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Peter Leko vs Vladimir Kramnik
"Kramberry Sauce" (game of the day Nov-23-2017)
Kramnik - Leko Classical World Championship Match (2004), Brissago SUI, rd 1, Sep-25
Russian Game: Classical Attack. Jaenisch Variation (C42)  ·  0-1



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Given 37 times; par: 119 [what's this?]

Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [405 more games annotated by Keene]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 50 OF 50 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-13-11  PSC: Annotated this game here:
May-27-11  Blunderdome: So, on move 62 (for example) is it not necessary to write 62...R1f2+ because the other rook is pinned? I didn't know that about algebraic.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Blunderdome: So, on move 62 (for example) is it not necessary to write 62...R1f2+ because the other rook is pinned? I didn't know that about algebraic.>

click for larger view

That's an interesting question, and probably one to ask <>.

I used to such see non-distinguished moves more often in the olden days when people had to record games by hand and it was easier to record as little informaiton as logically needed. Personally, I always preferred to include the extra information simply to avoid confusion, but in a strictly logical sense it is not needed.

These days, when computers generally do the physical labor of recording the games, supplying the extra information seems to be the general rule. I suspect it's easier to program a computer to simply record <62...R1f2+> rather than have it go through the extra steps of figuring out that <62...R6f2+> is illegal, so logically <62...Rf2+> is all that needs to be recorded.

If you look at the PGN for the game (click "VIEW" under the chessboard), you'll see that it gives <62...R1f2+>. For some reason, prefers to remove the "unnecessary" <1> from the notation.

You might try loading the game on your own computer, and seeing how it records the move. Mine gives <62...R1f2+>.

May-27-11  Blunderdome: You're right, Fritz 11 thinks the move is 62. R1f2+
May-27-11  DanielBryant: At least, personally, when I'm keeping score in a tournament game, out of habit I don't include the extra information if a pin would prevent it, but that's purely how my mind works.
May-27-11  Bob726: Where do Leko go wrong here? Surely he shouldn't have lost the position on move 23. It seemed he already had a pretty bad position before he sac'd the exchange, so where do he go wrong before that?
May-28-11  Helloween: <Bob726>White went wrong with preparation more than anything in this game. Kramnik's 17...Na5 novelty really shook things up, although after 44.hxg6 I believe White still has a draw.

A: not having a surprise ready against Kramnik should he play the Russian Defense, and B: missing 44.hxg6, which allowed Black to play g6-g5 and win.

Sep-13-11  notyetagm: ▼ White resigns. The pawn endgame is a trivial win, e.g. 66 Ke4 Ke6 67 Kd4 f5 68 gxf5+ Kxf5 69 Ke3 g4 70 Kf2 Kg5 71 Kg3 Kxh5 72 Kg2 Kg5 73 Kg3 h5 and the black pawns march down to promote. A marvellously dramatic encounter and a fine riposte to critics who thought the match would be dull. In the press conference after the game, Kramnik looked drained, Leko cheerful and phlegmatic. Kramnik insisted throughout that the position objectively is drawn, and pulled many sceptical faces when describing his win. The following day, both players remarked how hard it is to move on from such a battle, Kramnik musing "I tried to get the two rooks out of my mind, and to stop trying to coordinate them in different attacking patterns. I think it was four o'clock in the morning when I was able to sleep." Leko added, "I needed until five a.m. to get rid of those two black rooks."
Sep-13-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: TRAPPED PIECES! TRAPPED PIECES! TRAPPED PIECES!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Endgame Statistics (move 43-59)

♔♕♙♙♙ vs. ♔♖♖♙♙♙

The superior side (black) wins 34.4% of the time. This game is an example of that.

A draw occurs 52.6% of the time.

The inferior side (white) gets lucky 12.9% of the time.

Dec-29-11  cocker: Ending after 43 ... R4a5 is discussed in Nunn's book, UCE, p 207. Naturally his comments agree with Keene's annotations. With regard to previous comment, Nunn gives two examples where the queen wins and two where she loses.
Jul-17-13  notyetagm: Leko vs Kramnik, 2004

<45. Qf6 h6

This is a very clever move from Kramnik, clearly overlooked by Leko, whose last move could have no other purpose than to threaten h6. <<<If now 46Qxh6, then ...R8a6 traps the white queen. >>>>


Jul-17-13  notyetagm: Leko vs Kramnik, 2004

Game Collection: TRAPPED PIECE: ON THE EDGE OF THE BOARD If now 46Qxh6, then ...R8a6 traps the white queen.

Jul-18-13  notyetagm: Leko vs Kramnik, 2004

45 ♕f4-f6

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45 ... h7-h6!

