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Vladimir Kramnik vs Sergey Karjakin
World Championship Candidates (2014), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 2, Mar-14
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Central Variation. Alekhine System (D20)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-14-14  dehanne: First.
Mar-14-14  RedShield: Another example of Kramnik's weak opening preparation.
Mar-14-14  KingPetrosian: That game was absolutely crazy! I had no idea what was going on.
Mar-14-14  MrSpock: 9. a3N is a novelty!
Mar-14-14  Eisenheim: most entertaining game so far. too former champs strike first
Mar-14-14  visayanbraindoctor: <Eisenheim: most entertaining game so far> Kramnik does the traditional R vs N sac on a bishop three square. I agree it's the most interesting game so far. After a dubious opening by Karjakin, Kramnik never lets go.

<Kramnik's weak opening > Kramnik's Whites are definitively not weak.

Mar-14-14  Makavelli II: I saw some enterprising and energetic play from Kramnik and Karjakin in this game. 9.a3 was certainly new to me in a QGA of this opening variety and when I was looking through the game on the game viewer here when Kramnik played 26.Rc1 I thought Rb1 looked better but Houdini seems to like Ra1 :) A fantastic game of chess and great to see another decisive game from one of the big hitters in these candidate match-ups.
Mar-14-14  mrsaturdaypants: Kramnik tends to play for a draw with black. Is that why his black openings are considered weak?
Mar-14-14  kia0708: BRILLIANT
Mar-14-14  Refused: <mrsaturdaypants: Kramnik tends to play for a draw with black. Is that why his black openings are considered weak?>

Probably what Grischuk meant, when he called Kramnik's opening preparation bad.

Kramnik has nothing <useful> if he needs a win with black and is confronted with 1.e4

You can check out last year's candidates tournament, what he played in that situation against Ivanchuk.

Mar-14-14  Robyn Hode: Amusing how people who couldn't carry Kramnik's shoes think his repertoire is weak--or that what he once played he will continue to play till the end of time.
Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: heavy home prep? very sharp.
Mar-14-14  James Bowman: Ok so this isn't going to be a boring affair.
Mar-14-14  visayanbraindoctor: I meant in general R vs minor piece sac on a Bishop three square. It was a bishop Kramnik took. Not a Knight.

<think his repertoire is weak> It was Grischuk who first mentioned this in public, and if he was not being sarcastic, he was most probably referring to Kramnik's Blacks.

<Refused: what he played in that situation against Ivanchuk.>

Ivanchuk actually opened with d4.

Ivanchuk vs Kramnik, 2013

One of the crucial games of chess history. Had Kramnik won or drawn, he would have ended up as Challenger to Anand; and I would even favor him of retaking the title given Anand's lackluster form that year. Carlsen would have to wait for another year for a Title shot. The World Champion today would still be Anand and more probably IMO Kramnik.

And what does Kramnik play? The Pirc! Certainly not a winning weapon and an opening that many masters consider somewhat more as belonging to the dubious side.

Mar-14-14  another user: <And what does Kramnik play? The Pirc!>

In one interview Kramnik said that he would be grateful if someone showed him an opening that allows Black to play for a win against 1. d4 when White is content with a draw.

Mar-14-14  Ulhumbrus: When Karjakin went after White's c4 pawn by 21...Rde8 trying to displace White's queen from its defence he may have overlooked the brilliant exchange sacrifice 23 Rxc6!!

This suggests that the capture Rxc6 has to be considered a potential threat after 19 Rc5 and that after 17...Bc6 the bishop becomes a potential target for the attack Ra1-a5-c5.

In that case an alternative to 17...Bc6 is 17...Nd5 18 Ra5 b6 or even 17...a5

Mar-14-14  Rama: What about 18. ... Na4, threatening 19. ... b6. An Anand in reverse
Mar-14-14  csmath: Looks like the last dozen or so moves were played in time constraints because it is not exactly precise chess.

Nevertheless fairly aggressive chess for the second round, I guess this answers the question about Kramnik's motivation.

Mar-14-14  naufallabs: Maybe if karjakin not accept queen gambit i think he can draw
Mar-14-14  patcheck: What happens if after 23. Rxc6 black answers 23. ... Nxe3 (instead of 23. bxc6) ?

I think white should'nt play 24. fxe3 because of 24. ... Qxe3 + followed by 25. ... bxc6.

So white best answer seems to me : 24. Nxe4 bxc6 (24. ... Nxf1 ? 25. Qxb3) and now white has two answers : 25. fxe3 or 25. Qxe3. I think 25. fxe3 is better to avoid exchange queens being down an exchange.

But I think that this continuation could be better for black.

And also black could play this way : 23. ... Nxe3 24. Nxe4 Qd3 !? and white has three main continuation I believe : 25. fxe3 / 25 .Qxe3 / 25. R6c1.

So, what do chessgame viewers and computers think about this line ?

Mar-14-14  Refused: <visayanbraindoctor: I meant in general R vs minor piece sac on a Bishop three square. It was a bishop Kramnik took. Not a Knight. <think his repertoire is weak> It was Grischuk who first mentioned this in public, and if he was not being sarcastic, he was most probably referring to Kramnik's Blacks.

<Refused: what he played in that situation against Ivanchuk.>

Ivanchuk actually opened with d4. >

Ah, I knew it was pirc, but I did not remember it started with 1.d4

Kramnik also tried the Pirc or Modern defense against Grischuk in the candidates cycle before that in a must win situation, that might have also been influenced by the fact it was just a blitz game. Though, Kramnik really seems to struggle a bit getting fihgting positions as black. In his younger years he used to play the sicilian quite frequently, but I really can't remember when he last played a sicilian on top level. In that respect Svidler seems a bit better equipped, because he has a wider arsenal of openings. Kramnik is ofc still the better player.

Mar-14-14  fgh: <Kramnik has nothing <useful> if he needs a win with black and is confronted with 1.e4

You can check out last year's candidates tournament, what he played in that situation against Ivanchuk.>

Ivanchuk played 1. d4.

Anyway, I too find it disappointing that Kramnik has nothing aggressive against 1. e4. Although Kramnik has experimented a lot in recent years, he has not experimented with replies to 1. e4. Why not try the Classical French?

Mar-14-14  Fanques Fair: Very nice game. Kramnik can still bite hard .
Mar-14-14  Fanques Fair: It seems 9-... N4d5 could be a better try, to blocade the d4 pawn.
Mar-14-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: A theoretically important novelty. Kramnik prepared it one year ago (for the 2013 Candidates).

Kramnik: "9.a3 will open a new direction in the theory of this opening".

Queen's Gambit Accepted: 3.e4 Nf6, 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Be3

(This variation leads to sharp play. The alternative 7.Ne2 leads to the more quiet play).

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 Nf6 4. e5 Nd5 5. Bxc4 Nb6 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Be3 Nb4 8. Be4 f5


click for larger view

Here, the main line is <9.exf6>. White doesn't continue with the central pawns now that with 8...f5 he has gained a concession from Black (king's weakness), and piece play can become prevalent.

In this game Kramnik introduced <9.a3>, a very interesting new idea which he had already prepared for last year's Candidates' Tournament.

Karjakin said that he had been outplayed basically from the start. Kramnik praised the opponent for finding several computer moves in a row.

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