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Vladimir Kramnik vs Smbat Lputian
Corus Group A (2000), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-20
Queen's Gambit Declined: Three Knights Variation. General (D37)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-07-06  positionalbrilliancy: Why not 25. Bxf7+. Does it not pick up the black Q?
Oct-07-06  Assassinater: While it technically does pick it up, it is at the cost of a Rook and Bishop and with the white King *slightly* loose after Bxf7 Rxf7 Rxd8 Rxd8 Rxa2 and those two bishops knifing into white's position, black is clearly better. Let's not forget that black is already up a piece at the beginning, so after the queen 'sacrifice', it'll be a rook and two bishops for the queen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: 31...Qd8? should be a miscalculation.

31...Qa8! holds after 32.Qa4.

Not 31...Qb8? 32.Qc6!, and the "a6" Bishop cannot move because of the threat Ra8 winning the Queen.

Neither 31...Qd8? 32.Qc6! Be2 33.Rd7!.

But 31...Bf6! is good. If 32.Qxa6 Bxa1. If 32.Ra2 Rd8!.

Thus, 32.Ra7! is the best. 33...Qxa7 34.Qxe8+ Kh7 35.Qxh5+ Kg8 36.Qe8+ is a draw.

If Lputian was in time trouble, it was very difficult to see all these variations.

Jan-01-09  KingG: <Facing the hapless Smbat Lputian of Armenia in a balanced Catalan, the world no.3 overreached badly, messing up his position in his eagerness to decide the encounter as forcefully as he could. Lputian, who has been unlucky not to score more points in the tournament and is languishing at the bottom of the table with just a half point to his name, rose to the occasion. With Kasparov passing by occasionally to shake his head at Kramnik's muddling, the Armenian steadily improved his position to reach the point where he could deliver the coup de grace. Then, inexplicably, he blundered.

As a result, Lputian remained an exchange down and although he survived yet another serious case of time trouble - reaching the control at the 40th with only seconds left on his clock - he never got a second chance. Exhausted and disappointed, he resigned on his 50th move. "I felt sorry for him," said Kramnik when he came into the pressroom after his lucky win. "He played so well today. Of course, it's always good to win but I can't say I'm satisfied with this kind of game. I was trying to win too hard, which is always sort of dangerous, especially when you're in a slightly worse position.">

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The early placement of the white knight on c3 encourages Black to accept the gambit pawn on c4 which is not so easy to recapture. The more natural 11..cxb would have been bad for Black after 12 Bf4..Ra8 13 Nd2. Kramnik was impressed by Lputian's opening play and thought that Black was already better after 16..Be7. After 17 Nxc4?..Ba6 White was in trouble; relatively better was 17 Nc3..Nfd7 18 Nxd7..Qxd7 19 Be3..a4 with a small edge for Black. Kramnik's explanation of 23 d5?: "I simply miscounted pieces."; better was 23 Bxa8..Qxa8 24 Nc3 though Black has excellent compensation for the exchange and good winning chances. Lputian did not take advantage of the opportunity playing 23..exd?. He missed the stronger 23..Bc8! 24 d6..Rza2 25 dxe..Qxe7 with a winning position. Both 28 Qxh5..Qc6 and 28 Qa4..Qc8! 29 Rxe7..Qc1+ 30 Kg3..Bf1+ 31 Kf3..Qc3+ 32 Kf4..b5 would have been winning for Black. Lputian blundered (and was lost) with 31..Qd8?; necessary was 31..Qa8 32 Qa4..Bf6 33 Ra7!..Qc8 34 Qxa6..Bxa1 35 Qxa1..e5 36 Qa2+..Qe6 37 Qxe6..Rxe5 38 Rb7 with a small edge for Black. 36 f4? complicated Kramnik's path to winning; better was 36 Ra2. A tougher defense would have been 42..Rf7 43 Rxf7..Kxf7 44 Rxb6..g4 45 Ke3..Bf6 46 Ke4..Kg6. 47..Kh6 would have held out longer.

Both players were given the prize for the best game of the round.

Great fighting game with a lot of creativity shown by both players.

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