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Etienne Bacrot vs Vladimir Kramnik
Dortmund Sparkassen 2005 (2005), Dortmund GER, rd 9, Jul-17
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Three Knights Variation (E21)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-18-05  TruthHurts: 35.Re7 36.fxe5(+1.6 for black)...
Jul-18-05  TruthHurts: Whites always had been better in this game and Kramnik played badly starting from 32.f5, though white had an advantage before but still not decisive, before this bad moove. After, in the king endgame, Kramnik played well, but it was too late, Bacrot played also the right mooves and he won.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: To me, it seems that Kramnik was trying too hard to force something hapening. The key Black inacuracy seems to be the maneuver 25...Re8?! 28...Rd8, as Black probably had no time for that. Were Kramnik not pushing for a win, I'd expect him to play something along the lines 25...g6, and if 26.a4 Kf7 27.a5 Ke6 ... we see a great improvement for Black because of the position oh his king.

In turn, Bacrot's play impresses; he did not play any such artificially optimistic constructs but stuck to rather natural strong moves.

Jul-18-05  TruthHurts: <Gypsy>, I agree, and actually it seems that Bacrot offered a draw earlier in the game but Kramnik refused it.

He broke his teeths by pushing hard with doubtfull mooves while Bacrot played strong accurate ones. Remember also that Kramnik had only 10 minutes to play his last 8 mooves before the time control it can explanes his inaccuracies...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <TruthHurts> By temperament, Kramnik's style resembles that of a boxing counter-puncher. Capablanca, Smyslov, or Petrosian come to mind, but Kramnik is not as smooth as Smyslov or Capablanca, and not as strategically deep or pythonish as Petrosian. Kramnik's technique is brilliant and he is especially strong coordinating his minor pieces. Yet, for some reason that I can not quite discern, Kramnik's style also feels a bit clunky (expecially with heavy piecess).

Lately, Kramnik has been trying out different, more forcing styles of play. He is not completely comfortable fighting out of his usual style but he is trying to broaden his skil set. For me, it is actually fun to see him doing that, despite of all the grief (sp?) he gets from us kibitzers. Either he will succeed (he already seems more confortable than he did in Bulgaria) and will achieve a quantum leap in his chess power; or, more likely, he will go back to his couterpunching style for his big matches and such. Either way, it will not be easy to take the title away from him. Kasparov would likely do it, Topalov or Anand could do it, but it will not be easy.

As for Bacrot -- I realy like the chess I saw from him.

Jul-18-05  TruthHurts: <Gypsy> again I agree, by the way Kramnik is still a strong champion, he won 6 times in a row Dortmund. This guy is so good than when he gets an even score in a tournament like here, people talk about a bad tournament.

What about Leko then (-1), Kramnik just kept his world title last year and is just having a worse year. This can be explained by the fact he changed playing d4 to e4, also because he lost a bit of motivation after the world champ match and also because he tried to play a bit more agressivly.

Now I still think that in a match where he will be preparing a lot, he's going to be hard to beat...

Jul-18-05  iron maiden: Kramnik's not a strong champion; he's certainly nothing special when compared to past holders of the title. I wouldn't even put him in the top ten. But he is the legitimate world chess champion.
Jul-18-05  TruthHurts: <Pinkpanther> after the h5 story now the Adams 2005 record story, when you will stop saying crap? What's next ?

Adams had beaten a computer yesterday? lol ;).

Jul-18-05  TruthHurts: <But he is the legitimate world chess champion.>

True at least we can say that ;)...

Jul-18-05  Ulhumbrus: 18...Qf7 instead of 18...Rab8 allowed Bacrot to bring the favourable ending about. With Kramnik's queen on g6 removed to f7, he was able to play Qe4, occupying this central point with the queen. Compare this with 18... Rab8 19 Bxc6 bxc6 20 Rxb8 Rxb8 21 Bxc5 dxc5 when it is Black who has the better of it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Ulhumbrus> That's a good point. White would probably not dared to enter that variation. As a food thought : during the game I was calculating 18...Rab8 19.Bxc5 dxc5 20.Qe4 Qxe4 21.Bxe4 Na5(!)... which I considered also slightly favorable for Black.

Perhaps Kramnik's hope was that White Q-side activity would distract White rooks and thus he wanted keep queens on board to give his own central/K-side counterstrike a punch with a check-mate potential. Things just did not work out for him like that ...

