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Sergey Karjakin vs Vladimir Kramnik
Norway Chess (2014), Stavanger NOR, rd 8, Jun-12
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange. Positional Variation (D35)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-12-14  DcGentle: Table bases say it's mate in 32.
Jun-12-14  john barleycorn: < DcGentle: Table bases say it's mate in 32.> Good then.
Jun-12-14  Marmot PFL: Too bad it's a rook pawn. Good Drawing chances with any other.
Jun-12-14  chessdgc2: DcGentle: We'll give him a silver star if he does it in 33 moves :)
Jun-12-14  DcGentle: Position after <69. b8=Q Rg7>

click for larger view

White to move wins by 70. Qe5 in 20 moves.

Jun-12-14  Memethecat: Is Kramnik delaying the press conference?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: < The best Football teams often have high-ranking QB's > The best football teams are playing in Brazil just now ... and they don't have QBs. Whatever a QB is.
Jun-12-14  Ulhumbrus: Short calls 72 Qe4!! <beautiful> and <a brilliant move> and indicates that it wins the game immediately by domination, placing Black in zugzwang
Jun-12-14  DcGentle: QB = QuarterBack. But I like a goalie and a striker better. ;-)
Jun-12-14  chessdgc2: Whatever a QB is? Goodness, why not ask "whatever a football team is"?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I knew what a QB is. I just wanted to see who would bite, and tell me.
Jun-12-14  chessdgc2: DcGentle: No, a QB is a refund :)
Jun-12-14  Ulhumbrus: If White's connected passed pawns prevail over Black's doubled pawns this explains why according to Houdini 54...Kh5 instead of 54..Kg3 is a mistake. If both sides are going to advance a passed pawn Black will not want White's b pawn to have time to join in.
Jun-12-14  Marmot PFL: <Ulhumbrus> 54...Kg3 fails as white's rook takes both h pawns and black gets only the white g pawn.
Jun-12-14  Strelets: Karjakin's last two games, both wins, have lasted an average of 101.5 moves. Now that's an odd chess statistic.
Jun-12-14  csmath: 12. Bf1
[White has not achieved much in the opening but a standard control on c-file.]

13. 0-0-0
[This probably looked more of a sign of will to secure the king than to play aggressive. But Karjakin does have some aggressive intention.]

31. ...Nb4
[creating fork that protects f7. Black is still equal.]

29. ...Kh7?
[Useless move that will only become obvious later. Some waiting move like 29. ...Re6 was better.]

41. d6

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and here white has a serious advantage due to a dangerous passer and displaced black king.

41. ...Re6
42. Ra7!
[with intention of a5-a6.]

42. ...Rf6!?
[Obvious threat Rf2 is actually toothless.]

43. Re2
[The simplest but even 43. Rxb7! Rf2 44. Kc3 Rxg2 45. a6 h2 (not the best move) 46. a6 and due to promotion field white will be able to immediately attack black king in a decisive way so black would lose the race. Of course this was not easy to see.]

In the sequel Kramnik decides to give away exchange realizing that he will not be able to cope with the passer ad the game becomes technically won for white but not as simple at all.

47. Rf1!
[cutting the black king from the center and positioning rook for possible support of a-b pawns.]

47. ...Kg5
[47. ...Rc6 48. Kd3 Kd6 49. Kc4 is not better either.]

49. Kc3?!
[Allowing the next move. 49. a5 was better.]

50. ...Nf2
[Good move setting up forks but this will not be enough as white is winning anyway. Kramnik does not want to wait for a slow loss.]

50. Rxe3!
[Anyway, the rooks ending is lost although that is not obvious.]

54. Kb3!
[White king is going forward and this cannot be stopped.]

55. ...Kh5?!

click for larger view

[Setting up check on the fifth rank that will be decisive. Everything else also loses.]

The remaining game is also wobbly a bit but white never loses the sight of a win. The final position:

click for larger view

is completely lost by zugzwang, if rook moves on third rank it is a mate, on g-file then the rook falls, if king moves then pawn goes with rook immediately after or a mate. Just like the game - hopeless.


Kramnik skips postgame once again reminding us that he is indeed sore loser. The game is nice, very well played by Karjakin.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: 72...Rg5 73.Qh1+ Kg4 74.Qf3#

72...Rg4 73.Qh1#

72...Rg8 73.Qe6+

... and so on ...

Jun-12-14  Sokrates: Thanks, once again <csmath> for great annotations. <Kramnik skips postgame once again reminding us that he is indeed sore loser.> Unfortunately right. A very small calibre inside a great chess-player. He should have been generous and praised Karjakin for his good play - he deserved it.
Jun-12-14  NeoIndian: Looking back, was there any way for Black to avoid this doubled isolated rook pawn vs central passed pawn scenario? This seemed to have started by allowing h5, and much later 30...dxe4. After 38...gxh5, it is already very unpleasant for Black, although he is a pawn up at the moment. So where exactly did Kramnik go from 'equal' to 'worse' strategically?

<<csmath>29. ...Kh7? [Useless move that will only become obvious later. Some waiting move like 29. ...Re6 was better.]>

29...Re6 still allows for the scenario that happened in the game. Could you explain this a bit more?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I dont think a player should be required to analyse or comment on a game after the game. I frequently just shake hands and then leave. I find that those who win, and even sometimes those who lose, will prove to you from move one that they were always winning.

The ticket is to go away and find someone who is more sympathetic than journalists or your opponent.

I also frequently find players don't wish to analyse their games after it is finished whether they lose or win. That doesn't bother me. I sometimes like to discuss one point in the game but there is no compulsion.

No, I think that Kramnik isn't a sore loser. He simply felt bad at the end of the game (if indeed he didn't go to the press conference) and decided to go home.

I saw an issue of British Chess where M. Chandler, the then editor, was talking about the fact that Kasparov refused to analyse games except with the very best player (which I think then was Karpov) otherwise he refused to analyse after a game), although that may have been not always the case...

Some games it is excruciating to lose so I can understand no one wanting to discuss a game they lost (unless they like to).

Jun-13-14  Ulhumbrus: <Marmot PFL: <Ulhumbrus> 54...Kg3 fails as white's rook takes both h pawns and black gets only the white g pawn.> Not if Black can win the g2 pawn and White's b pawn lacks time to join the a pawn. To prevent that it may be worth giving up a pawn
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Richard Taylor....I find that those who win, and even sometimes those who lose, will prove to you from move one that they were always winning.>

One of the stronger players in New England was in the habit of 'proving' that he was right, regardless of the result of the eight or so games we played. Very off-putting indeed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Richard T> - < I frequently just shake hands and then leave.>

As do I. Which is fine at our non-master level, where we can probably assume that not very many people are interested in hearing a replay of the game from the horse's mouth.

But elite GMs - thoroughbred racers - are different, and a lot of people want to hear their thoughts on a game. Of course it's an intrusion in some ways - but it's also a key component in the contract any leading sportsperson or entertainer has with the public.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> A certain IM -- OK, it was Alex Lopez -- once beat me in about 75 moves, where the final segment of the game was an ending in mutual time trouble. Hoping for a free lesson from a master, I set up the board and played my first move from the game, 1.Nf3.

Alex looked at me in what seemed like genuine horror. "Oh no," he said, "no, no".

So we left it at that. I can't really blame him.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: How gifted, to see the endgame this deep. Karjakin let vlad have a 4-1 pawn majority on the kingside, in order to get his own active pawns on the queenside.
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