(1) Ivanchuk,V (2739) - Kramnik,V (2772) [D39]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (9), 14.11.2009

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bg5 h6
Kramnik repeats the variation which brought him an easy draw in round seven of this tournament against Levon Aronian.

7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.e5 Qd8 9.Qa4+!?
A possible nt over 9.Bxc4 c5 would have transposed to the previously mentioned game against Aronian. By forcing 9...Nc6 Ivanchuk hopes to prevent or delay the pawn advance c7-c5.

9...Nc6 10.Bxc4 Bd7 11.Qc2 Na5 12.Bd3 c5
Kramnik accomplis hes this freeing-lever anyway, but his queenside pieces are loosely placed.

13.dxc5 Rc8 14.a3 Bxc5 15.0-0
15.b4 would simply be a strategic error: Black can simply retreat with 15...Be7 when 16.bxa5 doesn't work since after 16...Qxa5, Black will regain his piece due to the pin on the c-file, while after the relatively better 16.0-0, Black can take advantage of the weakened c4-square with 16...Nc4.

15...0-0 16.Rad1 Be7 17.Qe2!
Played after half an hour by the Ukrainian. Ivanchuk intends 18.Qe4 with an attack. This action is justified by the badly placed knight on a5.

17...Qc7 18.Qe4 g6 19.Qg4 Kg7 20.Ne2!
By transferring his knight to f4, sacrifices on g6 and e6 begin to emerge as possibilities.

20...Bc6 21.Nf4 Rg8
A sad necessity. Black doesn't have time to exchange pieces with 21...Bxf3 since there would follow 22.Nxe6+! winning.

While there's nothing wrong with this move, 23.Bxg6 would simply have won a pawn, since capturing the bishop would allow mate in two.

22...Kh7 23.h4?
This is one preparatory move too many, and allows Black to escape. Spectators were expecting either 23.Ndxe6! or 23.b4! when in either case, Black is in serious trouble. It's important to note however, that by this point Ivanchuk was experiencing considerable time-pressure.

23...Qxe5 24.h5
24.Ndxe6 was the last try for an attack, although this is very unclear.

24...Kh8! 25.Nxc6 Nxc6 26.hxg6 f5 27.g7+ Rxg7 28.Ng6+ Kg8 29.Nxe5
Here the players agreed to a draw. After 29...fxg4 30 Bc4 Black's extra pawn is unlikely to mean much in view of White's active pieces. 1/2-1/2