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Anish Giri vs Vladimir Kramnik
Gashimov Memorial (2015), Shamkir AZE, rd 9, Apr-26
Catalan Opening: Closed Variation (E06)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: This game...

< Classical games: Vladimir Kramnik beat Anish Giri 6 to 0, with 4 draws. >

Clearly, Giri has never beaten Kramnik in classical before, but he had a chance, as heading into the 7th hour, he kept pressing and pressing, but then after 76...Kg6, Giri could've played 77.Rc7 or 77.Rd7, or simply pushed the pawn with 77.e7 to maintain his advantage, but blew the win with 77.Ra4.

There's always next time...

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Yes, after 76...Kg6 we reach the following position:

click for larger view

Giri was running out of time, with less than a minute for his next 4 moves, so he played 77.Ra4 and threw away most of his advantage. With the most obvious move to my patzer eyes, 77.e7, Stockfish at the site gives the following line as best: 77...Nd5 (to give up the knight for the Pe7) 78.Ra6+ (White could play 78.Rd7 immediately followed by 79.Kd8 but it makes no difference) 78...Kg5 79.Rd6 h5 (to prevent the counter knight for pawn sac) 80.Kd7 Nxd7 81.Rxd3 Nxg8, reaching the following position:

click for larger view

R+P vs. N+P endgames are not necessarily won by the stronger side (Dvoretsky). But here White mates in 41 moves according to the 6-piece Nalimov tablebases.

82.Rd4 Nh6 83.Ke6 Ng4 84.Rd5+ Kg6 85.Rd7 Nf6 86.Rd8 Ng4 87.Rg8+ Kh7 88.Ra8 Kg6 89.Kd5 (an odd looking move but the idea is to maneuver the White king closer to Black's h-pawn) 89...Kf5 90.Kd4 Nf6 91.Ke3 Nh7 92.Kf2 Ng5 93.Kg2 Kg6 94.Ra6+ Kf5 95.Rb6 Kg4 96.Rf6 h4 97.Rf4+ Kh5 98.gxh4 (a surprise to me, I would have assumed that White's chances would be better with a g-pawn than with an h-pawn, but knights have more trouble stopping h- (and a-) pawns than g- (or b-) pawns because of their reduced mobility at the edge of the board.) 98.Nh7 99.Rf3 Kg6 100.Rc3 Nf6 101.Rc5 Nh5 102.Kf3 Nf6 103.Kf4 Nh5+ 104.Ke5 Ng3 105.Rc3 Nh5 106.Rc6+ Kg7 107.Rd6 Ng3 108.Kf4 Ne2+ 109.Kg5 Nc3 110.Rd7+ Kf8 111.h5 Ne4+ 112.Kg6 Nc5 113.Rd5 Ne4 114.h6 Ke7 115.h7 Nc3 116.Rd4 Ne2 117.h8=Q Nxd4 118.Qxd4 119.Ke6 120.Qc5 Kd7 121 Kf6 Kd8 122.Ke6 Ke8 123.Qe7#

It is not surprising that Giri, short of time, could not accurately evaluate the resulting R+P vs. N+P ending after 77.e7 which would not necessarily have resulted in a win for him.

Apr-26-15  RookFile: Kramnik had to have happy to hang onto a draw in this one.
Apr-26-15  Kaulayao: The Russian-Nepali mongrel could not shake off the full-blooded Russian, the better bloodline.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Oh, yes--that explains it all away.
Apr-26-15  SvetlanaBabe: I agree, the Russian- Nepali mongrel can never be as good as a pure Russian.
Jun-25-15  rookpawn101: referring to anyone as a mongrel is highly inappropriate.
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