the FIDE championship to Boris Gelfand by 3˝-4˝. In 1998, Kramnik was defeated by Alexey Shirov by 3˝-5˝ in the Candidates match held in Cazorla to determine the right to play Garry Kasparov for the Classical World Chess Championship. In 1999, Kramnik lost in the quarterfinals of the FIDE knockout championship in Las Vegas to Michael Adams by 2-4, including the 4 game rapid play-off.

Although Shirov had defeated Kramnik for the right to challenge Kasparov, suitable sponsorship was not found for a Kasparov-Shirov match, and it never took place. In 2000, however, sponsorship became available for a Kasparov-Kramnik match instead. This meant that Kramnik was the first player since 1935 - when Alexander Alekhine selected Max Euwe as his challenger - to play a world championship match without qualifying. In 2000 Kramnik reached the pinnacle by defeating long-time champion Kasparov for the World Championship in London by the score of 8˝ to 6˝ (+2 =13 -0) without losing a game, becoming the next Classical World Champion in the line that started from Wilhelm Steinitz. It was the first time since the Lasker-Capablanca World Championship Match (1921) that the defending champion had lost a match without winning a game and it was also the first time Kasparov had been beaten in a World Championship match. Kasparov said of Kramnik that: <”He is the hardest player to beat in the world.”>

In 2004, Kramnik successfully defended his title as Classical World Chess Champion against challenger Peter Leko at Brissago, Switzerland, by drawing the Kramnik-Leko World Championship Match (2004) in the last game. Lékó was leading the 14-game match until the final game, which Kramnik won, thus forcing a 7 - 7 draw and ensuring that Kramnik remained world champion. Because of the drawn result, the prize fund of 1 million Swiss francs was split between the two players.

Kramnik refused to participate at the FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005), but indicated his willingness to play a match against the winner to unify the world championship. His next title defence in 2006, therefore, was a reunification match with the new FIDE world title holder from the 2005 tournament, Veselin Topalov. The $1 million Kramnik-Topalov World Championship Match (2006) was played in Elista, Kalmykia from September 21 to October 13 and after controversially forfeiting the fifth game, Kramnik won the rapid game playoff by 2˝ -1˝ after the classical games were tied 6-6, thereby becoming the first undisputed unified World Chess Champion since the 1993 split. In the following year, Kramnik lost the unified world title when he finished second to Viswanathan Anand at the Mexico City FIDE World Championship Tournament (2007). In October 2008, Kramnik exercised his entitlement to a rematch as a challenger to World Champion Anand in Bonn, Germany, but lost the Anand-Kramnik World Championship Match (2008) match by 4˝ to 6˝ (+1 =7 -3).

Kramnik's tournament performances in 2009 (see below) raised his rating (average of July 2009 and January 2010 ratings) sufficiently to qualify him for the World Championship Candidates (2011). In the first round he beat Teimour Radjabov by the narrowest of margins*: after tieing the classical games 2-2 (+0 =4 -0), and the rapid games 2-2 (+0 =4 -0), he won the blitz playoff by 2.5-1.5 (+2 =1 -1) to move to the semi final match against Alexander Grischuk, which he lost 1.5-0.5 (=1 -1) in the blitz tiebreaker after he drew the classical games 2-2 (+0 -0 =4) and the rapid games 2-2 (+0 -0 =4), thereby eliminating him from the contest. Participating in the World Championship Candidates (2013) on the basis of his rating, Kramnik came =1st with Magnus Carlsen on 8.5/13 after both lost their last round games. As the first tiebreaker (individual score against the other player in the tournament) left them level, the second tiebreaker (greater number of wins in the tournament) relegated Kramnik to second place due to scoring four wins to Carlsen's five.

Kramnik was seeded directly into the World Chess Championship Candidates (2014), as he met the pre-condition that he participate in the World Cup (2013). During the Cup, he defeated Zambian IM Gillan Bwalya in the first round, compatriot GM Mikhail Kobalia in the second round, Ukrainian GM Alexander Areshchenko in the third round, veteran Ukrainian GM and twice former Candidate Vassily Ivanchuk in the Round of 16 (round four), his third Ukrainian opponent in the shape of GM Anton Korobov in the quarter final (round five), one of the wildcards of the event, French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave match in the semi final (round 6) before defeating compatriot GM Dmitry Andreikin in the final by 2.5-1.5 (+1 =3). His win also guarantees qualification in the World Cup 2015, although he would likely qualify by rating alone. At the Candidates in March 2014, he placed 3rd with 7/14 behind Anand and Karjakin.


