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Peter Leko vs Vladimir Kramnik
Corus Group A (2005), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-20
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation Nimzowitsch Attack (E15)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: "Flawless" is overated.
Jan-22-05  ughaibu: Gypsy: So are computer verdicts.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Amen <ugi>.
Jan-23-05  Hesam7: Dear <karlzen>
If you think 22.Bxh6 does not lead to draw please give a complete analysis, you only consider 23...Ba8, It is too passive. Try 23...Qd7 and 23...Rd7.
Jan-23-05  ughaibu: One can hardly say it leads to a draw, it provides a thoroughly unbalanced position from which to fight.
Jan-23-05  karlzen: I was at first wondering why Leko didn't sac on h6 and why Kramnik wasn't afraid of it. I didn't see why 22.Bxh6 wasn't a great chance for white. Today, I checked the sac with my computer and it immediately suggested the cool 22...Ba8!. I guess it could follow 23.Be3 e5 24.Nf3 Nb4 and the a2-pawn goes with a pretty equal position as the result. Instead white can try 24.Nf5 Nf4 25.Bxf4 sacing the queen with OK compensation, but it is hard to analyse OTB and it is a highly risky decision.

Another line is 23.Bg5 f6 24.Qa5!? (24.Nxe6!? should also lead to a pretty drawish endgame) 24...fxg5 25.Nxe6 Rxf2! 26.Kxf2 Qf7+ 27.Kg1 Qxe6 28.e4 Qb6+ 29.Qxb6 Nxb6 30.Rxd8+ Bxd8 31.e5 Bxg2 32.Kxg2 and an interesting endgame arises where white has the easier play although black should probably hold.

Or 22...Ba8 23.Bxg7!? (23.Be4 Bf6) 23...Kxg7 24.e4 but it isn't that intimidating either: 24...Nb4 25.Qe2 (25.Rc5 Bxc5 26.Qg5+ must be a draw) 25...Rh8 with a likely draw by perpetual check.

I don't think white was winning after 22.Bxh6 Ba8! but it still looks like a better idea than the game. <Hesam7>, After 22...gxh6? however, I think white has a strong attack: 23.Qxh6 Qd7 (23...Rd7 24.Nxe6) 24.Nf3 f5 25.Qg6+ Kh8 26.e4 fxe4 27.Ne5 Qe8 28.Qh6+ Kg8 29.Be4.

Aug-31-05  Arquetipal: Kramnik its saying he is still exhausted after his Mini.match with Leko, so, why to play and get exhausted if you can make a short draw???
Aug-31-05  aw1988: Exhaustion and position are two different things...
Aug-31-05  Quantos: This its a truly masterpiece of the best drawish Masters"!!!!!!

what else can be expected from Leko and Kramnik but a draw???

this two playing together will always draw

Oct-15-05  BabyJ: Analyzing all day led to no clear
result yet in the main line (23 Qxh6),
yet with a number of corrections to
folks in their 'satellite' lines.
I do feel sure that White has a win
in the main line of the sac with
23 Qxh6, but must come back to it.

Now that we are all sufficiently
engraged that 'exhausted' Kramnik
did not play VERY SIMPLY 18...Bxd5!,
which is just about an immediate draw,
let me first mention my own odd move
on 20, at the risk of further enraging
everyone. What about 20...Ra7?! (finally
the correct mark). This protects the
B, Kramnik's move protected the Kt.
Which is right? Well, Kramnik's is,
but this is NOT easy to prove!

20...Ra7?! 21 Nf5? (temptor) exf5?
22 Bxd5 Bc8! (stubborn; capturing
just favors White) 23 Bc6! Qd8
24 Qxd8! Bxd8 25 Bb8 Re7 26 Bd6!
Ok! Perhaps I should just add '1-0'
to this, since it looks like somebody's
Rd. 1 game with Kudrin.
20...Ra7?! 21 Nf5? Nxf4! 22 Nxe7+
Qxe7 23 Qxf4 (23 Bxb7? Nxe2+!) Bxg2
24 Kxg2 Rd7!=; 23 gxf4 Bxg2 24 Kxg2
Rc7! 25 Rxc7 Qxc7 26 Rc1 Qb6! 27 Qd7
20...Ra7?! 21 e4 Bb4! 22 Qc2 (or Qd3)
Nxf4 23 gxf4 Ba5! .
Finally the right line:
20...Ra7?! 21 Bxd5! Bxd5 22 Nf5! .
The e7 B is now pinched; obviously if
22...Bxa2? 23 Qd4! + .

