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Vladimir Kramnik vs Garry Kasparov
Novgorod (1997), Novgorod RUS, rd 5, Jun-15
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Bayonet Attack Sokolov's Line (E97)  ·  1-0



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Jan-06-07  seeminor: Im sure that around this time Kasparov realised Kramnik was the only player in the world with the mental strength to take his title. Ivanchuk was a talented but fragile player, Anand was shown to have psychological weakness in 1995, Shirov was destined to never get even 1 win against Gazza. But Vlad just never seemed to care about Kasparov's theatrical huffing and puffing, played his moves, and took his title. Its only because he started playing Kasparov at 16 thhat Kasparov has (only just) a plus score against him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I'm not sure I believe Kasparov. He had had a lot of success with the Kngs Indian until Kramnik came along. I believe this is one of the last games that he used the defence. It came just a few months after his loss with the Kings Indian to Ivanchuk at Linares.

The system with 10 Re1, developed by Ivan Sokolov, was having a lot of success at this time. One of the ideas was that the black knight at f4 was not as much of an inconvenience to white as previously thought. In fact, after 16 g3..Nh3 the 17 Bh3..Bh3 the bishop ends up misplaced at h3. 15 Ra3 is a clever multi-purpose move with one of the idea being to transfer the rook to the king side (either for offence or defence). The gambit with 15..g5!? never seems to get off the ground; in fact it is Kramnik who ultimately gets the kingside initiative. Kramnik recommended 15 Kh8 as an alternative. I love 25 Nf3. There is no way for Kasparov to take advantage of the pin. Still, it was not necessary for Kasparov to play 26..Bf3?; Kramnik again recommended 26..Kh8. 31 Nc7 is simple but pretty; taking advantage of blacks queen being tied to h5 to defend against the queen sacrifice on h6.

Aug-26-09  HAPERSAUD: Personally I think Kasparov had am uncompromising style that practically made the kid dead to him, I've played many games against candidate masters using 17 plus move variations in the bayonet and I've had the great fortune to talk to grandmaster federowicz and pitch a few of my ideas which he was impressed with. So maybe the kid isn't dead. All you need is a player with a different style that the opening suits
Mar-25-11  PSC: <HAPERSAUD: Personally I think Kasparov ... and pitch a few of my ideas which he was impressed with. So maybe the kid isn't dead. All you need is a player with a different style that the opening suits.>

This has got to be one of the most hysterically arrogant comments I have ever read. Douche.

May-16-11  BobbyFissure: Kasparov said he gave up the KID because it was too much theory to play that and the Najdorf constantly at the highest level. I don't see any reason to question that statement.
Sep-19-11  Cemoblanca: Attacking Chess: The King's Indian, Volume 1 by David Vigorito (more info:

<The King's Indian has always been considered a somewhat risky opening, but despite that common sentiment, the King's Indian has an impressive pedigree. While this dynamic system was pioneered in the 1950s by Russian and Yugoslav players such as David Bronstein, Efim Geller and Svetozar Gligoric, the two big names that are often attached to the King's Indian are those of its World Champion practitioners, Robert Fischer and Garry Kasparov. Whereas Fischer's retirement signalled the end of his King's Indian era, Kasparov gave up our favourite opening while he was still an active player, which 'indicated' its unsoundness. At least that was the general feeling after he lost a well-known game in 1997 to Kramnik in the then dreaded 'Bayonet' system.

In fact Kasparov stated something to the effect that the Sicilian and King's Indian were too much to keep up with at the level he was playing at, and so he stuck with the Sicilian while heading for more solid systems in the closed openings. Nowadays young players are not so worried about this; with advances in technology many modern talents play both the Sicilian and the King's Indian, as well as other sharp defences.>

Nov-12-11  DrMAL: <BobbyFissure: Kasparov said he gave up the KID because it was too much theory to play that and the Najdorf constantly at the highest level. I don't see any reason to question that statement.> Yes this is irony about computers taking over in last decade. Kasparov created much if not most of new theory for both openings in 80s and 90s but with computers showing refutations and more sophisticated lines, it is simply different game today.