Kramnik won Chalkidiki 1992 with 7.5/11, and in 1993, he played in Linares, finishing fifth and defeating the then world number three, Vassily Ivanchuk. Following some solid results in the interim which resulted in him winning the 1994 PCA Intel Grand Prix, major tournament triumphs were soon to follow, such as Dortmund 1995, Horgen 1995, Belgrade 1995, =1st in Dos Hermanas in 1996 and 1997, =1st in Tilburg 1997 (8/11). Dortmund became a favourite stop, as Kramnik has gone on to win nine more times in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, Dortmund Sparkassen (2006), Dortmund (2007), Dortmund (2009) and Dortmund (2011), as either equal or clear first; in the 2011 edition of the event he won by 1.5 points despite losing in the last round. In 2000, Kramnik won his first Linares tournament, completing his set of victories in all three of chess' "triple crown" events: Corus, Linares, and Dortmund. Kramnik later captured additional Linares victories in XX Ciudad de Linares (2003) (shared) and 21st Linares (2004) (outright). He won the Tal Memorial (2007) with 6.5/9, 1.5 ahead of Shirov. Kramnik had exceptionally good results in 2009, winning once again in Dortmund and then winning the Category 21 (average ELO = 2763) Tal Memorial (2009) in Moscow with 6/9 and a TPR of 2883. At the time, the average ELO rating of the field made it the strongest tournament in history. He also participated in the London Chess Classic (2009) in December, finishing second to Magnus Carlsen. These magnificent results qualified him for the 2011 Candidates on the basis of his boosted ratings. Kramnik began 2010 at Corus (2010) in the Netherlands, during which he defeated new world number-one Carlsen with the Black pieces in their head-to-head encounter, ending Carlsen's 36-match unbeaten streak. A late loss to Anand knocked him out of first place, and Kramnik finished with 8/13, tying for second place with Shirov behind Carlsen's 8˝ points. He came 2nd in the preliminary Shanghai Masters (2010) to qualify for the Bilbao Masters (2010) against Carlsen and Anand, who had pre-qualified. He then won at Bilbao with +2 -0 =4 over world champion Anand, then-world number one Magnus Carlsen, and Shirov. The 2009 Tal Memorial and the Grand Slam Final at Bilbao were the most powerful tournaments (in ratings terms) ever staged. In late 2011, he easily won the 15th Unive (Crown Group) (2011) with 4.5/6 and a TPR of 2903 and finished the year with outright first at the London Chess Classic (2011) with +4 -0 =4 and a TPR of 2934, recovering ground lost following a mediocre performance in the Tal Memorial (2011) where he failed to win a game. In June 2012, he placed =4th at the category 22 Tal Memorial (2012), with 4.5/9 and in July 2012, =3rd (4th on tiebreak) at the category 19 Dortmund (2012) tournament. Kramnik finished 2012 with a surge, placing 2nd at the London Chess Classic (2012) behind Magnus Carlsen, scoring 6/8 (16 points in the 3-1-0 scoring system used in the event) and a TPR of 2937 to Carlsen's 2994.

His final training preparation for the Candidates tournament in March at the category 21 Zurich Chess Challenge (2013), was less than completely successful in terms of results (2.5/6), drawing five and losing one to Anand, although it seemed to contribute to his game fitness at the Candidates as he placed second by the narrowest of margins, scoring equal to Carlsen who won the event and the right to challenge Anand for the World Championship. He placed =4th with 4.5/9, a point behind the winner, in a low scoring Alekhine Memorial (2013) and then had one of his worse ever results at the Tal Memorial (2013), coming last with 3/9 (+0 -3 =6). However, he returned to form in the Dortmund (2013), placing outright second behind Adams, scoring 6.5/9, jointly dominating the category 19 field to the extent that no other player scored better than 50%.

