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Vladimir Kramnik vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
World Cup (2013), Tromso NOR, rd 6, Aug-27
Slav Defense: Czech Variation. Krause Attack (D17)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-27-13  parrot: Andreikin - MVL
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: I'm sorry for the lame question, but was there a win for white here at any time?
Aug-27-13  Jim Bartle: Diademas: "I'm sorry for the lame question, but was there a win for white here at any time?"

The consensus is 62. Nd7 was a winner.

Aug-27-13  bravado1: Kramnik should work on his endgames. For at least the second time in this tournament, he shows his inability to convert a winning position into a full point (previousely vs. Korobov). If back then the blame could be put on tension, tiredness, etc., here he demonstrates that it was more than just a bad luck or an unfortunate coincidence. It's even more amazing in view of the very long and extremely complex variations he shows during the postmortem at press conferences as well as in interviews.
Aug-27-13  Maatalkko: <Diademas> 62. Nd7! is a tablebase win. You can play through it here At all times after that, the game is a draw.

There may have been wins at an earlier point, but nobody has calculated a 9 piece tablebase, so there is no definitive analysis.

I think people who call Kramnik's 62. Ke4 a "blunder" are full of it. The win relies on a tactic that is very difficult to spot with 2 min on your clock and nobody telling you it's there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <diademas> The win, missed by both Kramnik and MVL, as well as Nigel Short, was spotted by Houdini

62 Nd7 Rf5 63 Rf8+ Kg6 64 Rg8+ Kf7 65 Ke4! Ra5 and now either 66 Nf6 holding onto everything or 66 Rf8+ Kg6 67 Ne5+ Kxg5 68 Rf5+ winning the rook next move

click for larger view

Aug-27-13  Maatalkko: <bravado1> A lot more credit is due to MVL than blame is due to Kramnik. Can you show an improvement to his play? I can't, and nobody else has.

Kramnik only missed one clear win, and it was a study-like endgame position that most of us would find difficult to solve in a book with "White to play and win" marked under it. Kramnik had 2 minutes and such helpful prompt.

(If you think Nd7 is obvious, try to figure out why it wins yourself before reading the solution.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Thank you all. I'll play through it later. At first glance its hard to blame Kramnik. Its not a move that leaps out.
Aug-27-13  Kinghunt: I do not fault Kramnik at all for not finding 62. Nd7. But this is the difference between him and Carlsen - Carlsen would not have missed that.
Aug-27-13  Jim Bartle: <Kinghunt>: "I do not fault Kramnik at all for not finding 62. Nd7."

Why not, when every single kibitzer got it immediately?

After consulting the computer calculation.

Aug-27-13  Maatalkko: <Kinghunt: I do not fault Kramnik at all for not finding 62. Nd7. But this is the difference between him and Carlsen - Carlsen would not have missed that.>

Really? With two minutes on his clock, when Short, Susan Polgar, Kramnik, and MVL all missed it? When the stem move is not really thematic or even logical, and the whole thing relies on a discovered check six moves away? How are you so sure that Carlsen sees that tactic?

I haven't even heard anyone <falsely> claim they saw it by themselves.

In the pre-computer era, Grandmasters printed columns in the Informator or even wrote classic books that overlooked lines less complex than that - and the mistakes slid by for years. But you're sure Carlsen sees it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Kinghunt: I do not fault Kramnik at all for not finding 62. Nd7. But this is the difference between him and Carlsen - Carlsen would not have missed that.>

How big of you to not sit in judgement of Kramnik for his failure to see a resource missed by other GMs who had time to reflect on the position.

The second sentence of the above post is pure rubbish-Carlsen, great as he is, does occasionally make oversights.

Aug-27-13  notyetagm: <perfidious: ... The second sentence of the above post is pure rubbish-<<<Carlsen, great as he is, does occasionally make oversights.>>>>

Like the two drawn <ROOK ENDINGS> that Carlsen has lost this year, especially the one against Caruana from the Tal Memorial.

Carlsen vs Caruana, 2013, 0-1

Carlsen vs Wang Hao, 2013, 0-1

Aug-27-13  Doniez: I just would like to underline that tablebases are engine sequences of moves. If Kramkin did not see his 62nd move to checkmate in more than 30 moves, well, this is simply human! So, maybe tomorrow he will use a novelty and win in 30 moves...
Aug-27-13  notyetagm: <Doniez: ... So, maybe tomorrow he will use a novelty and win in 30 moves...>

Nah, MVL is going to spank Kramnik with <TACTICS> in the rapid games tomorrow.


