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Alexander Grischuk vs Vladimir Kramnik
World Championship Tournament (2007), Mexico City MEX, rd 11, Sep-25
Russian Game: Modern Attack. Center Variation (C43)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-26-07  BlackNightmare: kramnik needs to win his last three games and ananad lose 2 and win one or lose 1 and draw 2 to play tie breaks and thats assuming gelfand doesnt make it err somehow ...LOLLLLLLLLLLL even harry houdini cant pull this one off....sux for kramnik but u know what they say karma catches up with ya and bites u in the ass.
Sep-26-07  Magician of Riga: Perhaps Kramnik doesn't even want to win anymore. He would probably rather play Anand than Topalov anyway. It will be very hard for Anand to crack Kramnik's petrov in a match. Anand will have to win with black or resort to d4 with white. I don't know if Anand can play d4 that well.
Sep-26-07  TrollKing: Kramnik's choice of opening was disgraceful. He needs to score some wins in order to have any chance of catching Anand, but instead he showed absolutely no heart by once again opting for the Petroff.

While most Grandmasters do not approve of the current tournament style format, I am finding some wisdom to it.

In order to win a tournament, you have to show some heart (and balls) by going after victory. Kramnik has adopted a 'safety first' policy, which might be fine in a one-on-one match, but is damn near worthless in a tournament setting.

Say what you will about Veselin Topalov
and his acerbic manager, but if he were in this tournament you would have seen much more aggressive and decisive chess.

It was obvious from Grischuk's post game comment that even he was baffled (if not annoyed) by the timid opening choice of the defending champ.

Kramnik does not deserve to be the champion because he most assuredly did not defend his title like a champion.

Sep-26-07  KamikazeAttack: <I don't know if Anand can play d4 that well.>

Anand is way too talented not to be able to pick up an opening an play it well.

Sep-26-07  talisman: sluuuuuugfest.
Sep-26-07  Softpaw: Grischuk goes for an active line against the Petroff. Kramnik uncorks a novelty on move 11 (c6), looking forward to a big, serious fight ahead were Black might get winning chances.

But Grischuk blunders on move 12-- then offers a draw after throwing away any chance for an advantage, achieving an absolutely equal, dry, draw-bound position.

Hard to understand Grischuk's performance here.

Sep-26-07  acirce: <Kramnik’s behaviour is strongly reminiscent of Botvinnik’s, at the end of his world championship matches against Smyslov and Tal, in 1957 and 1960, respectively. In both cases, trailing by several points with 4-5 games to go, Botvinnik chose to surrender the title with a series of short draws. However, both times, he had his eye on the return match a year later. Kramnik clearly has the same approach.>

I will believe in this if Kramnik offers draw after 13 moves tomorrow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Anand would have to lose two games and draw one while Kramnik wins three to have a chance. I believe in miracles, but it's not gonna happen in this tournament.
Sep-26-07  Nasruddin Hodja: I happen to be a fan of the Petrov. If it is true that it is Kramnik's main defense against 1. e4, I don't blame him for not straying from it. Admittedly, he should have prepared before the tournament itself a sharper variant against the king's pawn opening in case he needed to win. Still, once he had decided on his opening for the tournament, it's hard to fault him for sticking with it.

The main blame for the early draw, however, lies with white's 5th and 6th moves, which don't offer white advantage and lead to early exchanges. If Grischuk had really wanted a sharp game with winning chances for both sides, he could have tried the obscure variation 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5, which is unusual and hopes for complications after 4. ... Bc5?! 5. Qd5. Also good was the main line 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxd7 Bxd7 7. 0-0 when Kramnik could have chosen the aggressive and complicated 7. ... Qh4?! as well as the sound 7. ... Bd6.

In short, Kramnik-bashers should keep in mind that Grischuk is as much to blame for the draw, given his choice of continuation.

Sep-27-07  Raginmund: I'm not happy... first I'm still rooting for Kramnik, second... I HATE QUICKLY DRAWS!!!

I thought Kramnik was ready to play the tournament... maybe he wants only the rematch...

Well, Anand,,, crown fits you well... good job.

