Dortmund R4: Kramnik almost Karjaked

7/25/2004 – Today the tournament's young guns took their turn with white against legends Vishy Anand and Vlady Kramnik. Arkady Naiditsch played to win versus Anand, while 14-year-old Sergey Karjakin came oh-so-close to beating the world champion in a wild game that lasted 86 moves. We bring you some remarkable annotations of this remarkable game.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

SPARKASSEN
CHESS-MEETING
2004
22 July to 1 August 2004

Round four – Sunday, July 25

Round 4: Sun. July 25, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
½-½
V. Anand
S. Rublevsky
½-½
P. Svidler
S. Karjakin
½-½
V. Kramnik
V. Bologan
½-½
P. Leko
Round 5: Mon. July 26, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
-
P. Svidler
V. Anand
-
S. Rublevsky
S. Karjakin
-
P. Leko
V. Kramnik
-
V. Bologan
Games – Report

The Internet coverage of the games in Dortmund were closely followed by many strong players, whose interest soon galvinated around the game between 14-year-old Ukraine prodigy Sergey Karjakin and the classical chess world champion Vladimir Kramnik. This was especially the case when people discovered that (a) the other three games were probably all going to be drawn; and (b) the young boy was outplaying the world champion. A monumental was in the air.

How did the game go, and how did it end? One of the grandmasters following the game was Alejandro Ramirez of Costa Rica, Central America's only GM. The interesting part is that he is in Karjakin's age bracket, having turned 16 just a few weeks ago (during the FIDE world championship in Tripoli). Alejandro was obviously enjoying the game tremendously (and rooting like almost everyone else for Karjakin), so we asked him to annotate it for us.

Half an hour after the game had ended we found the following remarkable work in our inbox. "LittlePeasant", as Alejandro calls himself on the server, had been working on it while it was in progress. This boy is not just lightning fast and clever as the devil, he also appears to possess gigawatts of energy! With great pleasure we welcome him to the fold of ChessBase contributors.

Did we mention that Alejandro was not able to watch the games from round three, since he was elected Sportsman of the Year in Costa Rica and had to "pick up the trophy, attend the the prize-giving, and bla-bla-bla." The things you gotta do when you are a star!

Karjakin,S (2591) – Kramnik,V (2770) [B90]

Dortmund (4), 25.07.2004 [Annotated by Ramirez Alejandro Alvarez ]
Note that you can replay and download the full annotations at the end of the game.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6. Kramnik is well known to be a solid player, playing for a draw on many occasions with openings such as the Berlin Ruy, and the Sveshnikov. Yet this year we saw a new addition to his repertoire, the Najdorf. His results so far have not been very good, his only win being in Monaco on a blindfold game against Vallejo. Probably faced with a young GM, Kramnik tries to go for the kill!
That said, I find this a very dubious decision, the sharp long variations of the Najdorf make Karjakin feel like a fish in the water!


The hero of the fourth round: 14-year-old Sergey Karjakin [Photo Olena Boytsun]

6.Be3. The English Attack... Basically everyone plays this stuff now, but there is nothing wrong with "good ol'" lines such as Be2, f4 and a4!? to try to deviate from the masses of theory 6. Be3 has accumulated.

6...e5. 6...Ng4 was Kramnik's choice against Akopian in Corus this year, but he suffered quite a crushing defeat; 6...e6 This was Vlad's choice against Adams also in Corus this year. But he lost yet again – perhaps the Najdorf is just not for Kramnik?

7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 Nbd7 9.g4. Again, this is the hot line, to throw g4 in before Qd2. Chess is filled with very subtle details! White's score with this order is extremely good

9...Nb6. Despite this move being rather illogical at first sight (it blocks the b pawn) it has some other ideas, like a quick jump to c4, for instance. 9...b5 10.g5 b4 Is the other main line, which is very sharp.


