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Vladimir Kramnik vs Jorden van Foreest
Tata Steel Masters (2019), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 11, Jan-25
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-25-19  devere: Kramnik missed a pretty win with 20.Nxd6 Qxd6 21.Nh8! (...Rff8 22.Rf3 + -), but won anyway when his opponent misplayed the endgame.
Jan-25-19  mrl: Kramnik's winning bishop move of 50 e6 is very nice. Too bad that everybody was concentrating on Shankland's resignation blunder, and might have ignored this game. Here black attacks the pawn that white's bishop was guarding. But white can then move that bishop away from protecting the pawn, to a square that was made possible, only because of black's bishop move! Understandable that black missed it.
Jan-26-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Wondering if any point in this game both Super-GMs simultaneously had no idea what was happening on the board. I had no idea what they were thinking at least 2/3 of the time.
Jan-26-19  sakredkow: 17. Ng6, 18. Qh5, 19. g4, 20. Rf3 - that got exciting pretty quickly.
Jan-30-19  TheaN: In what will most likely be the only game between Kramnik and Van Foreest, the gentlemen played a very interesting endgame, including a fortress-like position for Black at move 55, which is almost impossible to comprehend.

49....Be8? miscalculated 49....Bxg4! 50.Kxg4 Kxb6 51.Kf5 (Bxg5? Bxg5! (Rg8 works but why complicate it) 52.Kxg5 Kb5 53.h6 Kb4 54.h7 Ka3 55.Rh1 (Rxa2+ Kxa2 -+ and White promotes but loses the pawn endgame) Kb2 56.h8=Q Rxh8 -+) g4! 52.Kxg4 Bf6= and Black will keep tabs on the h-pawn indefinitely with no progress for White.

Kramnik picks up on this inaccuracy with 50.Be6! and the evaluations shift a bit in the upcoming moves (Kramnik probably had a practical win with h6 on the next move). However at move 55 something interesting happens.

55....Bxd3? +- is definitely lost (+6 and eventually +50), after 56.Kf5! White invades and the Queen endgame is lost for Black. Black could have tried 55....Bd7+!? and White can't come close due to 56.Kh5 Be8+ 57.Kg4 Bd7+. After 56.Kg3 Bf6 57.h7 g4!? (+2.72) and Black seems to have a fortress.


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My SF9 refuses to go above +2.72, and sometimes sticks at +1.62 as well. There are quite some pitfalls for Black so I can understand Van Foreest didn't see or calculate all the subtleties but it's interesting. My PV in Stockfish just has tenths of Bishop moves, sometimes Kings, but the pawns remain fixed. Would be interesting to see what others make of this. It seems like Black can counter any threat of White just in time in order to not get into a theoretically lost endgame.

Feb-11-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I enjoy these kind of tempo/timing endgames. kramnik had the better King.
Mar-10-19  Kirth Gersen: Although Kramnik won, it's hard not to feel that he misplayed the position well before he missed the Nh8 shot. He got a tempo-up Petrosian KID where Black (playing the "White" side of the KID) castled early which I had thought was exactly not the point of the Petrosian system (White is supposed to stay flexible on King position, I thought?)

There must have been some way to get a crushing attack without needing to find the clever 20.Nxd6 Qxd6 21.Nh8! Rf8 22.Rf3!

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