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Sergey Karjakin vs Vladimir Kramnik
"An Angel Gets His Wings" (game of the day Nov-14-2010)
Tal Memorial (2010), Moscow RUS, rd 8, Nov-13
Russian Game: Nimzowitsch Attack (C42)  ·  1-0



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Given 28 times; par: 54 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-14-10  weisyschwarz: The line is from the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life", a Christmas time classic.
Nov-14-10  Eyal: <is 10 h4 really a Nimzo move?>

No, but 5.Nc3 is (as opposed to the "classical" 5.d4).

Nov-14-10  Julian713: <<Brandon plays>:Wow, I'm really liking this tournament it seems like all of the chess players are coming out with these very aggressive plans and are all coming out swinging in these early games.;)>

Agreed. Very fitting for the Tal Memorial, I think :D

Nov-14-10  celessar: Why not 27. Rc1 ?
Can't White then win the black rook ?
Nov-14-10  celessar: Oh sorry wait, that can be met with ...Rf8
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Eyal: ... No, but 5.Nc3 is> thanks, that's easier to believe
Nov-14-10  talisman: damn sure did.
Nov-14-10  hedgeh0g: A game Tal himself would be proud of.
Nov-15-10  VaselineTopLove: I don't understand why Kramnik doesn't stick with the Berlin, if all he wants is a draw with black, given that he's had better results with it than with the Petroff.
Nov-15-10  polarmis: <VaselineTopLove: I don't understand why Kramnik doesn't stick with the Berlin, if all he wants is a draw with black, given that he's had better results with it than with the Petroff.>

Maybe because that isn't all he wants with black!

Nov-15-10  polarmis: Just to add to that, if you listen to Kramnik at ChessVibes:

...he talks about how he decided to take risks in this game and see if he could trick Karjakin - and that he was taking risks with Black in general, which he admitted isn't really his style (and it wasn't the tournament to do it in).

Nov-15-10  kevin86: Having played this game on Monday-is there a "It's a Wonderful Life theme here? Monday's game has a winner named Zsuzsa.
Nov-15-10  capatal: Eyal: <As the saying goes, every time somebody beats the Petroff an angel gets its wings.> (Mig Greengard, ...- Or another angel is flying too close to the ground.
Nov-19-10  polarmis: There's some very detailed analysis of this game by Evgeny Gleiserov at ChessPro: (translated by Google...)

His most interesting summary is that Kramnik was absolutely right to play 15...d5! instead of accepting the sacrifice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: [Result "1-0"]
[White "Sergey Karjakin"]
[Black "V Kramnik"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2791"]

As <Eyal> pointed out, the idea that Karjakin's play might have been computer-assisted preparation is an absurdity.

It's sad, really. Play like this and you get 'complimented' for being like an engine. Probably a sign that human chess is on the way out, just another retro pastime like horse-riding and sailboat-racing.

True Tal-style play - with speculative sacs sufficiently complex to confuse a world champion - has become very rare at elite level. Just to witness a game like this between two 2750+ players is a real pleasure.

Nov-20-10  Eyal: Btw, if anyone needs an additional support to Karjakin’s statement that he didn’t prepare the sacrifice before the game, the clock times (according to ICC) seem to confirm it – after Kramnik’s novelty 12…Bf5 (deviating from V Gashimov vs Gelfand, 2010) he thought for about 20 minutes over 13.Kb1, and then for additional 10 minutes over 14.Be2, which prepares the sac – defending f3, otherwise g4 isn’t effective because of …Nxf3. Moreover, as Gleiserov notes in his analysis, 13.Kb1 might even be a questionable move – there doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason to delay the f3-Be2 idea by a move, giving Black the opportunity to play 13…h6 immediately under better conditions. So perhaps when Karjakin played his 13th move he still didn’t see, at least not fully, the idea of the sac.

Interestingly, as <polarmis> already noted, Gleiserov’s analysis suggests that the sacrifice might even be completley correct objectively (if Black accepts it by 15…hxg5, that is). He suggests that Kramnik’s mistake - before Karjakin himself slipped with 21.gxf7 - was 16...Bg6; instead, <16...Bc8!> was better (but, as he’s also quick to note, this kind of passive, “undeveloping” move is extremely difficult to play psychologically). By leaving the bishop on the c8-h3 diagonal, Black prevents White from continuing the attack with 17.f4, as in the game, because of 17...Nxg4. White’s best course in such a case seems to be 17.cxd5 cxd5 (17...Qxd5?? 18.Qc3; 17...hxg5 18.hxg5 Ng6 [18...Qd5 19.Qe1, attacking the queen and aiming for Qh4] 19.Bd3 [aiming for Qh2] Bd6 20.dxc6 bxc6 21.Bxg6 fxg6 22.Bf4) 18.Qxd5 Qxd5 19.Rxd5 Bxg5 20.hxg5 Nc6 21.Rd3 and here Gleiserov gives 21...Nb4 22.Bd2 Nxd3 23.Bxd3 hxg5 24.Bh7+ Kh8 (24...Kf8?? 25.Bb4+) 25.Bxg5 with a pawn and very strong initiative to White for the exchange, but maybe safer for Black is simply 21...hxg5, reaching the following position (where White cannot play 22.Bxg5 because the bishop on e2 is hanging):

