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Vladimir Kramnik vs Hikaru Nakamura
Corus Group A (2010), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 8, Jan-24
Dutch Defense: Leningrad. Warsaw Variation (A88)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-26-10  Ulhumbrus: On 10...e5 11 Rd1 An alternative to 11..Qe7 os 11..Nd7. However there is another thing as well. On 10...e4 11 Rd1 White's Rooks are teo moves ahead of Black's Rooks in development. This suggests avoiding opening lines eg by 10...Qc7
Jan-26-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Fanques Fair> After 11...Qe7 12.c5 d5 13.Bg5 Qe8, 14.Nxe5! is very strong - perhaps nearly winning - for White; same basic idea also works in case of 12...dxc5, as well as 12...e4 - 13.cxd6 Qxd6 14.Ne5! and 14...Bxe5 15.dxe5 Qxe5 would lose to 16.Bh6! (Re8 17.Rxb7! Bxb7 18.Qb3+). It's interesting to note, however, that with 11...Qe8 rather than Qe7, 12.c5 e4 seems to be ok for Black because White doesn't have the intermediate cxd6, attacking the queen.
Jan-26-10  Ulhumbrus: < ...It's not possible that in Dutch Black equalizes. It cannot be ... I made my last effort you know under the shower and I realised of course that I should not take on e4... > Kramnik at the press conference Kramnik does not give his reasons why he thinks that it cannot be that Black equalizes in the Dutch defence.

The position after 17 c4 to which Nakamura replies with 17...e3 suggests an indication of why Kramnik thinks that he should not take on e4. It seems that Kramnik wants to undermine the defenders of e4 so as to threaten to win it, whereas capturing on e4 earlier will not succeed in winning it.

Jan-26-10  Poisonpawns: I think many are judging by result here.I have demonstrated that black is at least equal after 22..fxg3(see diagrams above) I think it is White who has to improve his play earlier in the game.Nakamura just happened to blunder and make things look worse than they were.
Jan-26-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Poisonpawns: I think many are judging by result here.I have demonstrated that black is at least equal after 22..fxg3 I think it is White who has to improve his play earlier in the game.>

No, you haven't; you assumed that after 23.Rxd5 Qf6 White plays 24.hxg3, whereas the best move is 24.Nc5! as I've already mentioned in a couple of previous posts - after 24...Bxc5 25.Rxc5 gxh2 26.Rc7 Bf5 27.e4 followed by 28.Rxb7 White has a clear advantage. Besides, a move earlier Kramnik might have played a bit more accurately with 22.cxd5, and after 22...Qxd5 23.Nxf4! (again) gxf4 24.Rb4 Black's situation is almost desperate. If you really worship the "Rybka truth" so much as your post implies, you should look at its evals of those lines - http://chessok.com/broadcast?key=co.... If Black can get into such a difficult position after little more than 20 moves, then something clearly went very wrong in his game.

Jan-27-10  Poisonpawns: <Eyal: <Poisonpawns: I think many are judging by result here.I have demonstrated that black is at least equal after 22..fxg3 I think it is White who has to improve his play earlier in the game.>

No, you haven't; you assumed that after 23.Rxd5 Qf6 White plays 24.hxg3, whereas the best move is 24.Nc5!>

First of all, you are on the wrong move. I started on move with 22.. fxg3(instead of Qf6),where I show black is relatively equal.You are starting on move 23.

Secondly, I also stated that white has to improve his play at an earlier stage; didn't I? We all know that 22.cxd5 was better to play than the move Kramnik chose,but then it is black who must improve his play earlier in the game.We can start with the dubious looking 9..Nxc3?!

Jan-27-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <First of all, you are on the wrong move. I started on move with 22.. fxg3(instead of Qf6),where I show black is relatively equal.You are starting on move 23.>

No, we're talking exactly about the same line. You started on move 22 for Black: 22..fxg3 23.rxd5 Qf6 24.hxg3 [and then be6 etc.]; I simply gave the moves from 23.Rxd5, omitting to mention 22fxg3 explicitly because it was obvious from the context (I was quoting you); btw, the Rybka analysis that I referred to arrives at the same relevant position, only by a different move order 22Qf6 23.Rxd5 [as in the game] fxg3. It all boils down to the following position:


click for larger view

Where you assumed 24.hxg3 instead of 24.Nc5.

< Secondly, I also stated that white has to improve his play at an earlier stage; didn't I?>

Your original post starts with the words: "Black was ok and by 22.Rb5 the game is absolutely equal. The problem is that later Nakamura blundered". This, together with saying that people are "judging by result", and that "Nakamura just happened to blunder" gives the impression that Nakamura's "problem" was only that he happened to blunder with Be6 (as I said, fxg3 on move 23 would still lead to the position you were talking about as equal), and that until this point he was perfectly ok (so that the "earlier stage" where White has to improve is considerably earlier); whereas, in fact, Nakamura had serious problems from early on, by move 22 his position was already very difficult, and the blunder only turned it to immediately losing. Even if you were right about 22fxg3 as equalizing, the way to put it would be more like "Nakamura had serious problems from early on in the opening, got an opportunity to equalize when Kramnik made a mistake on move 22, but missed it".

