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Vladimir Kramnik vs Fabiano Caruana
"The Amazing Race" (game of the day Oct-14-2019)
World Championship Candidates (2018), Berlin GER, rd 4, Mar-14
Russian Game: Cozio (Lasker) Attack (C42)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-15-18  Ulhumbrus: The commentary of Svidler and Gustafsson as well as the computer evaluations and analysis suggest or indicate what follows.

When Kramnik made the error 23 c5? he may have overlooked Caruana's devilish reply 23...f5!! keeping White's rook out of the square g4. This passed the advantage to Caruana. Then it was Caruana's turn to go wrong by 33...h6? instead of the counter-attack 33..Rxc2! Two more mistakes passed first the advantage and then a win to Kramnik. Kramnik then began to go wrong by 44 c4? instead of 44 b4 winning and eventually passed the advantage and then a win back to Caruana.

All of the above suggests that this game was full of mistakes, perhaps partly because there was no practical possibility of either player finding all of the right moves over the board.

Mar-15-18  frogbert: I think it's wrong to describe 23. c5!? as an error. It was this bold, aggressive move from Kramnik that started the fun/madness that could've seen both players winning afterwards. The "normal" reply 23. gxh3 would most likely have resulted in a rather dull draw well before move 40, so kudos to Kramnik for being ambitious and steering the game towards complications and imbalance!
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Joshka <morfishine> Calling Vlad a "goof" is ignorant. Vlad beat one of the worlds best players after trading queens in a World Chess Championship Match thus winning the title!> Hey, you goof, you could benefit from taking a course on how to detect sarcasm on social media

Here's an example, my first post: <Caruana has been tactically sharp so far. I don't expect any slips or gifts from Caruana to benefit Kramnik [ie: Erroronian]. For Kramnik to win this game, he will have to press into an endgame, which I expect him to attempt.>

Here's your test, is the post sarcastic or serious? Good luck


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <keypusher: I guess one rest day was not enough for aged Vlad>

Well...that was dumb.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: great fighting game -kudos to both players
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi K.P.

Me too. I tried to convince C.G. Kramnik had mated Fabiano so we could switch games. Thought it was going to be one of them games where two of the favourites back off each other.

phone call:

Stupid wife had left set of keys at home and I was ordered out to deliver them. Had to leave, came back just as game was entering final phase.

I would have had a festival of posts. The board is covered in pitfalls, snares, tricks, traps and trapeze artists.

If this game is crucial in Kramnik not making the final then yes it will haunt him. But he has been around long enough you cannot dwell on these things mid-tournament.

He still played some great chess after making the supposed called 'Blunder of the Century' (that mate in one v a computer....Wonder if that one will be in the book?) If you can get over that then you can get over anything.

Not forgetting his last round decision to go all out for a win in the 2013 candidates. If Kramnik had drawn that game v Ivanchuk then Chess History would have changed. No Anand - Carlsen 2013 World Final.

Also quote from that thread.

"Kramnik will remember this position for the rest of his life. White can't win."

Ivanchuk vs Kramnik, 2013 (kibitz #197)

Chess players have a lot of positions and games we can never forget. It is usually the losses containing huge blunders that pop into your head just at that moment you are about to drop off to sleep.

The picture of him laying collapsed over the board is a brilliant piece of chess theatricals.

Compare that with that with Aronian who has just played the worst game of his life (slight exaggeration there boys). He is all smiles.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
Mar-15-18  lzromeu: War of tempos
War of ages
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Caruana offered a draw after <52...Nc2>, but Kramnik declined it only to resign 14 moves later.


Mar-17-18  sudoplatov: Interesting companion game.
C H Alexander vs Kashdan, 1937
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Great picture If it works...
Mar-18-18  The Rocket: <In the press conference, it was clear that Caruana was fresher and that his appreciation of some key positions during the game was superior.<

It was certainly not reflected in his play. Caruana made more severe inaccuracies and at one point appeared clueless how to proceed, simply pushing a slow h-pawn instead of accurately assessing the critical nature of the position.