Game here is good example, it is easy to see today with Houdini engine truth behind statement <hickchess99: <acirce> kramnik felt that the sac was not sound and that he had a won position from that point.> many analyses and commentaries before very strong engines were incorrect. Here is eval just before pawn sac, Kramnik had solid advantage.

Houdini_20_x64: 28/69 1:05:15 40,378,405,497
-0.53 18. ... Qd7 19.Qxg5 f5 20.f3 fxe4 21.Ncxe4
-0.64 18. ... Bd7 19.Qxg5 f5 20.Qh5 f4 21.Nb5
-0.82 18. ... Qc8 19.Qxg5 f6 20.Qe3 Bd7 21.Nf3
-0.88 18. ... Bc8 19.Qxg5 f6 20.Qh5 Bd7 21.Nb5
-1.07 18. ... g4 19.Nf3 f6 20.Bh6 Rb6 21.Nb5

However, this computation is not accurate for move 18...Qd7 deeper computation shows less advantage overall, and better score if sac is declined. In any case Kramnik did not have "won game" at all. Offering sac with 18...Qd7 was not unsound, it was best move in the position.

Houdini_20_x64: 29/82 2:09:15 84,161,164,637
-0.34 18. ... Qd7 19.a5 f6 20.f3 g4 21.Nd1
-0.64 18. ... Bd7 19.Qxg5 f5 20.Qh5 f4 21.Nb5
-0.82 18. ... Qc8 19.Qxg5 f6 20.Qe3 Bd7 21.Nf3
-0.88 18. ... Bc8 19.Qxg5 f6 20.Qh5 Bd7 21.Nb5
-1.07 18. ... g4 19.Nf3 f6 20.Bh6 Rb6 21.Nb5

It is not difficult, especially with computer, to see how Kasparov kept making small errors, line above points out one next move (19...h6 instead of 19...f6). Kasparov seemed to have some unsual difficulty staying accurate against Kramnik, I do not think it was because Kasparov predicted him to become WC but I do think there was some mental thing with Kasparov involved. In any case, Kramnik's statement about game was incorrect about sac being unsound and about having won game, computer revealed truth about both items.

Nov-13-11  bronkenstein: <DrMAL> , TY for the effort.

Speaking about <the truth> , it would be interesting to compare the meaning of <-0.53> , or , I would dare to say , even <-0.34> to the meaning of the words `won` or `lost` =)

Nov-13-11  DrMAL: <bronkenstein> Thanx. Personally, I would like to see Kramnik quote, it does not sound like it came from him. He was (still is) modest guy to begin with and it does not seem at all in character for him to say such a thing (maybe that he thought sac was poor or something like that).
Nov-14-11  Olavi: DrMAL, 18...Qd7 was not the sacrifice, it was 15...g5. After that it makes no sense to deviate. And the above analysis doesn't necessarily refute Kramnik's statement - he was obviously referring to an endgame 60 ply on, if he can defend against the black initiative.
Nov-17-11  DrMAL: <Olavi> I was wondering how to interpret statement, literally or logically. Sac was literally on move 18 but logically it was on move 15, it was reason for going g5. On move 15, yes of course Kasparov had other good moves to make, such as simply 15...Nh5 or 15...Bd7 but if one looks at computer score after sac it is easy to see that making sac did not ruin position of game, it merely changed game character into sharper one, especially for black who took on task to prove it.

Regarding whether Kramnik was "obviously" referring to endgame 60 plies later, well, it is not at all "obvious" to me nor is it to computer. It was clearly not "obvious" to WC Kasparov either, or he would not have made the sac. What I DO see is that sac was made to sharpen position, perhaps you missed this. Using "obvious" does not make you look like genius, it does opposite. You do not seem like bad player (I certainly am not either), so try more suitable wording, cheers.

Nov-17-11  DrMAL: Here is eval on move 15 for black.

