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Vladimir Kramnik vs Anish Giri
FIDE World Team Championship (2013), Antalya TUR, rd 7, Dec-03
Slav Defense: Czech. Carlsbad Variation (D17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: 28...Bxg3 looks suspect. He got three pawns for the piece but white has activity. With opposite color bishops and equal pawns surely Anish could have drawn the endgame without the sac.
Dec-03-13  Gryz: 33. .., Rc8, in stead of f3, would probably have drawn the game. So the bishop sacrifice was valid. Giri just didn't follow up properly. He did seem to pick a narrow path though.

When Giri played the sacrifice, things weren't looking good for the Dutch team. On all 3 other boards the Russians had better positions than their Dutch opponents. The Dutch were bound to lose at least one of those games. And thus the team-match. Maybe Giri played this sacrifice in an all-or-nothing attempt to balance the match ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <Gryz> That makes sense. thanks for the background.
Dec-03-13  csmath: We are following the game:

Kramnik vs Anand, 2002

which ended in a draw.

17. ...h5

is a new move, clearly Giri has been preparing this. In some recent games Kramnik have been surprised in the openings (by Svidler, Andreikin). Giri is banking on something like that.

19. a5!

[Kramnik sees no reason to deviate from his plan against Anand.]

21. ...Bxe4

[Giri deviates.]

25. Rd4

and now we can say that black has not equalized.

27. ...Be5?!

[27. ...Rd8?!, 28. Qa4 Rxd1?, 29. Qxd1 Qf7, 30. b3 and black will not be able to defend f and h pawns thus white has significant advantage. Whatever Giri was preparing he is simply outplayed in the opening. The 27. ...Qb3 blocking white pawn on dark square was a better try.]

28. Qb4?!

[Allows the following sacrifice. It is hard to know whether Kramnik wanted to lure Giri into that or did he genuinely overlook the sacrifice.]

28. ...Bxg3

[This is best hope for black since it is clear he will have a hard time defending f and h pawns.]

32. Qd4!

[This is a proper decision, Kramnik does not want to give away h-pawn as in 32. Qxg4?! Rxg4, 33. Bf3 Rxh4 and black has excellent chances for a draw.]

33. Bxc6!

[This is an excellent counter-sacrifice. It has no danger for white while makes black to re-calculate the position with little time left.]

34. ...f3?

[This move loses the game. Proper response was:

33. ...Rc8!
34. Rg2 [bishop is lost due to weak first rank, say 34. Bg2?? Rc1 with mate or material loss] 34. ...Qxh4
35. Qd6+
[35. Be4 f3!, 36. Qe5+ Ka7, 37 Qc5+ with repetition. This all is not so easy to calculate.]

35. ...Ka7
36. Qc5+

with repetition.]

34. Bd7 Qg3
35. Qd6+ Qxd6
36. Rxd6 Qc7
37. Rd5

and now black is lost in ending.


Clean win by Kramnik. Better opening despite Giri's obvious preparation, practical counter-sacrifice at the right moment (when Giri was low on time). This is a practical win, in very important time for team Russia.

Giri might think twice the next time when he gets "prepared" against Kramnik.

Dec-03-13  csmath: Kramnik is a cocky player not afraid of anybody. When he has enough energy and feels that his opponent is not an optimal challenge he will play testy moves and will push for decisive game.

In this particular game Kramnik outplayed Giri in the opening and instead of grinding a win he probably overlooked sacrifice by black. But when he saw that he is in no danger he returned the same favor back even though it was not objectively the best move. It was challenging enough and obviously it was too much of a challenge for Giri.

Giri is no Anand.

Dec-04-13  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 20...Bc7, 20...Bc5 pins the f2 pawn which defends the g3 pawn
Dec-05-13  Fanques Fair: Why not 27..., Rd8 ???

If 28- Qxd8 , Bxd8 , 28 - Rxd8 + , Kh7, White is probably lost ...

Dec-05-13  Fanques Fair: So 29- Qa4 is forced, and after ... Rxd1+ , 30- Qxd1 is very drawish.
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