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Levon Aronian vs Vladimir Kramnik
Kramnik - Aronian (2012), Zuerich SUI, rd 6, Apr-28
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-28-12  Mr. Bojangles: Does anyone know why Chessok stopped covering the match?

And been wondering why the site stopped using Rybka?

Apr-28-12  scormus: Something puzzled me about this game. Well, if I hadent spent most of the day out with my wife I'd have probably been puzzled by lots of things. (I got back in just before 38 ... e1=Q)

After 40 Nf5+ I was sure B would keep alive some winning chances with ... Kc6, but insted ... Kc5. I figured I must have missed something so I ran it by Rybka, who gives a slight adv. to B after ... Kc5 but dead drawn (repetitiion) after ... Kc6.

Considering the positive play in game 5 and 6 up till then, I dont know why Vlad didnt go for the win. Or did he have not many seconds for move 40?

Apr-28-12  goodevans: In the final position black has connected passed pawns on the <a-> and <b-files>. White can get himself the same on the <g-> and <h-files> through the <g4>, <g5> manoeuvre. So ostensibly everything to play for.

... However, black's pieces are somewhat better placed to support his advancing pawn than white's and his pawn on <b4> is already more advanced. This gives black the edge in any pawn race.

Because of this, Aronian has little choice but to keep checking on the <b->, <c-> and <d-files>. If Kramnik tries to hide away on the <a-file> then <Nc6> does him in. If he tries to escape via <Ke7> then <Nc2> and <Rb5> will pick off the precious b-pawn. A draw, therefore, is the inescapable conclusion.

Apr-28-12  King Sacrificer: <scormus: ..Considering the positive play in game 5 and 6 up till then, I dont know why Vlad didnt go for the win. Or did he have not many seconds for move 40?>

It seems 40...Kc5 is a blunder. It's not even a safe move, it gets nothing but loses a free move.

Apr-28-12  Edeltalent: Funny how the seemingly doomed ♙e4 (Shipov wrote him off multiple times in his comments) in the end went all the way!
Apr-28-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I think the most sporting thing is to try and win the game. If there is only a draw in the position, fine, but make the other guy play well enough to draw the position.
Apr-28-12  goodevans: <King Sacrificer: ... It seems 40...Kc5 is a blunder.>

It's not so clear to me that it is such a blunder. The play after <40...Kc6 41.Rxa7> is highly complex and it's not clear who would be winning. <40...Kc5> prevents <41.Rxa7> since now <41...b3> is possible (42.Rb7 Bb4).

Apr-28-12  goodevans: <HeMateMe: I think the most sporting thing is to try and win the game. If there is only a draw in the position, fine, but make the other guy play well enough to draw the position.>

As per my earlier post, if either player presses for a win then he will likely end up losing.

Apr-28-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: With correct play, it might be a draw. Or, there might be a win in the position that neither guy has seen, and won't see, until a few more moves take place. Or, even if the position is a draw with best play, one player might err and lose.

Try to be the better player, and make the other guy err.

There is no such thing as "both players losing if either tries for a win". More material can disappear before an obvious draw appears.

Apr-28-12  goodevans: <HeMateMe>

I have already explained how black gets unstuck if he tries to avoid the perpetual check.

If you need convincing that black gains the upper hand if white presses for a win then try this link to Crafty EGT (position after 43...Kb7) http://www.chessvideos.tv/endgame-t...

Of course there is a third option: White could play on "safely" in the hope that black just blunders. A bit of a pointless exercise in my opinion.

The thing is that these guys understand the position in a way that we mere mortals can hardly imagine. They <know> when pressing for a win is foolhardy and suggesting that they should play on anyway is perhaps a little insulting.

Apr-28-12  Edeltalent: <Or, there might be a win in the position that neither guy has seen, and won't see, until a few more moves take place.>

Sounds a bit like Russian roulette. "Let's play on for some more moves to see who'll end up with the bullet (if there is one)..."

Apr-29-12  Rook E1: I don't think this was a draw. Maybe I'm wrong. If it is, prove it to the fans. They are getting paid for this right?

Why draw? They aren't sure who has the edge or one is low on time? Please play these out imo.

Apr-29-12  goodevans: <Rook E1:... They aren't sure who has the edge... ?>

Perhaps it's precisely because they <are> sure who has the edge that it has ended in a draw.

