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Vladimir Kramnik vs Arkadij Naiditsch
Dortmund Sparkassen (2006), Dortmund GER, rd 3, Aug-01
Catalan Opening: Open Defense (E04)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-01-06  sixfeetunder: Perhaps he's a human.
Aug-01-06  Hannibal: yeah..a human who is very afraid to lose any single game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Careful maybe, but not afraid.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: There is a curious compulsion among annotators to cast every error of calculation as a character flaw. Grandmasters succumb to this compulsion; little wonder that patzers succumb also, for they would hardly be able to criticize grandmaster games if not.
Aug-01-06  suenteus po 147: <There is a curious compulsion among annotators to cast every error of calculation as a character flaw.> These are the disciples of Kasparov. They worship his example and obey his doctrines.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: ...hannibal is a special case, because he appears to be yet another iteration of Topzilla/Queensgambit etc.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <keypusher> my thoughts exactly.
Aug-01-06  positionalgenius: You have to give Kramnik credit-the draws vs.Aronian and Naiditsch were not GM draws-they were interesting games.
Aug-01-06  aw1988: Interestingmnik

No, it doesn't work.

Aug-01-06  Marmot PFL: What's up with all those queen moves? 8 out of 14 is too many. R. Fine would draw some psychiatric conclusions from that.
Aug-01-06  aw1988: 11. Ne5 is a possible improvement.
Aug-01-06  acirce: Engines agree with Kasparov, or maybe the other way around, that probably Kramnik was lucky Naiditsch didn't play 20..Rc2! - indeed looks quite uncomfortable. All in all a rather worrying game. I'm not sure if Kramnik miscalculated 14.Qxh8 or just didn't dare trust his calculations.
Aug-01-06  aw1988: <All in all a rather worrying game>

isn't really a worrying game. But certainly, yes, Arkadi could have improved.

Aug-01-06  cannibal: I also looked at 14. Qxh8 a little bit (though without a computer, and at 2 a.m.). Play might continue
14. Qxh8 Rxc1+ 15. Kd2 Rxh1 16. Bxh1 Ba4+ 17.Qd4,
and now black might try 17. ... Bb4+
with the options:
a) 18. Kc1 Qc7+ 19. Nc3 Nd5, which looks very good for black.

b) 18. Nc3 Nac4+
b1) 19. Ke1 Qxd4 20. Nxd4 Nxb2 21. Rc1 Nd1!, and black seems to win at least his exchnge back in every line. b2) 19. Kc1. Here I don't have a refutation, but maybe 19. ... Qc7 (or others) give black a strong attack. Would be glad about some analysis here.

Anyway, these were just some midnight patzer thoughts, but at least it could become understandable why Kramnik didn't play Qxh8.

And by the way: everybody is talking about Kramnik, but nobody about Naiditsch. The guy got horribly defeated by Kramnik in another Catalan only a few weeks ago. So why shouldn't he have prepared anything serious this time. He might reaaly have known what he was doing when playing Bf8. (though I don't know how much time he spent up to move 14; would tell something about possible home preparation)

Aug-01-06  whatthefat: <cannibal>
To me also, 17...Bb4+ looks rather worrying. Could anyone provide some computer analysis?
Aug-01-06  Hannibal: "...Naiditsch was apparently spoiling for a fight, with 14.Qxh8 Rxc1+ 15.Kd2 Rxh1 16.Bxh1 Ba4+ 17.Qd4 Nac4+, although after 18.Ke1 Bg7 19.Qxd8+ (19.Qxg7 Qd1#) 19...Kxd8 White would appear to have the upper hand. But Kramnik decided instead to swap queens immediately..."(
Aug-01-06  Hesam7: 14. Qxh8 Rxc1+ 15. Kd2 Rxh1 16. Bxh1

click for larger view

And now after 3 hours Fruit 2.1 gives:

16... Ba4 17. Qd4 Nbc4 18. Ke1 Nxb2 19. Qxd8 Kxd8 20. Nbd2 Nac4 21. Kf1 Bh6 22. e3 Bg7 23. Nxc4 Nxc4 24. Nd4 Nd6 25. Rc1 e5 26. Nb3 e4 27. Nd4 Bd7 (eval: +1.20)

Depth: 18
7825M nodes
765K nodes/sec

Aug-01-06  Hesam7: The lines suggested by <cannibal> and other possibilities like 16... f6!? (15... Rxh1 is not forced either) indicate that the situation after 14. Qxh8 is far from simple. So OTB against an opponent who has prepared this line (I don't know what the clock situation was when Kramnik played 14. Qg5 but I am assuming that Naiditsch had a better situation there as well), it was a wise decision to avoid complications. Anyhow this should not divert our attention from Kramnik's main defect in this game and that is the fact that he was simply "outprepared" by Naiditsch.
Aug-01-06  aw1988: Yes, the opening looks not at all good for Kramnik. He seems to have been caught in something. But it's also clear the consequences of Qxh8 are not easily evaluated.
Aug-01-06  whatthefat: <Hesam7: Anyhow this should not divert our attention from Kramnik's main defect in this game and that is the fact that he was simply "outprepared" by Naiditsch.>

A good point. Of course, it can be viewed two ways, since we should also take into account Kramnik holding back novelties for the WC match.

Aug-01-06  KingG: I'm not so sure this was preparation from Naiditsch. Assuming the clocks on Playchess were accurate, he took a long time to play 10...c5(he didn't play the next few moves that quickly either), and had a lot less time than Kramnik. Of course, this could be some kind of 'bluff' on his part, to make Kramnik think it wasn't preparation, but i doubt it.

But it's amazing how cynical we've all become. As soon as someone plays an interesting move in the opening, it's immediately suspected of been home preparation.

Aug-01-06  whatthefat: <KingG>
Perhaps it wasn't home preparation from Naiditsch, but Kramnik's reaction to the novelty is equally telling in either case. Either he genuinely wasn't prepared for it, or he didn't want to reveal his hand to Topalov.
Aug-02-06  Hesam7: <KingG> Thanks for the info. According to our database 10. Qd3 by Kramnik was new, before that Naiditsch had faced 10. Qc2 twice in 2005 and in both cases he had won.
Aug-02-06  percyblakeney: It looks a bit humourous with the 8 queen moves of 9 at moves 6-14. An interesting game where white's best chance to win may have been 14. Qxh8 after all.
Aug-02-06  whatthefat: <percyblakeney: It looks a bit humourous with the 8 queen moves of 9 at moves 6-14.> Indeed! One can understand black trying to refute white's opening out of hand.
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