chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Wesley So vs Vladimir Kramnik
Dortmund Sparkassen (2015), Dortmund GER, rd 7, Jul-05
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation Berlin Wall Defense (C67)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

explore this opening
find similar games 20 more W So/Kramnik games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can display posts in reverse order, by registering a free account then visiting your preferences page and checking the option "Display newest kibitzes on top."

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.
PREMIUM MEMBERS CAN REQUEST COMPUTER ANALYSIS [more info]

A COMPUTER ANNOTATED SCORE OF THIS GAME IS AVAILABLE.  [CLICK HERE]

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-06-15  coolconundrum: Great game. Never seen white gambit the e pawn in the Berlin before but it worked splendidly. Was that a new idea?
Jul-06-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Another key line consists of 69.Re4,Rxe4; 70.Kxe4,Kxb4; 71.Kd3,Kb3; 72.g7 and White threatens to promote with check. At the finish, 76...Ke5; 77.Ne3! and Black can't attack the Rook.
Jul-06-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Kramnik is just old already. Still a greater talent but prone to exhaustion>

Stupid.

Jul-06-15  FISCHERboy: I don't know how Kramnik's famed "Berlin Wall" crumbled like this. All his moves seemed tactically sound...
Jul-06-15  Ulhumbrus: Only a very few players have ever managed to win against Kramnik's Berlin wall and So has joined that group
Jul-06-15  shintaro go: Who are the others Ulhumbrus, if u dont mind
Jul-06-15  Ulhumbrus: <shintaro go: Who are the others Ulhumbrus, if u dont mind>

If by the Berlin wall you mean not just the Berlin defence with the opening code C67, but the L'Hermet variation they are just three: Kasparov, Karjakin, and Andreikin.

As for the Berlin defence with the opening code C67 not confined to the L'Hermet variation, the list is larger and here is a link to that page: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

Jul-06-15  Ulhumbrus: <shintaro go: Who are the others Ulhumbrus, if u dont mind>

If by the Berlin wall you mean not just the Berlin defence with the opening code C67, but the variation 4. O-O Ne4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bc6 dc6 7. de5 Nf5 8. Qd8 Kd8 they are just four: Kasparov, Leko, Karjakin, and Andreikin.

As for the Berlin defence with the opening code C67 not confined to the L'Hermet variation, the list is larger and here is a link to that page: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

Jul-06-15  Marmot PFL: <Was the move 31...R×b2 sacrificing d4-bishop, a forced move and there weren't any better choice for VK?>

31...Ne5 looks good. If 32 Bxe5 Kxe5 and if the rook moves instead the king has c6.

Jul-06-15  lainulo: So, Wesley2778–Kramnik, Vladimir27831–0

Wesley had been having a topsy turvy tournament in Dortmund. Wins against Caruana and Nepo were compensated by losses against Nisipeanu and Naiditsch. But his final round victory against Kramnik would have been especially sweet because he beat the former World Champion in his favourite Berlin Defence.

< 1.e4 e5 2.f3 c6 3.b5 f6 4.0-0 xe4 5.d4 d6 6.xc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 f5 8.xd8+ xd8 9.h3 e7 10.c3 d7>

Kramnik uses a line that has only been played ten times in the past and one in which Black players haven't scored a win. But it was never been tried by a 2700+ player. 10...g6 is the main move. 10...h6 is the second most played move in the position.

<11.g5N >

This is a new move in the position. A clear indication that this was not prepared by Wesley is the fact that he used seven and a half minutes for this move.

< e8 12.e6!?> Played after 20 minutes of thought. Wesley definitely was trying to weigh the pros and cons of this sacrifice. On one hand he loses a pawn but on the other he get a very nice initiative and squares like e4 for his knight.

<xe6>
12...fxe6 13.e1 f5 14.xe6 xe6 15.xe6+ f7 16.e5= was also a possible line.

<13.xe6 fxe6 14.e1 f7> The computer already likes Black's position but in a practical game things are not so simple. So would like to place his knight on e4 and create some problems for the king on f7.

<15.e4 h6>
Of course, preventing Ng5.