Houdini_20_x64: 28/66 31:12 19,926,452,746
-0.31 15. ... Nh5 16.h3 Bd7 17.Nf3 f5 18.Bd3 fxe4

And here is score from above after sac,

Houdini_20_x64: 29/82 2:09:15 84,161,164,637
-0.34 18. ... Qd7 19.a5 f6 20.f3 g4 21.Nd1

Sac was NOT UNSOUND and Kramnik's game was NOT WON, only effect of sac was to sharpen game.

Nov-17-11  Olavi: Let's put it this way: Kramnik judged that the black attack wasn't too dangerous. Then, as his experience told him, in the normal run of things white should win the possible endgames: pawn up, good minor pieces, play down the b-file etc. Kasparov's judgement was different, but of course we never got to see an endgame, Kasparov wouldn't allow one.

This is certainly a case where Houdini is of little help, unless it can provide a concrete variation in blacks favour.

Nov-18-11  DrMAL: <Olavi> Houdini performed desired task perfectly in showing sac was sound and game was not won, these were exactly the points to be shown. It demonstrated example of how statements from past are often refuted by computer today, this was basis of post. Whatever point you are now trying to make is simply irrelevant to what was shown.

<Game here is good example, it is easy to see today with Houdini engine truth behind statement <hickchess99: <acirce> kramnik felt that the sac was not sound and that he had a won position from that point.> many analyses and commentaries before very strong engines were incorrect.>

Nov-18-11  Olavi: Well, what can I say. Houdini naturally manages very well for a long time. But then there's the endgame; people still overestimate the computer's capabilities, as witness that top level correspondence chess is nowhere near death.
Nov-18-11  DrMAL: Well, <Olavi> no one is using computer to predict entire game LOL. Position here is around move 15-18 early middlegame, and sufficiently deep computer eval indicates well how game is proceeding. Your argument about endgame being different, now trying to invalidate use of computer is just silly.

<Well, what can I say.> Apparently, it is not going to be an admission of anything productive regarding my post, LOL.

Nov-18-11  AnalyzeThis: Somewhere around here Kasparov started to sour on the King's Indian.

Who knows? When the fianchetto defenses first came out, Rubinstein wrote that they were basically unsound because you could arrage the trade off of the fianchettoed piece and exploit the holes, or play h4, h5, etc.

Rubinstein thought the fianchetto was ok with white but not for black.

Nov-18-11  DrMAL: As <BobbyFissure> pointed above (serving as impetus for my post), Kasparov admitted KID simply acquired too much theory in years that followed this game to present, computers have taken over and things he discovered, basically most of KID theory in 1990s, have been either refuted by computer or had various new lines from computer showing no advantage. Chess is completely different game today than it was in 1990s, analyses and statements made before computer era (last 5-10 years) were often wrong. One example of this is Kramnik's statement about game here, shown to be wrong by computer in my post, it is just one example of many, cheers.
May-05-12  Everett: Why did Kasparov lose? Seems to me the complete misuse of his queen's rook for most of the game didn't help.
Jun-11-12  LoveThatJoker: "31. ?" White to play and win, would make a good Friday/Saturday puzzle.


Sep-01-12  Albanius: 26...Nh4 27 Ng5+! or
26...h5 27 Ng5+ Kh6 28 f3
with W staying on top in either case.
26...Ne5? fails: 27 Nxe5 hits Qd7.
Sep-01-12  Albanius: 31...Qxc7?
32 Qxh6+!!
Mar-09-16  Logrus: Black were going quite good until risky 15..g5
May-31-19  Everett: <26...Nh4 27. Ng5+ hxg5 28. Qxg4 Qxg4 29. Rxg4 Bf6> looks tenable, though not much fun
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: There is an element of weakness provocation with Ra3 ready to exploit weaknesses. Fascinating game. Bxf3 later seems like a strategic mistake - the light square bishop is so important in these kinds of positions. I have managed to wins some games OTB vs the dreaded Bayonet attack - but it does seem very difficult in general for black.
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