What's the problem, Sergey? Oh, yes, the pen! A boy's gotta have his pen [Photo Olena Boytsun]

10.g5 Nh5 11.Qd2 Rc8. 11...Be7 allows 12.Qf2 which is another famous game from this year, Leko-Kasparov from Linares, which was drawn at the end, although Leko was better at a certain point. This line is very sharp and easy to prepare against, so perhaps Vlad didn't want to test Sergey's preparation.

12.0-0-0 Be7 13.Kb1 0-0 14.Rg1 Qc7!? Before Linares, for some reason, 14... g6 was almost religiously played, yet 14... Qc7 seems much more logical

15.Qf2 Nc4 16.Bxc4 Qxc4 17.f4N. This deviates from Vallejo Pons-Kasparov, Linares 2004 which ended in a draw, although Kasparov was winning easily in many variations, as he himself claimed

17...Nxf4. Forcing the exchange of the knight is quite logical (knights on the rim are dim... or so they say .

18.Bxf4 exf4 19.Qxf4.

19...Rfe8? I think this is the start of Kramnik's troubles, since this move is connected with a strange, slow and bad plan. Just looking at the position will reveal that white is trying to slaughter Black's king, and black is probably aiming to do the same. Yet chess (thank Caissa!) is much more complex then that. For now, though, b5 looked logical, since the rook is well placed on f8 for the time being. Alternatives:

  • 19...f5 Trying to give air to his bishops, was an interesting try, yet it failed to 20.Nd4! When Black's pieces feel rather uncomfortable;

  • 19...f6 is even worse, since 20.g6 h6 21.Nd4± Leaves him with gaping holes on the light squares;

  • 19...b5 was much more logical 20.h4 f5!? 21.Nd4 b4 22.Nd5! Bxd5 23.exd5 Qxd5 24.Rge1 Leaves white with compensation for the pawn, but perhaps no more then that.

20.h4 Bf8. This manoeuvre is too slow. The whole plan of sitting and waiting is dubious at least. White's breakthroughs on the kingside aren't that far off. Karjakin seized his chance, and rams his h-pawn forward, threatening g6.

21.h5 g6 22.h6! Quite instructive. It is much more important to kill the black bishop, and leave some big holes on the kingside, then to open the h file: 22.hxg6?! hxg6 Any Dragon fan should know this: it is not easy to rip your kingside defenses apart, if there is no dragon slayer to get your g7 bishop! In the normal dragon, the dark square bishop takes care of that functionality, here, even if white gets Rh1, Qh3 AND Qh7+, it is still not easy to see a way in. 22...fxg6 Is also quite good for Black, defending through the 7th rank.

22...Qb4. The queen rushes back to d8. 23.Qf6 Qb6 24.Nd4!

A good move, black is very solidly placed, and his bishops are doing an excellent job protecting their king. They must be eliminated! That said, the knight wasn't really doing much at b3...

24...Qd8 25.Qf3. Of course, keeping the queens on! Try not to exchange when you have a space advantage .

25...Be7. Hitting the base of White's strong kingside pawn chain, its time for white to crash into Blacks base.

26.Nxe6 fxe6 27.Qg4. Another possibility was to swing the rook in first, but this looks good enough.

27...Kh8. Allowing the e6 to fall, although it was safer to play 27...Bf8 28.Rdf1 b5 Since white is still not crashing through anywhere.

28.e5. Sergey forces black to push his d-pawn forward, so he can gobble it up later!

28...d5 29.Qxe6 Bxg5 30.Qf7. 30.Qxd5? This would have been a lazy move 30...Qxd5 31.Rxd5 Bxh6 And white can at most claim a minimal advantage

30...Bxh6? Huh?! what is THIS?! After this move it seems white can go on auto-pilot right into 1-0. Much better was 30...Re7 31.Qf2 Rxe5 32.Qd4 Bf6 33.Nxd5 Rf5 34.Qe4 when Black is still inferior, but holding.

