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Anatoly Karpov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Eurotel Trophy (2002) (rapid), Prague CZE, rd 2, Apr-30
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Check Variation Intermezzo Line (E15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-06-02  bishop: You'd have to think that 17...Rad8 was not quite correct as after 18.Nd5 white obtains two bishops and a passed pawn. The move ...28 Ne5 dropping the b pawn is hard to understand.
Sep-30-02  skakmiv: well, if 28..Rc8 then 29.Rec1(!)
Nov-24-02  skakmiv: Kramnik should have played 17..Bxg2=
Nov-24-02  drukenknight: I think the error happens later than that.

Look at the board when it is time for white's 37th. Material appears to be dead even (4 connected pawns vs 3 connected pawns and 2 passed pawns = 1 pt). The game appears balanced.

After the dust has cleared a few moves later, white is now behind in material, but he has dangerous threats against the K. He drops material but gains attacks.

Okay so what? Well the dynamics of the game have certainly changed, something must have happened.

What exactly is white threatening gxf5 doesnt gain material it breaks up 3 pawns and leaves an open file on the K.

What about 37...Nc6?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 37...Nc6 38.Qxb6
Nov-25-02  drukenknight: well forget that one.
May-18-03  Voxation: What was the point of the last move by Kramnik?
May-18-03  Kenkaku: I think it was just a standard blunder, although Kramnik looks done for anyway. Not a bad time to get a blunder out of your system I'd say.
Jun-04-04  MalibogKantutero: Don't go in an endgame a pawn (isolated even) down against ex-champ Karpov. The current world champion has been taught a lesson! :)
Jul-18-04  Helloween: The thing that surprises me about this game is how uncharacteristically flimsy Kramnik's defence was. He missed many chances to equalize: after 17.Nc3?! he should have played 17...Bxg2 18.Kxg2 Rad8 19.Nb5 Qb8 20.Qf3 a6 21.Nc3 Bf6 with equality, instead of 23...f5?! he should have played 23...Qd6! with a solid position, instead of 27...Rde8 he would have done better to have played 27...Be5 28.d6 Qa8 29.b5 Qa2 30.Bc3 Qxd2 31.Bxd2 Nc5 32.Rxb6 Nd3!=, instead of 36...h6 he has 36...Qc7 37.g4 Rxb5! 38.Re1! Qd6 39.gxf5 Qxd5 40.Qxe4 Qxe4 41.Bxe4 Kf8 42.f4 Nf7 43.Bc6 Rb8 which is drawn, and his last chance to draw was probably blown with 37...fxg4??, which he could have replaced with 37...g6 38.Qe3 Kh7 39.gxf5 gxf5 40.Kh1 Nc4 41.Qd4 Ne5 42.f3 exf3 43.Bf1 Rb7 44.Ra1 f2 45.Qxf2 Qxd5+ 46.Bg2 Qxb5 47.Bxb7 Qxb7+ 48.Qg2 Qf7 49.Rb1 Qe6 50.Rb7+ Nf7 and Black can probably draw. Though the game is already lost, notice that 44...Qxb6 drops a Rook to 45.Rc8+ Kh7 46.Qg8+.

Better than Karpov's 17.Nc3 which allows 17...Bxg2 is 17.f4!?, though after 17...Rad8 18.Qh5 Bxe4 19.Bxe4 Nf6 20.Bxf6 Qc5+ 21.Qxc5 Bxc5+ 22.Kf1 gxf6 23.Ke2 Rd4 24.Bf3 Rfd8 25.Rad1 f5 the ending is drawn.

Mar-15-06  LIFE Master AJ: Wild game ... I am currently making a study of the Queen's Indian.
Mar-15-06  LPeristy: So was Kramnik in serious zeitnot when he blundered his queen for no apparent reason?
Mar-17-06  LIFE Master AJ: <LPeristy>

Maybe it was (failed) a try at a swindle?

Oct-20-06  Whitehat1963: Nah, Kramnik never blunders!
Oct-20-06  RookFile: So, what was the time control for this game, Game/25 or something?
Jul-25-08  Woody Wood Pusher: Karpov shows the difference between good technique and flawless technique in the endgame!
Jul-25-08  PinnedPiece: What a mysterious move, 50 Qb4. Surely he made some recorded comments somewhere about that move!?

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