Team Events

<Olympiads> Kramnik has won three team and and individual gold medals at the Olympiads as well as two team silvers. He played in the gold medal winning Russian teams in the Manila 1992, Moscow 1994 and Yerevan 1996 Olympiads, his first gold medal being awarded to him as an untitled 16 year old in 1992 when he scored eight wins, one draw, and no losses to record a remarkable TPR of 2958. In 1994, he came fifth on the second board with 8/11 and a 2727 TPR. In 1996, he scored a relatively meagre 4.5/9 on the second board. He did not participate in any more Olympiads until 37th Chess Olympiad (2006) in Turin, when he again won a gold medal with overall best performance on the top board with 6.5/9 (2847 TPR). In the Olympiad (2008) in Dresden, he scored 5/9 on top board and a 2735 TPR. Kramnik played board one for the silver medal winning Russian team in the Chess Olympiad (2010) in Khanty-Mansiysk, coming fifth with a scored of 5.5/9, winning 2 and drawing 7 with a TPR of 2794. At the Chess Olympiad (2012) held in Istanbul, he again played top board scoring 5/9 and coming 7th on that board, leading his team to another silver medal.

<National Team Events> In 1991, 2490-rated FM Kramnik represented Russia on board 2 at the World U26 Championship played at Maringá; with a perfect score of 6/6 he helped Russia to win gold, and won individual gold for his performance. He played in the European Team Championships on one occasion, in 1992, when the then FM was rated 2590. Again representing Russia, this time on board 3, he helped his team to win gold with a 6/7 effort, and won individual gold for board 3 as well as a gold medal for the best rating performance at the event, that being a 2863 performance, ahead of Kasparov's 2809 performance that won rating silver. That same year (1992), he also played on the USSR team against the Rest of the World. He played for Russia twice in the World Team Championship, in 1993 and 2013. On the first occasion, he lead his country to a bronze medal, and on the second occasion - at the FIDE World Team Championship (2013) - to a gold medal.

<European Club Cup> Kramnik does not appear to have played in the Russian or any other national league, his sole club representations being in the European Club Cup between 1995 and 1999 inclusive, and in 2005. He started off playing board one with SV Empor Berlin in 1992 and 1993, moved on to Sberbank-Tatarstan Kazan in 1994 where he helped the club to bronze, then played board one with the powerful Agrouniverzal Zemun team that won silver in 1999. His only participation in the ECC since then was a single season in 1995 playing for NAO Paris, which won bronze.


In 2004, he won a simul against the German National Team 2˝:1˝.

In October 2002, Kramnik played an eight game match against Deep Fritz (Computer) in the Brains in Bahrain (2002) match, drawing 4-4 after leading 3-1. In 2006 the German organization Universal Event Promotion (UEP) staged a return match of six games between Kramnik and Deep Fritz in Bonn, which Kramnik lost, +0 -2 =4.

In April 2012, Kramnik and Levon Aronian played, as part of their preparation for the 2012 Candidates Tournament, a six-game training match in Zurich. The Kramnik vs Aronian (2012) match was drawn 3-3 (+1 -1 =4).


Kramnik has been an excellent and consistent performer at rapid and blindfold play. He won or shared the overall lead at Amber in 1996 (outright overall 1st), 1998 (=1st with Shirov with 15/22), 1999 Monaco (14˝/22), 2001 (=1st with Topalov with 15/22), 2004 (=1st with Morozevich with 14.5/22), and 2007 (outright overall first with 15˝/22). He also won the 2001 rapid play match against Lékó by 7-5, drew the 2001 rapid play Botvinnik Memorial match with Kasparov 3:3 and the 2001 rapid play match against Anand 5:5, lost the 2002 Match Advanced Chess Kramnik vs. Anand (Leon) 3˝:2˝, was runner up to Anand in the Cap D'Agde FRA (2003), won the 2009 Zurich Champions Rapid (2009) with 5/7 and shared 1st in the 2010 President's Cup in Baku with 5/7.


<Classical> In January 1996, Kramnik became the world top rated player. Although he had the same FIDE rating as Kasparov (2775), Kramnik became number one by having played more games during the rating period in question. Kramnik became the youngest ever to reach world number-one, breaking Kasparov's record; this record would stand for 14 years until being broken by Magnus Carlsen in January 2010. He is the second of only six chess players to have reached a rating of 2800 (the first being Kasparov, followed by Anand, Topalov, Carlsen and Aronian). Ironically, during his reign as world champion, Kramnik never regained the world number-one ranking, doing so only in January 2008 after he had lost the title to Viswanathan Anand. As in 1996, Kramnik had the same FIDE rating as Anand (2799) but became number-one due to more games played within the rating period. Kramnik's 12 years between world-number one rankings is the longest since the inception of the FIDE ranking system in 1971.