A waste of time? I think not. One
CANNOT school enough in the
ACCURATE playing of even the most
simple positions! (Peter Leko).

Oct-15-05  BabyJ: Speaking of simple positions (and
solutions), what SHOULD Kramnik have
played at 21 besides 21...h6?
One way is 21...Bxg5! 22 Qxg5 h6!
23 Qd2 Qe7!=; On 23 Qh4?!, the Karpovian 23...Rd7! =. There is ALSO 21...Bb4! 22 Qc2
(22 Qd3 Be7) Rc8! 23 Qb3 Be7! 24 Bd2
Rxc1 25 Bxc1 [25 Rxc1 Qa8!] Qa8!
(anyway)=, since if 26 Nf5 Bf6 27 Nd6
It was actually REMARKABLY instructive
for me to do these 'simple' lines before the 'complicated' ones!
Oct-15-05  BabyJ: My main 'satellite' corrections are
for 'Karlzen'. But first, after 22 Bxh6!, what about 22...e5? just right away, which nobody has mentioned?
Well, it's a bad move, but let's
Prove that! The proof is blistering:
23 Bxg7!! wins very nicely here. The
line with 23...Kxg7 is fairly obvious,
so I'll just give 23...exd4: Then
24 Qh6 f6 (24...f5 25 Bxd4! Kf7
26 Bf3! wins) 25 Bf3! wins. Neat.
Karlzen gives 22...Ba8. Then 23 Be3
e5 24 Nf5! (Now 24...Nb4 does not
work because of 25 Nxe7+ Qxe7 26 Bc5!
wins - this wasn't actually mentioned.)
And 24...Nf4? 25 Bxf4? is given, yet
ALSO 25 Bxa8! Nh3+ (Black will need
to do this anyway after 25...Rxd2
26 Rxd2 - just a transposition!)
26 Kf1!! (strongest) Rxd2 27 Rxd2 Qxa8
28 Nxe7+ Kh7 29 Nc6! (29 Nd5 Rc8!)
29...Rc8 30 Rd6! (better than 30 Rdc2).
This is quite strong for White, and
may well be winning! - note the B kt
still out of play.
31 Kg2! is threatened. If 30...f6
(30...g5 31 f3 f5 [ 31...g4 32 fxg4 ]
32 Kg2! (forcing Black to extend his
pawns) 32...g4 [ 32...f4 33 Bb6 g4!?
(33...Qb7 34 Na5 [34 Nd8!?] 34...Qe7
35 Rdc6 Rxc6 36 Rxc6 Qa3 37 Rc2! )
34 Rd7+ (34 fxg4 Qb7) 34...Kh8
35 Ra7 Qxc6 36 Rxc6 Rxc6 37 Rxa6 + .]
33 Rh6+! Kg7 34 Ne7! Rxc1 35 Nxf5+
Kf7 36 Bxc1 . Note the long arm
of the knight here, since 36...Qd5? just
meets 37 Rd6! .
I must get back to 30...f6 - the
library is closing now.

