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Vladimir Kramnik vs Evgeny Tomashevsky
Tal Memorial (2012), Moscow RUS, rd 6, Jun-14
Semi-Slav Defense: Accelerated Meran Variation (D45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: The resignation seems a little premature here - or did Black run out of time?
Jun-14-12  Calar: It's a forced mate in 23 moves. Check for yourself:

Tomashevsky probably saw winning plan by White and decided to resign.

Jun-14-12  Sleeping kitten: Black probably resigned because he can't keep his rook on the sixth range, which allows a decisive king step next move.
Jun-14-12  solskytz: The resignation isn't premature as Tomashevsky loses his rook immediately or concedes his 3rd rank to Kramnik's king, without ever having a way of getting it out of there. This will lead at least to the pawn being lost, and ultimately to mate
Jun-14-12  solskytz: Did Kramnik just break his rating record on the live list? Not to mention threatening the #2 post (and signalling to Carlsen to watch out for his #1)
Jun-14-12  Ulhumbrus: The move 28...Nb4 allows the fork 29 Rd6 which gains a pawn. This suggests 28...Rc6 in order to keep white's rook out of the sixth rank.

66...Kxf4 wins a pawn but it is too late because after 67 e6 White's e pawn has become too strong

Jun-14-12  Ulhumbrus: <Eggman: The resignation seems a little premature here - or did Black run out of time?> I would guess Black's rook has run out of moves. If it leaves the sixth rank white can play 84 Kf6 threatening Qd8 mate and apart from that wherever the rook does go the white queen can force black's king and took into a fork by the right selection of checks
Jun-14-12  Marmot PFL: 68...Na4 threatening Nc5+ draws easily. A 2700 player should not miss that. At first I was suspicious of some kind of deal made during the game (after Moro lost) but now I think it was probably just tiredness.
Jun-14-12  whiteshark: <42.f5+!> should have won quite easily. I wonder why Kramnik missed this opportunity?

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Jun-14-12  Whitehat1963: Impressive endgame accuracy on Kramnik's part.
Jun-14-12  luzhin: Of course if 73...Kxd5 74.Nd8! wins.
Jun-14-12  Eyal: <42.f5+! should have won quite easily. I wonder why Kramnik missed this opportunity?>

click for larger view

He actually missed two clear wins in this move... The other one is <42.Re6+!> Rxe6 43.f5+ Kh5 44.fxe6 Nd6 45.gxf6 gxf6 46.Kf4 followed by e4 & Nf5 (46...Kxh4 loses immediately to 47.Nf5+).

Jun-14-12  visayanbraindoctor: <whiteshark: <42.f5+!> should have won quite easily. I wonder why Kramnik missed this opportunity?>

<Eyal: He actually missed two clear wins in this move... The other one is <42.Re6+!>>

Kramnik no doubt saw your suggestions, but I think what happened was that he got misled by the notion that he could trap Black's King on the h-file, perhaps create a mating net around it, and thus end the game much sooner. That's why he lured it to the side of the board with h5?!. It backfired on him; Toma's King became more active instead of getting trapped.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: If 63...Kxf4?, then 64.Kb7!
Jun-15-12  Ulhumbrus: 12 Nd2 begins preparations for the attack a4. Black will concede the bishop pair in an initial attempt to answer it but White will play a4 in the end all the same.
Jun-15-12  micartouse: Old school Kramnik win. The opening reminds me of the great game 4 from the London 2000 match - it took a lot of guts for Tomashevsky to play such an endgame against the one who rules in those realms.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Well, yes, it is a forced mate in 23, but these are difficult endings, and often there are subtle stalemate traps. Black should have kept on fighting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  boz: <it took a lot of guts for Tomashevsky to play such an endgame against the one who rules in those realms.>

Either that or he just sighed and submitted to the inevitable.

Jun-17-12  Willace88: 28. ... Rc6 loses a pawn to 29. Nxe6, undermining black's knight.
Jun-18-12  Eyal: Vladislav Tkachiev on the game:

<A lot changes in chess, but it seems not everything! Previously, in order to find new ideas in the opening, you needed to look at Kramnik's games – and you also need to now. After 5...e6 we were again plunged back to the Tretyakov, and then Volodya for the umpteenth time showed a promising new line – 6.Bd3. Until then that had been considered very modest, the bishop would move twice, but already after 9.Be2 (ultimately the bishop moved three times!) it became clear what White wanted. He wanted to switch to a very slightly better ending, which Volodya had already shown how to play against Kasparov! [I suppose he means Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2000 ]

White rushes the knight to b3, puts pawns on f3 and e4, limiting the b7-bishop, and gets down to work on the weaknesses on Black's queenside. And if everything works out for him it'll become extremely unpleasant for Black to play. [...] But... despite that idea for a long time Tomashevsky simply played brilliantly! The cost of each move for Black was very high, but Evgeny didn't once give any reason to doubt him.

Black managed to avoid prolonged and painful pressure – and there was actually equality on the board! If Tomashevsky had played 26...a5 then nothing interesting would have awaited us in this game. He'd have made a draw, regardless of how much time he had left – shortly afterwards there'd just be nothing left to play with.

But he played 26...Kf7? It's very easy to understand that move, but after 27.Ra5! Kramnik didn't miss the chance to transform the position. The whole problem was that White ended up with a very tricky knight: when it stands on d3 it defends b2, and when it jumps to c5 both weak black pawns – on a6 and e6 – are under attack. Those are both very important: e6 especially is next to the king and supports the d5-knight. Problems...

I've got a very strong suspicion that by that point Tomashevsky was already in serious time trouble, because he didn't deal with his problems in the coming moves. And already after the first time control there was a 4 v 3 ending that was won for Kramnik. Yes, it was won, and not even in just one way. But... here it's probably necessary to repeat ourselves and say once more that after getting a won ending Volodya starts to "work wonders". And, of course, it's hardly a matter of a lack of technique, as Kramnik's technique is, it seems to me, in order. He simply doesn't have the physical stamina.

What Carlsen can always, or almost always, hold, Kramnik has very rarely held of late. And... a comedy of errors began. From both sides. I can only imagine Kramnik's reaction if it had ended as a draw – which everything pointed towards! And while there were objective reasons for Tomashevsky's tiredness – he'd come up with wonderful moves that would sometimes suffice for a whole tournament, Kramnik had less excuse. He'd made significantly fewer moves at the boards before getting a won position.> (

Jun-18-12  Shams: <Eyal> Thanks. Tkachiev has a knack for explaining things; I should visit his site more often.

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