click for larger view

Later, there’s one truly spectacular variation given by Gleiserov when he analyzes <21.Qxc4!> as a better move than 21.gxf7+, which was played by Karjakin. The main line goes 21...Bxh4 22.Bxd3 Qe7 23.Bf5 Bf6 24.a3! (24.Rd7 immediately doesn’t work because of 24...Re1+) 24...b5 (24...Qe8 25.Rd7 Re7 26.Rhd1) 25.Qxc6 and now Black has to play 25...Rf8 or Rd8, giving up the b5 pawn; if he tries 25...Rb8 we get 26.Rd7 Re1+ (26...Qe5 27.gxf7+ Kf8 28.c3 with total domination by White) 27.Ka2 Qe5 28.gxf7+ Kf8

click for larger view

and here, after 29.c3 (against the mate threat on b2) Rxh1 30.Qxh1 b4! 31.axb4 a5! Black still has counterplay. However, White is winning by force with the amazing <29.Qxf6!!> 29...Qxf6 (29...gxf6 30.Rxh6 [with the threat 31.Rh8+ Kg7 32.f8Q#] 30...Qe7 31.Rh8+ Kxf7 32.Rxe7+ Rxe7 33.Rxb8) 30.Rxe1 (aiming for Re6 followed by Bg6) 30...Qc6 31.Rde7 (with the threat 32.Re8+ Kxf7 33.R1e7+ [or 33.Rxb8] Kf6 34.Re6+) 31...Rb6 and here Gleiserov gives a winning line starting with 32.Rxa7, but somewhat more straightforward is 32.Bh7! (aiming for Bg8 and Re8+) 32...Qf6 (32...Qd6 33.R7e5! - not to any other square on the e-file, so as to prevent Qd5+ and Qxf7 - 33...Kxf7 34.Rf1+ Qf6) 33.Re8+ Kxf7 34.Bg8+ Kg6 35.R1e6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Eyal> Superb. Your ability to unpick the subtleties and subtexts of analysis is unrivalled. Thanks again.
Nov-21-10  FrogC: 5.Nc3 makes for an exciting game if Black takes the knight. But what if he retreats his own knight to f6? Then we're back to typical Petroff stodge.
Jun-20-11  DrMAL: Interesting game, I don't know if 12...Bf5 was some big novelty, it seemed pretty obvious to me and was later analyzed as black's best move. In any event, 13.f4 was white's best and thematic response, and 13.Kb1+ was a slight inaccuracy losing initiative. After 13...Re8 white still could have played 14.f4 (maybe 14.Bd4 was even better), 14.f3 lost tempo even more. Similarly, 15...d5 lost initiative back to white instead of simple 15...hxg5.

At this point both sides play their plans until white misses 21.Qxc4 for a solid advantage and plays instead 21.gxf7+ the first clear mistake. Analysis by Rybka 4.1 shows it to lose an entire point with the game now evaluated as even.

However, 22.Rxe2 instead of simple 22.Bxh4 was a counter-mistake giving white back a solid advantage of about a pawn again. But then black misses 23...b5 and plays 23...Qxg5 a losing blunder.

I would not call 20.fxg6 "Tal-like" at all for several reasons. First of all, it is not at all shocking it is in fact obviously viable even anticipated and also white's objectively best move. Secondly, it did not complicate matters further as Tal's sacs did, the position was already complicated.

The game was won because Kramnik miscalculated and blundered, simple as that. Great play beforehand on both sides.

Jul-12-13  The Rocket: Black has an easier game with 9 Nc5, instead of the game continuation. It takes out most of the sting for any attacking chances by Karjakin. C5 is also a better square in the actual position, regardless of any future attacks.

All of this is simply how to avoid the onslaught, be cunning in practical terms, black of course faltered much later.

Apr-04-14  NeoIndian: Hello!
After 7.Be3, the line 7...Nc6 8.Qd2 00 9.000 Be6 10.Kb1 Ne5 seems to promise very little to White. I tried this position a few times as White, but the best I could come up with was Nxe5 followed by exchanges along d-file, leading to a dead equal(maybe even slightly worse) RBB vs RBB endgame. Could somebody please point out what should White do after 10...Ne5?

Also, I apologize, this is probably not the right place to ask questions about particular opening lines. But I can't seem to find many games in the DB with this position.

May-12-18  Saniyat24: didn't know Kramnik has such a poor record against Karjakin... 1-6 wow...!
Jul-29-21  Gaito:

click for larger view


To capture or not to capture? That is the question.

Apparently this was the right moment for Black to capture White's knight. Instead, Kramnik played the dubious 15...d5?!, and after 16.g4 Bg6? (better Bd7 or Bc8) 17.f4! (+-) Black's position quickly deteriorated.

Let us examine a likely continuation (from the above diagram):

15...hxg5! 16.hxg5 d5 17.g4 Bg6 18.f4 Bxg5! (this is the key to Black's defense: to give back the piece in order to extinguish White's attacking chances) 19.fxg5 Be4 20.Rh3 Ng6 21.Qe1 Re5 22.cxd5 cxd5, and Black has nothing to fear, the position being about equal. See diagram below:

click for larger view

Jul-29-21  Gaito:

click for larger view


The engine (SF14) considers that between moves 19 and 22 White faltered and did not play the best moves, so that (according to the engine's viewpoint) White's previously acquired advantage dissipated. From the diagram, the engine suggests that Black play 22...Qe7 with equality (computer's evaluation: +0.14). Instead, Kramnik played 22...Rxe2?? which in the opinion of the engine is a losing blunder (the evaluation jumps from +0.14 to +3.00).

Jul-29-21  Gaito: < Nov-13-10 SatelliteDan: What is wrong with 15..hxg ?>

This is an excellent question. Unfortunately none of the other kibitzers seemed to care about your question. But the engine (SF14) gives an answer to your question: What is wrong with that move? Nothing! It secures at least a draw.

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