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Peter Svidler vs Vladimir Kramnik
World Championship Candidates (2014), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 3, Mar-15
English Opening: Symmetrical. Four Knights Variation (A35)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-16-14  visayanbraindoctor:

click for larger view

In the live stream interview, the players described remarkable positions that ensued, such as this, as 'alien'. It's awfully difficult to calculate well in these positions, which I usually describe as 'difficult', 'complicated' or 'bizarre'.

Mar-16-14  visayanbraindoctor: In a bizarre, complicated, difficult, and alien middlegame Kramnik found a humanly near impossible defense, featuring approximately 8 only moves, some of which look computer-like. For all its faults I am highly impressed by Kramnik's defense. He found all the appropriate game saving tactical shots.
Mar-16-14  cro777: Svidler remarked he might have missed a chance to win on 36th move.

Position after 35...Qb5

click for larger view

Here, Svidler played 36.Be1. "I thought what I was doing was very clever but I missed 36...Qe5", he said.

Instead of keeping the queens on the board, he should have played 36.Qxb5.

36. Qxb5 axb5 37. f4! gxf4 38. Bxf4

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White is threatening Bd2.

38...Bf8 is met with 39.Be5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A fantastic defensive achievement. Kramnik can be so hard to beat.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I figured that black had to play for a draw. I got that much right.

But then what's wrong with my move, 46...g4 ? I think white has to play 47. Rg3 to avoid losing, and after 47...Rd2 48. Qg6+ Kh8 49. Qb6 Qxe5 50. Re3 Rxf2+ 51. Kxf2 Bc5 52. Qd8+ Kg7 53. Qd7+ Kf6 54. Qe6+ Qxe6 55. fxe6 g3+ 56. Kf3 g2 57. e7 g1=Q 58. e8=Q Bxe3 59. Qxe3, it looks drawn.

Mar-13-15  patfoley: 46...Qe4 looks like a try for Black. One sequence is 47Kg3 Qh4ch 48 Kg2 Qg4ch 49 Rg3 Qe4 ch
Mar-13-15  M.Hassan: "Difficult"
Black to play 46...?
Black is a pawn down

<if 47.exf6 Qxe8 and White Queen is lost> A) 47.e6 Rxf5
48.Rxf5 Qg4+
49.Kh2 Qxf5
50.Bg3(no other place safer than g3) Qc2+
51.Kh3 Qxb3
52.e7 Qe6+
53.Kh2 Qxe7
54.Qxe7 Bxe7
Black is winning

B) 47.Kg3 Qe4
48.Re3 Qh4+
49.Kg2 Qg4+
50.Rg3 Qe2
51.Re3 Qg4
52.Rg3 Qe2
Draw by repetition.
I get two different results!!
Best to check the game.

Mar-13-15  lost in space: Found 46...Rf6 and the idea to use the queen for a perp. But I was far away from being able to get all the details and options.
Mar-13-15  agb2002: I know this game. No fun today.
Mar-13-15  fisayo123: I already knew the game :)
Mar-13-15  diagonalley: <patfoley> .. i too plumped for 46.... Q-K5 - mostly because it looked to be the only move with some hope. (but i'll claim half a point since krammers played it at move 47)
Mar-13-15  morfishine: Who could forget this one? Being a fan of Svidler & Kramnik, I found myself continuously cheering for both sides

One could find a bunch of puzzle positions in this fantastic game.


Mar-13-15  PJs Studio: I looked at every continuation for black and never considered 46...Rf6. I did give up on black having a winning move and realized he was playing for a draw. (Yeay)

The only move for black that seemed to not immediately wreck his position looked to be 46...g4. Which does nothing. I couldn't find a worthwhile continuation and probably would have resigned. Not a surprise for me when studying Kramnik.

46....Rf6 is a beauty.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 363 days after this game was played, it's a Friday puzzle. I did not get any move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < agb2002: I know this game. No fun today. >

yea we watched it live last year. Still, it was a good defense by Kram.

CG should look deeper into the data base for good but not so recent stuff.

