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Vladimir Kramnik vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
World Chess Championship Candidates (2014), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 7, Mar-21
Queen's Gambit Declined: Ragozin Defense (D38)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-21-14  ralph46: On 48 ..Kg6 49 Rf6 looks strong 49 ..K xf6 50 d8Q+ Kxg6 51 Qe8 + Kf6 51 Qxe6 and 57 c8 Q so icannot see the win Mamedyarow mist
Mar-21-14  ralph46: <haydn> 50 ..kf7 51 Qa8 guarding the f3 point
Mar-21-14  haydn20: < ralph46: I cannot see at which point Mamedyarov had anything close to a win after move 38 white had the threat f4 winning back the sacrificed piece with some advantage so 38 .. Rf4 and so on > 38...Nxf3 29. Kg3 Rg4+ 30. Kxf3 Rg6 and if White doesn't play Rxc8 he get mated starting ...Rf6+
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: The lines from hadyn and Alchemist are demonstrating that Mamedyarov's error was far from obvious. On the official site Houdini thought 48....Kxf8? was the strongest move.
Mar-21-14  haydn20: < ralph46: <haydn> 50 ..Kf7 51 Qa8 guarding the f3 point > 51...Rg4+ 52. Kh5 53. Ne4! and White must give up the Q or be mated immediately.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: <keypusher> Sure, I think Mamedyarov must have missed Qb7, that's the only logical explanation to me. He had a long thought before 43...Bh3 and then 10 more minutes before 44...Rxc3, after which he played very quickly up to and including 49...Kg7. I think he saw the mating patterns and simply overlooked 50.Qb7.
Mar-21-14  haydn20: Frankly, I probably would have played ...Kxf8 in a flash if posters hadn't mentioned that Shak blew it. Once I knew that, I had to chase Fritz (playing White) around awhile until I found the lines (God bless takeback!).
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: And the line with Rg4 (as mentioned by <haydn20> above) and Ne4 fails there because of d8=Q with check (and eventual mate).

I think the main point was that Mamedyarov still had a lot of time at his disposal and didn't take a second look, otherwise I'm sure he would have found the winning line.

Mar-21-14  csmath: 15. a4!
[Aggressive and good.]

18. Nb1
[moving to c3.]

19. ...Qc6!?
[Hesitation? 19. ...Nf8 20. e4 Bb7 21. Rab1 Bc6 and white is better as well.]

White has won the opening battle.

29. e4!?

[It is hard to see how else can white break in though this seems like a opportune try.]

30. exd5?!

[Kramnik overlooks tactics that will turn the game around. 30. Qe3 Nc5! 31. exd5 Qd7 32. Qf3 Nd3 33. Re2! Rxe2 34. Qxe2 Re8 35. Qf3 Bb7 with white still in command of the position.]

31. ...g5!

[This is it. Due to fork Nh3 black has achieved equal game.]

38. Ra8?

[Straightforward with enough poison but leading to a lost position. 38. Nb5 is stronger and leads to equal game.]

39. ...Rxf3?

[...Nxf3! 40. Kg3 Rxg4+! 41. Kxf3 Rg6 and it is black that has a dominant passer on h-line. This position is likely lost for white.]

40. d6?
[Rbb8! Rxc3 41. Rxc8 Rc2 42. Kg3 Rc3 and draw.]

43. Rd8

[Poisonous move.]

48. ...Kxf8?

[48. ...Kg6!! 49. Rg8 Kh6! 50. Rxg5 (else white gets mated with Rg4) ...Rh2! 51. Kg3 Bxd7 and black has won ending.]

49. ...Kg7?!

[49. ...Kf7 50 Kh5! Bg4 51. Kh6 Ne6 52. Qe8+ is won for white but it is somewhat harder.]

50. Qb7

Omnipotent queen easily dominates the board.

Dominant opening for Kramnik, bad execution, almost lost and then turnaround by a single bad move by Mamedyarov. Surely interesting game.