Oct-20-05  BabyJ: My note appears to be quite hard to
read even for me, what with bracketed
comments within parenthesed comments.
In the parenthesed comment that is
within a bracketed comment (which begins - [32...f4]), after move 34.. of that, a sizable improvement over
the 35 Rdc6? as given would be
35 Rcd1! (1-0). But it also appears
that I had the b-pawn set up incorrectly on my Chessboard - it should be on b2, and apparently I had
it on b3. 35 Rcd1! of course negates
the possibility on 37 (Rc2) as needless, and actually, even if the b-pawn were on b3, after 37 Rc2, Black
simply would return with 37...Qd6!=.
The last part with 36...Qd5 needs
correction too, since it's not
answered by 37 Rd6?, which of course
just allows 37...Qxa2! However, the
following looks appropriate: 36...Qxd5
37 Rxa6! Qd1 38 fxg4 Qxe2+ 39 Kxh3
Qf1+ 40 Kh4 Qxc1 41 g5! wins (g-pawn
gets to g6).
All this shows that the incorrect
placement of the b-pawn only really
affected the variations I gave about
11 moves in (from 25).
Oct-20-05  BabyJ: After Karlzen's 22...Ba8, I don't like provoking ...f6 with 23 Bg5, since the BK may later go to f7 rather than h7, of course negating the key
Rh6+ and Ne7! variation. So just 23 Be3! is best. His parenthesed comment saying: '24 Nxe6!? should also lead
to a pretty drawish endgame) is wrong,
since 24 Nxe6? just loses to 24...Bb4!
In his main line there 28...Qb6+(?) is
given. Keeping the queens on with 28...Nxb6! substantially improves that line for Black.
Karlzen gives 22...Bxa8 23 Bxg7? Kxg7
24 e4, saying this isn't very intimidating for Black. And that is certainly true, since the
next move he gives (24...Nb4) can be
improved on with 24...Nf6! 25 Qg5+ Kh8! defending.
Going thru 23...Qd7 was instructive.
Why not just go back with 24...Qe8 tho? Because then 25 Ne5! (no defense to 26 Rd4!).
Oct-20-05  BabyJ: Because if 25...Rc8 26 Be4! wins. If
25...Bf6? 26 Bxd5! wins.

So 24...f5 is given. Why not 24...Rc8 then? Because of 25 Ng5! Bxg5 26 Qxg5+ Kh7 27 Rxc8 Rxc8 28 Rd4 Nf4!!
(Shocking, isn't it?) 29 Qxf4! (simple
Chess! - Michael Stean) Rc1+ 30 Qxc1+
Qxd4 31 Bxb7 (1-0).

Oct-20-05  BabyJ: I still have to get back to 30...f6, in my amendment to Karlzen's variation: 25 Bxa8! Nh3+ 26 Kf1!! Rxd2 27 Rxd2 Qxa8 28 Nxe7+ Kh7 29 Nc6! Rc8
30 Rd6! f6.
Black threatens an immediate ...Ng5
and ...Nf7 now, which forces White's hand. Since Black can also wait, and not play ...Ng5 immediately, White is
forced to immediately clarify the Kingside situation with 31 Kg2!, which forces 31...Ng5.
White would like to keep R+B instead
of R+N vs. the Q, but cannot, due to
this ...Ng5 move.
Here is the line that tries to keep
R+B vs. the Q: 31 f3 (the only move
to allow White's next) 31...Ng5 32 Nxe5? Rxc1+ 33 Bxc1 Qb8! (forcing R to the vulnerable d5 square) 34 Rd5 Qc7
35 Bxg5 fxg5 36 Kf2 Qc2 37 Nd3 g4!
38 a3 gxf3. White's having too hard
a time winning.
White cannot keep R+B vs. the Q (obviously preferable, since the B would be the better endgame piece) - just get used to that, and find the positions that work when the bishop is gone. Also no time for 31 b4?, btw (the line where Black waits on ...Ng5): 31...Qb7! 32 Kg2 Qc7! 33 Rd5 (33 Rcd1
Qb7!) Qf7! 34 Rdc5 Qe6!. A stronger post than a8, but maybe one which mostly has meaning with a black knight still on the board. There are about three forced moves
after 30...f6:
31 Kg2! Ng5 32 Bxg5 fxg5 33 b4! (Now
an exclam - White absolutely cannot
tolerate a fluid situation on the queenside [such as after the move ...b4], but must have a blockaded situation there) 33...Qb7 34 e4! Qc7
35 Rd5 Qf7 36 Rc2.
I have lost my notes after 35...Qf7,
but 36 Rc2 is probably correct.
36...Rf8 is answered by 37 Nxe5! -
36...Qb6 by 37 Rdc5.
Time is out again.
Oct-21-05  BabyJ: After 35...Qf7! 36 Rc2? is not correct, since then 36...Qg6! hits both knight and King pawn. Apparently 34 e4? was not a forced move; it's just a move that puts a pawn on a vulnerable square. I must suddenly abandon analyzing this position after 35...Qf7. I have not been able on a second look to find the way that White
may consolidate from here - perhaps it
doesn't exist. Black always has the two pincer moves of ...g4 and ...e4 if White trys f3 - neither of these require protection, since White can never open the f-file. Black even has
the possibility of using his rear g-pawn as an additional prying move! If you have to argue a win, that's not a win. Wins should be demonstrable by concrete variations. So my line beginning with 25 Bxa8 was interesting, but no forced win. I am actually quite exhausted just now, and
must beg off.

