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Vladimir Kramnik vs Boris Gelfand
Tal Memorial (2016), Moscow RUS, rd 6, Oct-02
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B96)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-02-16  Fanques Fair: Kramnik´s results have improved since he got back playing 1-e4 from time to time. I think he spent something like 10 years restricted to 1-d4.
Oct-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Kramnik exchanged down to an endgame starting around move 22, trading off all pieces except a rook and bishops of opposite color (five pawns).

And went on to win the game. Could Kramnik actually see that the endgame was winning from that early point? Or was he thinking it looked promising and he could eliminate any chance of losing?

Oct-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Could Kramnik actually see that the endgame was winning from that early point?>

In the post-mortem he said that he did. Btw, he also noted that Gelfand fell into a very detailed preparation of his, while Gelfand himself didn't remember the line very well - apparently theory recommends 11...Be7 instead of Rc8. But after that Gelfand managed for a while to find otb all the computer's first recommendations, so that Kramnik remained in his preparation until move 22, when he had to really think for the first time...

(http://livestream.com/ChessCast/eve..., starting from about 3:58:00)

Oct-02-16  Marmot PFL: Kramnik knew it was very likely a winning endgame, with the better pawn structure and chances for passed pawns on both sides. With Gelfand's bad form he would not be able to hold such a position (if he was playing better he would not have gotten into it).
Oct-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: As far as I see it, trading down to the endgame from move 22 to move 30 was pretty difficult as well.
Oct-02-16  Marmot PFL: <: As far as I see it, trading down to the endgame from move 22 to move 30 was pretty difficult as well.>

Yes, Black had compensation for the damaged pawns in his bishop pair, and the sequence leading to the trade of Bb7 for a knight robbed him of that.

Oct-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <Yes, Black had compensation for the damaged pawns in his bishop pair, and the sequence leading to the trade of Bb7 for a knight robbed him of that.>

Yes, followed by a king/queen fork which Kramnik had to have seen 5-6 moves earlier.

Oct-02-16  Ulhumbrus: Kramnik said that Gelfand did not remember the theory, that Gelfand fell into Kramnik's computer preparation, and that it was just bad luck on Gelfand's part.
Oct-02-16  dehanne: After 13.h4 comes into being the Kramnik Wall.
Oct-02-16  RookFile: Wasn't obvious to me that white could win with the bishops of opposite colors. This seems like a very fine game.
Oct-03-16  MrQuinn: Now, if only someone could convince Kramnik to dump the g$%#@^m Berlin and play some fighting chess with black against 1. e4. He appears to have rekindled some semblance of fighting spirit, take it to the next level.
Oct-03-16  paavoh: A powerfully conducted game by Kramnik, regardless of Gelfand's current slump. One for the notebooks.
Oct-03-16  Ulhumbrus: After 11...Rc8 the move 12...gxf6 seems inconsistent . Having given up the option of queenside castling he makes it more dangerous for himself to castle on the king side. This suggests either castling on the king side all the same, or else 12...Nxf6 or else castling on the queen side, either preparing it or 11...0-0-0 at once.
Oct-05-16  positionalgenius: Great to see Kramnik opening with 1.e4 after such a long period of queen pawn openings only.

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