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Vladimir Kramnik vs Anish Giri
Qatar Masters (2014), Doha QAT, rd 7, Dec-02
Semi-Slav Defense: General (D43)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-02-14  notyetagm: Kramnik vs A Giri, 2014

Brilliant win for Kramnik.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: 12...Nbd7 is an interesting idea:

Onischuk vs T Roussel-Roozmon, 2009

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Earth has Giri again!
Dec-02-14  Mating Net: This game is a prime example of the ole saying, <"It's not how you start, but how you finish.">
Dec-02-14  ManicSquirrel: <<Mating Net: This game is a prime example of the ole saying, <"It's not how you start, but how you finish.">>>

That's what my wife always tells me!

Dec-02-14  Jambow: Kramnik owns Giri it seems.
Dec-02-14  paavoh: This is a really instructive model game by Kramnik, one to copy for the notebooks. Very nicely blocking all pawn breaks after Black failed to play c6-c5 early.
Dec-02-14  Steve.Patzer: Would Giri have done better with 34....f5?
Dec-02-14  fisayo123: <Jambow> <Kramnik owns Giri it seems> For now, Giri is his client.
Dec-02-14  paavoh: @Steve: After 34.- f5, perhaps 35.Nd4 would follow. If Black takes on 35.- fxe4, he will further ruin his pawn structure and 36.Nxb5 threatens at least Nc7 and Nxe6, as the Black Rook has not too much space. Upon 35.-Ba6, White retreats his Bishop. I think the game was lost much earlier.
Dec-02-14  Mudphudder: Whoa...Kramnik, way to slam the brakes on Giri's run! I thought Kramnik would hold him to a draw but he went for the win instead!
Dec-02-14  blackdranzer: big vlad has a nice understanding of QG with white...he almost always gets a ggod position out of the opening and, perhaps, he is the best endgame player that i have seen....nic game
Dec-03-14  Steve.Patzer: <paavoh> would 29....Bxe5 fare any better for Giri?
Dec-03-14  Ulhumbrus: An interesting point is that even against a Slav defence Kramnik proceeds as in a Catalan opening and appears to take no notice of his pawn sacrificed on c4, appearing to make no attempt to regain it.

How does Kramnik proceed eventually against the c4 pawn?

One answer is given by the move 9 b3. This induces 9...cb giving Black backward a and c pawns.

A second answer is given by the move 24 Ne5. This attacks again the backward c6 pawn and 25...Nc3 offers to return a pawn on c3 in order to obstruct the c file leading to Black's backward c6 pawn

Dec-03-14  paavoh: @Steve: Perhaps not. After the exchange of this and maybe other Bishop pair too, White still has more space and control of the files.

You could do well by looking at Kramnik's QGD and Catalan games, as pointed out by <Ulhumbrus> and <blackdranzer>, and see how the opponents have tried to defend. I am sure you will learn a lot for both White and Black side on how to play.

Dec-03-14  Steve.Patzer: <paavoh> thank you for the tip.
Dec-03-14  shintaro go: Giri outplayed all game. No counterplay
Dec-03-14  paavoh: No sweat <Steve>, glad to be of help.
Dec-10-14  Catfriend: So what is the actual idea of 21. Ra2? I believe all the biggies when they say it's deep and mind-staggering. What does it actually do? I could think of the following reasons, in the abstract:

* doubling of rooks against the a-pawn. Didn't happen and wasn't threatened.

* a long-term threat to c6 forcing Black to act quickly - possible, but hardly convincing. The a rook isn't crucial to that plan and indeed didn't move at all.

* Defence for e2 - after a few moves, the queens were exchanged and whatever importance this had, if any, evaporated.

* Removal of the rook from a tactically dangerous square: non at all. It became a bit less protected, a bit more likely to be threatened by a knight.

I just don't get it...

Dec-10-14  Nerwal: <So what is the actual idea of 21. Ra2?>

Kramnik explained it after the game; the idea is to play some generally useful move while essentially waiting to see how Black is going to defend this difficult position. This is of course possible because Black has no counterplay at all, and indeed, Black's subsequent moves greatly accelerated the destruction of his position. Karpov won countless games using this technique of "holding the position".

Dec-10-14  Catfriend: <Nerwal> Thanks! While this is certainly convincing from the human point of view, it doesn't explain why 21. Ra2 was first choice for software. Apparently, it does more than just being a generic "useful move holding the position".
Dec-10-14  Nerwal: <While this is certainly convincing from the human point of view, it doesn't explain why 21. Ra2 was first choice for software.>

I don't know. Stockfish 5 rates a lot of moves (♖c2, ♕ moves, even ♗f3...) about the same as 21. ♖a2.

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