CBM training: Kramnik's endgames in Dortmund

7/25/2012 – As you can imagine, GM Karsten Müller was following the Dortmund GM tournament, picking out interesting and instructive endgames for his ChessBase Magazine column. He shows us three examples in which former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik loses, misses a clear win (pointed out by Garry Kasparov) and actually takes home the full point. Learn and enjoy.

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Kramnik's Knight Attack

Rook and Knight can sometimes form a formidable force::

[Event "40th GM"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2012.07.20"] [Round "7"] [White "Kramnik, V."] [Black "Leko, P."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2799"] [BlackElo "2730"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "267"] [EventDate "2012.07.13"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2012.07.20"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Nf3 c6 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qb3 O-O 9. Rc1 Nb6 10. Ba5 dxc4 11. Qd1 Qd5 12. Bc3 Qb5 13. a4 Qa6 14. Nbd2 Nbd5 15. Ne5 c5 16. Ndxc4 Nxc3 17. bxc3 Nd7 18. Qb3 Rb8 19. Qb5 Qxb5 20. axb5 cxd4 21. cxd4 Nxe5 22. Nxe5 f6 23. Nc4 Bd7 24. b6 axb6 25. Nxb6 Be8 26. Rab1 Bg6 27. Ra1 Rfd8 28. e3 Bd3 29. Bh3 f5 30. Bf1 Bxf1 31. Kxf1 Rd6 32. Rcb1 Bd8 33. Nc4 Rd7 34. Ne5 Rc7 35. Ra6 b6 36. Kg2 Bf6 37. Nd3 Rcb7 38. Rb5 Bd8 39. Re5 Re7 40. Nf4 Kf7 41. Nd3 Rc8 42. Rb5 Kf6 43. h4 g6 44. Kf3 h5 45. Ra2 Rb7 46. Ne5 Kg7 47. Ke2 Kf6 48. Kd3 Rbc7 49. Kd2 Rb7 50. Kd3 Rbc7 51. Rb3 Rb7 52. Nc4 Bc7 53. Rb5 Rcb8 54. Rab2 Ra7 55. Rc2 Ke7 56. e4 fxe4+ 57. Kxe4 Rd8 58. Ne3 Rd7 59. Rc6 Ra4 60. Nc4 Kf7 61. Rb3 Ra2 62. f4 Ra4 63. Ke3 Ra1 64. Nd2 Ke7 65. Nf3 Ra7 66. Rb5 Ra5 67. Rxa5 bxa5 68. Ke4 Bd6 69. Ra6 Rb7 70. Rxa5 Bb8 71. Ra6 Rb3 72. Ng5 {Kramnik's Knight Attack Rook and Knight can sometimes form a formidable force:} Rxg3 $2 {This runs into an ambush.} (72... Bd6 $1 {was forced, but it is not likely that Black can survive in the long run, e.g.} 73. Ra7+ Ke8 74. g4 $1 hxg4 75. Rg7 Be7 (75... g3 $6 76. Rxg6 g2 77. Nf3 Rb2 78. Rxe6+ Kd7 79. Rg6 $18) 76. Nxe6 Rh3 (76... Bxh4 77. Rxg6 g3 78. Ng7+ Kf7 79. Rg4 Bd8 80. Nf5 $16) 77. Nc7+ Kf8 78. Rxg6 Rxh4 79. Nd5 Bd8 80. Ne3 Kf7 81. Rxg4 $16) 73. Rxe6+ Kd7 74. Rxg6 Rg4 75. Rg7+ Kc8 (75... Kc6 76. Ne6 Rxh4 77. Nd8+ Kd6 78. d5 Kc5 79. Nb7+ Kb4 80. d6 Rh1 81. Rg8 $18) 76. Ne6 $1 {Kramnik's attacking army is in full harmony.} Rxh4 77. Rh7 Bd6 78. Kd5 Bxf4 79. Kc6 Kb8 80. Kb6 ({Garry Kasparov weighed in with: "What about} 80. Rd7 $1 {, which wins on the spot? I mean wasn't everyone on Playchess yelling for blood after 72...Rxg3? was played?"