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A R Saleh Salem vs Vladimir Kramnik
Qatar Masters (2014), Doha QAT, rd 8, Dec-03
Queen's Gambit Declined: Barmen Variation (D37)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-03-14  OneArmedScissor: First
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <OAS> like Kramnik now. ;)
Dec-03-14  BUNA:

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Black to move 33.. Kh5 and win! :)
My Houdini 2.0c doesn't see the idea; apparently because it's against all endgame principles that have been coded into it. "Centralize your pieces", "centralize your king" etc.

But Kramnik decided "I'll put my knight on D8, march with my king to H2 and may have to give up my whole queen side" in this position:

click for larger view

Just amazing!

Dec-03-14  bubuli55: A high wire act by GM Kramnik with R & N on the board and his K in the corner.
Dec-03-14  kardopov: One hell of endgame specialist this big Vlad is. 32. ... Nd8 and Salem is gasping for breath.
Dec-03-14  Xenon Oxide: Kramnik did a Carlsen here!
Dec-03-14  visayanbraindoctor: E Cohn vs Rubinstein, 1909

Famous Rubinstein endgame with the same motif.

Dec-03-14  BUNA: "same motif"?

When Kramnik went for the h-pawn knights and rooks were still on the board.

Dec-03-14  visayanbraindoctor: <BUNA: When Kramnik went for the h-pawn knights and rooks were still on the board.>

Right. I happen to think it's even more impressive than Rubinstein's game because the extra pieces would allow potential counter play for White and a possible pawn race on opposite sides of the board. Kramnik played a riskier game and surely had to do more calculations. What I mean is that they have the same pawn structure and the same Black solution, which is to use the King as an active piece down the h-file in order to attack the h2 pawn.

Upon 30.. Kf6, Kramnik must have already been planning his King attack on the h-file. Salem's tempo-wasting knight maneuver 34. Nc1 Kh4 35. Nb3 was obviously aimed to get his knight onto c5 thus attacking the base of Black's Queenside pawn chain, which looks like a pretty reasonable plan. I don't think it occurred to him that Kramnik was planning to veritably abandon his Queenside in order to go for the h2 pawn.

This game will surely feature in endgame books in the future.

Dec-04-14  keithdfg: Yes - a masterclass
Dec-04-14  1971: Classic game.
Dec-19-14  kardopov: Haha... the cornered king was the winnah!
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