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Darmen Sadvakasov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Astana (2001), Astana KAZ, rd 2, May-21
Scotch Game: Classical. Intermezzo Variation (C45)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-29-05  Karpova: Kramnik demonstrates the value of the two bishops in convincing style
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <Karpova: Kramnik demonstrates the value of the two bishops in convincing style> In fact the game was in the draw zone until move 39, despite Black's Bishops pair. 39.Nc3? loses.

Instead the simple 39.Bxc6 is playable. After 39...Kb4, Black still has a small edge but it is difficult to say if it would be enough for a win.

For instance, 39.Bxc6 Kc4 40.Nb6+ Kxb4 41.Nd7 Be3 42.Bd5 (to go to g8).

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This is the first time that the Scotch was played against Kramnik (interesting that Kasparov never tried it against him). Kramnik chose the rarely played 6..bxc; 6..dxc is the main line. Black often plays for an early ..d5 but Kramnik with 9..Ng6 and 9..Bd6 seemed to want to avoid early simplification. 24 Nc5..Rxe5 25 Nxb7..f5 would have been good for Black. White's plan of pushing the c-pawn with c4 and c5 created unnecessary weaknesses. 38 Kc3 would have maintained equality; Sadvakasov's 38 Kc2? is a hard move to explain (which he admitted in his notes). After the further error 39 Nc3? White's drawing chances were slim; both players offered the following variation 39 Bxc6..Kc4 40 b5..Bxb5 41 Bxb5..Kxb5 42 Nc3+..Kc5 43 Kd3 with a small Black edge.

Kramnik is a great endgame player but White should not have lost this game.

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