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Vladimir Kramnik vs Teimour Radjabov
Corus Group A (2007), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 11, Jan-26
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Gligoric-Taimanov System (E92)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-26-07  percyblakeney: Interesting pawn sacrifice from Radjabov, Kramnik chose to secure a drawish position with 24. Nc7 and so on rather than going for a double-edged situation where he's pawn up and any result is possible. This was Kramnik's fifth draw in a row in 28 moves or less in Corus, and the four latest games between him and Radjabov have now been drawn (they hadn't met each other since Linares 2004).
Jan-26-07  dehanne: A player like Karpov or Korchnoi would've grabbed the pawn just like Kramnik, but clung to it, weathered the storm and eventually win in the endgame.
Jan-26-07  Resignation Trap: A King's Indian, but not a Bayonet Attack. I wonder why Kramnik tried 7.Be3 when the former worked so well for him in the past.
Jan-26-07  bob000: To be fair, whenever a scale of pawn greediness is presented, Korchnoi is always the one capping off the greedy end.
Jan-27-07  Atking: Yesterday I was quite surprised by the turn of the evenement. Why the World Champion gave up his pawn up so easily ? Other move were possible. 24.Nc3 or 24.Qe3!? to keep the diagonal h6-c1 under control. For if 24.Rac1?! a6! 25.Nc7 Bh6! 26.NxRa8 Bf4 27.Qf3 Bxh2+ is better for Black. With 24.Qe3 I think White is better. An exchange BxNb5 with opposite color Bishops doesn't mean a force draw as here light squares around the black King could be threated. Therefore Radjabov could play the natural 20. ...NxBg3 with what it seems equality. I'm still not sure which pawn f or h White should take back the piece. Indeed 21.hxNg3 with, in a proper preparation (For example Nc3-Ne4 to protect f2), Kh2&Rh1 is not without interest for White.
Jan-28-07  Hesam7: <The long-awaited Kramnik-Radjabov duel was indeed a King's Indian and it looked like the crafty world champ found a way to impose his will on the kid's KID. The clever maneuver 19.Nb5 Qe7 20.Qe2 threatened tactics on e5 and won a pawn. But instead of clamping down with 24.Qe3! (after which Kasparov gives White a big plus) Kramnik inexplicably liquidated both his pawn and his advantage with a knight tour to e6. Radjabov decided to count his blessings and offer a draw instead of trying to make something happen with his center pawns. A strange miss by Kramnik, but when you play for small plusses you have to play perfectly. The kid, and the KID, survive!> -- Mig Greengard
Jan-28-07  ughaibu: Interesting that it was Radjabov who offered the draw, according to convention this suggests that the players (or at least Radjabov) thought that black had the advantage. I would agree that black is slightly better off but nothing significant.
Jan-28-07  ughaibu: Thinking about it further, e4 followed by Be5 looks menacing.
Jan-28-07  Brown: Seems like Kramnik finds a strong, uncomplicated positional idea that leaves black wanting for any crazy play after 13.exf5 and 14.Bd3, simply reinforcing control over the outpost square e4.
Jan-30-07  percyblakeney: <But instead of clamping down with 24.Qe3! (after which Kasparov gives White a big plus) Kramnik inexplicably liquidated both his pawn and his advantage with a knight tour to e6. Radjabov decided to count his blessings and offer a draw>

Looking closer at the game there are many lines where Radjabov gets lots of pressure for the pawn. I'm not sure he just could count his blessings because of a lucky escape here, maybe his pawn sacrifice actually was very strong. Kramnik's going for the draw may have been less inexplicable than it initially seemed. Already after 24. Qe3 Rf6 it begins to look a bit uncomfortable for white:


click for larger view

If Kasparov gives white a big plus here I suppose he is right, but black has various ways to improve his position with Bh6, Rg8, maybe Qf7, and moves like Bf4 or Bh3 can follow, so it would have been interesting to see how things would have turned out...

Feb-14-07  percyblakeney: Kramnik on the game: <I was pawn up but things were far from clear, Radjabov had compensation and this did not please me. Itís hard to play white in the position I had, black has an easier game, so I decided to return the material.>

Kramnik avoided the Bayonet Attack because he didnít want to choose a continuation where he considered Radjabov all too prepared: <Radjabov is so well prepared, and has a wonderful feeling for that type of positions. It is obvious that Radjabov works very hard on his openings and has lots of ideas, he plays the Kingís Indian on Kasparovís level, all the time finding resources and refusing to weaken his position.>

The players analysed the game for a long while afterwards, and came to the conclusion that it was very hard to evaluate the critical lines. Eventually Kramnik said: <Why are we sitting here? Letís go home and let the computers look at it!>

http://www.64.ru/?/ru/articles/item...

Mar-13-07  Brown: It's stuff like this that makes styles the heart of match-ups, and why tournaments are so exciting. Everyone has to deal with everyone elses style. Matches come off as specialization in this light.

Perhaps we can all be sad for those players who were at their best from '85 - '95, because for those 10 years they had to deal with the two greatest and perhaps most different chess talents ever. Once you (think?) you have one figured out, the other comes over and smashes you.

Mar-13-07  KamikazeAttack: <A player like Karpov or Korchnoi would've grabbed the pawn just like Kramnik, but clung to it, weathered the storm and eventually win in the endgame.>

That's why those guys never lost a game in their career.

Mar-13-07  Brown: <KamikazeAttack: <A player like Karpov or Korchnoi would've grabbed the pawn just like Kramnik, but clung to it, weathered the storm and eventually win in the endgame.> That's why those guys never lost a game in their career.>

LMAO

Mar-13-07  Brown: <The players analysed the game for a long while afterwards, and came to the conclusion that it was very hard to evaluate the critical lines. Eventually Kramnik said: <Why are we sitting here? Letís go home and let the computers look at it!>>

Perhaps more efficient use of time, but a forboding event when the WC suggests the computer do some of the work for him. Aren't we all taught to be as certain as possible, and if not, to play the position against a strong program to see what happens? Hope those GM's didn't simply plug it in and let the chips rip...

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