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Vladimir Kramnik vs Peter Leko
Tal Memorial (2007), Moscow, rd 3, Nov-12
Catalan Opening: Closed Variation (E06)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 16 OF 16 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-12-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Here are the first Rybka 2.3.2 lines for comparison:


click for larger view

1) <<54...Rc8> 55.c7 Kd7 56.Kd4 g5 57.Kc5 f5 58.a6 f4 59.gxf4 gxf4 60.a7> 0.59/20

2) <<54...Nb4> 55.c7 Nc6 56.Kd3 Rc8 57.Kc4 Kd7 58.a6 h5 59.a7 e5 60.Kb5 Kd6 61.Rb8> 1.97/20

Nov-12-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Here are the first Deep Shredder 10 lines for comparison:


click for larger view

1) <<54...Rc8> 55.a6 Nb4 56.Ke5 Nxa6 57.Kd6 h5 58.Be3 Nb8 59.c7> 0.47/24

2) <<54...Nb4> 55.c7 Nc6 56.a6 Kd7 57.c8Q+ Kxc8 58.Rc7+ Kb8 59.Rxc6 Rxa6 60.Bc7+ Ka7 61.Rxa6+ Kxa6 62.Ke5 Kb5 63.Kf6 Kc6> 1.63/24

Nov-12-07  Hesam7: <whiteshark> after 54...Rc8 White can force the following line: 55 a6 Nb4 56 Ke5 Nxa6 57 Kd6


click for larger view

So maybe you should start your analysis from the above diagram.

Nov-12-07  acirce: Yes!

This encounter definitely lived up to expectations (one of the potential highlights of the tournament). Very nice!

Nov-12-07  Sydro: Nice game by Kramnik! I like the double queen sacrifice.
Nov-12-07  Hesam7: Btw this game resembles another Kramnik win over Leko: Kramnik vs Leko, 2006. White got a minimal edge after the opening and then went on to convert the Q-side pawn majority.
Nov-12-07  SickedChess: Thank you Red October!
Nov-12-07  Atkins: <Hesam7: <whiteshark> after 54...Rc8 White can force the following line: 55 a6 Nb4 56 Ke5 Nxa6 57 Kd6> Of course. The position was already very difficult few moves ago. Black won some pawns and White K became active. Your diag <Hesam7> (a good one) speaks itself. Black is now pawn up but all his pieces are tight to a total passivity. I can't dream about a passed pawn on king side white piece will decide the game before.
Nov-13-07  ahmadov: WOW, great! I did not think Kramnik would win this after Nxh2...
Nov-13-07  ahmadov: Nice ending... Congratulations to Kramnik for this brilliant win!
Nov-13-07  notyetagm: <Hesam7: Btw this game resembles another Kramnik win over Leko: Kramnik vs Leko, 2006. White got a minimal edge after the opening and then went on to convert the Q-side pawn majority.>

Yes, and this game also ends the way the final rapid tiebreak game at Elista (Kramnik vs Topalov, 2006) would have ended had Topalov not made another one of his trademark ??-moves (43 ... ♖c2xc5??).

Without that howler from Topalov, Kramnik would have marched his king up the board to support his two separated (not connected) passed a- and c-pawns just like he did in this game against Leko.

A very well played game by Kramnik.

It seems that almost every game Kramnik wins goes into my Game Collection: Grooming passed pawns for promotion.

Nov-13-07  notyetagm: Game Collection: Grooming passed pawns for promotion

Position after 59 a6-a7:


click for larger view

The White passed a7- and c7-pawns are supported by the White army in its entirety: White b7-rook, b6-bishop, and c5-king.

Nov-13-07  notyetagm: <Hesam7: Btw this game resembles another Kramnik win over Leko: Kramnik vs Leko, 2006. White got a minimal edge after the opening and then went on to convert the Q-side pawn majority.>

Kramnik vs Leko, 2006


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Kramnik vs Leko, 2007


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Nov-13-07  KamikazeAttack: For all his rabid hatred of Kramnik, notyetagm has always been a huge fan of Kramnik's skill and technique.

Init, notyet...?

Nov-14-07  notyetagm: <KamikazeAttack: For all his rabid hatred of Kramnik, notyetagm has always been a huge fan of Kramnik's skill and technique.

Init, notyet...?>

I don't know how many times I have to say that Kramnik is a great, great chess player before you really understand that. Kramnik is clearly one of the greatest chess players of all-time, somewhere in the Top 20, 15, 10, take your pick.

