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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Dortmund Sparkassen (2014), Dortmund GER, rd 7, Jul-20
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio Gambit Accepted (C67)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: That is 2 wins for 7 Bf1 in the last few days - Vachier Lagrave - Giri was also a White win with that move.
Jul-20-14  1d410: Beating the Berlin: A copycat crime
Jul-20-14  1d410: Seriously though it's a good idea to keep the queens on the board
Jul-20-14  csmath: 5. Re1
[without much ambition.]
8. ...d5
[Up to today no top level player lost in this opening.]

11. ...Nce7N
[Not much problems for either side here.]

14. g3?!
[Typical Ponomariov anti-positional move.]

26. f3
[After this move it is slightly more fluid because of black exposed pawns but this is hardly any advantage to either side.]

click for larger view

26. ...Qc7?!
[26. ...f4! 27. gxf4 Ng6 28. fxe4 Nxf4 with compensation for a pawn and with initiative. It is risky but that is how to play for a win. The move Kramnik played in the game is not consequential in any way but in the next move we'll see Kramnik's erroneous plan.]

27. Qc3 Rd7?
[Kramnik is playing on d-file but he will not get chance to double rooks if that is what he planned. He is now simply going to lose a pawn with little to show for.]

click for larger view

28. fxe4
[There goes black pawn. It seems perhaps black can get d4 pawn in return but ...]

32. c5!
[Since immediate 32. Nf3?? is not possible this is indirect way to protect d4 pawn.]

In the sequel Kramnik is trying to find some compensation for the pawn but there is none.

35. Ng5
[35. Qd3 deserved attention first and then Ng5.]

37. ...Qh6!?
[Kramnik is avoiding simplifications but that is only enabling white to centralize heavy pieces.]

41. Nf4

click for larger view

[Here it is clear that white has a clean pawn and that black has no compensation for that. White will no doubt be able sooner or later to reduce number of pieces and then play for a win. Black will try to keep heavy pieces in hope to get some raid into white camp. ... One problem - Kramnik is not playing well today.]

41. ...Nc7
42. Qe3 Qf5
42. a4 Rf8
43. Qd2 Rfd8?
[This leads to nothing. 44. Rdf7 and Nd5 was probably more solid leaving white to figure out what to do.]

44. Qc4+ Kh7
[exposing king on h7 won't be of any good either.]

49. Qe2?!
[49. h5! Qf7 30. Ng6 Qf3 31. Kh1 and black position is hopeless due to mate threats on the last rank.]

49. ...Rfd8?

click for larger view

50. Re7?!
[50. Ne6! wins on the spot for example: 50. ...Rc8 51. Rf4! Qg6 52. Nxc7 Rdxc7 53. h5!. Of course 50. ...Nxe6 51. Rxe6 Qf5 52. R6e5 Qg6 53. h5 Qf7 54. Rf4 and again weakness on e8 is decisive.]

From here on white has solid win in hands and he is not about to waste it.

53. ...Rxd5?!
[53. ...Rxe8 leads to a lost pawn ending, however 53. ...cxd5 is probably the most technical for white.]

54. ...Qxd4?!

[This loses immediately although black is lost either way.]

55. Qe8+ Kf6
56. Rxb7

[with mating threats.]

56. ...Qxc5?!

Deliberately (?) overlooking 3-move mate (Rf7-Rf8-Rh8) Kramnik finishes in the style he played the whole game.

One of the worst games Kramnik played recently. Worth noting that Ponomariov is not an easy opponent for Kramnik.

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