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Vladimir Kramnik vs Peter Leko
"Last Dance" (game of the day Nov-28-2016)
Kramnik - Leko Classical World Championship Match (2004), Brissago SUI, rd 14, Oct-18
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance. Tal Variation (B12)  ·  1-0



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Given 61 times; par: 75 [what's this?]

Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [405 more games annotated by Keene]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 27 OF 27 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-13-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: ROOK OUTPOST ON AN OPEN FILE
May-28-12  LoveThatJoker: Classic game.


May-28-12  Robespierre: Dear Mr Ray Keene,

I'm one of those who read your game notes and who could be considered an "advanced beginner." I greatly appreciate your tactical insights, and I admire your concision & precision of expression!

May-28-12  Sularus: This game has had a few puns already.

1st: All the marbles
2nd: The Caro Can't
3rd: Last Dance

I prefer the first one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I think the pun is their Donna Summer tribute.
May-28-12  Tadeucouto: Leko wrong in 34 move.
The King up !
May-29-12  kevin86: White will win quickly!
Jul-12-12  Tigranny: This is my favorite Kramnik game, quite expert on how Kramnik just punished Leko on his errors.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: the power of controlling the 7th rank!
Nov-28-16  RookFile: This is what you don't do with black in the last game of a match with a one point lead. Compare this with Kasparov's game 24 effort that won him the world championship.
Nov-28-16  RookFile: Play active, active, active, baby!

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985

Nov-28-16  AlicesKnight: Helpful Keene notes and a good example of activity against a bad bishop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Hard to believe that I was commenting LIVE on this game. How long have I been here?
Nov-28-16  John Abraham: This was the final game of the 2004 world championship match, where Kramnik won a must-win game in spectacular fashion to level the scoreline and successfully defended his title in the process.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Kramnik thrives in clutch situations & this game is a great example! He kept his focus & composure in a situation when he had to win to keep his WCC & he got the victory! As <dumbgai> pointed out, this game destroyed Leko psychologically. Some people never can get over something this devastating & some people can. I wonder how often Leko thinks about this loss now.
Dec-18-16  S4NKT: A wonderful game with lots of interesting moves and very psychologically significant.

Leko is more than happy to trade off pieces, but there was one very active piece in this game which you can't trade in chess, the white king! ;)

Even if 22. a4 isn't objectively best, the answer - Kd8 is hilarious.

Apr-07-18  Toribio3: This game is a masterpiece. I love the way how Kramnik walked his King to deliver the final blow against the hostile King!
Jun-16-18  Ron: I just came across a video analysis by GM Varuzhan Akobian of this game.

I found it instructional and I found its perspective, years after this game was played, interesting.

Jan-02-19  MrJafari: An exciting game. unfortunately we see this kind of games less and less...
Mar-03-20  Chesgambit: 1...c5 or 1...e5 Leko prefer 1...c6
Leko try play solid
Mar-03-20  Chesgambit: 18...Nxd3 19. Kxd3 19... Bc6! black close c file black just have big pawn but white can't win easy I discovered this move engine likes too
Mar-03-20  Chesgambit: ıf white knight jumps c5 square there nothing black can hold position very easy
Mar-03-20  Chesgambit: If g5 Ke7 no way to win
Rc2 Kd7
Vladmir likes Rc5 move because after Rhc1 and ıf white knight and d3 black position not so good
Sep-05-22  Ron: After Leko's 18. ... h5, Raymond Keene writes, "And here I would have left Black's king's-side pawns severely alone and traded on d3. After 18...Nxd3 19 Kxd3 Ke7 20 Rc7 Rab8 followed by ...Rhc8, I believe Black could withstand the onslaught from White, though it must be admitted that White's knight will always be superior to Black's bishop."

Stockfish 15 gives 18. ... Nxd3 as best for Black. It gives Leko's 18. ... h5 a +1.35 score for white.

19. gxh5 Bc6 20. Rhg1 Nxh5 21. b4 a6 22. Rc5 g6 23. Ke3 Ng7 24. Rgc1 Ke7 25. a4 Ne8 26. Ra1 Ng7 27. Rc3 Rh5 28. Rac1 Ne8 29. Ra3 Ng7 30. Kf4 Rhh8 31. Raa1 Rhc8 32. Ng5 Bd7 33. Rc5 Rh8 34. Nf3 Rab8 35. Ke3 Rhc8 36. b5 axb5 37. axb5 Ra8 38. Rxc8 + (1.35++) Depth=41/55 0:03:03 102 MN

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 6 Nd2 was a new move played to avoid mainline theory; 6 h5 is normally played. 7..Nc6 and 7..Qc7 were suggested as a possible improvement not giving White the bishop pair. Both Kramnik and Kasparov suggested 14..d4!? 15 cxd..Nb4 with good play for the pawn. While 16..Qxd2+ was not an error it did play into one of Kramnik's strengths - patient play in a slightly better endgame. 17..Nf4 was questioned as there was little intent to exchange it for the bishop on d3; an alternative would have been 17..Ne7 followed by ..a6, ..Nc6 and..Ke7.

Kramnik on 18..h5:
"Many commentators judged this move to be a mistake and suggested 18..Nxd3 "with good drawing chances". It seems to me that after the exchange on d3 there is no guarantee that Black will be able to draw, but there is a guarantee that he will "suffer" for a very long time. The move in the game is much more critical:Black wants to gain a draw "without suffering"."

Kramnik considered 22..Kd8?! to be the decisive error recommending 22..Ke7 with good chances for a draw after 23 b5..axb 24 axb..Bd7 25 Rc7..b6.

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