My favorite chess player is me and whoever can teach me to become a stronger player. I have learned a great deal about chess from Kramnik's superb handling of the endgame in general and passed pawns in particular.

Nov-14-07  danielpi: <notyet><My favorite chess player is me and whoever can teach me to become a stronger player. I have learned a great deal about chess from Kramnik's superb handling of the endgame in general and passed pawns in particular.>

Excellent. I wonder how a person like you could have ever supported (or still support?) a chaotic rough-and-tumbler like Topalov. Oh, I suppose Topalov's a great player, too, but I doubt very many people would put him in the top-20 of all time. I mean, with 15 unified champions, plus Rubinstein, Korchnoi, Larsen, Reshevsky, Maróczy, Tarrasch, Ivanchuk, Bronstein, Keres -- one rather doubts Topa would find a spot amongst this crowd.

While I respect his play, I couldn't ever say that I "learned" anything from Topalov's games. In fairness, I probably haven't played through more than 100, and I haven't looked at more than a dozen very closely (and in those games, he usually loses). That said, your last post rings true to me. Well stated and thoughtful -- cheers.

Nov-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Why didn't Leko play 58...Na6+ ? If 59. Kb5, then 59...Nxc7+ 60. Bxc7 Rxc7 61. Kb6 Rxb7+ (forced) 62. Kxb7.

That's why.

Nov-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: This has to be one of Kramnik's finest games ever! He first targets a backward Black c-pawn and is able to get what appears to gain only a slight advantage with two pawns to one on the Queen side. Then he targets and wins the isolated a-pawn and frees up two isolated passed (a and c) pawns of his own for the assault on the Queenside. Finally, he throws the King into the fray for a decisive attack on the Black Queenside, all the while ignoring the impotent Black pawn majority on the Kinside.
Nov-15-07  Kangaroo: The end of this game reminds this one: Kramnik vs Leko, 2004

I have read the <peculiar comment: <Kramnik's pawns always pass!>>

In this game he managed to have sacrificed as many as 4(!!!!) pawns before capturing the knight. Two of the pawns were promoted to queens.

Two rounds later Kramnik succeeded in crowning his pawn in Kramnik vs Shirov, 2007 What a tendency!

Nov-15-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White's 60. a8=Q!! is the first of two pawn promotion deflections (removing the guard), setting up 62 Kxc6 with the threat of Re7 and Re8# or <62...Ra2 63.Re7 Rc2+ 64.Bc5 and Black must give up his rook to prevent mate> according to http://www.chess.co.uk/twic/event/t...
Nov-16-07  Ulhumbrus: 24...Qb7 proposes an exchange of the b4 pawn for the e4 pawn. An alternative is 24..Nc6 25 Rc1 Rc7.

26...Qxd3 seems inconsistent. Having given White a Queen side pawn majority, he exchanges Queens. 26...Qa1 plays to prepare to advance the King side pawns.

29 Rc1 is a sign that things have gone wrong for Black: Kramnik has taken the c file, and Leko will not manage to get his own King side pawn majority moving by ..f6 and ...e5.

Nov-21-07  Ulhumbrus: After 30...Nf5? 31 Ba5!! Black's Rook will be placed very, very badly for the rest of the game, doing little more than to defend the a pawn. 30...a5 seems necessary, aiming to free the Black Rook as quickly as possible. The following is taken from an interview with Kramnik on the chessbase.com website :

Interviewer: In two of your games, against Leko and Shirov, everyone was astonished at the fantastic technique you showed, in converting a microscopic advantage. Some people are saying that your technique is better even than that of the legendary Capablanca

Kramnik: I would not compare myself with Capablanca, that’s going too far... But nobody can argue with the fact that I perhaps have the best technique of any player around today [Kramnik smiles].

I suggest that in this game a part of this technique- but only a part of this technique- has the effect of deactivating Black's Rook, by tying the Rook to the defence of a pawn, the a- pawn. Black in fact never does manage to free his Rook.

Jan-10-08  Tomlinsky: I'm still trying to fathom how the heck some of these ideas are found over the board while the clock is ticking. Superb, both inspiring and humbling.
Oct-11-10  sevenseaman: It wasn't easy to tame Leko who has been Kramnikl's nemesis earlier. Two queens expended in order to get a N in lieu and a R badly placed!
Jun-12-12  Mudphudder: This was an excellent example of a slow positional strangle. Vintage Kramnik if you ask me.
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