< 16.d1>
Nine and a half minutes for this move. It would definitely not have been easy for Wesley to play this move. But he realises that the d-file is more important than the e-file.

<e5>
16...d5 17.c4 f6 18.xf6 xf6 19.d2 19.d7 d6 19...d6 20.c3+ e5= Black doesn't have too many problems here.

<17.d7 c8 18.d2 b6>

After the c5 square is controlled, Black now threatens K to e6. 18...e6? 19.c5+

<19.e1 e6 20.d3 c5> Maybe it's not such a huge inaccuracy to play c5, but it made more sense to play g5 followed by Bg7 to finish the development. 20...g5 and with this move Black also prevents the move f4.

<21.f4 c6 22.g3 e8>

22...d4 23.c3 f5 24.g4∞

<23.fxe5 g5>

23...xe5 24.c3 d5
The king looks pretty cool in the center of the board. Unlike Bruzon's king against Wei Yi, this one is way safer! 25.d2 c4∞

<24.h4 g7 25.hxg5 xe5 26.f3 hxg5 27.xg5?!> The game had reached the pinnacle of excitement with both players making excellent moves. Here Bxg5 is not the most accurate. Better would have been 27.f6!? ef8 28.xg5 d4? 28...f7 29.xe5+ xe5 30.d7+ d6 31.xf8 h5! 32.xc5! bxc5 32...xg5? 33.e4+± 33.f6 xc2 34.g4

<27...d4+! 28.f2+ d5 29.d1 hg8>

Jul-06-15  lainulo: 29...e5!?

<30.f4 e2!?>

Kramnik might have assessed the piece sacrifice in his favour. Objectively White should be better but practically it's easier to play as Black as the pawns on the queenside just have to be pushed whereas So has to find the accurate setup of pieces. 30...c4! 31.c3 e5= Black has absolutely no problems here.

<31.c3 xb2 32.cxd4 xd4 33.e3>

<33.a3!? would have been definitely preferable to retain the a2 pawn. 33...xa2 34.f4 a4 35.e4 c6 36.c3 a3 37.xd4 cxd4 38.e2 d3 39.f3 a2>

39...dxe2 40.c1+

<40.f4 d2 41.f2 b5 42.c3+ b7 43.d5 g7 44.b3 a6 45.b4 a4 46.xd2>

White has won an important pawn but now the c-pawn moves ahead with a few tempi.

< c5 47.d5 d7 > The game is still nicely balanced. It is interesting to see how top two players in the world are actually playing this weird material balance to the best of their abilities.

< 48.f3 e4 49.f6 a7 50.d3 c4 51.h3 d4 52.b4 4d6 53.hh6 xf6+ 54.xf6 d2+ 55.f3 a5>

55...b7 56.xa6
56.xa6? b2
56...c3 57.c5+ c7 58.e3 xg2=

<56.a6+ b7 57.xa5 b6 58.a2 d7> 58...d8 maybe it was better to prevent the rook infiltration to a8.

<59.a8 c5 60.c2± > The knight and the rook have now started to co-ordinate really well. The knight prevents, the black king from entering the position and the White rook will start checking from behind. A deadly combo.

< c7 61.f8! c3 62.f5+ b6 63.g4 > The queenside pawns have been blockaded and the g-pawn marches ahead! <a5 64.g5 a4 65.e3 d7 66.g6 b4 67.f4 b3 68.xb4 e7+ 69.e4 g7 70.g4 e7+ 71.f3 g7 72.c6 g8 73.g7 c2 74.d4+ c4 75.xc2+ d5 76.g6>

A beautiful game by both sides. Firstly So for finding this brilliant idea with Ng5 and e6 to sacrifice a pawn for initiative in the opening. Then Kramnik who sacrificed a pieces for this mass of queenside pawns. And in the end, So for using his knight and rooks so well to keep things under control. An absolute world class contest. 1–0

http://en.chessbase.com/post/dortmu...

Jul-06-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Kramnik has been known as one of the top players who "has knowingly schemed to set up a portion of his opening repertoire to circumwent the middlegame completely and plunge immediately into the endgame" where he can exploit his vast knowledge of endgame concepts. But in the last two rounds in Dortmund his decisive mistakes surprisingly occurred in the endgame. After spoiling his rook endgame against Nisipeanu, he lost an objectively drawn endgame against Wesley.

