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Vladimir Kramnik
Number of games in database: 2,495
Years covered: 1984 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2760 (2773 rapid, 2757 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2811
Overall record: +469 -139 =843 (61.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      1044 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 English (117) 
    A15 A17 A14 A13 A10
 Sicilian (109) 
    B33 B30 B90 B52 B58
 King's Indian (106) 
    E97 E94 E92 E81 E86
 Slav (98) 
    D17 D15 D11 D12 D19
 Queen's Gambit Declined (94) 
    D37 D38 D31 D39 D30
 Grunfeld (76) 
    D85 D70 D87 D86 D82
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (256) 
    B33 B30 B31 B65 B57
 Ruy Lopez (110) 
    C67 C65 C88 C78 C84
 Petrov (102) 
    C42 C43
 Semi-Slav (100) 
    D45 D47 D43 D44 D46
 Queen's Gambit Declined (79) 
    D37 D38 D39 D30 D31
 Nimzo Indian (73) 
    E32 E21 E34 E46 E54
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?]
   Tilburg Fontys (1997)
   Cap D'Agde FRA (2003)
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens (1998)
   16th Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2007)
   Dortmund Sparkassen (2004)
   Azerbaijan vs the World (2009)
   Dortmund (2011)
   Astana (2001)
   Linares (1997)
   13th Amber Blindfold (2004)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2010)
   World Cup (2013)
   Dortmund (2013)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2009)
   Russian Superfinals (2013)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Kramnik - My Life and Games by jakaiden
   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

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Vladimir Kramnik
Search Google for Vladimir Kramnik
FIDE player card for Vladimir Kramnik

(born Jun-25-1975, 39 years old) 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. At the Chess Olympiad (2014), he again played board 1 for Russia.

<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 - 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 (September 2014), he has a rating of 2760, (Russian #3, world #10);

<Rapid> 2773 (world #13); and

<Blitz> 2757 (world #13).


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 100; games 1-25 of 2,495  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. A Oganian vs Kramnik 0-131 1984 BelorechenskB89 Sicilian
2. Kramnik vs Serdyukov 1-031 1984 BelorechenskB78 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 10.castle long
3. Remezov vs Kramnik  0-152 1985 KrasnodarB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
4. Zaitsev vs Kramnik 0-149 1986 Team TournamentB83 Sicilian
5. Kramnik vs Zhukov  1-038 1986 BelorechenskB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
6. Kramnik vs Mayorov 1-034 1987 GelendzhikC12 French, McCutcheon
7. Kramnik vs A Chumachenko 1-032 1987 GelendzhikB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
8. Shilov vs Kramnik 0-137 1987 USSR Boys' ChampionshipB33 Sicilian
9. I Odesskij vs Kramnik 0-125 1987 URS-chT U16A52 Budapest Gambit
10. Kramnik vs Otsarev 1-018 1987 Baku TrainingB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
11. Y Yakovich vs Kramnik 1-042 1988 USSRB40 Sicilian
12. Kramnik vs Danislian  ½-½60 1988 Dimitrovgrad U18B15 Caro-Kann
13. Kramnik vs Y Yakovich 1-035 1989 It (open)C50 Giuoco Piano
14. J Ivanov vs Kramnik ½-½12 1989 Sochi (Russia)A85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
15. Sakaev vs Kramnik 1-021 1989 Ch URSA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
16. L Basin vs Kramnik ½-½49 1989 It (open)A87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
17. Kramnik vs Campora  ½-½26 1989 Cup World (open)C50 Giuoco Piano
18. Kramnik vs A N Panchenko ½-½60 1989 Sochi (Russia)B58 Sicilian
19. Kramnik vs G Kuzmin ½-½42 1989 World Cup ( open )C55 Two Knights Defense
20. Kramnik vs B Taborov  ½-½35 1989 It (open)B06 Robatsch
21. A Filipenko vs Kramnik 0-140 1989 Sochi (Russia)B00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
22. Kramnik vs Y Yakovich ½-½14 1989 Sochi (Russia)B33 Sicilian
23. V Arbakov vs Kramnik 0-173 1989 It (open)A87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
24. R Dautov vs Kramnik 1-036 1989 Cup World (open)A81 Dutch
25. Kramnik vs A Grosar ½-½47 1989 Sochi (Russia)B58 Sicilian
 page 1 of 100; games 1-25 of 2,495  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 1521 OF 1602 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-25-10  visayanbraindoctor: <Bobwhoosta>

Could you post a link?

I am signing out now, but I will follow up on your answer when I sign back in.