Currently (March 2014), he has a rating of 2787 and remains Russia's #1 player and is world #3 behind Carlsen and Aronian.

<Rapid> 2773; and

<Blitz> 2782.


In 1995, Kramnik served as a second for Kasparov during the latter’s successful defence of his Classical World Chess Championship against Anand, and in an ironic counter point in 2010 he served as a second for Anand during the World Champion’s successful defence against Topalov.

Kramnik has a form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis. In January 2006, Kramnik announced that he would miss the Corus Wijk aan Zee (2006) to seek treatment for this condition. He returned from treatment in June 2006, playing in the 37th Chess Olympiad, winning gold by top scoring on the top board. Kramnik's performance in winning the Classical World Championship in 2000 won him the Chess Oscar for 2000, while his 2006 victory in the reunification match earned him the Chess Oscar for 2006.

On 30 December 2006 he married French journalist Marie-Laure Germon and they have a daughter, Daria, who was born 28 December 2008, and a son, Vadim, born 28 January 2013.

Sources and references Website:; Biography:; Extended and candid interview with Kramnik by Vladislav Tkachiev in August 2011:; Live rating:; *; Wikipedia article: Kramnik

 page 1 of 99; games 1-25 of 2,461  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Kramnik vs Serdyukov 1-031 1984 BelorechenskB78 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 10.castle long
2. A Oganian vs Kramnik 0-131 1984 BelorechenskB89 Sicilian
3. Remezov vs Kramnik  0-152 1985 KrasnodarB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
4. Kramnik vs Zhukov  1-038 1986 BelorechenskB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
5. Zaitsev vs Kramnik 0-149 1986 Team TournamentB83 Sicilian
6. Kramnik vs Otsarev 1-018 1987 Baku TrainingB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
7. Kramnik vs Mayorov 1-034 1987 GelendzhikC12 French, McCutcheon
8. Kramnik vs A Chumachenko 1-032 1987 GelendzhikB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
9. Shilov vs Kramnik 0-137 1987 USSR Boys' ChampionshipB33 Sicilian
10. I Odesskij vs Kramnik 0-125 1987 URS-chT U16A52 Budapest Gambit
11. Kramnik vs Danislian  ½-½60 1988 Dimitrovgrad U18B15 Caro-Kann
12. Y Yakovich vs Kramnik 1-042 1988 USSRB40 Sicilian
13. Kramnik vs Huzman ½-½10 1989 It (open)C01 French, Exchange
14. Miles vs Kramnik 1-041 1989 Cup World (open)A04 Reti Opening
15. Kramnik vs G Tunik 0-138 1989 Sochi (Russia)B46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
16. M Sorokin vs Kramnik ½-½52 1989 USSRA81 Dutch
17. M Tataev vs Kramnik 0-121 1989 It (open)A81 Dutch
18. Khenkin vs Kramnik ½-½17 1989 Sochi (Russia)D39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
19. Kramnik vs Gorelov ½-½18 1989 It (open)B33 Sicilian
20. Kramnik vs Lputian  ½-½52 1989 World Cup (Open)C07 French, Tarrasch
21. Kramnik vs R Shcherbakov ½-½35 1989 Sochi (Russia)B58 Sicilian
22. G Zaichik vs Kramnik 0-140 1989 MoskvaA80 Dutch
23. Kramnik vs Anand ½-½19 1989 Moskva 13/565C53 Giuoco Piano
24. E Moldobaev vs Kramnik  ½-½23 1989 It (open)A04 Reti Opening
25. G Kallai vs Kramnik ½-½22 1989 Sochi (Russia)A81 Dutch
 page 1 of 99; games 1-25 of 2,461  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kramnik wins | Kramnik loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1600 OF 1600 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: I am a Kramnik fan. Yet I feel that talk about his great opening repertoire is greatly exaggerated. Such talk came to fore probably only after his 2000 match with Kasparov. There his Berlin clearly stumped GKK. Kasparov had the status of a chess god, and it was inconceivable to many chess fans that he could ever be defeated in a match.

