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Vladimir Kramnik vs Ruslan Ponomariov
MTel Masters (2005), Sofia BUL, rd 1, May-12
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov Variation. Modern Main Line (B17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-12-05  mr. nice guy: Wow, first one here. Kramnik's OK. I don't think Ponomariov is the tournament's whipping boy, 5 more ELO points and he's in 2700 heaven.
May-12-05  Hesam7: Can someone check 21 b4 for White? Was it a forced win?
May-12-05  notyetagm: That 20 c3! is a really nice move. The point is that it takes away the b4-square from Black's a5-queen, <indirectly defending> the White knight on b5 by 20 ... axb5? 21 axb5 ♕c7 22 ♖a8+ ♕b8 23 ♖xb8+ ♔xb8, winning queen and pawn for rook and knight. The limited mobility of the Black queen on a5 makes this tactical sequence possible.
May-12-05  Chris00nj: I don't think Ruslan played the R&P ending as well as he could have. I didn't like 48...Rg3 in particular.
May-12-05  percyblakeney: <Hesam7> After 21. b4 the preferred line of Fritz is 21. ... Qb6 22. a5 g4 23. Qe2 Bxb5 24. axb6 Rxd3 25. fxe3 and white at least looks very much better with a queen against two bishops.
May-12-05  notyetagm: This is really a deeply thought out combination by Kramnik. White needs the e3-bishop to indirectly defend the b5-knight by denying the Black queen access to the b6-square, else ... axb5 axb5 Qb6 and the Black queen is safe on b6. Black captures this indirect defender (20 ... ♘xe3) in an attempt to remove its guard of the b6-square so that he can take the b5-knight as given above. But this indirect defender (the e3-bishop) has real protection, the White f3-queen! <The White queen not only defends the bishop from capture but can also perform its defensive task of controlling the b6-square from e3>. After 21 ♕xe3, now it is the White <queen> and <not the bishop> that denies the Black queen the b6-square so Black still cannot take the White knight on b5. If White were to re-capture on e3 with the f-pawn or the e1-rook (21 fxe3 or 21 ♖xe3), then that would constitute <illusory protection> since now the b6-square is no longer covered and the b5-knight dies.

Very nice tactical play by Kramnik.

May-12-05  notyetagm: Your boy played a good one today, acire. :-)
May-12-05  patzer2: Ponomariov overlooks 18...Qd5! and misses a good chance to equalize: 18... Qd5! 19. c3 g4 20. Qe2 Qd6 21. g3 Nd5 22. Qxg4 Nxe3 23. Rxe3 Bxd4 24. cxd4 Bc6 25. Rc1 Qxd4 =.

In this pawn down ending, Ponomariov has little or no chance against Kramnik.

Kramnik's 49. b5! is an instructive break in a winning passed pawn combination. If 49... Kxa5, White wins after 50. bxa6! Kxa6 51. Rb2! Ka5 52. Kxh6 Ka6 53. Kh5 Ka5 54. h4 gxh4 55. Kxh4 Rg8 56. g4 Rh8+ 57. Kg5 Rg8+ 58. Kf5 Rf8+ 59. Ke5 Re8+ 60. Kf6 Rg8 61. g5 Rf8+ 62. Ke7 Rf5 63. Rg2 Re5+ 64. Kf6 Re1 65. g6 Rf1+ 66. Kg5 Rf8 67. g7 Rg8 68. Kg6 Kb4 69. Kf7 .

May-12-05  azaris: I still don't understand why Ruslan didn't play 17...Qe5. What did he see that made him play the second-rate 17...Be5?
May-12-05  patzer2: Indeed, 17...Qe5= may have been an even better chance to equalize. Trying to keep the Queen on the board in an inferior position is a bad idea, especially against Kramnik.
May-12-05  maoam: At the time I thought 17...Nd5 wouldn't have been that bad. After 18.Qxf7 Rhf8 Black would've got more active play than he did in the game even if it wasn't worth the pawn.
May-12-05  maoam: Or for example, 18.Nb3 Qc7 19.Bxa7 Bxh2+ 20.Kh1 Nf4 which looked alright to me.
May-12-05  Hesam7: I should say I quite liked this game especially the last phase [the ♖ endgame] but the fact that Kramnik did not played 21 b4! makes me feel not so good about this game. By the way thank you <percyblakeney>, at the end of your line can not Black play ♗xc3 ? After winning a pawn and the exchange it seems not that bad although one should consider the weak dark squares especially c7.
May-12-05  dac1990: Here it is, analyzed in full:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Ng5 Ngf6 6.Bd3 e6 7.N1f3 Bd6 8.Qe2 h6 9.Ne4 Nxe4 10.Qxe4 c5 11.0–0 Nf6 12.Qh4 cxd4 13.Re1 Bd7 14.Nxd4 Qa5 15.Be3 <last book move> 15...g5 16.Qh3 0–0–0

