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Vladimir Kramnik vs Luke McShane
London Chess Classic (2012), Olympia, London, rd 5, Dec-06
Slav Defense: Chameleon Variation (D15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-06-12  Blunderdome: Kramnik, McShane, and Short all agreed that white was in control all the way from the first exchange sac or somewhere around there, but the engines dropped their eval to a smaller plus for white around the time control. Did McShane have a save somewhere?
Dec-06-12  dumbgai: Not quite. Houdini hates 40. Qd2 even though it's a natural looking move, threatening the royal fork Nd7+. Instead of repeating the position, McShane could have played 40...Bg5 (admittedly a very awkward-looking computer move) 41. Nd7+ Kc8 (only move) 42. Qd1 (42. Nxc5 Bxd2 is an option for white to enter what looks like a winning endgame to me, but it's not necessarily easy to convert) Rd8 (another only move) 43. Qg4 Qc1+ 44. Kg2 Kc7, and the black pieces are set up for a much tougher defense. But even here white's advantage is about +1.7 (depth=20) after 45. Nb6.
Dec-06-12  Bartimaeus: Beautiful game from Kramnik, one sac after another :) Superlative tactics. The black king was always searching for peace and ultimately he was made to rest in peace.
Dec-07-12  Hesam7: <dumbgai: Not quite. Houdini hates 40. Qd2 even though it's a natural looking move, threatening the royal fork Nd7+. Instead of repeating the position, McShane could have played 40...Bg5 (admittedly a very awkward-looking computer move) 41. Nd7+ Kc8 (only move) 42. Qd1 (42. Nxc5 Bxd2 is an option for white to enter what looks like a winning endgame to me, but it's not necessarily easy to convert) Rd8 (another only move) 43. Qg4 Qc1+ 44. Kg2 Kc7, and the black pieces are set up for a much tougher defense. But even here white's advantage is about +1.7 (depth=20) after 45. Nb6.>

Engines really prefer 40 Qe6, but 40 Qd2 does not spoils anything. After your line: 40...Bg5! 41 Nd7 Kc8 42 Qd1 Rd8 43 Qg4 Qc1 44 Kg2 Kc7 45 Nb6

click for larger view

The Rook can not move, 45...c5?? loses to 46 Bd5, 45...h5? 46 Bh5 just loses a pawn, 45...Kd6?? 46 Qe6 is another quick defeat and the Queen has to defend the g5-Bishop. Out of the 36 legal moves that eliminates all but eight: ...Kb8, ...Kb7, ...Be7, ...Bf6, ...Bh6, ...Be3, ...Qd2 and ...h6. One can easily verify that all these moves lose as well.

So while 40 Qd2 allows for a tactical shot it does not change the evaluation of the position and for good reason, look at the diagram above, White has 3 connected passed pawns for the exchange and a much safer King with the Queens on the board.

Dec-07-12  Hesam7: <dumbgai> the endgame you mention should also be winning because White has a neat tactical trick up his sleeve: 40...Bg5! 41 Nd7 Kc8 42 Nc5 Bd2 43 Bc4!

click for larger view

43...Re8 (the point is that 43...Ba5?? loses the Rook after 44 Ba6. White can fork the Rook and King after all three possible Black moves!) 44 Nb3 Be1 (otherwise White will play Ba6 on the next move) 45 f3 (45 Ba6? Kc7 with ...Ra8 or ...Rb8 to follow would be a mistake):

click for larger view

Dec-07-12  Naniwazu: I remember how boring Kramnik's play seemed last year in the Candidates tournament. His play this year couldn't be more different. It's full of youthful energy. Kramnik is unrelenting in his attack in this game. I espcially like the subtle moves 17. a5 and 28. e4. The first allows White to play Ra4 attacking the c4-pawn the second vacates the square e3 for the knight.
Dec-07-12  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 17...Rc8 17 ..Nxa1 18 Qxa1 Be7 prepares to castle. McShane declines to take a rook for a knight but he ends up taking a rook for his queen's bishop instead, a more valuable piece than his knight.
Dec-08-12  hytvfjdo: I'm surprised Kramnik didn't play 47. Qb6 which wins the black queen. Perhaps he was low on time.
Dec-18-12  Ulhumbrus: Kramnik knows how to cause trouble for his opponent from a Catalan opening!

