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Vladimir Kramnik vs Loek van Wely
"Slav to Fashion" (game of the day Jul-01-2008)
Dortmund Sparkassen (2008), Dortmund GER, rd 2, Jun-29
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation (D11)  ·  1-0



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Given 28 times; par: 41 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-01-08  offtherook: Beautiful. Kramnik is a monster with White, and a rock with Black. If he's on form, I can not imagine anyone beating him in a match.
Jul-01-08  Infin1ty: 22...f5 and after 36 hours fritz 11 decides the resulting game must be drawn with perfect play.

Easy move to see.....for a computer ;)

Hard to spot that it's the only saving move in such a nasty/ugly position though keeping d7 from the knight seems at least "a" priority and that moves delivers in that respect.

Over the board with the clock ticking though. I can;t really blame him for missing it.

Jul-01-08  Eyal: <Infin1ty: Hard to spot that [22...f5] is the only saving move in such a nasty/ugly position though keeping d7 from the knight seems at least "a" priority and that moves delivers in that respect.>

Another factor which might help the defender to spot f5 as a good move, even without calculating all the possible variations, is that it stabilizes Black's position by preventing White from playing both Ng4 and f5 - two important attacking resources (23.Ng4 would be strong after 22...f6, for example).

Jul-01-08  RandomVisitor: After 21...Qb5

click for larger view <19-ply>

1. (1.81): 22.f5 f6 23.Ng4 Bb6 24.Qg3 Rf8 25.a4 Qd3 26.fxe6 h5 27.a5 hxg4 28.axb6

Jul-01-08  Infin1ty: f5 immediately would deffinately be stronger than Qg3 at that point (that one feels more natural to me than Qg3 even).

Qg3 does let the f5 from black in which should be avoided (according to our silicon friends). On the level at which Kramnik operates, Qg3 can almost be classified as a "blunder" (there I said it!), at the very least an inaccuracy.

Since v. Wely is Kramnik's second at his big matches, would the knowledge Kramnik has on van Wely have any influence here? As in "I know what he's going to play in this and that position so I'm going to play on thay knowledge".

Jul-01-08  Longbrow: After 14… ♘e4, attempting to post and infiltrate White’s first three ranks, Black’s only choices for the rest of the game are to accept losing exchanges or accept forced moves. This is a dominating game by White.
Jul-01-08  vanytchouck: I'm not a Kramnik hater (in fact, i'm no one hater) and i never call him "Drawnik", but i just don't understand why Kramnik's fans are so hurry and happy to greet that win.

As if the fans and the haters end up acting symetrically.

For a player of the level of Kramnik, beating Van Wely is almost not worth mentioning.

Van Wely never beat Anand in classical game (0-7 and 8 = ; 5w; 10 b). His score against Topalov and Kramnik are hardly better.

* Against Topalov : 2-7 and 4 = (6 w; 7 b).
* Against Kramnik (now) : 3-9 and 6 = (7w; 11 b).

Moreover, in this game, Van Wely has played poorly enough missing opportunities to escape from the grip of the best strategist of his generation who didn't need to use all his talent.

In my opinion, this is a good game worth studying four us the amateurs but far below the 2750 level.

Jul-01-08  notyetagm: <Eyal: ... Another factor which might help the defender to spot f5 as a good move, even without calculating all the possible variations, is that it stabilizes Black's position by preventing White from playing both Ng4 and f5 - two important attacking resources (23.Ng4 would be strong after 22...f6, for example).>

Very good point. That ... f7-f5! move by Black prevents -TWO- White attacking ideas, both ♘e5-g4 and f4-f5.

Jul-01-08  ToTheDeath: It seems unwise to let White set up a stonewall with Ne5 and f4. Better to play 9...Qc7 10.Qe2 O-O 11.e4 dxe4 12.Nxe4 Be7 with only a slight advantage for White.
Jul-01-08  kevin86: game played 6/29/08: GOTD 7/1/08.

Just think,before the age of computers,this game wouldn't be seen for a long time!

Jul-01-08  RandomVisitor: After the suggested improvement for black, 22...f5:

click for larger view <26-ply>

1. (1.76): 23.Qg6 Bb6 24.Qxe6+ Kh8 25.Qxf5 Qd5 26.Rad1 Bxe3+ 27.Kh1 Bd2 28.Ng6+ Kg8 29.Qxd5+ cxd5

Jul-01-08  acirce: <RandomVisitor> I am not surprised. It would help if Rybka clarified why Black starts giving away those pawns, though :-)
Jul-01-08  RandomVisitor: <acirce>Rybka does not like the 23...Re7 line, for example:

22...f5 23.Qg6 <Re7> 24.Rad1 and now:

click for larger view <21-ply>

1. (1.82): 24...Ba6 25.Rfe1 Qb7 26.Rd6 Bb6 27.Nxc6 Bc4 28.Nxe7+ Qxe7 29.a4 Rf8 30.a5 Rf7 31.Rc6

2. (2.05): 24...Bb6 25.Rfe1 Rf8 26.Rd7 Qxe5 27.fxe5 Rxd7 28.Qxe6+ Rdf7 29.Bd4 Bxd4 30.exd4 Kh7 31.Kf2

3. (2.13): 24...Qe2 25.bxa5 c5 26.Bc1 Bd5 27.g4 Rf8 28.gxf5 Rf6 29.Qg3 Rxf5 30.Rd2 Qb5 31.Rg2

22...f5 23.Qg6 Re7 24. Rad1 <Qe2> 25. bxa5 <Qxb2> and now Rybka likes 26.Rf2 with .