} Bh2 81. Kb6 $18) 80... Kc8 81. Kc6 Kb8 82. Rb7+ Ka8 (82... Kc8 $2 83. Rf7 Bh6 84. Re7 Kb8 85. Re8+ Ka7 86. Nc7 $18) 83. Rb5 Rg4 84. Ra5+ $2 {Kramnik is showing nerves.} (84. Nxf4 $1 {wins as Black's king is so badly placed, e.g. } Rxf4 85. d5 Rc4+ 86. Kd7 h4 87. Rb3 Ka7 88. d6 Rc1 89. Kd8 Rh1 90. d7 h3 91. Re3 h2 92. Re2 Kb7 93. Ke7 Rd1 94. Rxh2 Re1+ 95. Kd8 Re3 96. Rb2+ Ka7 97. Rb4 Re1 98. Kc7 Rc1+ 99. Kd6 Rd1+ 100. Kc6 Rc1+ 101. Kd5 Rd1+ 102. Rd4 $18) 84... Kb8 85. Rxh5 ({Now it is too late for} 85. Nxf4 {due to the large drawish tendency of rook endings, e.g.} Rxf4 86. d5 Rc4+ 87. Kd7 Rc7+ 88. Kd8 Rc8+ 89. Ke7 Rh8 90. d6 Rh7+ 91. Ke6 Kb7 (91... Rh6+ $2 92. Kd7 Kb7 93. Rb5+ Ka6 94. Rb1 $18) 92. d7 Rh6+ $11) (85. Rb5+ {can be met by} Ka7 $1 86. Nxf4 Rxf4 87. d5 Rc4+ 88. Kd7 h4 89. d6 h3 90. Rh5 Rc3 $11) 85... Bg3 86. Rh8+ Ka7 87. Rh7+ Kb8 88. Rb7+ Kc8 89. Rf7 Kb8 90. d5 Rc4+ 91. Nc5 Rc2 92. Rb7+ Ka8 (92... Kc8 $4 93. Rg7 Bh4 94. Rg8+ Bd8 95. d6 $18) 93. Rb5 (93. Rb3 $5 Bf2 94. Rb5 Ka7 95. d6 Rc1 96. d7 Bh4 97. Rb7+ Ka8 98. Rb4 Bd8 99. Re4 Ka7 100. Re8 Bb6 101. Re5 Bd8 $11) 93... Bh2 $2 (93... Ka7 $1 {is called for as} 94. d6 Bxd6 95. Kxd6 Rh2 {is only drawn.}) 94. Rb1 $2 ({Kramnik misses his last chance} 94. d6 $1 Bxd6 ( 94... Bg3 95. d7 Bh4 96. Kc7 Ra2 97. Kc8 Ka7 98. Rb7+ Ka8 99. Ne6 Rc2+ 100. Nc7+ Rxc7+ 101. Kxc7 $18) 95. Kxd6 {which wins as Black's king can not leave the corner area, e.g.} Ra2 96. Kc7 Ra7+ 97. Kc8 Ra2 98. Ne6 Ka7 99. Rb7+ Ka6 100. Nc7+ Ka5 101. Ra7+ $18) 94... Ka7 95. Rb7+ Ka8 96. Rg7 Kb8 97. Rg8+ Ka7 98. Rg7+ Kb8 99. Rg6 Ka7 100. d6 Bxd6 $5 {Finally Leko can eliminate Kramnik's pawn. The pawnless endgame rook and knight against rook is drawn despite the fact that Black's king is badly placed.} 101. Rxd6 Rc1 102. Rd2 Kb8 $1 (102... Rc4 $2 103. Rb2 Ka8 104. Rb5 Rc3 105. Kc7 Ra3 106. Rb1 Ra7+ 107. Kc8 Ra2 108. Ne6 Ka7 109. Nc7 Rb2 110. Nb5+ $18) 103. Ra2 Rc3 104. Rb2+ Kc8 $1 {The king must leave the corner area.} (104... Ka7 $2 105. Rb5 Ra3 106. Kc7 Ka8 107. Rb8+ Ka7 108. Rb2 Ka8 109. Rc2 Ka7 110. Nd7 Ka6 111. Rc5 Rb3 112. Nb8+ $18) 105. Re2 Kd8 $1 (105... Kb8 $2 {runs into} 106. Kb6 $18) 106. Kd6 Rc1 107. Nb7+ Kc8 108. Re7 Rd1+ 109. Kc6 Rc1+ 110. Nc5 Kd8 111. Re2 Rc3 112. Kd6 Rc1 113. Ne6+ Kc8 114. Rd2 Rc3 115. Nc5 Rc1 116. Re2 Kd8 117. Re3 Rc2 118. Ne6+ Kc8 ({Of course not} 118... Ke8 $4 119. Nd4+ $18) 119. Rd3 Rc1 120. Rd5 Rc2 121. Rd1 Rc3 122. Nf4 Rb3 123. Rc1+ Kb7 124. Nd5 Rb2 125. Rc7+ Kb8 126. Rh7 Rb1 127. Nc3 Rb6+ 128. Kc5 Rb3 129. Ne4 Rb7 130. Rh8+ Kc7 131. Nd6 Rb1 132. Rh7+ Kd8 133. Nb7+ ( 133. Kc6 {can be met by} Rc1+ $11 {or by the stalemate trick} (133... Rb6+)) 133... Ke8 134. Kc6 1/2-1/2