In his preceding important matches with Shirov, Kamsky, Gelfand; and in his succeeding WC matches with Leko and Topalov, Kramnik did not show superior opening prep. In the 2008 WC match, Anand clearly out-prepped Kramnik. In his strongest performances in 2013, the Candidates and World Cup, his Black openings cannot be said to be extraordinarily effective. I believe he won by playing his usual strong White games, by avoiding any black opening disaster, and by not collapsing in prolonged games, something that he is prone to. The latter IMO was especially important.

On a related topic, among top masters, I believe that Kramnik is hardest to predict by Elo ratings. The ratings predicted that Kasparov and Topalov should have clobbered him, yet he won. Why is that so?

My theory is that if Kramnik manages to avoid black opening disasters and self destructing in prolonged games, his chess suddenly becomes extraordinarily strong. If he could avoid these two weaknesses of his in the upcoming Candidates, he would have reasonable chances of winning. A more varied Black opening repertoire and a change in his Black mindset, and physical conditioning and focus in order to avoid long game collapses would be recommended.

Mar-13-14  SChesshevsky: <Grischuk: Don't expect any profound revelations since I play them regularly. The only thing I can comment on is the weak opening preparation by Kramnik, especially when playing black.>

Given the context of today's game this is probably true.

GM opening prep today seems to be generally going into reams of computer generated openings looking for "traps". Not for material but for tempo. This may be an example:

Mamedyarov vs Kramnik, 2013

Not well suited for old-school players, especially if they don't have the incentive or desire to spend the time on that kind of study.

That ends up posing a couple of problems. One is finding the possible refutation OTB. The second, which is probably far harder to deal with, is the worry that whatever your move is, it's part of the prepped line. Beside the indecision, it suggests playing a secondary probably weaker move just to be surprising.

I'm not sure how Kramnik can deal with the disadvantage but hopefully he can and post some good results.

Mar-13-14  cbpatzer: The Kramink game with analysis from the graph seems draw is fine for him. Andreikin prepared well
Premium Chessgames Member
  Kinghunt: <visayanbraindoctor: I believe [Kramnik] won by playing his usual strong White games [and] by avoiding any black opening disaster>

I would argue that is exactly Kramnik's strength. He rarely whips out a Sicilian or KID to push with black, true, but I think he usually gets exactly what he wants. And what he wants with black, in almost all cases, is just to draw. While he's experimented a bit lately with overly adventurous play, Kramnik still prefers to play as risklessly as possible.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Kinghunt: I think he usually gets exactly what he wants. And what he wants with black, in almost all cases, is just to draw.> While what you are saying has truth in it, the point remains that some of Kramnik's Black openings are not good at all. Some recent examples: D Andreikin vs Kramnik, 2013, D Andreikin vs Kramnik, 2013, Ivanchuk vs Kramnik, 2013 (this last cost Kramnik a Title shot.)

I believe Kramnik can improve his performances by diversifying his Black openings.

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Another forget-it Black opening by Kramnik. Svidler playing great and about kill that opening. But astonishingly Kramnik found a near humanly impossible defense, featuring something like 8 only moves, some of which looking computer-like. For all its faults I am highly impressed by Kramnik's game today. He found all the appropriate game saving tactical shots.
Mar-15-14  Petrosianic: First time I ever saw a Rook blockade two passed pawns.

<I believe Kramnik can improve his performances by diversifying his Black openings.>

He's had plenty of opportunity to do that and doesn't want to. His lack of any way to play for a win with Black severely damages any chances to win a tournament like this.

Mar-15-14  RookFile: Some people say that diversify is synonymous with diworseify.
Mar-16-14  RedShield: < I am a Kramnik fan. Yet I feel that talk about his great opening repertoire is greatly exaggerated. Such talk came to fore probably only after his 2000 match with Kasparov.>

Not quite. As far back as 1993, from an interview between Kramnik and Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam:

<A couple of days ago Anand expressed his admiration for the enormous amount of new ideas you have. Do you work hard on this or do these ideas come naturally to you?

