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Jan Smeets vs Vladimir Kramnik
Corus Group A (2010), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-21
Pirc Defense: General (B07)  ·  0-1



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Given 34 times; par: 74 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-21-10  Eyal: Poor Smeets probably almost fell off his chair when he saw 1...d6. He plays the opening badly (10.e5?) and by move 12 Kramnik already has a queenless middlegame with a small advantage of the kind he likes so much.
Jan-21-10  donehung: Smeets was completley outclassed.
Jan-21-10  CruyffTurn: <Eyal: Poor Smeets probably almost fell off his chair when he saw 1...d6.> I agree, Smeets was probably lost psychologically at move 2!
Jan-21-10  Hesam7: <According to Kramnik, speaking to Macauley, he picked up a book on the Pirc on the way out of the hall the other day and decided to use it against Smeets. He jokingly started the interview by saying he knew Smeets would refute the Petroff, so he had to play something else. Hilarious. I'm digging this laid-back Parisian Kramnik. I hope the whole clip goes up at> -- Mig Greengard
Jan-21-10  shintaro go: Funny where White's King ends up. Man, Kramnik toyed with Smeets. What an insult to a 2600 GM.
Jan-21-10  Raginmund: just a patzer move 16. ...Bxc2 anyone would say that this is bad, cause Rc1... But Kramnik (best ever) proved that a patzer move might be a nicely and strong move, when someone sees 25 moves ahead. The only one that sees that, his name is Kramnik!!

With kramnik every milimetrical chance to win, it's a real chance to win.

So this was another subtle, precision and perfect technique by the master of deep thought chess understanding.

Go Kramnik!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan-21-10  Mr. Bojangles: Dude calm down, Kramnik has only won 1 game....
Jan-21-10  mack: This I like. We're only one step away from Vlad playing the Rat.
Jan-21-10  Attila the Hunk: As expected, a win by Vlad just before the first move.
Jan-22-10  visayanbraindoctor: The end of this game is quite amusing. Smeets tried to activate his King in a bid for counter-play. Kramnik's counter was to try to catch Smeet's King in a mating net.

After 36. Nb4

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Kramnik hunts Smeet's King

36... Re3+ 37. Kd5 Rd2+ 38. Kc6 Rc3+ 39. Kb7 Nd6+

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Had Smeets taken the a6 pawn 40. Kxa6

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40...Ra3# would have followed

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As it is, Kramnik 'merely' managed to drive away Smeet's King as far away as possible from his passed pawn's Queening square, parking it in a8, of all squares. (Or shall we say Pirc-ing the White King in a8.)

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Jan-22-10  dagwood2005: I think Kramnik playing the Pirc against Smeets indicated a total lack of respect for the guy. No way he plays this against Anand. Or even Carlsen.
Jan-22-10  Marmot PFL: <According to Kramnik, speaking to Macauley, he picked up a book on the Pirc on the way out of the hall the other day>

Did he pay for the book? (Sometimes GMs think they don't have to, or say they just "borrowed" it.)

Jan-22-10  Average Josh: Kramnik's choice of the Pirc seems very clever...I believe he deserves credit for taking a break from his rock solid Petroff
Jan-22-10  Chlipchlop: I was there when they played that (truth ! I swear on my dear Nimzo defense) and after 4. ...a6 !? Smeets spent 20 minutes thinking. :)
Jan-22-10  TheSlid: I was very surprised to see Vlad the Lad play the Pirc. Has he ever done so before, in earnest? It just does not seem to fit well with his usual philosophy of play with the Black lumps.

This is a serious competition and Smeets can't be that bad that you can play "out of familiarity" with serious expectations, surely.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: The database includes 12 known games where Kramnik opened 1...d6 or 1...g6, not including this one, almost all of them played during the period 1990-1996. 4...a6 is a normal response vs. the 4.Be3 variation and leads to exciting play (at least, it did when I played it). Do you suppose that even Kramnik is bored of 1...e5?
Jan-23-10  hedgeh0g: <An Englishman> I think Kramnik is bored of playing for a draw against players who he knows he should be playing for a win against. I hope this game encourages Kramnik to be more ambitious against 1.e4.
Jan-23-10  Karpova: Mig Greengard: <In that interview clip Kramnik specifically mentioned his opening choice was made partially because he noted how Smeets was getting into time trouble. He figured the earlier he could get him out of theory the better in that regard, and again he was proven correct.

I suppose Kramnik's jokes are a little patronizing, but I'll take that over the false modesty of the sort that leads to saying nothing at all, or at least nothing you would believe. Smeets is a great guy and a fine chessplayer, but he's also an amateur who is having a terrible event. Kramnik decided to say, "let's skip theory and just get to a whatever position and make moves and mine will be better than yours often enough to beat you because I'm Vladimir Kramnik and you're not." And so it was.>

Source: (comment section)

Jan-24-10  geigermuller: I think Kramnik only wanted some excitement in this game and decided previously not to move his e pawn at all.
Jan-25-10  Eyal: <Marmot PFL: <According to Kramnik, speaking to Macauley, he picked up a book on the Pirc on the way out of the hall the other day> Did he pay for the book? (Sometimes GMs think they don't have to, or say they just "borrowed" it.)>

Yes, in the complete Macauley video he mentions explicitly that he bought it, no need to worry... Btw, the book is Chernin & Alburt's on the Pirc. Kramnik says about it: <They are explaining in such a way that Black is almost better everywhere, which is of course not true – it's clear that White is pressing – but they explain it so nicely that you really want to play it>.

Jan-26-10  KingG: Audio of the post game interview with Kramnik:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: < but they explain it so nicely that you really want to play it> I have a few books like that. The results aren't always so pretty, though.
Mar-21-10  JASAHA: Kramnik has used Pirc before.
1. B Zoeller vs Kramnik 0-1 15 1996 Frankfurt west sim B07 Pirc 2. Schiffler vs Kramnik 0-1 16 1996 Frankfurt west sim B08 Pirc, Classical 3. Ulf Andersson vs Kramnik 0-1 26 1997 Amber-rapid 6th B08 Pirc, Classical
Jan-24-11  Maatalkko: <Mr Bojangles: Dude calm down, Kramnik has only won 1 game....> LOL
Jun-24-12  freeman8201: <dagwood2005: I think Kramnik playing the Pirc against Smeets indicated a total lack of respect for the guy. No way he plays this against Anand. Or even Carlsen.> O' but he did wound up playing the Pirc against Carlsen in World Blitz Championship 2010

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