Considering the trouble that the moves 13 Bg5 and 14 Bxf6 cause for Black, this suggests 12...Be7 instead of 12...Nc5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <capanegra: McShane spent more than an hour for the move 17ÖRc8. After that, he had around five minutes remaining to make more than 20 moves.>

Hmmm that puts a different perspective on things.. I like 17.a5 but is 17..Na1 that bad ?

Beautiful game by Kramnik and very impressive.

Jun-22-13  Karpova: Annotation by Damljanovic:
Jun-24-13  notyetagm: Kramnik vs McShane, 2012

This game just won the <BEST GAME PRIZE> for Chess Informator 116.

Jun-24-13  notyetagm: Game Collection: KRAMNIK'S BEST GAMES
Mar-16-19  devere: Not a good problem because almost everything wins for White. Best is probably 26.Qh5, but Rd5 or b3 are also very good. Black should have answered 26.Bd5 with h5, but White still wins after 27.Nd7+
Mar-16-19  Steve.Patzer: Stockfish prefers 26. Qh5.
Mar-16-19  Walter Glattke: Interesting was 26.b4 Qxb4 27.Nxe5 fxe5!? 28.Qxe5 Rg8 29.Nd7+ Rxd7 30.Rxd7 Qb1+ 31.Bf1 Qb4 32.Bxb5 axb5 33.Rxb7 Qd6 34.Rb8+ Qxb8 35.Qxb8+ Kg7 36.Qxb5 with white advantage, a-pawn wins.
Mar-16-19  1stboard: Blacks pawns fell like ripe apples after all the sacrifices .....
Mar-16-19  Chris Bennington: So what is wrong with the simple 26. Rd7? That seems to at least win a piece.
Mar-16-19  The Kings Domain: Good puzzle and a deep and complex game. Impressive nugget by Kramnik.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight for a rook.

The obvious 26.Nd7+ Rxd7 27.Rxd7 loses to 27... Qxc4.

I've considered Rd7 (with the idea Qh5), Rd5 (with the idea Rxe5 fxe5 Nxe5), b4 (to divert the queen from e5), Bd5 (to aim at f7 and with the ideas Qh5 and Nxe5) and Qh5 but haven't found anything clearly decisive.

Mar-16-19  scormus: Yes, a difficult and complex puzzle with no clear winning line, at least none that I could find.

FWIW I thought 26 Rd7 but not sure how to continue. My engine gave Rd7 as playable (+1.40) but preferred Bd5 and Qh5 (both +1.68). Seems to confirm there is no easy win.

Mar-16-19  boringplayer: What a game!
Mar-16-19  RandomVisitor: After 17.a5 could black equalize with 17...Bc5?

click for larger view

Stockfish_19031208_x64_modern: <52 minutes computer time>

51/36 <0.00 17...Bc5> 18.Ra4 Nxa5 19.Nxc4 Nc6 20.e3 b5 21.Nxf6+ Qxf6 22.Bxc6+ Ke7 23.Nd2 bxa4 24.Ne4 Qg6 25.Bxa8 Rxa8 26.Nxc5 Bh3 27.Qd5 Rd8 28.Qxe5+ Kf8 29.Qc7 Rd2 30.Qb8+ Kg7 31.Qe5+ Kf8

Mar-16-19  landshark: Clearly above my pay grade. The move I chose, assuming it was a real game with me to move, was 26.Rd7 maintaining a strong position with a lot of chess still to play - Not bad from the engine eval standpoint, only 0.28 points below the optimal move - presupposing of course I follow it to the finish with accurate moves!

A comment about CG's puzzle selections of late - I actually appreciate not knowing exactly how hard a given puzzle will be on any given day - this is a lot more like real life on the chessboard to me.

Jan-04-20  dumbgai: Always interesting to check the POTD or GOTD and seeing my own comments from many years ago (which I donít remember making).
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