Position after 58.Ra2


click for larger view

Black's best defense is to prevent the infiltration of the white rook to the eighth rank.

However, Kramnik played 58...Rd7?, allowing Ra8, and his position was difficult to defend.

The correct move was 58...Rd8! with possible continuation:

59.g4 Kc5 60.Na6+ (60.Nc2 c3) Kb6 61.g5 c3 with a draw


click for larger view

On the other hand, this was Wesley's best game in Dortmund.

Jul-06-15  Marmot PFL: <Kramnik has been known as one of the top players who "has knowingly schemed to set up a portion of his opening repertoire to circumwent the middlegame completely and plunge immediately into the endgame" where he can exploit his vast knowledge of endgame concepts. But in the last two rounds in Dortmund his decisive mistakes surprisingly occurred in the endgame. After spoiling his rook endgame against Nisipeanu, he lost an objectively drawn endgame against Wesley.>

That may not be so surprising.
Kramnik played a lot of moves in Dortmund, three games over 50 moves and one of 83 moves the day before this. So is younger and hungrier, had only one long game, and managed to wear Kramnik down. The Rd8 suggestion looks good, and Kramnik had other ways to draw as well.

Jul-06-15  Nonnus: <FISCHERboy: I don't know how Kramnik's famed "Berlin Wall" crumbled like this. All his moves seemed tactically sound...>

Since Kramnik had drawing chances up to the endgame then the opening did not fail for him nor was the wall dismantled.

Jul-06-15  Sally Simpson: You cannot look at a game that lasted 76 moves such as this one and blame the opening, nor can you write any openings obituary after one game.

The Berlin gave Kramnik what he always wants as Black - a playable middle game. He got one, the opening did it's job.

Sad to say the Berlin Wall is as solid as it ever was. If the wall had a weak tactical brick then Kasparov would found it in 2000 and most likely Alekhine would have gazumped him by 70 years.

Jul-09-15  kamagong24: crush the Berlin!!!!
Jul-10-15  theagenbiteofinwit: I really don't know what to say.

This was not a game where So subtly outplayed Volodya.

He dismantled white.

Jul-18-15  Ulhumbrus: < theagenbiteofinwit: I really don't know what to say.

This was not a game where So subtly outplayed Volodya.

He dismantled white.>

Does Kramnik need to sacrifice a piece by 30...Re2? One alternative is 30...Kc4. Perhaps Kramnik underestimated So. If he did, he paid for it by losing the game.

Sep-23-16  Boomie: <Ulhumbrus: Does Kramnik need to sacrifice a piece by 30...Re2? One alternative is 30...Kc4.>

He must have been seeing a phantom line. 30...Kc4 is just fine and though the engines call it equal, there's plenty of life in the endgame for both sides.

Sep-23-16  PhilFeeley: What's wrong with 39...dxe2?
Sep-23-16  gokusano: 39. ... dxe2 40. Rc1ch, and white wins the rook at a3.
Sep-23-16  Sally Simpson: "What's wrong with 39...dxe2?"


click for larger view

If 39...dxe2 White plays 40. Rc1+ than 41.Rxa3.

Sep-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pulo y Gata: Still, what's wrong with all that? It's just a game anyway.
Jul-10-17  nbeltranii: great ending -- that use of the knight was masterful
Nov-26-17  LA MAN: At first glance I like r-a3 on 51 since blacks pawn can't be guarded and a check is next.
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.


NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Berlin Endgame
by Zhbugnoimt
Breaking down the Wall
from Wesley So's best games by shintaro go
yokisilverio's favorite games
by yokisilverio
Breaking the Berlin Wall's Champion
from Wesley So: The Road To Top by penismightier
0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 8
by 0ZeR0
Dortmund 2015
from Kramnik's Last Round Losses by Penguincw
Mikhail Tal and favorites games 2
by tivrfoa
So: the future Champion
by Zhbugnoimt
21st Century Masterpieces - Second decade (2011)
by syracrophy

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC