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Vladimir Kramnik vs Peter Svidler
World Championship Candidates (2013), London ENG, rd 8, Mar-24
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Modern Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-24-13  csmath: In other words when last rank is weak you want to keep rook close to king as not to lose it!

Now actually thinking about that Rg8 looks even more "reasonable" to me. :-)

Mar-24-13  MeatGrinder: This game looks highly suspect to me. The position was pretty equal till move 25 and none of the GMs & IMs watching and commenting on the game expected Svidler to lose. Yet, somehow he managed to do it by starting to play at a FM level the last 10 moves or so. I guess with Kramnik being the only russian still having a chance to catch the leaders, Svidler did what he had to do... The press conference only reinforced my belief that there is something not quite right with this game.
Mar-24-13  csmath: I think birthtimes posted drawing continuation. It is a bit hard to see it although it was sort of "natural." After that it was really hard to play "right."

Kramnik's play is perfect, just darn machine precision! Rh5 and central break was beautifully creative. He left b6 pawn at the mercy of black and yet it didn't matter.

Mar-24-13  IndigoViolet: <there is something not quite right with this game>

Orders from the Kremlin? Pity they didn't organise it earlier and Kramnik could be +3 already, with another gift from Grischuk to come.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: If Carlsen were to lose to Kramnik tomorrow, then we can all assume the Kremlin gave him an offer he can't refuse.


Mar-24-13  IndigoViolet: In the same vein, I hope Grischuk's got an alibi for the death of Berezovsky.

<I don’t get irritated by very wealthy people, but when someone’s simply stolen 90% of their worth (for example, having attached themselves to the gas pipeline - [Editor's note: a reference to the way many Russian oligarchs earned their money]), then, of course, I feel irritated. Among our oligarchs only Abramovich arouses any sympathy in me.>

Mar-24-13  RookFile: Good for you, Kramnik! Keep it up!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Orders from the Kremlin? Pity they didn't organise it earlier and Kramnik could be +3 already, with another gift from Grischuk to come.>

Speaking of Grischuk, it's a pity they didn't organize it back in 2011, so that Kramnik could qualify to the finals against Gelfand. Also in the 2007 world championship, what were they thinking allowing Morozevich to beat Kramnik and spoil his chances to win.

Mar-24-13  Ulhumbrus: After 16 Bc4 Black has a queen side pawn majority, so why does he not get the advantage?

One answer is that other things are not equal. White has an advantage in space and this leads to White's gaining an enormous lead in development not just for his king but for his pawns as well.

White is playing a king ahead on the queen side whereas Black's king does nothing.

As for White's pawns, after 35 g5 all of White's pawns have crossed the frontier while neither of Black's queen side pawns have even reached it.

All the same, Svidler may have had one alternative to at least one choice. Instead of 18...f6? which gives White time for 19 a4! fixing Black's queen side pawns, 18...b5! starts moving the queen side pawns without delay and this seems to reduce greatly the advantage which White gained in the actual game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Does 31...h5 draw?
Mar-24-13  csmath: You can see in press conference that Svidler had a lot of dilemas what to do. I can completely understand that, it was not easy to make decision and he knew that he has no enough time for proper consideration.

What is amazing is how precise Kramnik played. His play is absolutely wonderful.

Ex-champion Kramnik is a lot more enjoyable to follow than champion Kramnik who was almost "calcified."

Mar-24-13  IndigoViolet: It's true that Kramnik plays more freely as ex-champion, but is it an approach that's justified by results (both in frequency of wins and in win/loss ratio compared to his time as champion)?
Mar-24-13  Jaburu: Leaning what 14,,,Ne5? takes practically at an endgame lost; 14...Kb4+ is only to try something. Grunfeld is in danger in that variant. More ahead leaning that 20...a6 and later more the front 23..h5 would offer more resistance, but the situation after 14...Ne5? it is difficult for black. Kramnik played a notable game, a great game worthy of a former world-champion.
Mar-24-13  Hesam7: 14 Kc2

click for larger view

is a sideline very popular with correspondence players. In his book Avrukh recommends 14...Na5 15 Bg5 Kf8 16 Bf4 Bg4. Very curious opening choice, from press conference after the game:

<<Now it became clear why Kasparov dropped the Grünfeld after game 2 in our match. Finally I showed the refutation of this opening!>

joked Kramnik, which put a little smile even on Svidler's face. On a more serious note, the former World Champion said he analysed his idea 14.Kc2 already during that match. Until recently he didn’t think it was worth trying, but he discovered that "Black in fact has to be very accurate".

Svidler's 14…Ne5 (instead of the more standard 14…Na5 which Kramnik had surely looked at thoroughly) was a good practical decision. But spending half an hour on it wasn't.

<If you're going to play 14…Ne5 you have to do it immediately,>

said Svidler.>

I would really love to know what Kramnik had in store for Avrukh's line ...

Mar-24-13  csmath: I don't remember ever seeing Kasparov commentary of the second game, I'd like to see that. But yes, Kramnik has a quite a reputation of a Grunfeld killer, much the same way Karpov had. Yet Grunfeld lives on!
Mar-24-13  Hesam7: <csmath: I don't remember ever seeing Kasparov commentary of the second game, I'd like to see that. But yes, Kramnik has a quite a reputation of a Grunfeld killer, much the same way Karpov had. Yet Grunfeld lives on!>

Actually in various places in his Modern Chess Series he does talk about that game.

Gruenfeld has been doing great theoretically, it has become harder and harder for White to prove an edge in the main lines, these days White players resort to 3 f3 ...

Mar-24-13  csmath: I have part 2, 3, and 4 but honestly I did not bother to read most of it. :-)
Mar-24-13  Kaspablanca: It is just me or is csmath actually praising this Kramnik game?i mean csmath is the main Kramnik hater of this page.
Mar-24-13  torreAC: Another example of typical western heatred..... just cannt digest when someone other than MC winning.
Mar-25-13  Olsonist: I was hoping this would be a one day GOTD.
Myself, I'm a fanboy of all eight of them.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I heard a rumour that Norse crime boss <don Odin> ordered everyone to lose to Carlsen or "They will sleep with the lutefisk". That's why Magnus is having such a great tournament.
Mar-25-13  Anulaibhar: 23.-Kf7 might be the decisive mistake, according to Andrew Martin. If black first exchanges rooks, and then plays Kf7, white can't play h5, like he did in the game: after 23.-Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Kf7 25.h5? (25.g4 maintains the advantage) gxh5 26.Rh1 Rg8 27.Rxh5 Rg3! 28.Rxh7+ Kg6 29.Rh3 Bxf4! with a won endgame for black.
Mar-25-13  Robyn Hode: Would have preferred 9...0-0 for a faster ...Rd8.
Mar-27-13  MeatGrinder: <Orders from the Kremlin? Pity they didn't organise it earlier and Kramnik could be +3 already, with another gift from Grischuk to come.>

Hmmm, Grischuk lost in a similar fashion... Super GMs losing from equal positions by suddenly starting to play like 2000 Elo patzers. Do I see a patern there?

Mar-27-13  ikipemiko: Something like deja vu from Caracas - one against the Soviet Union (all (but Carlsen) seven players are born in SU).

PS: I am kidding. I hope that Kramnik and Levon can catch Carlsen to make the tournament even more interesting.

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