(1) Kramnyik - Leko [A35]
Miskolc (m5), 28.04.2007
[Berkes/Meszaros]



1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 dxc4 7.Nxc6 Qxd1+ 8.Nxd1 bxc6 9.Bg2 Nd5 10.Ne3 e6 11.Nxc4 Ba6 12.b3
This is the starting position of Kramnik's favourite variation. Formerly he successfully played 12. Na5.

12...Bb4+ 13.Bd2 Bxd2+ 14.Nxd2 Nb4 15.Kd1 0-0-0 16.a3 Nd5 17.Rc1 Kb7 18.Ke1!!
Grandiose innovation. White's not hurry with the development of the h1 rook but he tries to exchange the bishops first. If he succeeds then he will have great winning chances, thanks to Black's weak pawnstructure.

18...e5 19.e3!
[Occupying the c5 square too early would not ensure any advantage for White. 19.Ne4?! Kb6 20.Nc5 Rd6 21.e4 Nc7 22.Bf1 Bxf1 23.Rxf1 Ne6= ]

19...Kb6
[19...f5 is another possibility, but 20.e4! (20.Bf1?! Bxf1 21.Rxf1 e4 22.Ke2 +/= is also better for white but black would obtain some spacial advantage on the kingside.) 20...fxe4 21.Nxe4 Kb6 22.Nc5 Rd6 23.h4! (h5,Rh4 ) 23...h5 24.Nxa6 Kxa6 25.Ke2 Rhd8 26.Rc2 Kb6 27.Rhc1+/- and the black position collapses.]

20.Bf1 Bb5?!
[Exchanging the bishops with 20...Bxf1 seemed somewhat better, but White would be still able to exert boardwide pressure. For example: 21.Rxf1 Rhe8 22.Ke2 e4 23.Rc4 f5 24.Rfc1 Re6 25.b4 Ne7 26.Nb3 Nd4,h4,a4]

21.Bc4!
The d2 knight is more valuable than the b5 bishop because it can exploit Black's weaknesses.

21...f6 22.Ke2 Rd7 23.Rc2 a5
Peter should have kept away from the a5 move as long as it was possible.

24.Rhc1 Ne7 25.Bxb5!?
Deep plan, but we think Kramnik hurries the implementation. [25.Ne4 Rhd8 26.g4 and White can improve his position easily (h4-h5, Kf3) beacuse Black can do nothing but wait patiently.]

25...cxb5 26.a4!
Touches the spot. Not only are the queenside pawns weak, but the black monarch can find himself in an awkward situation too, and the list is not over, because after

26...Rhd8 27.axb5 Kxb5?!
[27...h5! 28.Ne4 (28.Nc4+?! Kxb5 29.Ra2 Nc6= ) 28...Nd5 29.Rc6+ Kxb5 30.h3! g4]

28.Ne4
it is practically impossible to bundle off the white knight.

28...Ra7?! 29.g4
[The aggressive 29.Nc3+!? is also possible. 29...Kb6 (29...Kc6 30.Nd5+! Kd7 31.Rc7+ Rxc7 32.Rxc7+ Kd6 33.Rxe7 Kxd5 34.Rxg7 Rb8 35.Rd7+ Kc5 36.Ra7+/- ; 29...Kb4 30.Na4+/- ) 30.Na4+ Kb5 31.Rc7 Rd7 32.R7c5+ Kb4 33.Nb6! Rdb7 34.R1c4+ Ka3 35.Rb5+/- is also clearly better for White.]

29...h6 30.h4 Kb6 31.g5
[31.h5 looks promising too.]

31...hxg5 32.hxg5 fxg5
[32...f5 33.Nc5 e4 (33...Nd5 34.Nd3 e4 35.Rc6+ Kb7 36.Ne5+/- ) 34.Na4+! Ka6 35.Rc7 Rxc7 36.Rxc7 Re8 37.g6! Kb5 38.Nc3+ Ka6 39.Kd2 Rd8+ 40.Kc2+/- ]

33.Rg1 Rc8 34.Rd2! Nc6 35.Rxg5 a4?!
Inaccuracy, although there is no proper defence anyway. Moreover Peter's time has almost run out.

36.bxa4 Rxa4 37.Nd6
[37.Rb2+! Rb4 38.Rxb4+ Nxb4 39.Rxe5 Rc2+ 40.Kf3+- ]

37...Rc7 38.Ne8?
We consider this as a mistake because Black has neither time nor position. Kramnik wins the g7 pawn but lets his opponent out of the grip. [It would be better to exert the pressure with 38.Rg6! In addition, taking the e5 pawn is better since organizing the defence of the g7 pawn looks impossible because is too far from the king.]

38...Rca7 39.Nxg7 Ra2!
Black has to exchange a pair of rooks by all means.

40.Rxa2 Rxa2+ 41.Kf3 Kc5 42.Nf5 Nb4 43.Ng3 Kd5 44.Ne4 Ra8 45.Nf6+ Ke6 46.Ng4 Nd3 47.Rg6+ Kf5 48.Rf6+ Kg5 49.Rd6
[49.Re6 Kf5 50.Rd6 e4+ 51.Kg3 Ra1 52.f3! Rg1+ 53.Kh3 (53.Kh2 Rf1! ) 53...Nf4+!! 54.exf4 exf3 55.Rf6+ Ke4= ]

49...Rf8+?
Peter's persistent and enduring defence might have reaped the harvest because the position is objectively drawn. Time, however, is everything, and Peter doesn't find the saving motif during the few seconds he has left. [49...Nc5! 50.Nxe5 Rf8+ 51.Ke2 Rxf2+ 52.Kxf2 Ne4+ 53.Kf3 Nxd6= draw!]

50.Kg3 e4 51.Rd5+ Rf5 52.f4+!
The game is over.

52...Kg6 53.Rd4 Nc5 54.Ne5+ Kg7 55.Rc4 Nd3 56.Nxd3 exd3 57.Rd4
A gorgeous game, in spite of the mistake in the 38th move. Kramnik's tremendous play lived up to his fame. 1-0