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Anatoly Karpov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Melody Amber Rapid 7th (1998) (rapid), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 8, Mar-21
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  1-0



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Given 45 times; par: 31 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  crafty: 27...♕d2 28. ♕g4+ ♔f8 29. ♖d1 ♕a5 30. ♔g2 ♖xd1 31. ♕xd1   (eval 1.02; depth 14 ply; 500M nodes)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <crafty> 30.Rxd8+ Qxd8 31.Nf5 doesn't look bad too.
Nov-18-03  Qian: i dont get the followup by aulero, can the king move to h4 afterwards? What will be the check after that? it has to be a check before black does bxh2 right?
Nov-18-03  stigant: Qian - no, the knight is attacking h4 as well.
Nov-18-03  BeautyInChess: Why 18. ... gxf6 this seems to lead to all the trouble. Black willingly takes on doubled pawns, creates two pawn islands and weakens his kingside. I don't think I would ever have done this. Can someone give me an explanation?
Nov-18-03  AdrianP: <BeautyInChess> I imagine that Kramnik didn't like 18...Bxf6 19. Nd5!? but I can't see a decisive continuation.

18...gxf6 has some advantages, opening up the g-file and blockading the e-pawn which is restricting all W's pieces...

Nov-18-03  ChessPraxis: Based on the collection, the Karpov and Kramnik lifetime record is 5 wins, 5 losses, and 17 draws. They are very evenly matched!
Premium Chessgames Member
  talchess2003: I'd say that Karpov has just lately browsed through Seirawan's Winning Chess Tactics book.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <Based on the collection, the Karpov and Kramnik lifetime record is 5 wins, 5 losses, and 17 draws. They are very evenly matched!>

Yes and no. Two of Kramnik's victories were at blindfold, and one was active, whereas one of Karpov's wins was rapid. So in serious games Karpov leads by two.

Nov-18-03  dorn: <BeautyInChess: Why 18. ... gxf6> I think Kramnik wanted to keep dark-squared bishop on the board (because of White's dark-squared pawn structure). He was afraid of 18...Bxf6 19. Nd5 Qe5 20. Nxf6 Qxf6.
Nov-18-03  chessdr: dorn: After 27. ... Qd2, 28. Qg4+ Kf8, 29. Rd1 Qa5, try 30. Nf5 threatening mate. If then 31. ... Rxd1, 32. Qxd1 followed by Qd7 or Qc1. I don't see a clear win but I'd rather be white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Honza Cervenka>, <Dorn> and <ChessGames.Com> I had Fritz 8 do a couple of deep analysis of the variation with 27...Qd2 and it appears to verify Honza's initial impression that white has a winning advantage.

Fritz 8 quickly came up with Crafty's line 27...Qd2 28. g4+ f8 29. d1 a5 30. g2xd1 31. Qxd1 but on a deeper look at this line gave it a higher assessment than Crafty. After 31 Qxd1 above Fritz 8 (@17/49 depth & 747kN/s) gives black's best five lines as winning for white:

1. (1.53) 31...Ke8 32. Qg4 Qd8 33. Qg8+ Kd7 34. Qxh7 Qe7 35. Nf5 Qf8 36. Qh5 Kc6 37. Qf3 Bb2 38. a4 (a Fritz 8 look at this position gives 38...bxa4 39. Qd3 a3 40. Qxa6+ Kc5 41. Ne3 Kb4 42. h4 Qc5 43. h5 Kb3 44. Qb7+ Ka2 45. h6 Kb1 46. h7 Qf8 with a +1.72 assessment)

2. (1.53) 31...Qc7 32. Qd5 Qb8 33. Nf5 Bb2 34. Qc5+ Kg8 35. h4 Qe8 36. f3 Qd8 37. Qb4 Bc1

3. (1.66) 31...Qb6 32. Nf5 Bb2 33. Qd7 Qe6 34. Qd8+ Qe8 35. Qd6+ Kg8 36. f3 Qa8 37. Kh3 Be5 38. Qd2 Qc8