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<45. Qf6 h6

This is a very clever move from Kramnik, clearly overlooked by Leko, whose last move could have no other purpose than to threaten h6. <<<If now 46Qxh6, then ...R8a6 traps the white queen.>>>>

45 ♕f6xh6?? ♖a8-a6! <trapped piece: h6-queen>

click for larger view

click for larger view

Mar-29-15  Ulhumbrus: One possible point of the choice of 26...Bxd4 instead of 26...cxd4 is as follows.

Kramnik is going to transfers his king's bishop from the long diagonal a1-h8 to the diagonal e1-a5 from which the bishop both blockades White's a pawn and supports Black's passed pawn, so that this doubles the useful work done by Black's bishop.

After this if Black's passed pawn is on the d file it will have to advance as far as d2 on the second rank in order to be defended by Black's bishop whereas if Black's passed pawn is on the c file it need advance only as far as c3 on the third rank in order to be defended by Black's bishop.

If this is so, it suggests that Kramnik has made a very deep choice.

Nov-04-15  kamagong24: and i thought Leko was doing well with 1. d4 ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Educational endgame, two rooks versus queen. Good notes by Keene.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Yesterday was a game by Fruit. Today it is cranberry. Tomorrow, turkey!
Nov-23-17  dumbgai: 45...h6 is my favorite move of this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Two rooks take the queen here.
Mar-13-18  Petrosianic: <After the combinational flurry ending on move 23, it was too easy to reach for the script that was titled "And White converts his material advantage".>

What material advantage? At the time, Black had a Rook, Bishop and Pawn for the Queen, so technically no advantage at all. In such a wide open position, one might expect White's Queen to be able to attain a material advantage later on, but White didn't have one at Move 23.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: <...after the game Kramnik looked drained, Leko cheerful and phlegmatic>

I saw the same effect when Jonathan Speelman beat Kasparov Kasparov vs Speelman, 1989 . The winner looked ill with strain, while the loser stood in a corner chatting to his minders.

Jun-18-18  Omnipotent00001: 66.Ke4 Ke6 is mate in 21.
Premium Chessgames Member
  g15713: E. 1.0
White to move at 44
<"Kramnik said that he later was still trying to coordinate his rooks in his dreams:">

click for larger view

<"Black is close to winning anyway, but matters are still not clear even today:
44. ♕f4? This loses. Exchanging the h-pawns with 44. hxg6 hxg6 is called for to reduce the winning potential.">
Further analysis is for the readers of the book...

Karsten Müller and Yakov Konoval (2021) from their book
<Understanding Queen Endgames>, diagram 06.17 pages 145 & 146

Annotations by Stockfish (Computer) gives the following:

<<"better is 44.hxg6 hxg6 45.Qd2 Ra3+ 46.f3 Re8 47.g5 Re5 48.Kg4 Rae3 = -0.44 (46 ply)">>

E. 1.1
White to move at 49

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Stockfish gives the following analysis after 60-minute evaluation

1) -0.66 (62 ply) 48.Qd8+ Re8 49.Qd6 R3e6 50.Qd2 Ra8 51.f4 Ree8 52.Qd4 Red8 53.Qf6 Rab8 54.Qe5 Rb3 55.Qe4 Ra3 56.Qe5 Rad3 57.Qe7 Ra8 58.Qe5 Rd2 59.Qf6 Rad8 60.Qe5 Rg2+ 61.Kf3 Ra2 62.Qc3 Ra4 63.Kg4 Rad4 64.Qc7 Ra8 65.Qe5 Rd3 66.Qe7 Rad8 67.Qe5 Ra3 68.Kh4 Rf3 69.Kg4 Rdd3 70.Qe8+ Kg7 71.Qe5+ Kh7 72.Qe1 Rfe3 73.Qh1+ Kg8 74.Qa8+ Kg7 75.Qh1 Rg3+ 76.Kh4 Kg8 77.Qh2 Rgf3 78.Kg4 Rfe3 79.Kh4 Re4 80.Kg4 Rde3 81.Qb2 Re8 82.Qf6 Re2 83.Qc6 R2e3 84.Qc5 R3e6