31.Rh1! Obviously 31...Rc7. 31...Bg7 32.Rxh7+! was mate.

32.Qf3! The strongest move. 32.Qxd5 was also good, black can't exchange queens 32...Qg5 (32...Qxd5 33.Nxd5+–) 33.Qd6! This goes into a probably won endgame (but if you are not so sure then 33.Rdg1± keeps up the pressure with good winning chances) 33...Rce7 34.Qf6+ Kg8 35.Ne4 Qxe5 36.Qxe5 Rxe5 37.Nf6+ Kg7 38.Nxe8+ Rxe8 39.Rd7+ Kg8 40.Rxb7 and this endgame should be won for White.

32...Bg7 33.Nxd5 Rd7. 33...Bxe5 34.Nxc7 Qxc7 Is not very pleasant for black, since pushing his passed pawns would be suicide, leaving his King out in the open. On the other hand, White is not "crashing through" anywhere, so it was interesting to look at this for Black.

34.e6?! Karjakin loses the thread a bit, why not Rxh7+ without losing the e-pawn? 34.Rxh7+! Kxh7 35.Nf6+ Bxf6 (35...Qxf6 36.Rh1+ Kg8 37.exf6 Rf7 38.Qg2! Rxf6 39.Qxb7 should be even easier for White than the previous variation) 36.Qh3+ Kg8 37.Rxd7 Qxd7 38.Qxd7 Rxe5 39.Qc8+ Kg7 40.Qxb7+ Re7 41.Qb4 should be easily winning, since white has the queen AND a passed pawn, contrary to the game's endgame.

34...Rxe6 35.Rxh7+ Kxh7. 35...Kg8 seemed better, remember my comment on the powerful bishop on g7, defending the kingside against all intruders? Well this seems to be the case here: 36.Rhh1 (36.Qb3 Rdd6! 37.Rhh1 Qd7 and Black is far off from ok, but is holding) 36...Re5 37.c4 when Black is inferior, but far from lost.

36.Qh3+ Kg8 37.Qxe6+ Rf7. Thing is, Black is close to zugzwang here 38.a4?! 38.a3 was better, not allowing b5 ideas [38.Qxg6?? is of course met by 38...Qxd5–+ Always watch your back!

38...g5 39.Ka2. Cunning move, with the idea that Qxd1 will no longer be check.

39...Kf8?! Going into a pretty bad endgame for Black, when he could still have created some counterplay: 39...b5! This move, which was supposed to be played 20 moves ago, is still good. 40.axb5 [40.Qxa6? bxa4 41.Qxa4? is met with 41...Qb8 forcing 42.Qb3 (42.Nc3 Ra7 43.Rd8+ Qxd8 44.Qxa7 Bxc3 also promises nothing) 42...Ra7+ 43.Kb1 Qxb3 44.cxb3 with a likely draw] 40...axb5 41.Kb1 Kf8 and, as in the previous variations, Black is not toast yet.

40.Nf6! A brilliant tactician like Karjakin will never pass an opportunity like this! 40...Bxf6. 40...Qxf6? 41.Qc8+ Ke7 42.Qxb7+ Ke8 43.Qc8+ Ke7 44.Qd8+ Ke6 45.Qd5+ Ke7 46.Re1+ is totally winning for White.

41.Rxd8+ Bxd8.

We have arrived at a very interesting endgame! Black's defensive resources are the passed g-pawn, and the possibility for a fortress position. Since Black's king is still on f8, far from the Q-side, White's winning chances are quite high. White is probably winning in this position, but only a very big piece of analysis could prove that statement right or wrong!

42.Qc8! Ke8 43.b4. Marching them up. 43...Rg7. Perhaps not the best. 43...Rd7 was interesting, cutting the queen from the g4 square, although after 44.c4 Black's position isn't so much fun, since 44...g4 is met by 45.c5! g3 46.c6 bxc6 47.Qxc6 and White's queen dominates the board to an extent to pick the a6 pawn AND stop the g-pawn.