4. (1.97) 31...Bb8 32. Qd4 Qc7 33. Qxf6 Qe5 34. Qd8+ Qe8 35. Qh4 Be7 36. Qxh7 Qc6 37. Qh4 Qf6

5. (1.97) 31...Bc7 32. Qd7 Bd8 33. Nd5 h5 34. Qd6+ Ke8 35. Kh3 Qa4 36. Qc6+ Kf8 37. Qc8 Qa5

Perhaps Fritz's analysis of 1.53 or 1.72 as a win is an overestimation of white's chances, but if not it appears Honza Cervenka may well be correct in his first assessment that White maintains a winning advantage even against 27...Qd2.

Nov-19-03  dorn: It's obvious that after 27... Qd2 White has an advantage, but I'm sure you can easily distinguish between and mate (or a win in 2 and 20 moves).
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <dorn> A strong human player's assessment of a winning advantage or is one I prefer to a computer's. In this case in particular, I'm not so sure that Fritz 8 did not overestimate white's chances. I think the computer just takes material (one point for pawn plus) and some positional considerations (1/2 point for doubled pawn) and then with a certain point plus (1.5) assigns the . However, it is not always the case that such advantages translate into a win.

In this case, in the first variation above with 31...Ke8, I'm not so sure that even at the end of the long analysis above (ending with a 1.53 to 1.72 plus assessment) that black can't survive with drawing chances. In fact, I ran another Fritz 8 analysis on the position at the point of the 1.72 assessment and the winning advantage fell below 1.0 to only a slight advantage. But as we saw in game 3 of Kasparov versus X3D Fritz, the computer can err in the other direction (underestimating an opponents advantage) when assessing near equal positions. Perhaps that is why the programmers for Fritz prefer to see a 2.0 advantage before resigning a position.

Either way, it is clear that 27...Qd2!? is clearly Black's best move in a bad situation, and as you noted is definitely the move that Kramnik should have played in this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Was the position after Black's 26th move really appropriate for a "White to play" puzzle? It doesn't seem so. Incidentally, I also don't see any winning line after 28.Rc2 (threatening 29.Qg4+) Qd6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Eggman> Don't be too hard on Even those who publish entire books of problems, such as Fred Reinfeld, have published problems with "solutions" that are incorrect or cooked (e.g. the solutions to problems number 3, 26, 27 and 58 out of 108 problems on "Pinning" in Reinfeld's 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations are busted or incorrect). Some of us enjoy seeing a fellow kibitzer find a resourceful defensive move to save the game for the side that is supposed to be lost. After all, isn't that part of the fun of kibitzing?
Nov-20-03  euripides: is certainly interesting. I think that if 18...Bf6 White has the threat of Bg and then overrunning Black with f4 and e5 - the mobile K-side/central majority is a major theme in some Slav variations. Black can react with c5 to exchcange the W-squared bishops but then d5 becomes weak. With a pawn on f6, the centre is less easily overrun, though some squares on the K-side become weaker In the ending the doubled pawns are no worse than the united pawns for resiting an advance of the majority,perhaps better. But I'd be interested to hear other reactions.
May-30-04  Everett: Honza over the computers anyday, my friends
Apr-12-06  Brown: Since this is in Monaco, is this an Amber Tournament game?
Oct-20-06  Whitehat1963: Karpov still had it in him to kick some Kramnik ass!
Jul-25-08  Woody Wood Pusher: Kramnik gets owned by the master of positional play!
Aug-27-08  Whitehat1963: Excellent Wednesday/Thursday puzzle after 26...Qxb2.
Aug-27-08  sicilianhugefun: Tolya's 27th move is simply awesome
Aug-27-08  sicilianhugefun: Petrosian, Karpov, Kramnik are the masters of positional pressure, but Tolya emerges obviously above them all
Sep-18-12  vinidivici: this game is good.
Hope 28.Qc8 would become puzzle of the day.
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