2) -0.66 (61 ply) 48.f4 Re8 49.Qd7 Rb8 50.Qd6 Ra8 51.Qd7 Rb3 52.Qd4 Rba3 53.Qd7 Rb8 54.Qd2 Raa8 55.Kf3 Rd8 56.Qe3 Ra6 57.Qe5 Ra3+ 58.Kg4 Rad3 59.Qe7 Ra8 60.Qe5 Rd2 61.Qf6 Rad8 62.Qe5 Rg2+ 63.Kf3 Ra2 64.Qc3 Ra4 65.Kg4 Rad4 66.Qc7 Ra8 67.Qe5 Rdd8 68.Kg3 Re8 69.Qc3 Ra2 70.Kf3 Rea8 71.Kg4 R2a3 72.Qe5 Rd3 73.Qe7 Rb3 74.Qe2 Rbb8 75.Qe5 Rb4 76.Qc3 Rba4 77.Qe5 Ra3 78.Qd4 Rb8 79.Kh4

3) -0.66 (61 ply) 48.Qd7 Re8 49.f4 Rb8 50.Qd6 Ra8 51.Qd7 Rb3 52.Qd4 Rba3 53.Qd7 Rb8 54.Qd2 Raa8 55.Kf3 Rd8 56.Qe3 Ra6 57.Qe5 Ra3+ 58.Kg4 Rad3 59.Qe7 Ra8 60.Qe5 Rd2 61.Qf6 Rad8 62.Qe5 Rg2+ 63.Kf3 Ra2 64.Qc3 Ra4 65.Kg4 Rad4 66.Qc7 Ra8 67.Qe5 Rdd8 68.Kg3 Re8 69.Qc3 Ra2 70.Kf3 Rea8 71.Kg4 R2a4 72.Qe5 Ra3 73.Qd5 R3a5 74.Qd4 Re8 75.Qc3 Ra4 76.Qf6 Ra3 77.Qd6 Rea8 78.Qf6

An exchange of both black rooks for f-pawn and queen would lead to a similar diagram like this:

E. 1.2

click for larger view

<Looks drawish>

If after 44.hxg6 hxg6 45.Qd2 Black tries 45...g5 to prevent White from playing
46. g5 then one has the following:

E. 1.3
White to move at 46

click for larger view

Stockfish gives the following analysis after 60-minute evaluation

1) =0.00 (61 ply) 46.Qd6 Rb5 47.Qc6 Rab8 48.Qc4 Rb4 49.Qc1 f6 50.Qc2 Rf8 51.Qg6+ Kh8 52.Qh6+ Kg8 53.Qg6+

2) =0.00 (60 ply) 46.Qd4 Rb5 47.f3 Re8 48.Qd3 Rbe5 49.Kf2 Kg7 50.f4 gxf4 51.Qd4 Kg6 52.Kf3 Re4 53.Qd5 R8e5 54.Qa8 Re3+ 55.Kxf4 Kg7 56.Qc6 Re6 57.Qd5 R6e4+ 58.Qxe4 Rxe4+

3) =0.00 (60 ply) 46.Kg2 Re5 47.Qd4 Rb5 48.Qd3 Rab8 49.Qd7 Rb3 50.Qd5 R3b5 51.Qd7

Notes by Raymond Keene

<"When Leko played h4, Kramnik should have quickly replied ...h7h6, so as to meet h4h5 with ...g5. It’s important to retain pawns here, as explained below.">

<"White must play 44 hxg6 as they say in the beginner’s books, swap pawns in the ending to reduce the opponent’s winning chances. Even after the superior 44 hxg6 hxg6 it is not obvious that White can reach the safe haven of a draw, as the basic black strategy of piling up with his rooks against the white f-pawn still seems valid. However, with only two pawns each on the board, White can place his g-pawn on g5, so that even if black trades both rooks for queen and f-pawn, the resulting king and pawn ending is a draw.">

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 16..Bf6 had been played in Shirov-Bologan Wijk aan Zee where Black went on to win; 16..Be4 was new. With 18 c4 Leko must have realized that he was playing into a prepared line; perhaps better would have been 18 Nd2 as the g-pawn cannot be taken - 18..Bxg2 19 c4..Qc6 20 d5..Qg6 21 Bh5..Bf3+ 22 Bxg6..Bxd1 23 Bf5 winning the exchange. 24 Qb4 would have been safer not allowing Black a passed a-pawn. Although Black only had only a rook and a bishop for the queen the passed c-pawn gave him at least equality. 29 a4!? indicated that White was playing for a win; 29 Rd2 would have forced a favorable exchange of rooks and would have likely led to a comfortable draw. With 36 Rxc3!? Leko must have been confident that that he could hold the queen versus two rooks ending; 36 Rc1 was an alternative. 40 h4! was based on the premise that White needs to exchange a set of pawns to simplify the defense - Gurgenidze-Averbakh 1961 (b) USSR Ch. is a model of the two rooks winning against the queen if the defender is not careful.

Certainly a very instructive endgame.

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