44.Qg4 b6. It seems this accelerates defeat, but it was VERY hard to recommend something for Black. His main problem is lack of moves. Sure, he would love to play Kd8 right now, to pass to the Q-side, but there's that detail of the bishop blocking the way... Also, whites win is still not trivial. 44...Bf6 comes then as a logical move, yet this is met by 45.Qe6+! Be7 46.Qe4! and the b7 falls.


Vladimir Kramnik, fighting back in an essentially lost position

45.Qe2+ Kf8 46.Qf1+ Ke7 47.Qe2+. A normal repetition of moves, giving your opponent the hope of you repeating for a third time and giving him a draw is an effective and cruel psychological torture.

47...Kf8 48.Qxa6 g4 49.Qc8 Ke8 50.Qc6+ Kf8 51.Kb3 g3 52.Qg2 Rg5. Kramnik sets his last hopes to stop the pawns on his 4th rank

53.c4 Kg7 54.Kc2. 54.c5 bxc5 55.bxc5 ( 55.a5 Kg6! also seems drawn) 55...Rxc5 is drawn.

54...Kh6 55.Kd3 Be7 56.b5. 56.c5 bxc5 57.b5 Bd8 was not so easy, since the route back from b6 to g1 is cut off. 56...Bc5?! 56...Bb4! Was much better, since now both c5 and a5 are being controlled by the bishop, and White can't afford to lose the 3 pawns for just Black's bishop and b-pawn. 57.Ke2! continuing White's march of the king to stop the g-pawn, seems like the best try.

57.a5! A nice little combination, netting the bishop and the game.

57...bxa5 58.b6 Bxb6 59.Qh1+! The point. 59...Kg6 60.Qc6+ Kh5 61.Qxb6 g2 62.Qg1 Rg3+

63.Kd4? (maybe ??). This move, recommended by Illescas in the audio broadcast, is weak. Much better is 63.Kd2! and here, the win is easier: [This seems odd because White could have transposed into this line later by playing 66.Kd3 -Mig] 63...Kh4 64.c5 Kh3 65.c6 Rg6 (65...Rg7 66.Qe3++-; 65...Rg8 66.c7 pins the rook to the 8th file) 66.c7 Rd6+ 67.Ke3 [Why block in the queen? This allows 67...Rc6, so 67.Ke2 should be played, after which Alejandro's winning line works. -Mig] 67...Re6+ [67...Rc6 with lateral checks and just taking the pawn looks like a draw. This isn't possible after 67.Ke2 because of Qe3+ -Mig] 68.Kf4 Rf6+ 69.Ke4 Rc6 70.Qe3+ Kh2 71.Qf4+ Kh1 72.Qh4+ Kg1 73.Qd8+–.

63...Kg4! Kramnik's defensive strategy is best, he wishes to defend the g-pawn with his king, leaving his rook to battle the c-pawn and White's king single-handedly. I must admit, that I'm skeptical that there should be no win for White here. Yet, I am unable to find one. Perhaps Kd4 was really extremely bad? Incidentally 63...a4? 64.c5 a3 65.c6 a2 66.c7 a1Q+ 67.Qxa1 g1Q+ 68.Qxg1 Rxg1 69.c8Q Would have led to a Q vs R endgame, which is of course won, but Karjakin would have had to show Kramnik his technique! On the other hand, Black's king is already in the edge, making White's task easier.

64.c5 Kh3 65.c6 Rg4+ [White could transpose into Alejandro's "easier" line above by now playing 66.Kd3 Rg6 67.c7 Rd6+ (and now 68.Ke4 instead of his Ke3), so it's not clear to me that 63.Kd4 was really a blunder by Karjakin. Perhaps the final missed chance was here, playing 66.Kd3 instead of Kd5. -Mig] 66.Kd5 Rg3 67.Kc4. 67.c7 Rc3 68.Kd6 Rd3+ 69.Ke5 Rc3 leads to the same type of positions of the game.

