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Vladimir Kramnik vs Peter Svidler
"Sketches of Spain" (game of the day Nov-12-2012)
Linares (1998), Linares ESP, rd 12, Mar-07
Catalan Opening: Closed Variation (E06)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-25-09  UnsoundHero: One of the great aspects of white's play is the vulnerability of Black's Bh4. If 26...Qg5 27 Qe4 threatens to snip off the bishop that can't flee. If then 27...Rxc6 28 Qxc6, and Black no longer threatens the Pf2. Or 27...h6 28 Qxh4 Rxc6 29 Qxg5 hxg5 30 Bxc6.
Jul-28-09  LIFE Master AJ: What a great game by Kramnik.

I was in the process of annotating the eighth game of the Anand-Kramnik match, and this game popped up as a reference to my suggested use of this opening.

I then killed about 2 hours just playing over this game and exploring the possible sidelines with the computer.

They ought to make this,
"The game of the Day" sometime.

Jul-28-09  LIFE Master AJ: > Octavia
Thanks for the reminder, I knew I had gone over this game before, but I could not put my finger on where.

(Several of my students and I have gone all the way thorugh that book.)

Mar-27-12  LoveThatJoker: GOTD: Sketches of Spain


Mar-27-12  Shams: <LoveThatJoker> Not "Bitches Brew"?
Mar-27-12  LoveThatJoker: <Shams> I'll take Sketches of Spain 8/10 times over Bitches Brew.

The other two times I'll take Bitches Brew is when I want to listen to something weird, or when I want inspiration for a burgeoning essay that I've been meaning to complete entitled, "Miles Davis: The Vegan Years."


Mar-27-12  Shams: <LTJ> I would choose "Sketches of Spain" too, but I do like the experimental fusion stuff.

Was Miles Davis really a vegan?

Mar-27-12  LoveThatJoker: <Shams> I love the experimental stuff too, man: But honestly I don't think any experimental would ever beat the strange and pleasing harmonies of "Sketches of Spain" for me!

As for MD being a vegan: That's just a joke. You know I'm figuring that since Miles would create some pretty straight/"inside" music while under the influence of a whole bunch of 'stuff'. That he probably came up with the dissonance and obliqueness of "Bitches Brew" while completely straight and in the firm grip of a vegan lifestyle alteration!



Apr-18-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Kramnik vs Svidler, 1998.
Your score: 54 (par = 31)


PS. I didn't know that this game was one I had recently studied, and as soon as I knew it was one of them I did my best to recall from memory the moves played. I did a good job in that regard

Nov-12-12  The Last Straw: Good job <Shams>! :-)

The fork idea with ...♕g5+ fails due to 29...♖xd7? 30.♕xh7+! ♔f8 31.♖xd7 when the white h4-♖ is protected by the white ♕.

Although Kramnik did use some cunning tactics, in my opinion ths is a poor game. least for players of Kramnik's and Svidler's strength.

Nov-12-12  The Last Straw: ...and good job, <LTJ>! :-)
Nov-12-12  DanielBryant: Forgive me for asking what is probably an elementary question, but what is the positional justification for allowing 11...Nxf4?
Nov-12-12  The Last Straw: <DanielBryant>It's ok. Many masters do allow this type of capture, but I have aso wondered why. This took me a while, but here's my explanation:

The only reasonable places for the bishop to go are c1 and d2, but they are no good because:

1)Both waste time in the opening, a punishable concession.

2)After either bishop move white's position is somwhat slightly cramped.

Anyone who can help improvise on this?

Nov-12-12  LoveThatJoker: <The Last Straw> Thanks for the kind mention!


PS. This is my 3rd pun selected by CG!

Nov-12-12  Abdel Irada: Now I wonder: Did Miles Davis' title inspire Zohar's "Sketches of Egypt" (on their CD _OneThreeSeven_)?

As I recall (and it's been a while, so I may be wrong) "SoS" leaned heavily on Davis' signature trumpet work. If so, the song would appear to have more in common with another song from the same CD: "Angel," in which trumpet fanfares are integral.

Nov-12-12  Abdel Irada: <Esa'al alami: Let me show you my pain.>

From "Sketches of Egypt," this lyric would well describe Svidler's view of this game.

Nov-12-12  Alphastar: <The Last Straw: Anyone who can help improvise on this?>

The dark-squared bishop is usually the piece that white is happy to trade for a knight in the catalan. His play is based on preventing black from playing the freeing c7-c5 break, and putting pressure on the c7 pawn. Often in the Catalan white puts his bishop on a5 and then plays b2-b4, effectively locking his own bishop out of play (but putting huge pressure on c7/the c-file).

In any case white is happy to see a black knight traded for this bishop. That knight potentially covers c6 or c5, so white thus increases his control there. Notice that later on Kramnik gets to install a knight on c6 - that's part and parcel of the catalan strategy.

Also, the pawn structure after Nxf4 gxf4 is not at all bad for white. In fact, he now has extra control over e5, making it that more difficult for black to carry out an eventual ..e6-e5 break.

Of course there are also situations in which this trade-off turns out to be bad for white, but the above is the general Catalan plan of white: remove black's counterplay and squeeze.

Nov-12-12  Shams: <DanielBryant> Your question is a very good one. As a brand new Catalan player I have been asking it a fair amount lately, myself.

I would also ask, what is the positional reason for Black's <13...Bxf3>?

Nov-12-12  Abdel Irada: <Shams>: I don't play the Catalan myself, so take this with a pound or so of salt, but my impression is that White was angling for a knight outpost on e5, and Black didn't want to allow it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Shams: ... I would also ask, what is the positional reason for Black's <13...Bxf3>?>

Beats me; I wouldn't dream of such a move. I'd say that Black is a fish, but given his rating that can't be the explanation. :-)

Nov-12-12  Moszkowski012273: Does 26...Qh6 help at all?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <Moszkowski012273: Does 26...Qh6 help at all?> 26...Qh6 27.Qe4 Bg5 (27...g5 28.Ne7+) 28.h4 Qxc6 29.Qxc6 Rxc6 30.Bxc6 wins the exchange.
Nov-13-12  kevin86: white will win in a hurry!
Dec-24-21  Albanius: The natural looking 15..c5? loses material due to the pin on the d file:

16 dxc5 Bxc5?
17 Ne4 Be6 or Bb6 (..Qc7 18 b4)
18 Qc6+-

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Nice game by Kramnik and also perhaps a good reason for the Catalan as well - avoid the theory of the Gruenfeld defence which the likes of Peter Svidler would know a great deal about.
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