I believe Aronian knows Kramnik has the edge. However Aronian has a perpetual check at his disposal. Are you going to tell him he shouldn't take it?

Apr-29-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <I don't think this was a draw. Maybe I'm wrong. If it is, prove it to the fans. They are getting paid for this right? >

Agreed 100%. It's just exhibition chess. Play it out, and try to win. If the position radically changes, or some material disappears, then a draw may be more apparent.

Double edged position? If you're the better player, shouldn't you lead your opponent into just such positions and make him/her make the first mistake?

It was a nice match, but I like to see the Kasparov/Fishcer type players pound a win out of stuff like this. Korchnoi comes to mind.

Apr-29-12  scormus: <goodevans: <King Sacrificer: ... It seems 40...Kc5 is a blunder.> It's not so clear to me that it is such a blunder. The play after <40...Kc6 41.Rxa7> is highly complex>

My thoughts too. ... Kc6 might win or might lose, while ... Kc5 was a certain draw unless Aronian played 41 Rxa7? Very tough call to make with maybe less than 1 minute.

Apr-29-12  Robyn Hode: The Kramnik-Aronian Snooze Fest continues. The only thing worse would be Leko-Leko.
Apr-29-12  Jim Bartle: "The only thing worse would be Leko-Leko."

Well, by definition a So-So match wouldn't be too great.

Apr-30-12  King Death: So-So doesn't sound too hot to me either but what do I know, I'm just a fish compared to these GMs.
May-02-12  Ulhumbrus: If the exchange sacrifice 31..Rxe3 wins for Black with best play, this suggests avoiding it by eg 31 Nf5
May-02-12  JustWon: 3 Berlins, way to popularize chess for the not so gifted Krammy, you stole the sponsors money. No wonder there are so few tournaments these guys refuse to play exciting chess even in an exhibition. How about returning something to the game that has given you few fortunate ones so much prestige and money compared to those that continue to bravely fight on for scraps.
May-03-12  Robyn Hode: When this is considered an exciting game as is the match it's clear chess has serious problems.

This was boring. Berlins and Semi-Slavs. Both players were content with a drawn match. They offered little and the audience received even less.

What would one expect?

Next up Leko challenges Leko.

May-03-12  Blunderdome: I would rather say if chess fans can't appreciate this game, chess has problems.
Nov-16-13  ChrisWW: I'm aree wih some others others white was close to win, and im sure there was way foer white towin. butdifficult tofind in time.
Oct-24-15  zanzibar: Starting with the position after 29...Rg7

(White to move)


click for larger view

White wants to redeploy his knights. In the game the knights went this way:

<Nf3 -> d2>

<Ne4 -> f2-g4-e3-d5>

g2 is weak, direct attack by rook, x-ray by bishop. So playing f3 blocks x-ray, and gives knight maneuvering square f2.

But was this the best plan?

One drawback was allowing Black uncontested control of d4 after 30.Nfd2, allowing the immediate 30...Nd4 by Black. After allowing Black this White has to worry a little about b3 being weak for a good while.

I think that's why some engines prefer 30.Ned2 over 30.Nfd2 (e.g. Stockfish + Critter).

Also, why such a complicated maneuver to get the other knight to d5, when Ne4-c3-d5 is quicker, and gives the option of b5 as well?

This is basically a setup for a missed tactical I'll post about next.

Oct-24-15  zanzibar: Now, immediately after White gets his knight to d5 Black attacks the weak b3 with the bishop with 36...Bh7-c2:

(White to move)


click for larger view

Aronian protects the pawn by driving the bishop off with 37.Ne3, since Black's lsb is too valuable to give up for a pawn grab.

But White has a slightly stronger move, 37.Ra1. Black's rook is loose, and his c7 is weak. All of which means pawn grabbing isn't allowed:

<37.Ra1 Nxb3 38.Nxb3 Bxb3 39.Ra3 Bxc4>

(Tactical: White to move)


click for larger view

<40.Nxb6+! cxb6 41.Ra7+ Kc6 42.Rxg7 >


click for larger view

And also, more sensible for Black, is this:

<37.Ra1 Ke3 38.Ra7 Rd7 39.Bxc7 Nxb3 40.Nxb3 Bxb3 41.Bxb6 Rxa7 42.Bxa7 Bxc4 43.Ne3 =>

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