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Vladimir Kramnik vs Jaan Ehlvest
Vienna Millenium (1996), Vienna AUT, rd 3, Aug-11
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Nimzo-English Opening (A17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-01-06  jahhaj: <chessmoron> Well you must be a little bit mad because 30...Kh7 is not legal (the king is already on h7).

29.Rxe8? Qxe8 30.Qxf6? Qe3+ 31.Kf1 Qxd3+ looks winning for Black to me.

Aug-01-06  pebble767: It's obvious because of the mate threat after 29.Bxf6
Aug-01-06  Rama: Why not 17. ... Nxf6. Yeah, black goes down a pawn but it is just a pawn, and meanwhile black has the only half-open file and the push 19. Kxg2 d5, looks playable.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: Theme of the week: Apparently it's Kramnik week, to celebrate his comeback.
Aug-01-06  EmperorAtahualpa: A relatively difficult puzzle for Tuesday's, but I still got it!

I guess that a Kramnik-fan submitted these puzzles to Whoever is responsible for these puzzles: good job!

Aug-01-06  Larsker: <Ehlvest has left the building.> And the game too.
Aug-01-06  Yogi1991: hey can anyone explain... why cann't black take white's rook in the 18th move????????
Aug-01-06  jahhaj: <Yogi1991> He can, but after 18...Bxf1 19.Rxf1 the pawn on d5 makes it hard for Black to defend his king side weakenesses. White's bishop looks stronger than either of Black's rooks.

But given what happened in the game maybe it was a better choice.

Aug-01-06  alfilbueno: I think that the problem of 18 ... Bxf1 is that White's pawn on d5 avoids Re6, and then Black's queen is tied to the defense of f6. So, White has various plans to quietly improve its position (e4-f4 followed by taking the queen and rook to the kingside, for instance) and, meanwhile it seems that Black has no active counterplay. Probably, based on these or similar considerations, Ehlvest preferred to get rid of the pawn on d5.
Premium Chessgames Member <I guess that a Kramnik-fan submitted these puzzles to> No, these are our picks, but if a Kramnik fan out there has a good suggestion for Sunday, drop us a line at We like our pick for Sunday but it might not be hard enough for the true aficionados.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: A really fine game. I am beginning to appreciate Kramnik's style (wasn't really familiar with it before).
Aug-01-06  acirce: 15.Nxe5!? is nice, but in <My Life And Games> Kramnik says he's not sure it's better than the simple 15.e4 Ng6 16.Nd2 Nf8 17.f4. Commenting on the move before that he says <14.b5! White's strategic idea is to block the position (after b4-b5 and e3-e4) and to transfer the weight of the struggle to the kingside, where he has all the play. His advantage in space, in the absence of any counterplay for the opponent, gives him the advantage.> Obviously the sharp 15.Nxe5 is kind of a deviation from this plan, but it is good too.
Aug-01-06  YouRang: Found it pretty quickly. I had a hunch that the Qxh6+ queen sac was in the works, to be followed by Rh4+.

Before long, I noticed that 29. Bxf6 was just the move needed: (1) to seal off the g-file allowing 30. Qxh6+ Kxh6 31. Rh4#, and (2) attacks Black's queen, giving Black no time to take defensive measures.

Aug-01-06  kevin86: I answered this one right-but not an exciting one-no bells or whistles.

After 29...♖xe4 30 dxe4 and black will lose a bishop-but at least the mate threat is gone

Aug-01-06  zb2cr: Missed it--went down the wrong route.
Aug-01-06  Rocafella: Pretty obvious wasn't it?
Aug-01-06  korger: Just for an interesting tidbit: "Ehlvest" means "loses" in Hungarian. Chap couldn't have picked a more appropriate name for playing this game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Yes! Saw it right away. That confirms that it was a pretty easy one.

I agree with <JustaFish> that it would be nice if masters would play out the mate more often when the pattern is especially nice. It seems a chivalrous thing to do.

GMs, even if you let the mate happen on the board we will all realize that you saw it coming!

Aug-02-06  wasspwot: <JustaFish><gawain> I rather suspect that once they realise they've lost most GMs just want to escape from the board and get to the bar. I know that's how I feel. The beauty of mating patterns when you've lost is of less concern than the beauty of a pint of beer at that point.
Aug-05-06  patzer2: With 29. Bxf6!, Kramnik ignores the threat to his Rook and creates an even greater threat with this decisive double attack.

The dual threat of 30. BxQ or 30. Qxh6+ , threatening mate, forces Black to give up decisive material.

Play in the final position could continue 29...Rxe4 (29...Bxe4 30. Bxe8 ) 30. dxe4 Qd6 31. Rd1 with a decisive pin.

Aug-31-08  visayanbraindoctor: Is this a rapid game?

The series of moves 14. b5, 15. Nxe5, 16. Ng4, 17. Nxf6+, 20. f4, 21. f5, 22. Qd2, 23. e4, 24. Qf4, 25. Qg4+, 26. Qh4, 27. exd5 28. Re4, 29. Bxf6 (aimed at opening the a1 - h8 diagonal and targeting f6) is very pleasing to replay, and if done under rapid time controls is very impressive indeed.

Sep-01-08  acirce: <visayanbraindoctor> No, classical.

Kramnik came back nicely in this game, played in round 3, after a horrible 0/2 start. Finally he ended up with +1; Topalov, Gelfand and Karpov shared first with +2 (5.5/9).
Game Collection: Vienna 1996

Sep-01-08  visayanbraindoctor: <acirce: <visayanbraindoctor> No, classical.>

Thank you for the info. I had the impression they they were playing rapid chess. I am quite impressed with the series of moves I gave above that is designed to strategically open up the a1 - h8 diagonal and target f6. If Kramnik could think of that and carry it out in rapid play, wow he must be very good (well we know that he is but it's still impressive).

Jun-11-12  LoveThatJoker: Awesome game by Kramnik!


Jun-11-12  Petrosianic: Now I understand tpstar's joke the other day:


The first six games were draws! Then Gelfand won Game 7! Then Anand won Game 8! Then the last four games were draws! Then Anand won the tiebreaks!>

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