Jul-01-08  Eyal: <22...f5 23.Qg6 Re7 24.Rad1 Qe2 25.bxa5 Qxb2 and now Rybka likes 26.Rf2>

OK, apparently the winning idea is 26...Qxa3 27.Rfd2 Qxa5 (not so much to grab a pawn as to defend d8 and indirectly d7) 28.Kf2! (defending e1) and Black remains helpless against Rd7. Still, it would have been a bit more tricky to find otb than 23.Nd7 after 22...Bb6...

Jul-01-08  patzer2: <Random Visitor> Thanks for the deep Rybka analysis of 22...f5. You've got me convinced White wins with near perfect play. Still, OTB, I think White would have had better practical chances with this try than the game continuation.

Anyway, I got pretty much the same result as <Eyal> after forcing it into my old Fritz 8. I assume White's winning line is <22...f5 23.Qg6 Re7 24.Rad1 Qe2 25.bxa5 Qxb2 <26.Rf2>, followed by 26...Qxa3 27.Rfd2 Qxa5 28. Kf2! Rae8 29. Rd7 and White's domination of the open d-file and the seventh rank open it up for a White win.

P.S. It's surprising that White can get away with trading his Queen-side pawns for doubled d-file rooks and invasion of the seventh rank.

Jul-01-08  patzer2: <Random Visitor> Just curious. How long and deep ply did you have to run Rybka to find the refutation to 22...f5? Also did you use a double or quad processor when running it to solve this one? Any forcing of moves (i.e. sliding back and forth) needed here?

Apparently more than just my old version of Fritz 8 had trouble finding the line as <Infin1ty:> wrote <22...f5 and after 36 hours fritz 11 decides the resulting game must be drawn with perfect play.>

Jul-01-08  psmith: <patzer2> The move 28. Kf2 in the above variation is amazing.
Jul-01-08  patzer2: <psmith> Yes, 28. Kf2 is an unexpected surprise in this line. Indeed, the whole 22...f5 Rybka refutation is amazing.
Jul-01-08  drpoundsign: Boned Loek?

The Funky Queen Medina?!

Jul-01-08  RandomVisitor: <patzer2>At about 21 ply it started to show up. I was just checking the work done by others here. This particular PC is a dual core. No sliding back and forth.
Jul-02-08  RandomVisitor: After 21...Qb5

click for larger view <22-ply>

1. (1.76): 22.f5 f6 23.Ng4 e5 24.Qg3 Rf8 25.a4 Qe2 26.Rf2 Qd3 27.bxa5 Kh7 28.Rc1 Bc8

2. (0.95): 22.Qg4 f6 23.Qxe6+ Kh7 24.Nd7 Qd5 25.Qxd5 cxd5 26.Nxf6+ gxf6 27.bxa5 Kg6 28.f5+ Kf7

3. (0.79): 22.Qg3 f6 23.Ng4 Kh7 24.Rfb1 Bb6 25.a4 Qxb4 26.a5 Bxa5 27.Be5 Qe7 28.Bxc7 Qxc7

Jul-02-08  patzer2: <Random Visitor> Thanks for the system information. Gives me some hope (finding this difficult solution on a dual core computer with Rybka) that I can find a dedicated computer to devote to Chess, Bybka, Chess Base and a five piece endgame table base without having to break the bank.

P.S. I find it interesting that Rybka has scored over a 2900 rating on single core Athlon processors running at 1200 MHZ and with only 256MB of RAM according to the Swiss computer rating organization.

Their most recent rating list can be found on the web at Also, according to, <The SSDF has announced that their next platform for testing will be an Intel Core 2 Quad 6600 2.4 GHz with 2 GB of RAM-memory and a 64-bit operating system.>

P.S. Maybe that (Quad 6600 2.4 GHz with 2 GB of RAM) would be a good moderately priced system choice for those of us looking to upgrade to a new computer, without breaking the bank by buying the expensive top of the line hardware ($3,000 and up computers with extremely fast dual core quad processors and 8 MB of Ram) used in some of the recent super chess computer competitions (i.e. see Rybka brief competition platform description at for example).

Jul-02-08  RandomVisitor: <patzer2>Thanks for that info.
Aug-18-08  Ulhumbrus: <Eyal> On 22 f5 one alternative is 22..Bb6 eg 23 fxe6 faxe6 24 Qxe6+ Kh7 25 Qf5+ Kg8 26 Qxe4 Qe2
Mar-17-10  pablo333: In my view, Kramnik obtained his advantage in this game with 10 Ne5. Therefore had black developed his king-bishop to e7 instead of d6, the balance could've been better maintained.
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