Oct-25-10  maelith: Visayan is wrong again when he told that Kramnik is easy-going and laid-back. Kramnik once told that he study chess 11 hours a day.

Every month I look through some ten thousand games, so not as to miss any new ideas and trends. -Kramnik-

I have no time for any particular interests apart from chess. -Kramnik-

Oct-25-10  shach matov: Yea, it's very safe to say that <Vysayan>'s "talent" argument has been completely destroyed, simply because he really did not have an argument but only subjective fan-boy gibberish. Did you know that there some chess fans who think they're more talented than GK or Anand? The point is that at least they are smart enough not to post that on this site.
Oct-25-10  maelith: Defensive game by Kasparov
Shirov vs Kasparov, 1997

At the beginning of the game Kasparov does not have the initiative here. Shirov vs Kasparov, 1999

Short vs Kasparov, 2004

Kasparov have lots of these kinds of game, I just don't have time to search them all. Sicilian defense is typically a counter attack defense, in many situation if you play the sicilian it is white who attacks first.Saying that Kasparov does not have defensive games is ridiculous.

Oct-25-10  maelith: Another defensive game,Anand attacked Kasparov with great energy but in the end Kasparov defended well and gain a counter attack.

Anand vs Kasparov, 1995

I will repeat,Sicilian defense is typically a counter attack defense, in many situation if you play the sicilian it is white who attacks first.Saying that Kasparov does not have defensive games is ridiculous.

Oct-25-10  Akavall: Defensive brilliancy:

What about this game?

Kramnik vs Topalov, 2003

Oct-25-10  visayanbraindoctor: Short vs Kasparov, 2004

Anand vs Kasparov, 1995

Kramnik vs Topalov, 2003

These are rapid games or blindfold, and have too many errors. I have to agree though that <Akavall's> example is a masterpiece, but not a defensive brilliancy of the caliber of Carlsen vs Kramnik, 2010

I assumed we are only talking about serious chess in classical time controls.

The following

Shirov vs Kasparov, 1997

Shirov vs Kasparov, 1999

look exactly like well prepared openings by Kasparov, which lands him in middlegames where he has very good counterplay, or has an outright initiative. They are not 'reverse brilliancies.' I gave some clear-cut examples above.

<Saying that Kasparov does not have defensive games is ridiculous.>

This is the first time I have heard of this, and it comes only from your mouth <maelith>.

All masters have good defensive abilities. What I am looking for are 'defensive brilliancies'. They are very rare.

Perhaps I should define them more clearly:

Reverse brilliancies are game where the defender defends brilliantly, always finding moves and plans to save himself by a hairline against a strong opponent, and then reverses the game to win. It is a spontaneous game not foreseen in the defender's opening prep. It should be a difficult complicated middlegame, involving bizarre messy positions that at first sight does not fit normal chess patterns to which the human chess eye is more accustomed to, and requires precise calculations in order to defend and reverse successfully. The defender walks a narrow line in order to avert defeat, and then somehow takes the initiative away from the attacker and eventually wins. In order to do so, the defender has to avoid errors as much as possible, for a single one will lead to a loss, and so by necessity play almost computer-like moves. The attacker must also avoid patzer-like blunders and errors generally are at a minimum and not humanly obvious, so that the defender has no easy way out but has to defend, reverse, and win the game using his native skills to the maximum.

I gave the following game as the epitome of the 'reverse brilliancy' - Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918. Imagine games that tend to look like it in essence, and those are 'reverse brilliancies'.

Oct-26-10  visayanbraindoctor: <maelith: Visayan is wrong again when he told that Kramnik is easy-going and laid-back.>

All top GMs work hard. However, Kasparov by far works the hardest. I don't think any one will dispute that. It's relative, and relatively, although both Kramnik and Anand work hard to armor themselves with good opening repertoires, Kasparov in the 1990s far outstripped them in opening preparations.

Oct-26-10  you vs yourself: I think it's a bit arrogant for a kibitzer who's not a GM to say with any certainty that they know Anand or Kramnik is more talented than Kasparov. First, there seems to be overwhelming evidence against that claim. Second, we're not strong enough to make a judgement on games at the highest level. If you're gonna say that these GMs said so and they have no reason to be partial to one player or the other; so I'll believe them, it's one thing. But to selectively pick few games that support your theory or quote one of the players' seconds...I mean, no one can take that line of argument seriously.
Oct-26-10  visayanbraindoctor: <you vs yourself>

I am not being arrogant, and in fact have tried to substantiate my opinions with concrete games, which you ironically hit. It is quite acceptable to attempt to support one's statements with evidence.

