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Alexey Shirov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Tata Steel Group A (2011), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 6, Jan-21
Scotch Game: Mieses Variation (C45)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-22-11  percyblakeney: <I believe this is supported by the clock times as well - Krmanik's first long think came only on move 25>

Yes, he more or less blitzed out the moves up until the 25th.

Jan-22-11  Mr. Bojangles: Kramnik has turned his game round at long last.

Sooooooooooooooooo relieved to see the back of that talent-suppressing Petrov.

He is now playing ultra sharp lines even in the Nimzo...

This game is as sharp and tactical as any game one would see in the Sicilian.

What I would give to see him go back to the Sicilian:)

The young terror of the 90s is upon us again.

Jan-22-11  adbat: heading reference was played for thirteen between Jakubovics, Nicholas (2210) and Griffiths, Paul (2230) England 1998, where it appears the move 10 ... g6, the novelty is 11.Ne4, I think good play at the position . Then it would be interesting to test the play 12.c5-Nd5 / 13.Bg5-Qe5 / 14.Bd8-Kd8 / 15.Nd2 or Nd3 The game went on 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 Nb6 9. Nc3 Bb7 10. Bd2 g6 11. O-O-O Bg7 12. f4 O-O-O 13. Ne4 Rhe8 14. c5 Nd5 15. Qc4 f6 16. Qa4 Kb8 17. Ba6 Bxa6 18. Qxa6 fxe5 19. Rhe1 Ka8 20. Be3 Nxe3 21. Rxe3 Rb8 22. Rdd3 exf4 23. Nd6 Bxb2+ 24. Kc2 fxe3 0-1
Jan-22-11  Raginmund: This is the real Kramnik. Winning with Black at his best Tal style. And more... he won Shirov... a very great tactical player with great tactics. Shirov was fired on board!!

After 13. ...Qxe5!! it seems all was very deep calculated. Only Kramnik has this quality. That's why he's one of the best ever.

Kramnik forever!!!!!!

Jan-22-11  Ulhumbrus: <luzhin: Neat finish by Kramnik. If 44. Qxh5 Re4+! -- or 44.h4 Re8 45.Qxh5 Re4+!> Very nice. This is a combination made for the text books, such as "Winning chess" by Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld. White's Bishop is overworked. If it has to defend White's Queen, it cannot cover the check on e4 as well.
Jan-22-11  masterzelman: Kramnik is such a deep and interesting player. You learn from watching his games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Eyal> Wow. I understand that you need reams of 'private' theory to play like this, but it's a very long way from move 10 to move 23, forced or not.

I believe him, of course. He even sort of implied that his prep could have gone deeper if necessary.

Jan-22-11  theagenbiteofinwit: <He even sort of implied that his prep could have gone deeper if necessary.>

It's highly likely Kramnik has spent quite a bit of time analyzing the Scotch earlier due to the possibility of Carlsen might have used it in a match.

Jan-22-11  percyblakeney: <It's highly likely Kramnik has spent quite a bit of time analyzing the Scotch earlier due to the possibility of Carlsen might have used it in a match>

Now he'll have to try to survive against Radjabov's Scotch instead...

Jan-22-11  Eyal: And we all know how deadly Radjabov is with the Scotch...

Jan-22-11  Ezzy: <Eyal: And we all know how deadly Radjabov is with the Scotch...> :-)

Well it is +1 :-)

Jan-22-11  Hesam7: <theagenbiteofinwit: <He even sort of implied that his prep could have gone deeper if necessary.>

It's highly likely Kramnik has spent quite a bit of time analyzing the Scotch earlier due to the possibility of Carlsen might have used it in a match.>

Kasparov record with Scotch was +12 =8 before the London match with so I am pretty sure that Kramnik did a very careful study of Scotch since he intended to play the Berlin.

Jan-22-11  acirce: Yes, Kasparov had played the Scotch in all of his three latest World Championship matches - against Karpov (1990), Short (1993) and Anand (1995), plus occasionally and with very good results between the matches including two times in 2000. It's actually interesting that he didn't want to play it against Kramnik, and rather switched to the English and the Catalan when he encountered problems with the Berlin Wall. The only thing I remember him saying about it was that the Scotch was more vulnerable than the Ruy. Well, we didn't really need Kasparov to tell us that, and it doesn't answer the question why he thought it good enough against Karpov, Anand and Short but not against Kramnik.
Jan-22-11  Eyal: <Hesam7: There is a number of moves that have been suggested for White instead of 32. Kg4?, I think all of them lose [...] [2] 32. Kg3 Qe1+>

How is Black winning here?

Jan-23-11  Hesam7: <Eyal: <Hesam7: There is a number of moves that have been suggested for White instead of 32. Kg4?, I think all of them lose [...] [2] 32. Kg3 Qe1+>

How is Black winning here?>

Now going through my analysis maybe winning is too strong a word. Here is what I came up with: 32. Kg3 Qe1+:

click for larger view

[1] 33. Kh3 Nd1 34. Qh8+ <Black is threatening the fork on f2> 34. ... Re8 35. Qf6+ Qe7 36. Qxe7 Rxe7 37. Kg3 <finally defending the fork! Note that 37. Rg1 is in fact worse because the White king will be too far away from the battle> 37. ... Re3+ <securing the f2 square for the knight> 38. Kf4 Re1 39. a6 Nf2 40. Rg1 Ra1! <40. ... Nd3+? 41. Kg5 would be a mistake> 41. Kf3 Nd3 42. g4 <pins can be annoying!> 42. ... Nc5 43. Kf2 Nxa6 <and now both endgames: 44. Bxa6 Rxa6 and 44. Bc4 Rxg1 45. Kxg1 Nc5 are lost for White since he has two weaknesses: d5-pawn and Black's future K-side passed pawn.>