<16. ...Be5 >

17.Qf3 <17.Nb3 Qc7 18.Bxa7 Nd5 >

17...Be5 <17...Qe5 18.g3=>

18.a4 <18.Qe2 Qc7=>

18...Nd5 <18...Qd5!? 19.c3 Bc6=>

19.Nb5 a6 <19...Nxe3!? should not be overlooked 20.Qxe3 Bf4 21.Qxa7 Qxa7 22.Nxa7+ Kb8 >

20.c3 Nxe3 <20...Rdg8 21.b4 Qd8 22.Bd4 Bxd4 23.Nd6+ Kb8 24.cxd4±>

21.Qxe3 <better may be 21.b4!? Qb6 22.a5 <22.Rxe3?! Bb8= <worse is 22...Bxb5 23.axb5 Bf4 24.Re2±>>>

21...Bc7± 22.b4 <22.Red1 Rhg8±>

22...Qb6 23.Qxb6 Bxb6 24.Nd6+ Kb8 25.Nxf7 Rhf8 26.Nxd8 Bxf2+ 27.Kh1 Bxe1 28.Nxe6! staying in the lead

28...Bxe6 29.Rxe1 Bb3 30.a5 Rc8 31.Rc1 Bc4 32.Be4 Re8 33.Bf3 Kc7 34.Kg1 Re3 35.Kf2 Rd3 36.Be4 Rd6 37.Ke3 Bb5 38.Rc2 Bc6 39.Bxc6 Rxc6 <39...bxc6 40.c4±>

40.Kd4 Rf6 41.Ke5 <41.c4 b6 >

41...Rf1± 42.h3 Kc6 43.Rd2 Re1+ <43...Kb5 44.Rd6±>

44.Kf5 Rc1 45.Rd3 Kb5 <45...Re1 46.g4 >

46.Rd7 <better is 46.Kg6!? Kc4 47.Rg3 Rxc3 48.Rg4+ Kd3 49.Kxh6 b5 >

46...Rxc3 47.Rxb7+ Ka4 48.Kg6 <48.Rb6 Rg3 >

48...Rg3 49.b5 axb5 50.a6 Re3? <better is 50...Kb4 51.Kxh6 Rxg2± with drawing chances>

51.Kxh6 Re6+ 52.Kxg5 Rxa6 53.h4 Ra8 54.g4 Rg8+ 55.Kf4 Rf8+ 56.Kg3 Ka5 <56...Kb4 is still a small chance 57.g5 Rg8 >

57.h5 Ka6 58.Re7 b4 <58...Rh8 does not solve anything 59.Kh4 >

59.h6 b3 60.Re3 <60.Re3 Rg8 61.Kf4 >

60.g5 could have also been played, 60...b2 61.Re1 , but the played was just as good.

May-12-05  Hesam7: <dac1990> Thank you for the analysis of this game. Can you give a deeper analysis on the move 21 b4 ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Hesam7> Here is what Shredder 9 says...

21... ♕b6 (21... ♗xh2+ 22. ♔xh2 ♕b6 (22... ♘g4+ 23. ♕xg4 ♕b6 24. a5 ♕xf2 25. ♖e2 ♕f6 [%eval 4.26/14])

23. a5 ♗c6 24. axb6 ♗xf3 25. ♖xe3 ♗h5
[%eval 4.25/13])

22. a5 g4 (22... ♗xh2+ 23. ♔xh2 ♘g4+ 24. ♕xg4 ♕xf2 25. ♖e2 ♕f6 [%eval 4.26/14])

23. ♕e4 ♗xh2+ 24. ♔xh2 ♗c6 25. ♕e5 g3+
[%eval 3.65/13]

May-12-05  maoam: What about 17...Nd5? Could some kind soul analyse that?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: 18. ♕xd5 exd5 0-1
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: I was just kidding on the last post...

18. ♖ad1 ♕c7
19. g3 ♘xe3
20. ♕xe3 ♔b8
21. ♕f3 h5
22 ♕xf7= -0.16/12

May-12-05  maoam: That appears to be much better than I expected, thanks for that analysis.
May-12-05  morostyle: <Resignation Trap> <Personally, I found the draws from round one to be much more interesting than Kramnik's win. Does anyone agree?> True words i agree completly the fact that even if kramnik "wins" (usually he draws a.k.a. DRAWNIK)his games are less interesting and tactical then other gm's games. but maybe iam completly wrong and tactics from our "WC" kramnik are just beyond human understanding or he just "SUCK". open your mind U DECIDE !.i did! and he sucks !
May-13-05  percyblakeney: <Hesam7> After 21. b4 Qb6 22. a5 g4 23. Qe2 Bxb5 24. axb6 Rxd3 25. fxe3 black doesn't win the exchange with Bxc3 because of Rac1 and the bishop is pinned, after those two moves 26. ... Kb8 27. Red1 could follow and white ought to be winning, so 21. b4 looks very good to me in all variations.
May-13-05  TheSlid: <percyblakeney> Did you run Fritz all night looking at 21.b4?
May-13-05  percyblakeney: <TheSlid> Nope, I ran it all night looking at Anand-Topalov, but it didn't help much...
May-13-05  dryden: I remenber the Kasparovians calling Kramners a "boring", "overcautios" player, ah ah!! there you bloming go
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