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Vladimir Kramnik vs Robert Huebner
Dortmund Sparkassen (2000), Dortmund GER, rd 8, Jul-15
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Classical Defense. Main Lines (D27)  ·  1-0



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Given 45 times; par: 28 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-25-05  Hesam7: This game was selected as the best game of informator 79. Kramnik shows his superb understanding about IQP positions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: This game was also selected by King for his book Test Your Chess with Daniel King.

Several good examples of zwis.... errrr intermediate moves. Good illustration of harmonious piece placement, and 'elegance'. The early h4 was a notable move.

Jan-02-06  THE pawn: Kramnik during better days...I miss the good old champion.
Jan-03-06  PinkPanther: <samvega>
Zwischenzüge :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: As many people said, beauty in modern chess is generally hidden. You have to check all the variations that could have been played to discover some jewels. This is the case here.

At first sight, 24...Qb6 was a blunder. After 25.Nxf5! exf5 26.Bc7, Rxe7 follows.

24...Qc8 looks better but White can win with the same sacrifice although it is more complicated.

24...Qc8 25.Nxf5! exf5 26.Bc4 Nf6 27.h6! g6 28.Bxf6 Bxf6 29.Rc1 Bxb2 30.Bxf7+ Kxf7 31.Qe3! Bc3 32.Qe7+ Kg8 33.Rxc3!, White wins. The point of 27.h6! appears on move 32 (the threat of mate on "g7").

The same sacrifice without "h6" does not work: 24...Qc8 25.Nxf5! exf5 26.Bc4 Nf6 27.Bxf6? Nxf6 28.Rc1 Bxb2 29.Bxf7+ Kxf7 30.Qe3 Bc3 31.Qe7+ Kg8, Black wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The position after 10..0-0 is a standard isolated pawn position in the Queens Gambit Accepted; 11 h4!? was a new move though not necessarily an improvement over the more popular 11 a3, 11 Bf4 or 11 Bg5. One of his ideas was the sharp pawn sacrifice 14 h5!?. Kramnik was critical of 16..b4. He did extensive analysis of 16..Nc4 though this move has not been tried; 16..h6 has been tried a few times with success. A few months after this game at the US Championship Kaidanov tried 17..Qc5 against Yermolinsky. White obtained a winning position though Black ended up winning the game. 22..Qd7 would have been a tougher defense though after 23 Nf3..Nc6 24 Bc4 White is still clearly better. 25..exf? lost at once; necessary was 25..Nxd3 26 Nh6+..Kf8 27 Nxf7..Qxf2+ 28 Qxf2..Nxf2 29 Kxf2..Kxf7 30 Rc1 though White should likely prevail in the long run.
Sep-06-21  Gaito:

click for larger view


This position is evaluated as equal by both engines Stockfish 14 (SF14) and Leela Chess Zero (Lc0). These engines suggest that White now play 16.h6. Nevertheless, in his comments in Chess Informant No. 79, Vladimir Kramnik considers that 16.h6?! is dubious, on account of the reply 16...Qg4, but Kramnik gives only 17.hxg7 and doesn't mention 17.Nd5!, a strong move suggested by the engine SF14. From the diagram, after 16.h6 (best) Qg4 17.Nd5! exd5 18.Qxg4 Nxg4 19.Rxe7 Nc6 20.Rd7 Rfd8 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.a4!, the ending seems to be about equal (computer evaluation by SF14: -0.26). See diagram below:

click for larger view

Sep-06-21  Gaito:

click for larger view


In this position Hübner played 16...b4. According to the engines, the move is quite playable, though 16...h6 could be a more cautious alternative. Kramnik, however considered that 16...b4 was a mistake and attached a question mark to that move. In his analysis of the game (Informant 79) Kramnik analyzed 16...Qb4?, 16...Nc4, and 16...Rac8, but did not mention 16...h6 which is the move recommended by the engines (Lc0 and SF14) so as to prevent White from playing h6 himself.

Sep-06-21  Gaito:

click for larger view

Black's queen is attacked, where should that piece retreat to: b6, c5 or c4?

Hübner played 17...Qc4. In his comments Kramnik mentioned that 17...Qb6 was a bad retreat on account of 18.Ne4 with attack. Yet the engines (SF14 and Lc0) both prefer 17...Qc5, a move that Kramnik did not mention, probably because of the rejoinder 18.Re5. A possible continuation might have been 17...Qc5 18.Re5 Qc6 19.Be4 Nxe4 20.Nxe4 f5 21.Ng5 Bxg5 22.Bxg5 Qxf3 23.gxf3 Nc4 24.Rxe6 Nxb2 25.Rd7 Rf7 (see diagram below).

click for larger view

SF14 considers this ending as roughly equal (computer evaluation: +0.05).

Sep-06-21  Gaito: If the opinion of the engines has any value, then 17...Qc4?? must be considered as the losing mistake, because after 18.Bd3 the evaluation of the computer (SF14) jumps from -0.19 to +2.08.

In his comments in Chess Informant 79 Kramnik did not mention anything about 17...Qc4 possibly being a bad move. Sure enough, if he should annotate the game again with the aid of the more powerful modern engines, he would likely have come to different conclusions. This shows that readers must be very skeptical to the heavy annotations published in chess informants where variations were not computer checked.

Sep-06-21  Gaito:

click for larger view


Understandably enough, Black was worried by the off-side position of his knight at a5, as this piece needed at least a couple of tempi to get into the game; hence Hübner played 22...Nb7? But spending two tempi in that business is something that Black just couldn't afford in this position. The engine gives 22...h6 as the lesser of evils. For example: 22...h6 23.Nf3 Bc5 24.Bd4 Bd6 with computer evaluation +1.48, see diagram below:

click for larger view

Sep-07-21  SChesshevsky: <...Kramnik, however, considered that 16...b4 was a mistake and attached a question mark to that move...>

Think it shows the chess understanding and feel of a world champion. After 16. Bf4, feels black being a pawn up probably slightly better. Problem is his pieces aren't well placed. Feels like black is almost in a positional bind. Though if he can consolidate his gain and work out his pieces, doubt he could lose.

16...b4 appears a natural consideration. Figuring on gaining a tempo. But not taking into consideration his awkward queen, it ends up costing valuable time. Which Kramnik expertly exploits with counter play pressure on the king side. Forcing black weakness on top of his still weakly placed pieces.

Would be interesting to see if Huebner spent much time on 16...b4 or just went with a natural continuation without a lot of calculation?

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