- BabyJ

Oct-21-05  Jenspooch: Yeah. Could an exhausted Kramnik
also have found 20...Bb4! 21 Qc2
(21 Qd3 Nxf4) 21...Rc8 22 Qb3 Be7 for
EASY equality?
Let's face facts here, folks. This
game was pooch city, and only got lit
up for the annotators due to Kramnik's
brain fart with 21...h6?
Btw, Why is anybody 'running an Injun on this' when Kramnik is clearly exhausted, and playing pooch chess?
I can't imagine anything more cynical,
or more inappropriate.
Oct-21-05  trolls: The programmers are paying Kramnik
and Leko the big bucks, and don't
appreciate their exhaustion.

Just ask Poni.

Oct-26-05  trolls: It looks like 23 Bh3 would also be
a move to look at after 22...Ba8.
Oct-26-05  barefootin: I can't seem to find it again.
White gets 4 pawns for a piece in
about 4 different ways, but two of them (which can be forced by Black) pare down too much (like to a Q+B
vs. Q+4pawns) and so don't win for
Oct-26-05  trolls: OK, thanx for tryin', tho. I guess
we were flip-flopping their (what
does finally look like a win in the 23 Qxh6 line) 24 Rd3 with 24 g4 first. We do have to put humpty back together again here, don't we?
Oct-29-05  HardBoys: After 22...Bh8, if 23 e4 gxh6
24 exd5 Bxd5 25 Qxh6 Bxg2 26 Kxg2 Rc8
27 Nxe6! wins.
If 23 e4 Nf6 24 Qg5 g6 25 Nxe6! Nxe4
26 Qe3! wins.
The problem with 23 e4 is 23...Nb4!
24 Bf4 Nxa2 =.
After 22...Ba8 23 Bf4 Bb4! 24 Qc2 e5
25 Qb3 exd4 26 Bxd5 Bxd5 27 Qxb4
Qxe2 . Also if 25 Bg5 in this -
25...f6 (25...exd4? 26 Bxd8 Qxd8
27 Rxd4 wins) 26 Nc6 Bxc6 27 Qxc6
Qxc6 28 Rxc6 Ne7 29 Rxd8 Rxd8 30 Rxa6. Black probably cannot win his piece up ending here.
Oct-29-05  HardBoys: White does win if Black just takes
the bishop at move 22 with 22...gxh6:
23 Qxh6 Ba8.
There are some interesting lines here (Bobby). If 24 Bh3 Bf6!

25 Nf5! Now if 25...Bxb2?, suprisingly 26 Rd4! does win: 26...Bxd4 27 Qg5+ Kh7 28 Qh4+ Kg8 29 Qg4+!! ( a necessary intermediate
move) 29...Kh7 30 Qxd4 mates!
Yet the move 25...Ne7! refutes 25 Nf5!
Instead of 24 Bh3, if 24 e4 Nb4!
(24...Nf6 25 e5 [25 f3 Nh7 26 h4 Bf6 .] Nh7 26 f4 does cramp Black's pieces). There doesn't seem to be a
way to crack this ...Nb4! move after
24 e4? If now 25 a3 Nc6 , or 25 g4
f6. There doesn't appear to be much
point in playing 24 e4, in the context
of trying for a rook-lift.
But simply 24 g4! does win. The problem with 24 Rd3? is 24...Nb4! After 24 g4! f6 (If 24...Nb4 25 Bxa8
Rxa8 26 Rc3! wins). By the way, if
24...f5 25 Nxe6! - on all 3 defenses to Qg7 mate, 26 gxf5 wins easily. For instance, on 25...Rf7 26 gxf5 Rh7, just 27 Qg6+! wins; or 25...Qf7 26 gxf5 Qf6 27 Qxf6! Bxf6 28 Nxd8 Rxd8 29 Rc5 wins; if 25...Bf6 26 gxf5 Rd7
[26...Bxb2 27 Rd3 wins] 27 Nxf8 Qxf8
28 Qxf8+ Kxf8 29 Rc5 wins.

Oct-29-05  HardBoys: So...After 24 g4! f6 25 Nxe6 Qf7
26 Rd3! (mate in two if the knight is
taken now) Qh7 27 Qxh7+ Kxh7 28 Nxf8+
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