Jan-27-10  Poisonpawns: <Eyal: No, we're talking exactly about the same line> Sorry about that.Now I must kill the ! for 24.Nc5! and turn it into a 24.Nc5 without the !.

First an improvement for black that demonstrates the = 14..Qe7 =(instead of d5?!)15.Nf2 e3 16.Nd3 f4! case closed.

as for your 24.Nc5!you were correct, I did assume that 24.hxg3 would be played.I was wrong.So now I will demonstrate in the 24.Nc5! line that black is = also. line


click for larger view

b6 is better than your "assumed" move gxh2.Now the game is quite even after 26.Rc7 bf5 27.e4 qe5 28.Rc6 be6 29.c5!Rac8 30.cxb6 g4!


click for larger view

31.fxg4(what else?)axb6 32.rxc8 rxc8 33.Qd3 bxg4


click for larger view

Black played poorly and white played some suspect moves also like rd1?!It just happens that black cannot afford to make as many errors as white.As a matter of fact, I think Nakamura`s entire plan beginning with 9..Nxc3?! and 10..e5?! was wrong.However Kramnik did not play the best moves, but played better than Nakamura and won the game.Blacks best hopes lie in the continuations starting with 9..Na6,transposing into "normal" Leningrad positions where white has his advantage.

Jan-28-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Poisonpawns: 22..fxg3 23.rxd5 Qf6 24.Nc5 bxc5 25.Rxc5 b6 Now the game is quite even after 26.Rc7 bf5 27.e4 qe5 28.Rc6 be6 29.c5Rac8 30.cxb6 g4 31.fxg4 axb6 32.rxc8 rxc8 33.Qd3 bxg4>

There may be ways for White to improve here for example, 26.Rcd5 Bf5 (Be6 27.Rd6) 27.e4 Be6 (now that White doesn't have Qe4 to increase the pressure on that square in some lines) 28.hxg3 Bxd5 29.cxd5 with very strong central pawns; or later 29.Qd2 (instead of c5) followed by Qd6. Even in the 24.hxg3 Be6 line, 25.Rd6 might be an improvement to Rb5.

But at any rate, the main thing I objected to was the impression, which might have been conveyed, that Nakamura was completely ok until he happened to blunder with Be6. If we're in agreement that with 22.cxd5 White gets a decisive or near-decisive advantage, then the question of how big exactly was Kramnik's inaccuracy in playing 22.Rb5 isn't so crucial as far as I'm concerned, since it's clear that even if Nakamura could have actually equalized with 22fxg3 it was because of a slip by Kramnik, not because the game was going well for Black in general. Btw, from a less tactical and more positional point of view, I suppose that the reason why Nakamura was reluctant to play or even seriously consider a move like 22fxg3 was because he thought the clamp on White's bishop on g2 was one of his main assets.

The question of where exactly is the "point of no return" for Black in terms of getting a bad position out of the opening and where he should try to improve is not so easy I suppose this might be answered in some actual future games, because this game is almost bound to arouse an interest in the 8.Rb1 line/idea.

Jan-28-10  Ulhumbrus: The move 9...Nxc3 moves the N a third time to exchange it for a N moved once. That loses two tempi for development. On the other hand the recapture 10 bxc3 does not develop a piece either, and it doubles the c pawn. However given that Black does lose time for development, this suggests that Black's subsequent choices have to take account of this, and so have to avoid allowing White to make count his lead in developoment.

An alternative is 9....d5 with a stonewall formation.

On 10...e5 the move 11 Rd1 makes one concession: White is ahead in development and yet delays opening lines. 11..Nd7 may be the best move.

After 21 Kh1 White is no less than five moves in development. This suggests that Black is more than lost already after eg 21...Rf7 attempting to free the QB to get out. 21....f4? continues to neglect Black's development and even attempts to attack from a position which is not only not advantageous but which looks lost. The attack can be forecast to fail.

If Kramnik's winning strategy consisted of undermining the defenders of the e4 pawn, this suggests that Black's main mistake was to attempt to maintain pawns on e4 and d5 when they could not in fact be maintained. It was necessary for Black to play ...exf3 removing the target, and perhaps ..dxc4 as well.

Jan-28-10  Poisonpawns: <EyalThe question of where exactly is the "point of no return" for Black in terms of getting a bad position out of the opening and where he should try to improve is not so easy I suppose this might be answered in some actual future games, because this game is almost bound to arouse an interest in the 8.Rb1 line/idea.> Actually it is one of the main weapons ,but Nakamura swayed from theory with e5?! As i stated before, black should stick with the main transpositions. <Ulhumbrus The move 9...Nxc3 moves the N a third time to exchange it for a N moved once. That loses two tempi for development.>Great Post

As a matter of fact, I think Nakamura`s entire plan beginning with 9..Nxc3?! and 10..e5?! was wrong.However Kramnik did not play the best moves, but played better than Nakamura and won the game.Blacks best hopes lie in the continuations starting with 9..Na6,transposing into "normal" Leningrad positions where white has his advantage.