Fabiano's Furious Bishops

The pair of bishops is a mighty weapon in the endgame:

[Event "40th GM"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2012.07.21"] [Round "8"] [White "Caruana, F."] [Black "Kramnik, V."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2775"] [BlackElo "2799"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2012.07.13"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. O-O d6 6. c3 O-O 7. Nbd2 Ne7 8. d4 exd4 9. cxd4 Bb6 10. b3 d5 11. e5 Ne4 12. Bd3 Bf5 13. Qe2 Nc6 14. Bb2 Nxd2 15. Qxd2 Be4 16. Be2 f6 17. b4 fxe5 18. dxe5 Kh8 19. b5 Ne7 20. Ng5 Ng6 21. g3 Qe7 22. e6 Rf5 23. Nxe4 dxe4 24. Qd7 Raf8 25. Qxe7 Nxe7 26. Ba3 Re8 27. Rad1 h5 28. Rd7 Nd5 29. Rf7 Nf6 30. Bc4 Bc5 31. Bb2 Re7 32. Bd4 Bd6 33. Re1 b6 34. Rf8+ Kh7 35. Rxe4 Rxf2 36. Kxf2 Nxe4+ 37. Kg2 Nc5 38. Ra8 {Fabiano's Furious Bishops The pair of bishops is a mighty weapon in the endgame:} Nxe6 $2 {This runs into a furious attack.} ({Black's king must run away immediatly with} 38... Kg6 $1 39. Bxc5 (39. Rxa7 Nxe6) 39... Bxc5 40. Rxa7 Kf5 {and Black keeps practical drawing chances in both cases.}) 39. Bd3+ $1 Kh6 40. h4 {This weaves a mating net.} ({The direct} 40. Be3+ $5 g5 41. Rg8 {is even stronger, e.g.} h4 (41... Rg7 $2 42. Rh8+ Rh7 43. Rxh7#) 42. Rg6+ Kh5 43. Kh3 $18) 40... g6 41. Rh8+ Rh7 42. Rg8 $1 Rg7 (42... Nf8 $2 43. Be3+ Bf4 44. Bxf4+ g5 45. Bxg5#) (42... Nxd4 $2 43. Rxg6#) 43. Bxg7+ Kh7 (43... Nxg7 $2 44. Rh8#) 44. Re8 Nxg7 45. Re3 { Black is completely lost as White's attack on the light squares increases in strength due to the opposite colored bishops.} Kh6 46. a4 Kh7 47. Kh3 Kh6 48. Bc2 Kh7 (48... Nf5 49. Bxf5 gxf5 50. Re8 $18) 49. g4 hxg4+ 50. Kxg4 Kh6 51. Re2 Bb4 52. Re5 Nh5 $6 53. Re6 1-0

Kramnik's Crushing Attack

The bishop pair and a dangerous passed pawn can be very strong in the endgame:

[Event "40th GM"] [Site "Dortmund GER"] [Date "2012.07.14"] [Round "2"] [White "Gustafsson, Jan"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E94"] [WhiteElo "2629"] [BlackElo "2799"] [Annotator "Müller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "54"] [EventDate "2012.07.12"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. Be3 c6 8. O-O exd4 9. Nxd4 Re8 10. f3 d5 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. Nxd5 cxd5 13. Rc1 a5 14. Qb3 a4 15. Qxd5 Qxd5 16. exd5 a3 17. b3 Nc6 18. Nc2 {Kramnik's Crushing Attack The bishop pair and a dangerous passed pawn can be very strong in the endgame:} Rxe3 $3 {An amazing shot that was prepared by Kramnik. His initiative on the dark squares and his play against the pawn a2 compensate the exchange. Furthermore his position is much easier to play than White's.} (18... Nb4 $2 19. Nxb4 Rxe3 20. Kf2 {plays into White's hand.}) 19. Nxe3 Nb4 20. Rc4 $2 { Gustafsson plans to exchange rooks, but this costs too much time.} (20. Rc7 { was called for, e.g.} Bd4 21. Re7 Nxd5 22. Re8+ Kg7 23. Kh1 Nxe3 24. Rc1 Nd5 25. Rcxc8 Rxc8 26. Rxc8 Nc3 27. Rxc3 Bxc3 $11 {"this is the computer line. Good luck finding that." (GM Ramirez on chessbase.com)}) 20... Nxa2 21. Ra4 $2 (21. Nc2 $1 {offers far more resistance as the a-pawn can be kept under control, e.g.} Nc3 22. Bd3 a2 23. Ra1 Kf8 24. Rc7 Nxd5 25. Rxc8+ Rxc8 26. Rxa2 {and Black has a dangerous initiative, but not more.}) 21... Rxa4 22. bxa4 Bd4 23. Kf2 $6 (23. Bc4 {was the last practical chance, but Black must be winning in the long run after} Bxe3+ 24. Kh1 Nb4 25. Ra1 Bc5 26. Rxa3 Nxd5 27. Rb3 Ne7 {due to his powerful bishops.}) 23... Nb4 24. Rc1 (24. Rd1 {does not help due to} Nc2 25. Rxd4 Nxd4 26. Bc4 Bd7 $19) 24... a2 25. Rxc8+ Kg7 26. Rc1 Nxd5 27. Rd1 Nxe3 (27... Nxe3 {and Black resigned due to} 28. Rxd4 a1=Q 29. Kxe3 Qg1+ $19) 0-1

Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine

Do you like these lessons? There are plenty more by internationally renowned endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine, where you will also find openings articles and surveys, tactics, and of course annotations by the world's top grandmasters.

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Apart from his regular columns and video lectures in ChessBase Magazine there is a whole series of training DVDs by Karsten Müller, which are bestsellers in the ChessBase Shop.


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