67...Rg4+ 68.Kb5. 68.Kd3 Rg7! and again I can't find a winning idea, although perhaps this was the best try. The difference with this and Kd2, is that White is quite some tempos down, and can't go running with his queen as easily.

68...Rg5+ 69.Kb6 Rg6! 70.Kb7 Rg3!

The point, the rook CAN stop the c-pawn from queening single-handedly, while it ties the queen down to g1.

71.c7 Rb3+. This position is now drawn, there is no way for white to progress. 72.Ka6 Rc3 73.Kb6 Rb3+ 74.Kxa5 Rc3 75.Kb6 Rb3+ 76.Kc6 Rc3+. The king is just harassed with checks, and the queen can't help. 77.Kd7 Rd3+ 78.Kc8 Rg3!

This move draws, since Whites queen is pinned down, and any king move will lead to more checks

79.Kd7 Rd3+ 80.Ke6 Rc3 81.Kd6 Rd3+ 82.Ke5 Rc3 83.Kf5 Rxc7 Now the draw is obvious. 84.Qe3+ Kh2 85.Qf4+ Kh1 86.Qxc7 g1Q 87.Ke4. A heart-breaking draw for many observers, I'm sure, but you also have to be amazed by Kramnik's defensive capacity. ½-½.

  • Click here to replay the game with all commentary. Note that on our JavaScript board you can click the replay buttons, but also on the notation to follow the moves.

Participants

Group 1 Country Birthday
Rating
Viswanathan Anand India 11 Dec. 1969
2774
Peter Svidler Russia 17 June 76
2733
Sergei Rublevsky Russia 15 Oct. 74
2671
Arkadij Naiditsch Germany 25 Oct. 85
2571

Group 2 Country Birthday
Rating
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 25 June 75
2764
Peter Leko Hungary 08 Sep. 79
2741
Viorel Bologan Moldavia 14 Dec. 71
2665
Sergey Karjakin Ukraine 12 Jan. 90
2580

Full schedule and scoresheet

Round 1: Thurs. July 22, 14:00h
V. Anand
½-½
A. Naiditsch
P. Svidler
½-½
S. Rublevsky
V. Kramnik
½-½
S. Karjakin
P. Leko
½-½
V. Bologan
Round 2: Friday. July 23, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
½-½
S. Rublevsky
V. Anand
1-0
P. Svidler
S. Karjakin
½-½
V. Bologan
V. Kramnik
½-½
P. Leko
Round 3: Sat. July 24, 14:00h
P. Svidler
1-0
A. Naiditsch
S. Rublevsky
½-½
V. Anand
P. Leko
½-½
S. Karjakin
V. Bologan
½-½
V. Kramnik
Round 4: Sun. July 25, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
½-½
V. Anand
S. Rublevsky
½-½
P. Svidler
S. Karjakin
½-½
V. Kramnik
V. Bologan
½-½
P. Leko
Round 5: Mon. July 26, 14:00h
A. Naiditsch
-
P. Svidler
V. Anand
-
S. Rublevsky
S. Karjakin
-
P. Leko
V. Kramnik
-
V. Bologan
Games – Report
Round 6: Tues. July 27, 14:00h
S. Rublevsky
-
A. Naiditsch
P. Svidler
-
V. Anand
V. Bologan
-
S. Karjakin
P. Leko
-
V. Kramnik
Games – Report
Wednesday July 28 – Rest Day
Semifinal 1: Thurs. July 29, 14:00h
 
-
 
 
-
 
Games – Report
Semifinal 2: Fri. July 30, 14:00h
 
-
 
 
-
 
Games – Report
Final 1: Sat. July 31, 14:00h
-
 
Games – Report
Final 2: Sun. Aug. 1, 11:30h
-
 
Games – Report

Topics Dortmund 2004
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register