Aug-27-13  savagerules: After 4 hours of play it's not that unexpected that a player would miss an unusual zwischenzug that would have won the game. I think though that the Frenchman may have a chance to take Kramnik out in the playoffs tomorrow, he should be able to be more alert than the older Kramnik and Kramnik may be a bit disappointed about not winning game 2 on Tuesday.
Aug-27-13  metatron2: <Maatalkko: I had no idea that R vs R + N + p could draw. Incredible game.>

Well, not only R+N+p vs R can draw, it already happened to Kramnik before.. and against a greater player in a bigger match than this one:

Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2000

In that game too, Kramnik missed one tricky win..

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Kramnik perfectly understandably thought that he needed to play Ke4 right away to protect his pawn. He overlooked that black's ruinous rook checks wrecked that plan.

The alternative winning plan for him would have been incredibly precise, seeing 62 Nd7 Rf5 63 Rf8+ Kg6 64 Ng8+ Kf7 and finally 65 Ke4 chases away the rook.

click for larger view

Finesse is still needed after 65...Ra5, with 66 Rf8+ Kg7 67 Rf5!

click for larger view

Now the position looks winnable.

Aug-28-13  Beholder: Carlsen MIGHT have found 62. Nd7 or might not, we'll never know. And so MIGHT have Kramnik -- that is, if not for the 5 hours of play immediately preceding the moment in question.

Most here seem to forget that, or perhaps, having never played tournament chess themselves, they simply have no idea.

Aug-28-13  mrbasso: <Jim>
The point is not 66...Kg7 67.Rf5 which is obvious but 66...Kg6 67.Ne5+! and this is difficult to see in advance. You have to toss away that very important pawn in order to win the rook.
Aug-28-13  Doniez: <notyetagm> as I will be on the beach and the network is poor, please send the update image of the game on the forum. At the end, we will see whether the Caruana killer will crush another BIG player or Kramnik will qualify! Thanks for updating and letting me follow the event! :-)
Aug-28-13  csmath: <62 Nd7 Rf5 63 Rf8+ Kg6 64 Rg8+ Kf7 65 Ke4! Ra5 and now either 66 Nf6 holding onto everything or 66 Rf8+ Kg6 67 Ne5+ Kxg5 68 Rf5+ winning the rook next move>

Winning rook sequence is pretty but

62. Nd7 Rf5 63. Rf8+ Kg6 64. Rg8+ Kf7 65. Ke4! Ra5 [or anything else] 66. Nf6

is really not that hard to find assuming that a player bothers to consider move 62. Nd7 (and 62. Nh7) which in a regular situation master level player would. After all it is only 4 moves.

The basic problem is that Kramnik was tired from already long game so his error is excusable.

Another explanation would be that Kramnik did not see 62. ...Rf5 answer after 62. Nd7. Sometimes you see the move but you do not understand what opponent answer would be so you stop considering the move since you could not make any determination of the continuation. I had this feeling many times and I also had the feeling that kramnik did not see Rf5 in the game there. These are the positions when a lot of mental mirages happen.

On that note one of the main difference between human and chess engine is that we always play against opponent meaning we are likely to chose continuation that we think is the one against the opponent's idea. We always consider what is the next move of the opponent, what he wanted.

For chess engine that is irrelevant, it only considers brute force (with prunning of course) search of all the possibilities and whatever comes with the best evaluation gets on top.

For humans once we cannot determine what the opponent's response would be we tend to either abandon the continuation or waste a terrible amount of time trying to figure out how to proceed.

Dec-25-15  Albion 1959: To bravado 1 - To criticise Kramnik and to say he needs to work on his endgames is harsh and unwarranted. This page contains more than 100 wins in the endgame against grandmasters and other top class players. In this particular game, a winning line was found by a specialist database/chess program. I doubt if a human player could have found Nd7 etc, such a move was even beyond the scope of a former world champion ! A tad harsh to say Kramnik needs to work harder. Also how about a bit of credit to MVL ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Albion 1959: To bravado 1 - To criticise Kramnik and to say he needs to work on his endgames is harsh and unwarranted.....>

I am reasonably certain that one could substitute the name Kramnik with any other top player and broadsides in this vein would be fired at them as well, though Kramnik has roused quite a lot of vitriol in these pages across the years from critics who could not carry his jockstrap.

Oct-11-19  patzer2: While 10...Qb8 does have some subtle points discussed in previous posts, I prefer the more straightforward 10...e6 as in the draw in M Rodshtein vs Bu Xiangzhi, 2012.

Our Opening Explorer indicates Black has had good success with 10...e6, which has been played five times versus only one try here with 10...Qb8.

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