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Vladimir Kramnik vs Matthias Bluebaum
"Beat Black and Blue" (game of the day Sep-06-2017)
Dortmund Sparkassen (2017), Dortmund GER, rd 7, Jul-23
Zukertort Opening: Queen Pawn Defense (A06)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-23-17  Nosnibor: Very nice last round win by Kramnik to lift him up to a semi-respectable position in the tournament.
Jul-23-17  AuN1: Wow. Incredible game. Shades of Karpov-topalov 1994 linares.
Jul-23-17  fisayo123: Shades of Topalov vs Aronian 2006. Amazing from Kramnik. He's been trying to win Brilliancy prizes for the last 2 years or so.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <16. g5 Ne8 17. f4 Bc5 18. d4...> commits White to the attack.

Kramnik sheds material like he had a secret store:

<19.f5...> pawn

<20.Rxf5...> exchange

<27.Rxc7...> second exchange

<29.Nxh5....> piece

After <35...Qg3+ 36.Kh1 Qf3+ 37.Bg2 Qe1 38.Kh2...> Black is out of checks to forestall the mate.

Jul-23-17  devere: Brilliant game by Kramnik featuring two exchange sacrifices. Bluebaum finally errs with 31...h4?, ...Nd5 was required for Black to continue the fight.
Jul-23-17  Ron: After 17. f4, an alternative for Black is 17. ... f6 and play could go: 18. gxf6 gxf6 19. Bd4 Ng7

Now get this. After the game continuation 23. .. g6, Stockfish 7 basically gives Kramnik's 24 e3 as a mistake, saying Black should play 24. .. Rd7 with this eval:

- (0.78++) Depth=32/47

Wow. I'm interested on feedback on this.

Jul-24-17  whiteshark: Game related analysis by <GM Gustafsson>:
Jul-24-17  Ron: <whiteshark: Game related analysis by <GM Gustafsson>:

Thank you whiteshark! It's as if GM Gustafsson read my posts here, for he does point out that if Black had played 28. ... Rd7 "it is not clear how Kramnik would have made progress".

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Beaten Black and Blue
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: White gives up a shedload of material to achieve that most beginnerish of all mating setups: Bf6, Qh6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: <eternaloptimist> Congratulations on coming up with the pun.
Sep-06-17  kevin86: Kramnik was irresistible here.
Sep-06-17  clma55: What if 30....fxg3. ..? Cannot understand Kg8 having the bishop on f6
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <catlover> Thx! It's the 10th game w/ a pun that I've submitted to CG that has been picked for GOTD! Kramnik played brilliantly in this game for sure. Btw I'm a cat lover too. <Ron> U got it right in your 1st post. Gustafsson mentioned that if Bluebaum would've played 24...♖d7 (not 28...♖d7) then "it's not clear how white can make any progress".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: For a minute I wondered why Black resigned. Then the penny dropped...Kramnik can roll them out like the best of them. Then he analyses with his deep Russian voice.

Nice game by Kramnik: he is an interesting and subtle player.

He comes up with some interesting openings also. Amazing player. Kasparov in their match couldn't get a win against his former pupil...

Sep-06-17  tyro1952: I don't understand why Bluebaum doesn't have a draw by perpetual or repetition here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: <tyro1952> I believe <gypsy>'s post above at the bottom shows how Bluebaum runs out of checks.
Sep-06-17  ByrneBabyByrne: <catlover> I agree <gypsy> shows how Black runs out of checks, except shouldn't it be 37. Bg2 Qd1 (not Qe1)?
Sep-06-17  WorstPlayerEver: <Ron>

I guess the point of 24. e3 Rd7 is:

After 24. Nxb6 Qxb6 25. Qxb7 Ng7 26. Qxb6 axb6 27. Rc6 Ne6 28. d5 Nc5 29. Bf3 Nd7 30. Bc7 Ra8 31. a3 Ra4 32. Rd6 Ne5 33. Bxb6 Ra6 34. Bc5 Rxd6 35. Bxd6 Re8 36. Kg2 Nc4 the game is still pretty wild. Unclear.

24. Qb3 Rd7 25. Qb5 Bd8 26. Nf4 Qe7 27. h4 Kh7 28. Nd5 a6 29. Qb3 Qe6 30. e3 Rg8 31. Kg1 Nd6 32. Qa4 b5 33. Qxa6 Nc4 34. Qxb5 Nxe5 35. dxe5 Ra7 36. Qb3 Kg7 37. Nf4 Qxb3 38. axb3 looks equal.

Or even:

24. e4 fxe4 25. Qxe4 Rd7 26. h4 Qg4 27. Qxg4 hxg4 28. Rf1 Bd8 29. Rf4 Nd6 30. Ne3 Nf5 31. Nxf5 gxf5 32. Rxf5 Bb6 33. Rf4 Rfd8 34. Bf6 Re8 35. Be4 Bxd4 36. Bxd4 Rxd4 37. Bxh7 Kxh7 38. Rxd4 looks playable.

But 24. e3 Rd7 (defends the b7 pawn; no weak spots) gives Black a significant plus IMO. And Shallow SF 'concurs' as well...

