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Alexander Galkin vs Vladimir Kramnik
Russian Championship Superfinal (2011), Moscow RUS, rd 7, Aug-15
Lion Defense: Lion's Jaw (B07)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-15-11  Ulhumbrus: Kramnik offers a piece sacrifice once again but this time it succeeds.

Instead of 13 fxe4, 13 Bd2 unpins the N on c3 without delay, but on 13...exf3 14 gxf3 Black has two pawns for the piece, White has still to castle and both his King side and Queen side are broken.

After 32...Rb4 White's N on a2 is pinned against the potential threat of 33...Qa1 mate and so cannot take Black's Rook on b4.

Aug-15-11  luzhin: It looks as though 30.Qb3 was the blunder, as Kramnik's tactics (with 31...Qa5!) are based on pinning the Q to the K with Rb4. So White had to play 30.Qa2 with the idea of playing Qb3 only when Black plays 30...Qb4+
Aug-15-11  goldenbear: This game makes the people who like to argue that "Morphy, Lasker, etc., would have no chance against your run-of-the-mill modern GM" look ridiculous. Kudos to Tal, er, I mean Kramnik...
Aug-15-11  4tmac: 13. 0-0-0 !? Muzionik strikes again.
Aug-15-11  Devilz: Why play 21. h4 instead of something like Kb2?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: Interesting opening from Kramnik.
Aug-15-11  sevenseaman: Its a farce of a competitive game.
Aug-16-11  Xeroxx: Kramnik
Aug-16-11  Ulhumbrus: After 28...Re5 the Rook will have to lose another tempo going to e4. This suggests playing 28...Re4 at once. One sequence is 28...Re4 29 Nc1 Bc3 30 Nb3 Qd6 threatening 31...e2 as well as 31..Bxb2
Aug-16-11  polarmis: <Ulhumbrus>, isn't mate on h8 a minor problem in that line? :)
Aug-16-11  haydn20: I looked at 13 Bd2 ef; 14 gf e5; 15 Qh4 which seems ok for white. 30. Qb3?? although 30 Qa2 a5 leaves white with problems. This game seems to have more irrational positions the more I look at it. Very unkramnik. P.S. I thought 21 h4 was OK but expected a quicker follow-up with 23 h5. Interestingly, Fritz suggests 24 c3 as good for white.
Aug-17-11  bangkokgambit: Chessbase called it 'funny' variation!
Aug-17-11  LIFE Master AJ: Wow - nice game by Kramnik.
Aug-17-11  LIFE Master AJ: I went through this game about 3 times (quickly) with just my head, no computer.

No moves jump off the page at me ... I don't see a majot blunder by White, just great and bold play by Kramnik.

Aug-18-11  Ulhumbrus: <polarmis: <Ulhumbrus>, isn't mate on h8 a minor problem in that line?> You are right. I have looked for opportunities for White to play Rh8 mate in the sequence and it seems to me that 28 Rh3 threatens 29 Rh8 mate, and that one purpose of 28...Re5 appears to be to obstruct the long diagonal and answer the threat.
Aug-20-11  LIFE Master AJ: In answer to an e-mail ... I would love to see a detailed analysis of this game ... I just have that kind of time, lately. (When I was doing my "Game of the Month," (; I used to spend up to a week picking the game, 2-3 weeks analyzing the game, and sometimes a week (or more) making the web page.
Aug-26-11  Ulhumbrus: The move 4 Ne2 obstructs White's KB. One alternative to it is 4 c3 and 5 Bd3 before playing Ne2
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <9...Bb4>

Pin, mightier than [knight's] sword.

Sep-15-11  crocodile27: Please can you help me to understand this? Why Galkin resign here? It seems to me that white can still play. and my Chessmaster PC game can't come to anything from the last position from which White resign. Can you explain it to me thanks in advance this is my first post
Sep-15-11  Shams: <crocodile27> Here is the final position:

click for larger view

White is losing a rook and a pawn, e.g. 1.Rxc3 exd1=Q+ 2.Kb2 Qxd5 or 1.Rdh1 e1=Q 2.Rxe1 Qxe1+ followed by forking the White king and g2 pawn. White's rook and bishop don't combine very well to make any threats, whereas Black can create passed pawns on either wing (note that he enjoys 2-1 pawn majorities) and since he has a dominating Queen that can fly anywhere on the open board, the win should be easy. Black will have to give up another piece to stop just one of White's pawns, eventually. Kramnik could win such a position in his sleep, so resignation makes sense.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <crocodile> White's d1 Rook is under attack by a Pawn that is about to Queen. It has no viable moves. Any move on the d file and White replies e1Q+ and mates in a few moves. If Rc1, then the simple Qxc1 then e1Q. A Queen and 4 Pawns will crush a Rook, Bishop and 3 Pawns at the GM level. If 36...Re1, then 37. Qxe1 and wins easily. If 36...Rg1 or h1, then 37. e1Q+ Rxe1 38. Re1 and again Q + 4P crushes R+B+3P. So any moves with the d1 Rook are hopeless.
So maybe then 36...Rxc3. Then Black plays exd1Q+ and the same material endgame. And one more plausible try. 36...Bg4 37. exd1Q+ Bxd1 38. Qd2 and White is really crushed.
Sep-16-11  crocodile27: Wow so nice from you guys, I really thank you!!
Oct-06-11  visayanbraindoctor: Galkin must have expected the Berlin, and on to an easy draw. If White wants a draw in the Berlin, it's almost impossible to prevent. The Pirc tripped him out of his comfy opening shoes.

This is the reason why Kramnik should often vary from his Berlin, which is becoming too predictable.

Dec-13-12  Jafar219: What a game!

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