That is true. Apart from my energy the source of my success is my working hard. Particularly on the openings. I have many ideas.>

Elsewhere, ten Geuzendam writes:

<Kramnik couples a magnificent understanding of the game with an immense encyclopaedic opening knowledge. Talking to Kramnik is listening to explanations like, 'I know that line quite well. It also happened in a game between Gelfand and Shnapshinovsky in the Under-12 USSR championship in Kuybychev in 1978. No sorry, 1979. Gelfand won, because Shnapshinovsky did not know that he could have freed his position with knight e4.'>

Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <RedShield> Without asserting in anyway that what you are saying is false, the point remains that there are legitimate criticisms to Kramnik's Black opening repertoire. As a fan, I would rather input helpfully criticism than limit myself to always praising a favorite player.

In any case, I am glad that a super GM such as Grischuk has done it- publicly (albeit indirectly) criticize a limitation to Kramnik's openings that has become evident to some ordinary chess fans. I do not think he is trying to be funny or disparaging; he probably is also trying to give helpful criticism.

Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: Considering how often he has played it I was surprised by: <He rarely whips out a Sicilian>, but he hasn't recently at all. There is only one classical game since his 2008 match:
Mar-29-14  coolchess1: I expected Vlady to perform well and was hoping he was going to win. Unfortunately, it was a bad one. I hope he gets another shot at world title and hopefully that time wins it and becomes WC again.

You are a great player and hopefully you will make a strong comeback soon. Best of Luck!

Mar-29-14  Illogic: Wasn't his tournament. He'll be back. People like to say it's Kramnik's last chance, just like they said last year, but a man six years his senior just won the Candidates!
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Kramnik himself once said he cannot imagine hmself playing past 40. But maybe Anand's run wakes his appetite for the game...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: Volodya on his Ukrainian background:

Question: Oleg Skvortsov revealed a secret that you prepared for this tournament in Ukraine. Could you tell more about it?

Kramnik: <I quite liked it. First, one of my seconds is from there, and we stayed near his home in Transcarpathia. Second, I have Ukrainian roots – my mother is from Uzhgorod. So I am half Russian, half Ukrainian. There is nothing exotic about this place. Of course, the current events in Ukraine created somewhat unpleasant background, but the place we stayed was really nice. I thought about visiting my good friend Vitaly Klitschko in Kiev, but I’m afraid he wouldn’t have time for me.> (2014.03.13)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: Aronian said at one press conference that he could not explain some of his decisions during the tournament. Bent Larsen has indicated one possible reason: too much nervous tension.

In his book on the 1978 match between Karpov and Korchnoi at Baguio City Larsen says that the standard of play in all world championship matches is rather poor because of too much nervous tension. Perhaps this applied to the present candidates tournament as well.

It is possible that nervous tension may have affected some of the other players as well, such as Kramnik and Shirov.

Kramnik may have found his loss to Topalov particularly upsetting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ulhumbrus: One commentator indicated that after Kramnik lost to Topalov he played like a shadow of himself for the rest of the tournament.

It is possible that one reason for both the loss and its sequel was that Kramnik was angry and upset - to a greater degree than he was inclined to express openly - by Topalov's unwillingness to repent of his toilet accusations and apologize.

If so, one can only sympathise with him. Perhaps it was a mistake to play that match in Elista. If Ilyumzhinov had known what would happen, perhaps he would have arranged the match at a more "neutral" venue such as Bonn or Paris

Apr-15-14  Petrosianic: <It is possible...>

A lot of things are possible, especially if evidence isn't required. It's possible that that commentator flunked out of Psychology School and is overcompensating for it now.

In any case, the match venue was an aid to Topalov, not a hindrance. The FIDE Champion playing at FIDE Headquarters with an extremely friendly match committee, willing to bend the rules for him to some extent. Home Field advantage doesn't get much better than that. But he still couldn't resist going over their heads. Most likely Topalov would have been even more willing to embarrass himself if the match had been played somewhere neutral.

Apr-15-14  Kaspablanca: It would be interesting a match between Kramnik and Topalov; th unfinished businnes match or the pride match.
Apr-15-14  Petrosianic: Oh yes, I was talking about that during the Candidates Tournament. I would LOVE to see another Kramnik-Topalov match. No titles, just for the spectacle of it. They could play on top of a scaffold at Wrestlemania.
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