[2] 33. Kg4 Qd1+ <33. ... Nd1 does not work this time: 34. Qh8+ Re8 35. Qf6+ Qe7 36. Qxe7 Rxe7 37. a6! White does not care about losing the rook! 37. ... Nf2+?? 38. Kf3! and White is now winning. The difference is that from h3 it takes the White king two moves to get to f3 while from g4 it only takes one move. Initially I had 33. ... h5+ as the winning line but after 34. Kg5! (34. Kh3? Nd1 transposes to line [1] where Black has made an extra ... h5 which turns out to be beneficial) 34. ... Qc1+ 35. Kh4 Nc4 36. Bxc4 and this draws I think.> 34. K g3 Qb3+ 35. Kh4 Qxd5 36. a6 Qh5+ 37. Kg3 Qe5+ 38. Qxe5 Rxe5 <this really deserves a diagram:>

click for larger view

White's bishop is completely dominated by the rook (e2 & b5) and the knight (d3 & c4) and therefore can't move, which also means the White rook is out of play. There is no obvious win for Black but he marches his king to Q-side and then starts pushing the c-pawn and the K-side majority.

Jan-23-11  Eyal: <Hesam7> Thanks, I got some similar lines myself (with the help of an engine, of course…) - but I think that in the line 32.Kg3 Qe1+ 33.Kg4 Qd1+ 34.Kg3 Qb3+ 35.Kh4 Qxd5 White can improve with 36.Ba6 (instead of a6) – and with the bishop out the idea of Qh5+/Qe5+, forcing a queen exchange, doesn’t work anymore. What I got as a main line is 36...Nc4 37.Bxc4 Qxc4+ 38.g4 Qe6 39.Qxe6 Rxe6 40.Ra1 Kc8 41.Kg5 and this looks like it boils down to a draw (there are various lines where black keeps the queens on and white’s king *almost* gets mated, but somehow it always manages to escape…).
Jan-31-11  notyetagm:
Feb-01-11  Eyal: < >

I see that in this video, IM Renier also considers 32.Kg3 to be a likely draw. He analyzes 32...Nd3 <32...Nd1 doesn't work here because White has time for 33.Bb5! (threatening Qh8+ and mate) and now Nf2 doesn't come with a check - so Black has nothing better than to force a perpetual with 33...Qe3+ 34.Kh4 (34.Kg4?? Nf2+; 34.Qf3?? Qg5+ 35.Kh3 Re3) 34...Qh6+ 35.Kg3 Qe3+ etc.> 33.Bxd3 Qxd3+ 34.Kh4 Ke8 <unpinning the rook - 34...Qxd5?? loses to 35.Re1, and after an exchange of all the heavy pieces the a-pawn queens> 35.Rf1 <preparing Rf3 to drive away the queen - 35.a6?? Re4+ 36.g4 h6 - threatening g5+ and mate on h3, with decisive attack, e.g. 37.h3 Re3 38.Qh8+ Kd7 39.Qxh6 Qc3 40.Qf4 (to defend f6) Qh8+ 41.Kg5 Re5+> 35...Re4+ <35...Qxd5 36.a6! taking away the b7 square from the black king, to force a perpetual after 36...Qxg2 37.Qh8+ Kd7 38.Qd4+ Kc8 39.Qh8+> 36.g4 Qxd5 37.Qh8+ Kd7 38.h3 Re3 39.Rxf7+! Qxf7 40.Qd4+ and 41.Qxe3.

Other possibilities for Black on move 38 are 38...Qh5+ 39.Kg3 Re3+ 40.Kf4 Qxh3 41.Qd4+ Kc8 42.Qh8+ with perpetual (42...Kb7? 43.a6+! Kxa6 44.Ra1+); and - perhaps the best - 38...g5+ 39.Kh5 Re3 40.h4! gxh4+ 41.Rf5 (41.Kxh4? Re2) 41...Qe6 42.Qd4+ Kc8 43.Kxh4 and Black retains a pawn advantage, but it's very difficult to make progress (for example, if White can exchange queens and trade the Q-side pawns it’s going to be a drawn rook endgame).

So overall, it’s likely that Kramnik’s 27…Qc1+ was objectively inferior than Re8+ and gave Shirov good drawing chances with accurate play. At any rate, from a practical viewpoint the most important factor in the game may have been the fact that due to his prep, Kramnik had to start thinking only from move 25, whereas Shirov had to do that already from move 11 or 12.

Feb-22-12  dumbgai: Once upon a time Shirov had a plus score against Kramnik.
Feb-22-12  Mr. Bojangles: <dumbgai: Once upon a time Shirov had a plus score against Kramnik.>

No way!

Feb-22-12  drnooo: Yes, truly at one point Shirov did know how to beat the tar out of Krammnik. Like a father to his son. But then the son gut bigger and the leather strap found its way into the attic where it has remained ever since
Feb-23-12  dumbgai: Based on games in the CG database, Shirov had +6 against Kramnik until 1999, and -9 since 2000. This includes some non-classical games but overall the trend is clear: the bully has become the bullied.
May-28-12  SamAtoms1980: Few things are bitterer than your own medicine that you get served a dose of.
Mar-11-13  vinidivici: Wow...GOTD!!
Aug-13-14  Xeroxx: Has this been game of the day?
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