Kramnik made a few inaccuracies throughout but it was really only the howler at the end that cost him the game. The c5-mistake was apparently not grave enough, since Caruana did not understand the position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: 23.c5 was wrong because it offended against one of the secrets of the game - if Black can play ...f5 without being worse, he's better.
Mar-20-18  bubuli55: We would be singing a different tune had Kramnik won this game.
Mar-24-18  King.Arthur.Brazil: I'm not a World champion but I didn't like the move 39.Rb7. I would play 39.Rc8 because among others, it has the threat of 40.Rxg5 followed by Rxe8 which force black to make his King back with 39... Ke7 for which 40.Re1 will be very string. Otherwise, black has to play 39... Rxd7 40. Bxd7 Kxd7 41. Rc5 Rf1+ 42. Rxf1 Nxf1 43. a5 Rxf5.

Also instead of 43.b4, I prefer 43.Be2. If black is forced to reply 43...Rg3, 44. Bxh5 is very good. If black defends the pawn with Rh4 (which block its own progress to h1), the reply Bf3 would be also strong! White planed with 43.b4 force the line of Rb6+, followed by Ra6 and Bc6. But this line waste 2 moves, while the line I proposed is more effective. So in a very hard position, you cannot loose time.

It is sad that KRAMNIK allowed the win get off his hands, maybe he has substimated his opponent.

Mar-26-18  cormier: Stockfish 8 Depth: 28

-0.22 23. gxh3 f5 24. Bxe5+ dxe5 25. Rd7+ Kf6 26. Re1 e4 27. Rxb7 Re7 28. Rxe7 Kxe7 29. Rd1 Bh4 30. c5 Bxf2 31. Rd6 Bxc5 32. Re6+ Kd7 33. Re5 e3 34. Bc4 Bd4 35. Rxf5 Rb8 36. Kc1 Rxb2 37. Rf4 Bc3 38. Re4 Rb4 39. Be6+ Kd6 40. Rxe3 Bd4 41. Rb3 Rb5 42. Rxb5 cxb5 43. Bf5

-0.48 23. Bxe5+ Rxe5 24. Rxe5 dxe5 25. gxh3 e4 26. c3 Re8 27. Rd7 Re7 28. Rxe7 Bxe7 29. Bd1 Kf6 30. Kc2 Ke5 31. Kd2 f5 32. Ke2 Kf4 33. a3 Bd6 34. b4 Be5 35. Kd2 Kg5 36. c5 Kh4 37. Bb3 Kxh3

-1.31 23. f4 Ng4 24. Rxe8 Rxe8 25. fxg5 Nxh2 26. gxh3 Nf3 27. Kc1 Re1 28. Rxe1 Nxe1 29. Kd2 Nf3+ 30. Ke3 Nxg5 31. h4 Ne6 32. c3 f5 33. Bd1 Kf6 34. b4 Ke

Mar-26-18  PJs Studio: From a boring 5. Qe2 Petroff a drunken Irish Donnybrook broke out. This game was incredibly complex from move 23 on.
May-23-18  Saniyat24: Caruana played the ending much better than was definitely a very very complex game of chess...!
Oct-29-18  Jambow: Game was complex and the moves were perplexing. I haven't a clue.
Premium Chessgames Member

