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Vladimir Kramnik vs Jeroen Piket
Dortmund Sparkassen (1995), Dortmund GER, rd 9, Jul-23
Queen Pawn Game: Zukertort Variation (E06)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: A good example of a dark-square strategy. After subtle preparation, Kramnik was able to trade Black's dark squares Bishop and to keep his own dark squares Bishop. This gave the theme of the second part of the game: built heavy pressure on the a1-h8 diagonal, with permanent threat on the weakened Black's king side.

When you understand this is the main idea, then you see that 34...Ra2? is the losing move, because after that Piket won't be able to keep closed the a1-h8 diagonal. After 35.Qxb4:

1)35…Nxe4 36.Qd4 .

2) 35…Rxb2 36.Qxc3 followed by 37.exd5

So 35...Nb5 actually played was the only move, but after 36.Bf6, the game is lost on the long term, since Black failed to close the diagonal.

There was a hidden defence for Black: 34…Re6!. After 35.Qxb4 Nxe4 36.Qxd4 f6 (that's the point) 37.f3 c5! saves Black.

Jul-03-07  RandomVisitor: 25...f6 or 25...Na2 would have been better for black.

Since 34...Re6 appears to draw for black as <Mateo> mentions above, maybe white should try something else earlier, such as 29.Bf1 or 30.Bf1.

Jun-08-12  LoveThatJoker: Tremendous game by Kramnik!

His notes (from "Kramnik: My Life and Games") starting from 44. Be3! are simply inspiring!

<44. Be3!>

Creating a mating threat that is difficult to parry. It is after all dangerous to weaken the position of the King with ...g7-g6!


After 44...f6 45. Qxf6+ Bf7, the simple 46. Bf3 is possible - when apart from anything else, White is a Pawn up. [LTJ: This line is Stockfish's first choice, btw, (+5.50)]

<45. Bh6 Qxf2+!?>

An original tactical resource, which does not succeed. Black also fails to save the game by 45...Nf5 46. Qxe8+ Kh7 47. Qxf7+ Kxh6 48. exf5, when he is again one tempo short.

<46. Rxf2 d1=Q+ 47. Rf1>

After 47. Bf1? there is a surprising defence: 47...Qa1! [LTJ: 47. Kh2? also fails to 47...Qa1!]

<47...Rxg2+ 48. Kxg2 Qe2+ 49. Kg1>

Black resigns


Mar-26-18  sakredkow: I came across this game while doing research on the Catalan. Mateo’s note above is helpful as is the excerpt from Kramnik’s book supplied by LoveThatJoker covering the thrilling conclusion.

Kramnik (7.0) came in clear first over Karpov (6.5), Ivanchuk(5.0) and Leko (5.0) in this tournament. In fact he took first at Dortmund ten times (so far)! Don’t forget what a great champion and great ambassador he is. This game is one jewel in a very impressive crown.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: I think this is one of the best games by Kramnik, ever. Excellent strategy? Excellent calculation? Why not both?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: A truly fantastic game by Kramnik - and right to the ends factoring in Qa1 resource - avoided by Rf1

At move 40, the Engines find something super interesting:


158: Vladimir Kramnik - Jeroen Piket 1-0 9.0, Dortmund Sparkassen 1995

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 15 - 3 threads max:

1. +- (5.32): 40...Qe2 41.Be5 Qe1+ 42.Kh2 Rxf2 43.Qf6 Rxg2+ 44.Kxg2 Qe2+ 45.Kg1 Qe1+ 46.Rf1 Qe3+ 47.Kh2 Qh6 48.Bxd4 h4 49.gxh4 Nxe4 50.Qe5 Bc6 51.Rf4 Nd6

White is clearly winning

(Gavriel, 27.03.2023)

If instead after 40.Rf3 you might ask how about just d3

Then Be5 d2

click for larger view

And here


And black has NO defence here

158: Vladimir Kramnik - Jeroen Piket 1-0 9.0, Dortmund Sparkassen 1995

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 15 - 3 threads max:

1. +- (#8): 42...d1Q+ 43.Kh2 Qh1+ 44.Kxh1 Ra1+ 45.Kh2 Nf5 46.Qxe8+ Kh7 47.Rxf7+ Ng7 48.Rxg7+ Kh6 49.Qh8+ Kg5 50.f4# White mates

(Gavriel, 27.03.2023)

Amazing resources behind the scenes triggered by Black's dark square weaknesses around the King

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