Jul-18-05  Jim Bartle: So...why is that game scoresheets don't include draw offers?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bobsterman3000: Bacrot got lucky


Jul-18-05  TruthHurts: Bosterman lol, lucky of what, for having beaten Kramnik without a blunder but by playing real chess? Yes it's true Beating Kramnik without a blunder is getting rare, ask Topalov Ponomariov and Adams ;)...
Jul-19-05  PinkPanther: <LieHurts>
I wouldn't necessarily say that Kramnik blundered in Sofia against Adams. I mean, he did get some amount of compensation for the piece, but I suppose in hindsight it was ill advised, but I wouldn't come right out and call it a blunder.
Jul-19-05  TruthHurts: In a Kramnik interview made by Vassilev:
To the question "did Bacrot proposed you a draw?" he answered "no". Finally Bacrot didn't proposed a draw in the early middle game, it seems more logic as there was still something to do...
Jul-28-05  TruthHurts: Bacrot comments his win against Kramnik on Nao chess club site. You can see the original text in french there: Naochessclub (c)

This is the translation I did from Bacrot's comments:

Bacrot, E. - Kramnik, V.
Dortmund, 07/17/2005
Round 9

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 c5 5.g3 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Ne4 I was expecting a more classical opening from Kramnik their 7.Qd3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Nc5 9.Qf3 d6 10.Bg2 Bd7 This is a novelty, Vladimir played this position already with whites in 1991(!), the game continued with <10...Nbd7 11.O-O Ne5 12.Qf4 Bd7 13.Nb3 today 13.Cb5 is the principal moove. 13...Rc8 14.Qd4 f6 15.Qxd6 b6 and blacks have good compensations Kramnik-Serper 91> 11.O-O Bc6 12.Qg4! The beginning of a good mooves serie that my opponent probably didn't see during his preparation. 12...O-O 13.Bh6 <13.Bg5 f6 14.Nxe6? Qd7 blacks win a piece.> 13...Qf6 14.Bg5 Qg6 15.Nxc6 Nxc6 16.Qh4 I managed succesfully to bring the black queen to the kingside while it should stayed in the center to protect the temporarily wick squares. Though you must act fastly because if blacks can gather themselves, they will take a profit of their better pawn structure. 16...f6!? <16...e5 17.Rad1 Rac8 18.Rd2 It's hard to protect well the "d6" pawn.> 17.Be3 Rfd8 18.Rab1 I don't want to force the position . After <18.Bxc5!? dxc5 19.Be4 Qh6 (19...f5 20.Bxc6 bxc6 21.Qe7) 20.Qxh6 gxh6 21.Rab1 Rd7 (21...Rab8 22.Rb5) 22.Rxb7 Rxb7 23.Bxc6 Rab8 24.Bxb7 Rxb7 25.Rd1 Rb2 blacks have good drawing chances.> 18...Qf7 19.Bxc6 I trade my bishop pair to obtain a good ending play. 19...bxc6 20.Bxc5 dxc5 21.Qe4 The position looks equal, but it's not right actually. Blacks problems come from the fact that their king has not a good protection. The pawn is already in "f6" and as soon as the whites infiltrate in "b7" or "b8" threats of chechmate are real. 21...e5 22.Rb2 <22.Qxc6 Qxc4 23.Rb7 Qxe2 24.Qxc5 a5 25.Qc7 Qg4> 22...Rab8 The exchange of a rooks pair is necessary. 23.Rfb1 Rxb2 24.Rxb2 Qd7 25.Kg2 Re8 It's a shame to quit the open colomne, but there's not really some good mooves. 26.Qe3 <26.Qb1 Qf7 27.Rb8 h6 28.Rxe8+ Qxe8 29.Qb7 Qf7> 26...Qe7 27.a4! This plan doesn't give counter-play to blacks. To manage getting the "c5" pawn is less academic.

<27.Rb3!? h6 28.Ra3 Rb8! 29.Ra5 Rb2! 30.a4 e4 (30...Ra2 31.Qe4) 31.Rxc5 Qe6> 27...g6 28.a5 Rd8 29.a6 Rd7 30.Rb8+ Kg7 31.Rc8 It's the most simple the alternative was to spot the queen on the "b" colomn followed by rook "Tb7". 31...Qd6 32.Qe4 f5 Vladimir is looking for a hope in a rook ending. Queens ending is probably loosing, as an example:

<32...Rc7 33.Rxc7+ Qxc7 34.Qb1 Qf7 35.Qb7 f5 36.Kf1 e4 37.Qxc6 Qxc4 38.Qc7+ Kh6 39.Qxa7 Qxc3 40.Qa8 Qc1+ 41.Kg2 Qd1 42.Qf8+ Kg5 43.Qe7+ Kh6 44.a7 Qxe2 45.Qh4+> 33.Qxc6 Qxc6+ 34.Rxc6 Kf7 35.f4!? I try to find a passage to activate my king. 35...exf4 36.gxf4 Re7 37.Kf3 Ke8 38.Rxc5 Kd7 39.Re5 Rxe5 Keeping the rooks didn't give much more hope because with a 2 pawns advantage and active pieces the win was easy.

