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Vladimir Kramnik vs Darmen Sadvakasov
Astana (2001), Astana KAZ, rd 7, May-28
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Classical Defense. Rubinstein Variation (D27)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-09-07  chessmoron: <1 d4 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 e3 e6 5 Bxc4 c5 6 0-0 a6 7 a4> Rubinstein's move. The alternative is 7 Qe2 b5 8 Bb3 Bb7 9 Rd1. <7...Nc6 8 Qe2 Qc7> Approved by theory. Isolating the d-pawn by 8 . . . cxd4 9 Rd1 Be7 10 exd4 0-0 11 Nc3 does not quite equalize for Black. <9 Rd1 Bd6 10 dxc5> Black has no problems with his pawn structure, so White must rush his pieces into action if he wants any advantage. The other method is 10 Nc3 0-0 11 h3 b6 12 d5!? exd5 13 Bxd5 Bb7 14 e4, as in Portisch vs I Radulov, 1974. <10...Bxc5 11 b3 0-0 12 Bb2 e5> Black has no time to eliminate White's KB with 12 . . . Ng4 13 Nbd2 Nge5?, as 14 Nxe5 Nxe5 15 Rac1, threatening 16 b4, costs material. <13 Nc3 e4?> Natural, but premature. Black maintains a satisfactory position with 13 . . . Nb4! 14 Rac1 Qe7. If 13 . . . Nb4! 14 Nd5!? Nfxd5 15 Bxd5, Black defends with 15 . . . Bd6 16 Rac1 Qe7 17 Bc4 Bg4 18 h3 Bh5. <14 Ng5> Kramnik will meet 14 . . . Bg4?! not by 15 f3? exf3 16 gxf3 Rae8!, but by 15 Nd5! Bxe2 16 Nxc7 Bxd1 (also 16 . . . Bxc4 17 bxc4 Rad8 18 Nd5 costs Black a pawn) 17 Nxa8 Bh5 18 Bxf6 gxf6 19 Nxe4, winning a pawn. Nor will 15 . . . Qc8 16 Qc2 Bxd1 17 Rxd1 save Black. Then 17 . . . Be7 loses material to 18 Nb6 Qf5 19 Nxf7, while Black suffers on the a1-h8 diagonal with either 17 . . . Nb4 18 Nxf6+ gxf6 19 Qxe4 fxg5 20 Qe5 or 17 . . . Qf5 18 Nxf6+ gxf6 19 Nxe4 Ne5 20 Rd5 Rac8 (hopeless is 20 . . . Be7 21 f4) 21 Nxf6+! Qxf6 22 Rxe5 Qg6 23 Rg5! Qxg5 24 Qc3. <Bd6> Best. If 14 . . . Bf5 15 Nd5 Nxd5 16 Rxd5 Ne7 17 Rxf5! Nxf5 18 Qh5 Nh6 19 Nxe4 Be7 20 Rc1, White's ferocious attack outweighs Black's tiny material plus. <15 Nd5 Nxd5 16 Rxd5 Bxh2+> White refutes 16 . . . h6? by 17 Qh5! (threatening 18 Nxe4 and 18 Nxf7) hxg5 18 Rxg5 Be5 19 Bxe5. The Bishops show their might in the finishes 16 . . . Nb4? 17 Qh5 h6 18 Rxd6! Qxd6 19 Nxf7 and 18 . . . hxg5 19 Rh6! gxh6 20 Qg6 mate. <17 Kh1 Be5 18 Qh5 Bf5?> Black's only chance is 18 . . . h6 19 Nxf7 Rxf7 (not 19 . . . Bxb2?, as 20 Nxh6+ Kh7 21 Nf7+ Kg8 22 Rd7! leads to mate). Neither 20 Bxe5 Qe7 nor 20 Rxe5!? Nxe5 21 Bxe5 Qe7 22 Qg6! Qh4+! 23 Bh2 Qf6 ends Black's resistance. <19 Nxf7!> Winning. <Rxf7> If 19 . . . Bxb2 20 Rxf5 g6, White wraps it up with 21 Qh6! gxf5 22 Nd8+! Rf7 23 Bxf7+ Qxf7 24 Nxf7 Bxa1 25 Ng5. Or, if 19 . . . Bg6, then 20 Nxe5 Bxh5 21 Rd7+ wins a piece. <20 Qxf5!> Another stunner! White relies on 20 . . . Rxf5 21 Rd8 mate and 20 . . . Bxb2 21 Rd7. <20...g6 21 Bxe5, Black Resigns.>

Games like this one should dispel the notion that Kramnik plays too peacefully.

