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Vladimir Kramnik vs Jeroen Piket
Tilburg Fontys (1998), Tilburg NED, rd 4, Oct-26
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System. Lilienthal Variation (D44)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: This is a sideline of the Botvinnik variation. More common is 11 exf..Bb7 12 g3..c5 13 d5..Bh6; in this game ..Bh6 is played without ..c5 which is rare. Piket had prepared this forgotten line for this tournament. After 17 Ne4?! Kramnik got into trouble; 17 h4 would have led to a typical position in the Botvinnik with chances for both sides. Kramnik chose the inferior endgame with 19 Nd6+ rather than the complex middlegame with 19 Rad1..Rxg2+ 20 Kxg2..cxd 21 f3..e5 22 Qf3..d3. The variation 32..e4 33 Rd2+..Ke5 34 Rc5+..Kf6 35 Bg2..Rb8 36 g4 would not have been dangerous for White. Piket could have won had he played 37..Kc2 38 Re1..Ne2 39 Re2+..Kc1 40 Rc6+..Kb1 41 Rd6..Rc7 and the b-pawn is unstoppable. Missing that the game simplified to a draw.

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