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Richard Rapport vs Vladimir Kramnik
Tata Steel Masters (2019), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 6, Jan-18
Bishop's Opening: Vienna Hybrid. Spielmann Attack (C26)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-21-19  goodevans: Kramnik's poor showing at Tata 2019 has been a combination of uncharacteristic losses and missed wins. Here <45...a3> would have secured the whole point. White simply can't cope with the joint threats of <...a2; ...Rb1+> and <...Rh8; ...Rh1#>.

It would seem that this is easier for a human to see than it is for Stockfish which gives 45...a3 an initial evaluation of just -0.13, suggesting <46.Bf7>. Only on deeper evaluation does it see that this loses to <46...a2>.

Perhaps white's best defence against 45...a3 is <46.Ne6+ Kxg6 47.Ra2 Rh8 48.Rxb2 axb2 49.Be4+ Kf6 50.Nc5 Bd6!> (50...b1=Q+ would be premature because of 51.Bxb1 Rh1+ 52.Ke2 Rxb1 53.Ne4+) <51.Nd7+ Ke7> and now white cannot stop <52...b1=Q+ 53.Bxb1 Rh1+>.

Jan-21-19  fabelhaft: <Kramnik's poor showing at Tata 2019 has been a combination of uncharacteristic losses and missed wins>

Some very strange chess by Kramnik, even more than in the Candidates, where he was enormously optimistic both in games and interviews. Here itís not so much the missed wins (he had one here that even engines had trouble finding), but all the for him weak moves.

Kramnik has ĒonlyĒ lost four and drawn four, but he had lost positions in two games more, and it took a couple of unusual blunders from Radjabov for him not to win that game. I donít recall a top player going this wild in any other tournament, some of his moves are just difficult to explain. Even the humble Anand almost apologized for not winning quicker with black against Kramnik. Surprising to see Kramnik go for such unsound stuff in game after game.

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