Dec-26-07  mistreaver: Sadvakasov here failed to carry the plan played by Y Seirawan against P Nikolic in Skeleftea 1989 ( no game in database). In that game Black played( with little inversion of moves) 9... Be7 10.dxc5 0-0! 11. b3 e5! 12. Nc3 e4 13. Nd2 Bg4 and obtained the edge.
Nov-22-08  notyetagm: 20 ?

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20 ♕h5x♗f5!

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<patzer2: ... The winning followup move 20. Qxf5! is available because Black will be mated immediately with a double discovered check if he dares to capture White's Queen (i.e. 20...Rxf5? 21. Rd8#).>

20 ... ♖f7x♕f5?? 21 ♖d5-d8#!

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<patzer2: <jahhaj> I also saw 19. Nxf7!!, but confess that I initially only contemplated the possibility 19...Rxf7 20. Bxe5 =. However, I suspect we both would have found 20. Qxf5!, especially if we had taken the time after 19...Rxf7 to take a fresh look at the position for a better followup move.>

Nov-22-08  notyetagm: 20 ... ?

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<kevin86: A neat mate idea : If 20...Rxf5? 21 Rd8# by double check>


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Nov-22-08  notyetagm: One of my favorite Kramnik games.
Jan-22-09  blacksburg: Qxf5. wow. pretty.
Sep-04-15  whiteshark: Let your fingers do the wal♔ through the Darmen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I didn't get it when it was the problem of the day ten years ago and I didn't get it this time either.

What happens after 19...g6 ? If 20. Nxe5, then 20...Nxe5 21. Rd7+ (21. Rxe5+ Qxc4 22. bxc4 gxe5) Nxc4 22. Rxc7 gxh5 23. Rg7+ Kh8 24. Bd4 (24. bxc4 h6 25. Rxb7+ Kg8) Rfd8 25. Rd7+ Kg8 26. Rg7+ Kf8 27. bxc4 Rxd4 28. Rxb7 Rxc4.

Now what?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I did not see it previously mentioned, so if 20...Kh8, then 21 Bxe5 also wins.

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Nov-13-16  YouRang: Insane Sunday 19.?

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So many problems involve a concentration of force on an f7 pawn (or f2 if black to move), and this is certainly the case with the Q, N, and (potential) B all hitting Pf7.

So, I'm thinking we to start with <19.Nxf7>

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The Nf7 threatens Be5, which in turn threatens a discovered attack on the king.

I expect <19...Rxf7> which sets up the bishop discovered check via <20.Qxf5!>.

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The queen is perfectly safe due to 20...Rxf5? 21.Rd8#!

Meanwhile, white threatens Rd7!, pinning, forking, and winning the Rf7.

Black's best bet is probably <20...Bxb2 21.Rd7 Qc8 22.Qxf7+ Kh8 23.Rad1>

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But this still leaves white up the exchange with a brutal attack in the works.

Nov-13-16  mel gibson: I didn't see it but a beautiful move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I know this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Kramnik, like magic!
Nov-13-16  extremepleasure2: I saw it within 5 seconds. I really wonder what makes that combination insane.
Nov-13-16  patzer2: What made this Sunday combination complex (i.e. insane) for me was memory loss, as I completely forgot I had seen and analyzed 19. Nxf7! from this game over 10 years ago.

I considered 19. Nxf7!, but I stopped calculating as soon as I visualized 19...Bg6 (diagram below):

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What I failed to do was calculate further to see that in this position (diagram above) White has a fairly easy winning discovered check combination with 20. Nxe5 Bxh5 21. Rd7+ Kh8 22. Rxc7 (+5.64 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 15).