Please read GM Bareev's interview. I do not think he is being arrogant. He is just being frank without paying the usual lip service to Kasparov one hears all the time.

Just giving sweeping statements without attempting to present any supporting evidence- well that might by regarded as arrogant. You haven't presented evidence yourself <you vs yourself>, unlike <maelith> who to his credit tried to, in spite of being very irritated at me.

I believe that there are many kibitzers here who are actually strong enough to make valid judgments (rightly or wrongly) about chess games even at the highest level. Perhaps your are underestimating many of the anonymous people here. Just by the way they kibitz, I believe I can detect anonymous individuals who probably are of at least IM strength. They are not that uncommon here.

Internet communication is funny. We do not really know who we are talking to. (",)

Oct-26-10  maelith: @Visayan, I posted an example of Kasparov brilliant defensive game for me, and there are many of them, just google. And you just countered it with speculation that it's a prepared opening by Kasparov. If for you all Kasparov's great defensive game are preparation, what's the use of posting his games.

Visayan your are wrong and yet your are making excuses by changing your tone, from Kramnik being laid back to all GM work hard. I think Kramnik work as hard as Kasparov.

I already mentioned Kasparov always plays the Sicilian defense, and typically Sicilian is a counter attack defense. In many situation if you are black handling the situation, you will face many attacks, and Kasparov defended brilliantly in many situations.

Oct-26-10  pubaer: ehhh

Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2000

thats defensive brilliance as i have seldom seen it

how ridiculous to suggest that the greatest player of all time was not a good defender lol

Oct-26-10  visayanbraindoctor: Where did I ever say that Kasparov was not a good defender? Rhetorical question because I never have and I think Kasparov IS a good defender, one of the best ever. But in my view, not as good as Kramnik or Anand.

<maelith: Visayan your are wrong and yet your are making excuses by changing your tone>

I am not changing my tone nor my beliefs, and repeating <you are wrong> over and over again does not make some one wrong. Any one can re-read all my posts and yours. What you mean is that we have different opinions. That's all right, I can live with that, and no hard feelings.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: This whole discussion is stupid.

Kasparov, Anand, and Kramnik all have played thousands of games. Picking a handful means nothing (although it at least refutes the notion that Kasparov had no "reverse brilliancies").

All great chessplayers are great calculators, on attack or defense. Kasparov may have had fewer defensive brilliancies (at least relative to total games played) than Petrosian, but of all the reasons I can think of for that, lesser tactical ability wouldn't even make the top 100. I doubt anyone has ever tried to argue that Paul Morphy was a defensive genius, because he hardly ever defended. That wasn't because he was weaker tactically than his opposition.

The whole argument (lack of defensive brilliancies by Kasparov shows (relative) tactical inferiority) is idiotic. First of all, the premise (there is a lack of defensive brilliancies in Kasparov's games) is false. But even if it were true, it wouldn't prove a thing about his tactical abilities either way.

Oct-26-10  lotus123: <vbd> I was looking for url of Bareev's interview wherein he compares Kramnik, Anand and Kasparov. I couldn't find it.Could you please provide the same?
Oct-26-10  visayanbraindoctor: <even if it were true>, then it would support the hypothesis that Kramnik and Anand are at least as talented as Kasparov, as they are able to produce reverse brilliancies that Kasparov could not. This has some implications. That if Kramnik and Anand gained an opening repertoire as far beyond their present competitors' as Kasparov's was in the 1990s to his competitors, they could attain the dominance that Kasparov attained.

Since I am a Kramnik and Anand fan who sees that they are not as motivated as great players such as Kasparov, Karpov, Fischer, Botvinnik, and Alekhine, I naturally would wish it otherwise. Even now, Kasparov apparently updates his opening repertoire stored in his computer daily and studies it even in the midst of his political campaigns. If Kramnik and Anand could do the same thing, and it would require a drive as strong as Kasparov's, they might even reach the heights GKK attained. That's a reasonable (and not <stupid>) wish of a chess fan of Kramnik and Anand.

Oct-26-10  visayanbraindoctor: <lotus123>

From the Nanjing tournament page:


GM Evgeny Bareev said in an interview in 2003 (On the Kasparov-Kramnik London World Championship Match):

<Question: What happened? Kasparov usually out-prepares his opponents, and this time he was completely helpless.

Bareev: Was he? He pressed in every game. He played c4, d4, he tried everything. He could only get a slight advantage, or a big advantage. But that was not enough - look at the 15th game. He needed a completely winning, straight position, but he didn't get that.