<39...Rf7 40.Rb5 Kc6 41.e4> 40.fxe5 g5 41.c5 this ending is winning, but you must be precise. 41...h6 42.c4 h5 <42...Kd8 43.h4 Kd7 44.h5 Kd8 45.c6 Kc7 46.e6 Kd6 47.c7 Kxc7 48.c5 Kc6 49.Ke3 Kc7 50.Kd4 g4 51.Ke5> 43.h4! <43.Ke3 h4 44.Kf3 Kd8> 43...g4+ 44.Kf4 Ke6 45.c6 Ke7 46.c5 Ke6 47.c7 Kd7 48.e6+ Kxc7 49.e3 Kc6 50.Ke5 g3 51.e7 Kd7 52.Kf6 g2 53.c6+ Kc7 54.e8=Q g1=Q 55.Qd7+ Kb6 56.c7


Jul-28-05  TruthHurts: The position evaluations( = and ) that Bacrot did didn't pass threw during the post, here they are (quotes from the text) :

13...Qf6 14.Bg5 Qg6 15.Nxc6 Nxc6 16.Qh4

<16...e5 17.Rad1 Rac8 18.Rd2 >

<18.Bxc5!? dxc5 19.Be4 Qh6
(19...f5 20.Bxc6 bxc6 21.Qe7 )
20.Qxh6 gxh6 21.Rab1 Rd7
(21...Rab8 22.Rb5 ) >

19...bxc6 20.Bxc5 dxc5 21.Qe4

<26.Qb1 Qf7 27.Rb8 h6 28.Rxe8+ Qxe8 29.Qb7 Qf7 =>

<32...Rc7 33.Rxc7+ Qxc7 34.Qb1 Qf7 35.Qb7 f5 36.Kf1 e4 37.Qxc6 Qxc4 38.Qc7+ Kh6 39.Qxa7 Qxc3 40.Qa8 Qc1+ 41.Kg2 Qd1 42.Qf8+ Kg5 43.Qe7+ Kh6 44.a7 Qxe2 45.Qh4+ >

<39...Rf7 40.Rb5 Kc6 41.e4 >

<42...Kd8 43.h4 Kd7 44.h5 Kd8 45.c6 Kc7 46.e6 Kd6 47.c7 Kxc7 48.c5 Kc6 49.Ke3 Kc7 50.Kd4 g4 51.Ke5 >

Jul-29-05  TruthHurts: 19...bxc6 20.Bxc5 dxc5 21.Qe4 .

This is when he says "the position looks equal but it's not true actually". Very interesting, at this point Bacrot already considers his position as really good, , and yes after that, what he shows,prooves that indeed it was, but finding how and knowing all this lines, was a master piece play...

Jul-29-05  TruthHurts: If you see Bacrot's commentary(as I thought), you'll see that Kramnik makes no bad mooves, but he's just brought softly to a loosing position. He arrives without having done bad mooves to a position where Bacrots says that the queen (he shows it) as the rook ending (he shows it on the board) where winning. Kramnik was just outplayed. This is what we can see frequently in Bacrot's game, no mistakes, but he just outplayes his opponent by playing an agressive acurate proressive positional style. His opponents just have no chance but we can hardly find where they lost(means where a moove rather than an other would have brought them to a draw instead of a loss). This games are very similar to this one in the way Bacrot managed to win by puting a constant pressure on the opponent:

Bacrot vs Adams, 2005

Bacrot vs Bologan, 2005

Jul-29-05  TruthHurts: Also see Bacrot-Grischuk Poikovsky 2005 tournament in my games collection.
Jul-29-05  Queens Gambit: What a beatifull game, if Bacrot keeps playing like this i wont miss a single game of him.

Aug-01-05  TruthHurts: "colomn" is "file" in the Bacrot's comments I've translated.
Jul-02-10  cuppajoe: The pawn structure after twenty moves has to be the strangest I've ever seen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <cuppajoe> It's unusual, but not unprecedented. In fact, this game does it one better!

V Green vs Steinitz, 1864

Position after Black's 23rd move:

click for larger view

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