My weaker alternative choice today was 19. Nxh7 which the computer indicates wins a pawn with good endgame chances for White after 19. Nxh7 Bxh7 20. Bxe5 Nxe5 21. Qxe5 Qxe5 22. Rxe5 Rfe8 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. Bd5 Re7 25. Rc1 Bf5 26. Rc4 a5 27. Kh2 Re5 28. Bxb7 Be6 29. Rc3 f6 30. f4 exf3 31. gxf3 (+1.11 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 15).

P.S.: My 7-year-old Grandson apparently has little trouble remembering and visualizing combinations and tactics which he has previously studied. He played in a central Texas scholastic tournament (Grades K through three section) yesterday, and quickly won all five of his games. He won four of his games in less than nine moves. His longest game went 25 moves, where he played the White side of the Fried Liver Attack against the Two-Knights Defense.

Premium Chessgames Member
  steinitzfan: This is what a weekend puzzle should be. Very difficult but it doesn't just turn into a pit of variations and wildly divergent possibilities. I couldn't do it -- but at least after seeing it I would be able to go back and explain how the win was achieved. As far as getting it though -- I didn't think the f7 sacrifice was playable. Too much guarding it.
Nov-13-16  YouRang: <al wazir: I didn't get it when it was the problem of the day ten years ago and I didn't get it this time either.

What happens after 19...g6 ? If 20. Nxe5, then 20...Nxe5 21. Rd7+ (21. Rxe5+ Qxc4 22. bxc4 gxe5) Nxc4 22. Rxc7 gxh5 23. Rg7+ Kh8 24. Bd4 (24. bxc4 h6 25. Rxb7+ Kg8) Rfd8 25. Rd7+ Kg8 26. Rg7+ Kf8 27. bxc4 Rxd4 28. Rxb7 Rxc4.

Now what?>

In your line, after <21...Nxc4>

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Nov-13-16  Marmot PFL: Soon found 19 Nxf7 Rxf7 20 Qxf5 Rxf5 21 Rd8#
but had trouble winning after 19...Bxb2 20 Rxf5 g6, and needed to move the pieces to find 21 Qh6 gf5 22 Nd8+ Rf7 23 Bxf7+ Kh8 24 Qf8#.
Nov-13-16  Marmot PFL: Kramnik finished 2nd in this very strong double RR, losing only to the winner (Kasparov).
Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: a beautiful combination, which i think requires you to see the discovered double check from Rd8+(Bc4+) hidden in all those pieces.

i was puzzled by the resignation rather than 21. ... Nxe5, until i realized that the black Q has nowhere to hide, and you're down a rook if you accept the exchange 22. Qxe5, Qxe5.

Nov-13-16  Dip Saha: Patzer2 can a talk to u???
Nov-14-16  patzer2: <Dip Saha> You just spoke. Welcome to the site.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <YouRang: In your line, after 21...Nxc4 <22.Qxh7#>>.

You're right. Thanks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: In game 6 of the 2000 WC match Kasparov had played 8..cxd against Kramnik and the game had ended in a hard-fought draw in a conventional IQP setup; here Black varied with 8..Qc7. 12..e5!? was double-edged weakening d5 and the a2-g8 diagonal. In lutz's win over Huebner at Munich 1993 White had played 13 h3; 13 Nc3 was new. Kramnik was surprised at how quickly Sadvakasov decided on 13..e4?! particularly when he had several less committing moves available eg.: 13..Bg4, 13..Qe7 or 13..Nb4. Sadvakasov spent an hour on 14..Bd6? which compounded his problems; Kramnik thought Black's best chance was 14..Bg4 15 Nd5..Bxe2 16 Nxc7..Bxd1 17 Nxa8..Bc2 18 Rc1..Nb4 with a better endgame for White.
Jan-30-19  FairyPromotion: A Kramnik win was selected as GOTD 3 days ago, but with him announcing his retirement I think we need to have a fresh one. This not-as-popular brilliacy of his is one of the better choices.

GotD: <Sad But True>

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