Q: Kasparov said he sat at the board and had no openings. What did he mean?

Bareev: It means he doesn't tell the truth. If you analyse his last tournaments you will find he wins games just because of openings. He has winning positions with both colours. But there in London he wanted to have the same, the same winning positions, where he comes and has an easy win. But in London he just had better positions, not winning positions. That's the simple difference. It's very difficult to beat Kramnik. When he had a winning position it was after 30 moves. He was tired, under time pressure, and he made mistakes.

Q: So how can he perform so spectacularly in Wijk aan Zee and Linares?

Bareev: People cannot play chess at all. Look at them, look at these players. Come on. These players, Shirov, Polgar, they can beat players like me, my level. But when they play Anand, Kramnik and Kasparov what can they do? Nothing. It is very easy to beat Bareev, Topalov and Timman. That's why Shirov won five games in Wijk against weak opponents, but when he faced really strong players he lost three games. There is a very small group of grandmasters - you want names? I told you, three strong players, Kasparov, Kramnik and Anand. Then there is a big gap. Adams is sometimes close to them, Morozevich is not bad, with white Leko is incredibly strong, and of course Ivanchuk. But the three, and Ivanchuk, understand chess at a higher level and are better prepared. But Kasparov is better prepared than the others.

Q: How does he do that, how can he be so well prepared?

Bareev: Because of ChessBase, of course.

Q: The others are using ChessBase as well...

Bareev: But I think ChessBase was created to help Garry to be number one in the world. He started first, he created the camp earlier, he worked hard for the last five or seven years. For young players it is very difficult to catch up.

Q: So it is computers which are helping him?

Bareev: No, not only. He produces a lot of ideas, and then people and computers help him a lot. He also loves chess and works a lot. Everything together. And his talent is incredible. Kramnik and Anand have a different kind of talent. Calculating, calculating, that is Kasparov. If Kramnik tries to compete in messy positions he will lose. But if he finds other positions he can survive, he can compete and beat Kasparov. But this only applies to Kramnik and Anand, because they have strong points. Kasparov's talent is calculating, calculating, calculating, working, working, working. Kramnik's talent is wider. Vishy also calculate very fast and deep, and he is a very intuitive player. He is extremely talented, the only thing he lacks is "character", fighting spirit. There he is much weaker than Kasparov, that is why Kasparov will beat him all the time. Vladimir has great talent and confidence, and he is a hard worker. Maybe he is a chess maniac, he works much more than most players.>

Oct-26-10  visayanbraindoctor: <lotus123>

I think both Kramnik and Anand work much more than most players (as Bareev says of Kramnik), but what they do is still much less than what Kasparov does.

There are levels of work. I have previously read that Alekhine stayed up to 3 am nightly studying all phases of all the games of a Russian tournament that he participated in. My take is that even Kasparov has not reached that level. If AAA were alive today with access to Chessbase and computers, and given the photographic memory that enabled him to play the strongest simultaneous blindfold chess exhibitions in history, he might even outdo GKK. (",)

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: < <even if it were true>, then it would support the hypothesis that Kramnik and Anand are at least as talented as Kasparov, as they are able to produce reverse brilliancies that Kasparov could not>

It would support absolutely nothing, as to play a reverse brilliancy your first have to end up in a "bad but defendable" position...

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Since I am a Kramnik and Anand fan who sees that they are not as motivated as great players such as Kasparov, Karpov, Fischer, Botvinnik, and Alekhine, I naturally would wish it otherwise.>

Where do you get this? When someone posts something that says Kramnik works so many hours a day and has no interests outside of chess, do you just not read it? Do Anand and Kramnik take anywhere near as much time off as Botvinnik did? Do their opening repertoires show less work than Karpov's?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I overlooked this, from your beloved Bareev interview.

<Vladimir has great talent and confidence, and he is a hard worker. Maybe he is a chess maniac, he works much more than most players.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: Would it not be the greatest thing to actually make a living (or be a millionaire) by playing Chess, analyzing Chess, playing in tournaments and writing books about Chess?

How much do we get paid for taking cheap shots at our least favorite players?

Oct-26-10  visayanbraindoctor: <keypusher>

Please see my last post above, and see if I do not agree with Bareev.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <visayanbraindoctor>

Yes, your last post is like all your other posts: you decide what you think and then you assume whatever facts are necessary to support your opinion.

Oct-26-10  visayanbraindoctor: <keypusher>

Regarding all your recent rather brusque messages directed to me:

You must think I am stupid. (",)

Have a nice day too <keypusher>, and no bad feelings I hope. (",)

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