Be obscene, baby, and not heard

[Fritz 10]: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qe2 Qe7 6. Nc3 Nxc3 7. dxc3 Qxe2+ 8. Bxe2 Nc6 9. Be3 Be7 [last book move] 10. 0-0-0 0-0 11. Rhe1 Bf6 12. Nd2 Re8 13. Bf3 Ne5 14. Bf4 Kf8 15. Bd5 c6 16. Bb3 Bf5 17. h3 g5 18. Bh2 Kg7 19. c4 [19. g4 Bg6 ⩲] g4 [=] 20. Ne4 Bxe4 21. Rxe4 Bg5+ 22. Kb1 gxh3 23. c5? [23. gxh3 f5 24. Ree1 =] f5 [-+] 24. Rb4 hxg2 25. Rxb7+ Kh8 26. cxd6 Nf3 27. Ba4 Nxh2 28. Bxc6 Rad8 29. d7 Re2 30. Bxg2 Rxf2 31. Bc6 Ng4 [31 ... Nf1 32. b3 Ne3 33. Rc1 -+] 32. Rxa7 [32. c4!? Ne3 33. Rg1 ∓] Ne3 [-+] 33. Rg1 h6 [33 ... Rxc2 would have gained the upper hand 34. Rc1 Rxc1+ 35. Kxc1 Nc4+ 36. Kd1 Ne5 -+] 34. Rc7 [ ∓] Kg7 [Instead of 34 ... Rxc2 35. Rxg5 Rxd7 36. Rc8+ Kh7 37. Bxd7 Rxc8 38. Rxf5 ±] 35. a4 Kf7 [Worse is 35 ... Nxc2 36. Rc8 Kf7 37. Rxg5 ⩲] 36. Bb5 Ke7 [36 ... Nd5!? 37. Rc8 Ke7 38. Re1+ Ne3 =] 37. a5 [=] Rf4 38. c3 Kd6 [38 ... Rg4 39. Rh1 Kd6 40. Rb7 ⩲] 39. Rb7 [39. Rc6+ Ke7 40. a6 Rxd7 41. Rc8 ±] Rg4 40. Re1 f4 41. a6 h5?? [41 ... f3 and Black could well hope to play on 42. a7 f2 43. Rxe3 Bxe3 ⩲] 42. a7 [+-] Ra8 43. b4 [43. c4!? +-] h4 [ ±] 44. c4 h3 45. c5+ Ke5 46. Rb8 [46. c6 h2 47. c7 =] Rxa7 [=] 47. Rg8 Bf6 48. d8=Q Bxd8 49. Rxg4 Bf6 50. Rg6 Rb7 51. Be2 Rxb4+ 52. Ka2 Nc2 53. Rc1 Nd4 [53 ... h2 54. Rh6 Nd4 55. Bd1 =] 54. Bd3 [54. Bg4!? Ra4+ 55. Kb2 ⩲] Ra4+ [=] 55. Kb1 [55. Kb2 Ke6 =] Nb3 [ ⩱] 56. Re1+ Kd5 57. Kc2 Nd4+ 58. Kb1? [58. Kc1!? Be5 59. Ra6 Nb3+ 60. Kc2 Rxa6 61. Bxa6 Nxc5 62. Be2 =] Nf3 [-+] 59. Rd1?? [59. Rxf6 Nxe1 60. Bf1 -+] Ra1+ 60. Kc2 Rxd1 61. Ba6 [61. Rxf6 there is nothing better h2 62. Rh6 -+] Rd2+ 62. Kc1 [62. Kb3 is one last hope Rb2+ 63. Ka3 -+] Bb2+ 63. Kb1 Kxc5 64. Bb7 Ne5 [64 ... Nd4 65. Rg5+ Kb4 -+] 65. Rf6 f3! [a beautiful forced end to the game] 66. Rf5 [66. Bxf3 Nxf3] f2 0-1

The first Black win in our Best Games of 2018 contest, and the second Petrov Defense. Many fans probably expected a quick draw after 5. Qe2 Qe7 leading to an early Queen trade on a quiet board, yet Kramnik pressed as White with opposite-side castling and better development. The tricky 23 ... f5 gave Black the edge, but White sacrificed a piece with 27. Ba4 Nxh2 28. Bxc6 and soon both sides had Pawns on the seventh rank with Queening ideas. 33 ... Rxc2 would have been a major improvement for Black, then 41 ... h5?? 42. a7 and White was better. The complications led to White being up the exchange but then had to deal with Black's Pawn threats which ultimately proved too much.

Great fighting game, showing Caruana's dogged defense and determination which led to him winning the Candidates Event and becoming the WC Challenger.

Jun-07-19  Imran Iskandar: Amazing how such a game arises from such an innocuous opening. Probably goes to show what the top players can create if both are in a fighting mood.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: After his hot start at the 2018 Candidates', I was hoping to see Kramnik take the tournament and play Carlsen for the title.

IIRC, this game, in which VK obtained a decisive advantage, only to blunder it away, was the beginning of his self-destruction.

For me, it is still "too soon" to review this one.

Oct-14-19  RandomVisitor: 39.Rc6+ and white is in charge
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Is the pun a movie title? It sounds familiar.
Oct-14-19  Ironmanth: Extraordinarily intense game; classic fight between two heavyweights. Thanks, chessgames. Have a great week, y'all.
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