Mar-13-15  trnbg: <al wazir> on 46... g4, White has 47. Re3 and wins (the black rook is lost, as the white e-pawn is no longer pinned).
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < RedShield: Another example of Kramnik's weak opening preparation, especially with black. >

I know its a year late for this, but...
What are you talking about?

They both play right down the middle of a main line in this opening, and the theory is well known to these GM's. At a couple option points, Kramnik chooses moves that give the highest drawing chances, and neutralize any advantage to white. On move 14 Kram plays ..Qc6+ which is a slight improvement over ..Qd7, see Nikolai Vekshenkov vs Ivan Smikovski
TCh-RUS (2001) · English Opening: Symmetrical. Four Knights Variation (A35) · 1/2-1/2

that is if black is looking for more tactics to create winning chances.

I don't remember the live commentary on the game, but from my perspective it is clear that both players were fighting to win. Peter pressed hard to create some winning tactics, and Vlad battled for counter chances. Over all, it was an exciting game out of a fairly quiet line! In it are some good lessons for us lesser than super-GM's.

So i don't know where your criticism comes from, but if there is any substance to it, some analysis and commentary would be appropriate.

Mar-13-15  dfcx: did not get this, after getting all four previous puzzles this week. Was considering 46...g4 failing to 47.Re3

46...Qe4 is more interesting. After 47.e6 Qg4+ I think black has a good chance to draw.

click for larger view

48.Rg3 Qxf5
48.Kh2 Qxf3 with good chance for perp

click for larger view

Mar-13-15  kevin86: Black forces a draw by repetitititititition of moves.
Mar-13-15  stst: 46.......g4 looks good, but is refuted by Re3

Try another line, where the Black Q pins the R, and W & B competes in speed to mate: 46.......Qe4
47 f6 g4
48 Qg6+ Kh8 (if 48 K moves, R will be lost)
49 exd6 Qxf3+ (same, K moves, R lost)
50 Kh2 Qxf2+
51 Kh1 g3
52 f7 Qh2#

time to check...

Mar-13-15  stst: not quite convinced with the game's moves....
Mar-13-15  stst: what can the Black Q do if 47. Re3 instead Kg3?

maybe a series of perpetual checks...

Mar-13-15  M.Hassan: <stst:what can the Black Q do if 47. Re3 instead Kg3?

maybe a series of perpetual checks...>

Chessmaster shows that Black can win:
47.Re3 Qg4+
48.Bg3 Ra6
49.f6 Ra2+
50.Kg2 Qd1+
51.Be1 Qd4
53.Qe3+ Kh8
54.Qh3 g4
55.Qg3 Bc5
56.Bf2 Ra1+!
57.Kg2 Qd1
58.Be1 Ra2+
59.Bf2 Qf1
60.Qg1 Rxf2+
61.Kh1 Qx12+
62.Kxg1 Bxe3

click for larger view

And taking care of White's passed pawns are no problem

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <trnbg: on 46... g4, White has 47. Re3>. Right. Thanks.
Mar-15-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: White is up a pawn and has connected passed pawns, but black's protected passed pawn (g5) is also strong and dangerous. Black has better total mobility because the black rook is in position to contribute lateral checks, but the white rook is not. Of course, white's e5 is pinned, so the attack on Rd6 is inconsequential. At first I thought that black might be playing for a draw, but two things are sure - (1) In a skirmish in the south-east quadrant of the board, queen + rook have an advantage over rook+bishop (2) Q versus B in the northeast quadrant is not a win, and white can not secure even a perpetural check in some circumstances.

My first candidate was 46... g4??, but this pawn is a losing obstacle after 47.Rd3 Q moves 48.exd6 But with a good prep move...

46... Qe4! (threatening g4 winning) 47.Kg3 Qh4+ 48.Kg2 Qg4+ and now:

A) 49.Bg3? Qe4! 50.Kf2 (otherwise g4) Rd2+ 51.Kg1 Qxf3 52.Qg6+ Kh8 53.Qf6+ Bg7 and white is out of useful checks, a rook down.

B) 49.Rg3 Qe4+ 50.Kh2 Rd1 51.Rg1 (to prevent Rh1#) (51.Bb1 Rd2+ 52.Kh3 Qh4#)

I couldn't work it out within my time limit, but I think black needs an error to win. Time for review...

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