I think Anand deserves the title anyway... better him that Topalov

Sep-27-07  cheski: It takes two to draw.

Besides, as has been pointed out here already, Kramnik offered us a fascinating Novelty with 11...c6.

That alone ought to pacify the critics of this short draw.

Maybe after 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.0-0 0-0-0 14.Rb4 c5 15.Rbb1 g6 16.Qf3

or some such line, there was a tiny edge for White to start off with. On the whole a draw might have ensued anyhow.

We should be happy to look forward to the time when this comes up again and gets explored further.

Sep-27-07  TylerD: This was the game that killed my last drop of enthusiasm for chess. The WC accepting a adraw after 13 moves in a tournament situation where he is putting his title on the line and is 1½ points behind the leader... Really, really disappointing and frankly unacceptable. For me it is over, this is my last post concerning chess. Ever. Farewell.
Sep-27-07  mrbasso: <TylerD> Bye, there are some strange fellows around. Chess is not a game to watch, it's mainly a game to play yourself.
Premium Chessgames Member
  blazerdoodle: I've always liked Vishy. But why call him WC before he has a chance to go up against the WC? This tournament isn't going to do it for me. He may actually be the best player in the world, I don't know from one tournament, but he isn't the Champion yet. He still has to win it from the champion. It is just too simple. Crybaby's abound and whine in their desperation, but Kramnik kicked Topy's ass (dropped game or not) when it counted and all the crybabying at Toilet Gate couldn't help him win, so don't tell me Topy's hot @#$%, he lost to Kramnik when it mattered. Go cry with him and Danaliav if you like. But I can't wait to see KRAMNIK vs ANNAND. How about the first to win 10 games !!! Draws don't count. that's a match. I'll have my wine and steak and read all the screeching about who you think is better before they prove jack!
Sep-28-07  Phoenix: Might I humbly suggest that the reason Kramnik stayed with the Petroff is because whenever he goes outside his style (Remember his fling with the Sicilian Najdorf??) he gets crushed horribly?

The best way to stay in the running is to keep playing your game. None of the Kramnik-bashers would have congratulated Kramnik on losing a miniature in an opening he's never played.

For good measure, think about this: Grischuk had white, WHITE, and HE offered a draw after 13 moves.

Two years ago I never thought I'd be defending Drawnik, but the level of hate he gets is incredible to say the least.

Sep-29-07  Petrosianic: Is the Sicilian <really> outside his style, though? I can find over 200 examples of his playing it with Black. He might not be good with the Najdorf, but he's played some pretty good games with the Sveshnikov.

I'm not surprised that Grischuk would want a draw against the World Champion even with White, in a tournament he had no chance of winning. But Kramnik should have wanted more.

<Two years ago I never thought I'd be defending Drawnik, but the level of hate he gets is incredible to say the least.>

Well, some people just have to hate <somebody>. If not Kramnik, then somebody else. Think of it as a reality show where somebody has to get eliminated even if nobody really deserves it.

Sep-29-07  acirce: I don't think I view the Sveshnikov as a much better winning weapon than the Petroff. Just look at Kramnik's statistics with it in the last 10 years. It's draw after draw after draw after draw, with Leko vs Kramnik, 2004 - definitely a good game - his only win since 1998 even if you include rapid. He's certainly had winning chances in some of these games, but he's had that in the Petroff too.

Also, I don't even know if it's even considered as reliable as it used to be. Not just Kramnik stopped using it after Wijk aan Zee 2005, it seems like it's used less on this level in the last few years in general as well. Lékó switched to the Najdorf, for example. Perhaps just fashion, or perhaps a kind of super-GM consensus that it's not really quite as good as it was thought.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: What is the longest streak for a player who has not won with the black pieces?
Sep-30-07  Atkins: <Two years ago I never thought I'd be defending Drawnik, but the level of hate he gets is incredible to say the least.> ! Just add that 2 years Kramnik was really sick (Even PeerG admited this!) and that can explain some short draw.

