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Sergey Karjakin vs Vladimir Kramnik
World Chess Championship Candidates (2014), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 9, Mar-23
Formation: Queen Pawn Game: London System (D02)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-23-14  Ulhumbrus: Kramnik agreed with Karjakin that 7...dc was a blunder and said that he did blunder occasionally in tournament games. Kramnik said that he overlooked that on 10...Bb4 White could ignore the double attack on his queen's knight and just play 11 Bxc4. 11...Nxc3 does not work because Black's king's bishop is attacked and White can just take it by 12 Qxb4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Man, whatever VK had planned in this opening, it took a horrible beating.
Mar-23-14  Marmot PFL: The London System, popular with players who don't want to learn lots of theory. Not too dangerous if black trades the Bf4 with Nh5 or Bd6, but failing to do this can cause problems. 7...Qb6 should also be good.
Mar-23-14  konstantin71: 7...dxc4?? (C) Kramnik
Mar-23-14  csmath: 7. ...dxc4?!

[Very risky play by Kramnik though it is understandable that he plays for a win.]

10. ...N5b6

[...Bb4 11. Bxc4! and with threat Bxd5 black has nothing better than 11. ...Bxc3 12. bxc3 0-0 13. 0-0 Nxc3 14. Rfc1 and black strategy proves to be faulty. The control of diagonal h2-b8 is essential here.]

17. ... Nb6

[Black has achieved active game for a price of two pawns. He should be able to return one of the pawns but at the price of exchanges. Kramnik does something else.]

24. ...Nd7!?

[This retreat of knight leads to lost position although it is impossible to find any better plan.]

26. ...Qe8!?

[Position is already lost and Kramnik is simply powerless.]

28. ...Ng6

[...Rxc3 29. Rxc3 Rxc3 30. Qxa6 is simply hopeless.]

30. ...e5!
[Last attempt, protecting h-pawn and trying to muddy the position.

30. ...Nxh4 31. Bxh4 Qxh4 32. Rh1

is completely lost.]

31. Rh1?!
[Safe response. 31. dxe5 Nxh4 32. Bxh4 Qxh4 33. e6 wins as well.]

33. ...Qe8
[...Qxd5 34. exd5 Rxa3 35. e6! fxe6 36. Be5 with completely lost position.]

Karjakin forces exchange of queens anyway leaving black is lost ending.

37. ...Nd4?!

[...Ra8 was not attractive either but it was more resilient to attempt to stop a-pawn on a6.]

39. e6!
[Creating second passer and opening position for bishop. The game is now effectively over.]

The end is entertaining but never in doubt.

Karjakin wins against opponent that took too much risk and could not prove his faulty strategy. Mirror image of his win against Svidler the round earlier.

Mar-23-14  Robyn Hode: Play the Grunfelf vs London System, and not with c6, too passive.
Mar-23-14  csmath: In the light of this game it is warranted to label 7. ...dxc4 with "?" as Kramnik has not proven the value of this move.

Was this according to some analysis or just a spur of the moment?

Mar-23-14  RookFile: The final position is somewhat ironic, because it reminds us how how Kramnik won his world championship match against Topalov.
Mar-23-14  morfishine: This hard to explain, but hey, its the Candidates
Mar-23-14  Wyatt Gwyon: People love to talk @#$% about the London System. Then games like this happen.
Mar-23-14  RedShield: Seems poor Vlad can't get London out of his system. Will the world forever be denied a match between him and Magnus?
Mar-23-14  Shams: <Wyatt Gwyon> I think everyone would play it if they could be assured of seeing <7...dxc4>.

Out of curiosity, do you remember another recent triumph for the London System? I know Kamsky plays it all the time, but I don't think he's been getting much out of it.

Mar-23-14  chess gunners: I think Kramnik trying to annoy this variation -> 7...Bf3 8.gf3 Qb6 9.c5!

click for larger view

and white gets clear advantage in Q-side

Mar-24-14  hedgeh0g: 7...dxc4??

My first thought was that Kramnik had simply mixed up a move-order here, but it's hard to think of a plausible variation where Black takes on c4 in this line.

Kramnik's comment that this was based on a simple miscalculation was a little surprising, because I just assumed these guys knew these lines/structures well enough to avoid these early blunders, but such a demanding tournament can take its toll, I suppose.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Robyn Hode: Play the Grunfelf vs London System>

You mean <3... g6 4.Nc3 Bg7>, aka <The Barry Attack>?

click for larger view

Opening Explorer

Sep-23-16  KnightOwl2: Why not 32...R
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <KnightOwl2: Why not 32...Ra3?>

The response may well have been 33.e6, with the idea of 33....fxe6 34.Qb2 and wins.

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