Mar-21-14  haydn20: csmath <38. Ra8? [Straightforward with enough poison but leading to a lost position. 38. Nb5 is stronger and leads to equal game.] 38. Nb5 is a nice find, but takes a strong stomach for rough tactics. Oddly 38. Re1 leads to dead equality (I think!).
Mar-21-14  ralph46: <HAYDN20>
i do not have an engine but i looked carefully at the position after 38 moves ...Rf4 now Kramnik played 39 f3 which is a mistake black should win after NXf3 so instead of f3 white should play Rbb8 menacing Rxc8 to me it looks that white has very good chances to win but i admit it was very complicated position it was easy to go astray
Mar-21-14  Kaspablanca: No matter who wins here, Carlsen would defend his title easily.
Mar-21-14  RedShield: Let's call the whole thing off, shall we?
Mar-21-14  csmath: <Oddly 38. Re1 leads to dead equality (I think!).>

38. Re1 Rxe1
39. Rxc8 Nf3
40. Rf8+ Kxf8
41. d8Q+ Kg7
42. Qc7 Kh6
43. Kg3 Rg1

looks like a draw if black wants it but:

44. Kh3 Ng5
45. Kh4 Rh1
46. Kg3 Rf1
47. Qxa7 Rg1
48. Kh4 Rh1
49. Kg3 Rh3
50. Kg2 Rxc3

and I am not sure white can consider this a great position.

There is enough of wild game here and all it seems favors black.


Mar-21-14  csmath: Kramnik took serious risks today, overlooked some tactics and in the end was rewarded for enterprising chess though he could have lost the game as well.
Mar-21-14  Mr. Bojangles: The take away from today's game is this.

If you are losing, don't resign.

You must play on until your opponent convincingly demonstrates the winning sequence.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: That great master of the obvious, <Mr B>, is at it again.

Guess some people feel the need to come it over on their audiences to 'prove' superiority.

Mar-21-14  Nerwal: After 28 moves white seems to have a great position but unfortunately for him not as good as it looks (in the old days it would be called strategically won but computers know better nowadays...). One can seriously doubt whether Karpov or Carlsen would have gone for the very direct 29. e4; probably they would have at least postponed such a committing decision for a few more moves to see how black does react. Maybe 29. a5 was a better practical choice; white has some interesting ideas there like the threat of ♖b6, without changing the nature of the position.
Mar-21-14  csmath: I think 29. e4!? moment was "now or never" for Kramnik. He had to win the game and could not afford black to consolidate center.

For example

29. a5 Ne6
30. Qf3 Qd7

and 31. e4?? is not possible because of 31. ...Nxd4.

It is hard to find entry point though obviously white is still better.

Mar-21-14  ralph46: <haydn20> You are right 50 ..Kf7 wins i missed Ne4 move lol but anyhow 39 Rbb8 instead of f3 would have posed black serious problems to solve check it out with the engine
Mar-21-14  Nerwal: <I think 29. e4!? moment was "now or never" for Kramnik. He had to win the game and could not afford black to consolidate center.>

From the press conference we get the impression that Kramnik thought his position was technically won in many ways, he grew impatient and wanted to play a forcing win and thought he had it with 29. e4. Maybe he underestimated the overall difficulties (again, this position looks so good to a strategic player...).

Maybe this position is simply not winning. In this case it becomes a practical decision, white has to decide where black has the most chances to go wrong. Given the usual deficiencies of human play (we play badly passive positions where there is little to do), there is a case for waiting for a better opportunity, as black can only marginally improve his position and lacks of a real freeing move (f5 is possible but doesn't seem to solve the main problems).

Mar-21-14  csmath: If you follow Kramnik's press conferences he always thinks he is winning and his opponents survive by a "miracle." This is either a strength (confidence) or a weakness (arrogance) depends how one sees it.

He had a commanding position after the opening but to claim that was winning is a bit of a stretch. I think he played well until he overlooked g5 counterstrike.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If Kramnik truly believes such statements, that would be a surprising lack of objectivity for a top GM.
Mar-22-14  RedShield: Hair-raising game. Hope to see Kramnik annotate it, because I doubt Shak will. Seems that Vlad's first move after the time control was an error. 41.Rd8! should draw. Sample line: <41...Bh3+ 42.Kh1 Rxc3 43.d7 Re2 44.Rg1 Bf5 45.Rf8+ Kxf8 46.d8=Q+ Kf7 47.Qd5+ Be6 48.Qxe6+ Ne6 49.Rf1+ and Queens.>
Mar-30-14  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 14...b5 at once 14...a6 prepares this advance
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