If you see all games of the tournament the average is 35 moves per game for Kramnik to 39~40 to Anand (Especially because Anand had to save a very difficult game against Grischuck (74 moves) the same player who decided to not risk against Kramnik with this game) If Grischuk has plaid the same number moves in both games. The average of the moves played in all could be nearly the same!) There is some much animosity around Kramnik that we got a totally false impression about him. Even in the World Championship site this stupid article of Leonxto just after the first round. Kramnik draws against Svidler one move later than Anand vs Gelfand! One can argue the position was still interesting and has to be played. But why the one with Anand could not be? I really dislike Kramnik bashers propaganda.

<For good measure, think about this: Grischuk had white, WHITE, and HE offered a draw after 13 moves.> Yes indeed!

Feb-06-08  Eyal: In a game played a few months before this one, Black got into trouble after 11...0-0-0?

[Event "EU-ch 8th playoff"]
[Site "Dresden"]
[Date "2007.04.15"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Sutovsky,Emil"]
[Black "Sakaev,Konstantin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "C43"]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nc3 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Nxe5 8.dxe5 Be7 9.Qh5 Be6 10.Rb1 Qd7 11.Bg5 0-0-0 12.Bb5 c6 13.Ba6! Bg4 (13...bxa6 loses to 14.Qe2; relatively best is probably 13...g6) 14.Qxf7 Bxg5 15.Rxb7 Qxf7 16.Rxf7+ Kb8 17.0-0 Bc8 18.Rb1+ Ka8 19.Bxc8 Rxc8 20.Rbb7 Rce8 21.Rxa7+ Kb8 22.Rfb7+ Kc8 23.Rxg7 Kb8 24.g3 Bd2 25.Rgb7+ Kc8 26.Rc7+ Kb8 27.Rcb7+ Kc8 28.Rf7 Kb8 29.Rab7+ Ka8 30.Ra7+ Kb8 31.Rab7+ Ka8 32.Rbc7 Bxc3 33.f4 Bd4+ 34.Kg2 Rc8 35.Rxh7 Rxh7 36.Rxc8+ Kb7 37.Rg8 Kb6 38.h4 Ra7 39.e6 Kc5 40.Rd8 Bf6 41.Rd7 Rxa2 42.Rf7 Rxc2+ 43.Kf3 Bd4 44.f5 Rf2+ 45.Kg4 Re2 46.h5 Kd6 47.h6 c5 48.h7 Rh2 49.Kg5 c4 50.e7 Kd7 51.f6 c3 52.Rf8 Bxf6+ 53.Kxf6 Rh6+ 54.Ke5 Re6+ 55.Kd4 1-0

Was Grischuk expecting Kramnik to repeat this blunder on move 11? He quite clearly didn't have any idea what to do when Kramnik didn't.

Feb-06-08  Gameoverziggy: Both these players should be fired from the chess scene, i'm damn fed up with these GM draws. There should be a rule stating that the game must be played out, if at the end it comes down to where no side can make progress fine but this is getting stupid.
Jul-10-08  Petrosianic: <Kramnik was asked why he chose to play the Petroff in this critical situation where he needs every point he can possible get to defend his title. Before he could answere Grischuk grabbed the mike and said: "Yes, I too would like to ask the same question." Kramnik explained that the Petroff can be a sharp weapon, as he had previously shown, and that he had prepared it as his chief opening for this event.>

Dec-20-08  notyetagm: <slomarko: I think we have to give some credit to Kramnik, even if the title was gone he still have the guts to play for 13 moves.>


Sep-14-12  waustad: It is interesting reading comments here, since Kramnik has done a lot to rehabilitate his image with fans.
Dec-05-21  Petrosianic: Echoes of this game in today's game (Carlsen-Nepo, Game 8), where Nepo, in a Must Win situation, comes out with the Petroff.

Read up three posts. Recall that in this game, Kramnik was a point and a half behind with 4 rounds to go, played the Petroff, and agreed a draw in 13 moves.

When quizzed about it, Kramnik's excuse for playing the Petroff was that it was a sharp winning attempt, as he had previously shown. And his excuse for agreeing to the draw in 13 moves was that Grischuk offered it, so it wasn't his fault. What else could he do?

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