Jan-28-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: < Actually it is one of the main weapons ,but Nakamura swayed from theory with [10...]e5?!>

8.Rb1 is much less common than 8.d5 (Opening Explorer in larger databases the ratio of games is similar); but even more importantly, in combination with moves 9-10 there's actually hardly any "theory" left at all (maybe this game would help to create it). As I've mentioned in a previous post, by the move 10.bxc3 they reached a position that appeared only in one previous game from last year (and where Black didn't play a good move either), so Nakamura hardly had anything to "sway" from by this stage. As Kramnik notes in his press conference, when Black plays 8Ne4 the more usual strategy has been to take on e4 rather than to pressure Black to take on c3, and as he also mentions, the double pawns on the c-file can actually be an asset rather than a problem because they allow White to develop pressure on the Q-side via the b-file before Black completed his development, as well as provide him with an extra pawn to undermine Black's center something which is made very clear in the game by move 17 (it's interesting that in some games by obscure players in the databases you can see the game reaching 9Nxc3 and then White plays 10.Qxc3, as if it's the Nimzo-Indian, completely missing this point). Now after the game all this may seem clear, but during the game Nakamura was facing by move 10 an unusual system which was apparently confusing for him, with no ready "theory" to fall on.

Jan-29-10  Poisonpawns: Some video about this game. It discusses some of the lines we hit on,pretty good detail.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbJS...

Aug-29-10  picard: was there any point playing on after move 25? against a common gm maybe, but this is Kramnik. I know he has made some pretty famous blunders but Nakamura plays for 20 more moves. could Kramnik really blunder both passed pawns away?
Aug-29-10  acirce: <but this is Kramnik. I know he has made some pretty famous blunders but Nakamura plays for 20 more moves. could Kramnik really blunder both passed pawns away?>

Well, he has made some pretty famous blunders so yes.

Nov-03-10  jrlepage: <acirce: <but this is Kramnik. I know he has made some pretty famous blunders but Nakamura plays for 20 more moves. could Kramnik really blunder both passed pawns away?> Well, he has made some pretty famous blunders so yes.>

<picard>'s question is perfectly legitimate.

Acirce, next time, would you please do you your homework before posting?

http://web.zone.ee/chessanalysis/su...

(You may skip to p.8 in case you find the information a tad over abundant.)

Good reading.

Nov-04-10  rilkefan: <jrlepage> "Good reading."

May be, but despite having a recent adobe version I'm loath to download a pdf from a random-looking domain without some reason to suspect there's more interesting info there than would easily fit in a comment. Esp. since "please do your homework" is just snide.

Nov-04-10  acirce: Kramnik is a human. Humans blunder. Specifically, humans sometimes fail to win won positions. That was my simple point.
Nov-04-10  checkmateyourmove: The beauty of this game to me , is how kramnik made the sequence on move 18 through 22. by making the trade while leaving the black bishop in a discovered attack.
Nov-04-10  Landman: <picard> Kramnik once talked about getting a terrible position very early in a game against Topalov. I think it was Topalov vs Kramnik, 2006. As I recall, his comment was along the lines of "You must play something, you cannot just resign."
Nov-04-10  jrlepage: <acirce> I agree with you, up to a certain point.

Obviously for you playing a queen down, for instance, is perfectly OK since your opponent may indeed blunder at any time. As for this particular game, Naka is playing 2 - PASSED - pawns down against a Kramnik. For 20 moves on. Think what you want but this is way too optimistic for me (perhaps not for you...). I guess ''judgment'' plays an important part in ''assessing'' chess positions...

<rilkefan> AFAIK, nobody ever asked you to do your homework.

Nov-04-10  rilkefan: <jrlepage>: "Obviously for you playing a queen down [...] is perfectly ok"

Obviously you've never heard of sacrificing a queen for mate, otherwise you wouldn't say something so stupidly snarky.

Why be a jerk about this? It's perfectly fine to say, "I think, not knowing anything about the situation on the clocks, that it's an affront to the game to play twenty moves in this position." I would probably nod my head if you had a record of being civil.

Nov-04-10  jrlepage: <rilkefan: Obviously you've never heard of sacrificing a queen for mate, otherwise you wouldn't say something so stupidly snarky.>

As far as I can see, your grasp of the argument is obvious.

Ok, so do your homework, then and maybe you will find a hard time being civil towards totally inept and unfounded statements uttered in open forums.

Apr-02-12  freeman8201: Talk about a journey for the Knight-f3, it went on a 6 move path.
Mar-16-13  dumbgai: <It just happens that black cannot afford to make as many errors as white.>

...isn't that position then, by definition, better for white? Not necessarily winning for white, but better for white in that he has the better chances to win.

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