Sep-07-17  RandomVisitor: After 24.e3 Rd7:

click for larger view

Stockfish_17081107_x64_modern: <5.5 hours computer time, 8 cores>

<-0.67/47 25.b3 Bd8 26.h4 Qa6 27.a4> Qd3 28.b4 Qb3 29.a5 Nd6 30.Qf1 Re8 31.Kh2 a6 32.Kh1 Re6 33.Rb1 Qc2 34.Rc1 Qd2 35.Rd1 Qa2 36.Rc1 Kh7 37.Nf4 Re8 38.Nd5 Qd2 39.Rd1 Qb2 40.Rb1 Qa3 41.Rc1 Re6 42.Rc3 Qa2 43.Rc1 Qd2 44.Rc5 Kg8 45.Qf4 Qe1+ 46.Kh2 Kh7 47.Kh3 Qd1 48.Bf3 Qg1 49.Bg2 Ne4 50.Bxe4 fxe4 51.Qxe4 Qf1+ 52.Kg3

-1.03/47 25.h4 Bd8 26.b3 Qa6 27.Rg1 Qxa2 28.Bh3 Qc2 29.Nf6+ Nxf6 30.gxf6 Qc6 31.Qxc6 bxc6 32.Bxf5 Rb7 33.Bd3 Kh7 34.Bc4 Bc7 35.Ba6 Bxe5 36.Bxb7 Bxf6 37.Ra1 c5 38.Ra6 Be7 39.Rxa7 cxd4 40.exd4 Bxh4 41.Bc6 Bf2 42.Rd7 Be1 43.Kg2 Kg7 44.Kf3 Bc3 45.Kf4 Re8 46.Bd5 Bxd4 47.b4 Re5 48.Bxf7 Rf5+ 49.Ke4 Rxf7 50.Rxd4 Kh6 51.Rd5

-1.15/47 25.a4 Bd8 26.h4 Be7 27.b4 Bd6 28.Qg3 Bxe5 29.Qxe5 Rd6 30.Qxe6 Rxe6 31.Kg1 Nd6 32.Nf6+ Kg7 33.Kf2 Rb8 34.b5 Re7 35.Rc5 Rd8 36.Bf3 Kf8 37.Nh7+ Kg8 38.Nf6+ Kg7 39.Bg2 Ne8 40.Nd5 Red7 41.a5 Rb8 42.Kg3 Nd6 43.b6 axb6 44.axb6 Re8 45.Rc7 Rxc7 46.bxc7 Nb5 47.Bf1 Nxc7 48.Nxc7 Rxe3+ 49.Kf2 Re7 50.Nb5 Re4 51.Kf3 Rxh4 52.d5 Rg4 53.d6 Rxg5

Premium Chessgames Member

[Fritz 10]: 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Bg4 3. Bg2 e6 4. 0-0 Nf6 5. d3 Be7 6. h3 Bh5 [last book move] 7. c4 c6 8. Qb3 Qc8 [8 ... Qb6 9. Be3 Qxb3 10. axb3 =] 9. g4 [9. Bf4 Bxf3 10. Bxf3 Nbd7 ⩲] Bg6 [=] 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. Bf4 Nc6 12. Nc3 0-0 13. Rac1 Qd7 14. Ne5 Nxe5 15. Bxe5 h5 16. g5 Ne8 17. f4 Bc5+ 18. d4 Bb6 19. f5 Bxf5 20. Rxf5 exf5 21. Nxd5 Qe6 22. Kh1 Rd8 23. Qf3 [Inferior is 23. Nxb6 Qxb3 24. axb3 axb6 25. Bxb7 f6 26. gxf6 gxf6 ⩱] g6 24. e3 [24. Nxb6 Qxb6 25. Qxb7 Qxb7 26. Bxb7 Nd6 ⩲] Kh7 [24 ... Rd7!? =] 25. Nf4 [ ⩲] Qe7 26. Qg3 [26. Qxb7 Qxb7 27. Bxb7 ⩲] Bc7 [26 ... Rd7 = is the best option Black has] 27. Rxc7 [ ±] Nxc7 28. Bf6 Qb4? [28 ... Qd7 29. Qh4 Kg8 30. Nxh5 Ne8 +-] 29. Nxh5 [ ±] gxh5 30. g6+ Kg8 31. Qg5 [31. Bxd8?! Rxd8 32. Qxc7 Qe1+ 33. Kh2 Rf8 =] h4?? [31 ... Nd5 32. Bxd8 Qd6 33. gxf7+ Kxf7 34. Qxh5+ Kg8 ±] 32. Qh6 [+-] Qe1+ 33. Kh2 Qg3+ 34. Kg1 Qe1+ 35. Bg1 1-0.

Vladimir Kramnik has always been exceptionally proficient with the Catalan/KIA as White. This exciting attacking game features two exchange sacrifices (20. Rxf5 & 27. Rxc7) combining tactics and strategy in an overwhelming onslaught. The Be5 rules the board and exploits the weak dark squares on Black's Kingside. Fritz and Jan Gustafsson (excellent video) suggest 24 ... Rd7 and 26 ... Rd7 with the idea of ... Bd8 and possibly ... f7-f6, while also defending b7 pointed out by <WorstPlayerEver>. Interesting that 31 ... Nd5 giving up a Rook would have held out for a while.

<Bluebaum runs out of checks> 35 ... Qg3+ 36. Kh1 Qf3+ 37. Bg2 Qd1+ 38. Kh2 sidesteps any perpetual.

<Kramnik sheds material like he had a secret store> Yet Fritz does not even award a single "!" throughout the game.

This game also finished at #10 in IM Danny Rensch's rundown of 2017's best games over at <>.

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