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Vladimir Kramnik vs Anish Giri
Dortmund Sparkassen (2011), Dortmund GER, rd 5, Jul-25
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: A strangely passive game by Giri, during which he seems mesmerised.
Jul-25-11  OneArmedScissor: Kramnik is a beast.
Jul-25-11  Jafar219: True Kramnik style.He`s back.
Jul-25-11  qqdos: When Giri played 34...Kf8 onto the same diagonal as the BR, didn't Kramnik miss a trick by omitting to play 35.Bc1!, threatening 36.Ba3. Black has to move his King or rook out of the firing line or use his Knight to block the WB. If, 35...Nb4? 36.Ba3! (anyway) ...a5 37.d5 with a considerable advantage. If, 35...Ke8 36.Ba3 Rc6 37.Rxc6 Bxc6 38.d5 Bb7 then 39.Ba4!! with a forced mate.
Jul-25-11  shintaro go: Giri got owned
Jul-25-11  polarmis: Konstantin Landa at ChessPro quotes Kramnik as having said after the game that the 13. h4 novelty was prepared for the Kasparov match in 2000. A bit unfortunate for Giri :)
Jul-25-11  Shams: <polarmis> Such moves must be a little more unpleasant to face when they come from Big Vlad. Giri must have known instantly that the attack was fully justified.
Jul-25-11  Everett: Remarkable that 13.h4 is a novelty. The move is being Played in all sorts of Grunfeld's nowadays.

Once the knight leaves f6 or f3 on the king's fanchetto, the h-pawn push must be considered by both sides. Personally, this fact is why I prefer the KID, along with the fact that the Grunfeld king's bishop is too easily exchanged.

Kramnik at his best always reminds me of Karpov. This game is an example.

Jul-26-11  AVRO38: What's the point? When it really counted, i.e. in the Candidates tournament, Kramnik played games like this:

Grischuk vs Kramnik, 2011

The greats of the past (pre-1975) went all out when the championship was at stake, but Kramnik seemed like he couldn't care less.

Jul-26-11  lost in space: LHM, I am such a patzer.

I was asking myself why Black can not play 11...Bxd4 and was calculating with Rc7 and Bb4 motives....

So simple, 12. Rxc8+ and it is all over. Sigh. Double Sigh. SIGH.

Jul-26-11  Ladolcevita: <lost in space>
I also noticed this when playing along the moves,but perhaps just for one second,for then I saw that bishop who somehow conspicuously stood out the picture was available. This could be a little tricky if you dont have much time in your clock,but in classic format and just the opening phase of the game,this is quite unlikely to happen.Nay,this might still be theory yet,so the correct moves are well-established. And at all events,it wont necessarily mean you should be a pazter.There are many chess masters making such kind of blunders too,and perhaps all the time---that's why we shall always hear the word:blunder:)
Jul-26-11  jussu: What sort of big troubles does a GM see behind the move 17...hxg6, that make him prefer the terribly bad-looking 17...fxg6?
Jul-26-11  zealouspawn: jussu, my guess is that he just didn't want to have as passive as a position. In compensation for the weakening of his 'e' pawn, he gets the open f file
Jul-26-11  lost in space: <<Ladolcevita>: <lost in space> I also noticed this when playing along the moves,but perhaps just for one second,for then I saw that bishop who somehow conspicuously stood out the picture was available. (snip)>

Yeah, but you have to see it here:

click for larger view

That might not be toooooo difficult, but I failed (without computer, without board, just with the screen and only a few minutes to think)

But now I KNOW it, which nearly as good, or?!

Jul-26-11  Everett: <AVRO38: What's the point? When it really counted, i.e. in the Candidates tournament, Kramnik played games like this: Grischuk vs Kramnik, 2011>

Why such derision toward Kramnik? Because he wasn't flexible enough to take advantage of Grishuk's strange match strategy?

Well, even if you hate the man, for whatever reason, i dont agree with discounting his well-played games. Suit yourself.

Jul-27-11  Ladolcevita: <lost in space>
Yes,that really demands calculation several moves ahead...I mean one may need to play scrupulously enough or be quite familiar with that opening variation to notice the bishop and utilize that potential positional advantage.So when we only play along the moves,we are indeed most likely to neglect it,especially beforehand... But somehow it has been my experience that if we just play normal moves in the opening,we will always find a compensation when the oponent simply tries to exploit any material advantage in the opening phase.So that's no wonder that white should get such an amenity despite the black queen hovering about the white area so hastily. Anyway,I belive this still be theory,and there are also other options instead of leaving the pawn "unprotected"(though its safe indeed and it might be one optimum choice),for instance to not exchange the queen,or let the king capture the queen other than bishop...anyway catle is not indispensable and also we havent queens on the board then.
Jul-27-11  AVRO38: <Well, even if you hate the man, for whatever reason, i dont agree with discounting his well-played games. Suit yourself.>

As a rule, I don't "hate" anyone. On the contrary, I was rooting for Kramnik in the Candidates but was frustrated with his 8, 14, and 16 move games, especially as this was his last realistic chance of reclaiming the title. In fact, he had a chance to become the only person in chess history to reclaim the title without the benefit of a return match.

Watching his brilliant performance so far in Dortmund just adds to the disappointment in his performance in the Candidates. It's one thing to fight and lose, but it's something entirely different to play 8 move games when it matters most.

Jul-27-11  Everett: <AVRO38> okay, i think i understand. It is easy to get disappointed when our favorite players don't show their best stuff. Funny how it can affect our appreciation of their successes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Strange decision.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Doesn't look <17...hxg6> the most natural recapture

click for larger view

I doubt I would have thought about any other move for a single second.

Jul-30-11  polarmis: Konstantin Landa gave a line at ChessPro where Black's about to get mated on the h-file: . You don't have to let that happen, of course, but White seems to end up better in any case. 17...fxg6 at least stops White playing Ng5-e4-f6 (i.e. it stops the last of those moves). Of course, Kramnik's Ng5-e4-d6 didn't work out too badly either :)
Aug-08-11  haydn20: Ah the impetuosity of youth! Why else would anyone venture the Gruenfeld against Kramnik? Plus, this variation doesn't look right to me. 9...cxd4 gives W everything he wants, lead in devt., pawn ctr., without apparent compensation. And 12...e6 just gums up the works even more. With Everett I am surprised that 13 h4 is a novelty--it seems so natural. Of course this doesn't mean <I> would find it! Finally, I think 17...fxg6 shows desperation. Giri doesn't want to be reduced to passive defense. Too bad he gets taken apart anyway.
Aug-09-11  DrMAL: The middlegame complexities where Anish lost in have basically nothing to do with good/bad choice of Gruenfeld.

For example, after 24.Rh3 white's advantage is only slight, not really noticeable. If Anish had more accurately played 24...Rf8 right away then 25.Rbh1 could be met by 25...Nf4+ 26.Bxf4 Rxf4 trading pieces to help abate white's attack.

Giri made other tactical inaccuracies later on (also unrelated to Gruenfeld). For example, the mistake 28...Rd8 that ended up losing. As good as he is, Kramnik is not infallible either.

Aug-09-11  DrMAL: <AVRO38: What's the point? When it really counted, i.e. in the Candidates tournament, Kramnik played games like this:> It was Grishuk who had the white pieces and offered a draw. Grishuk's strategy in doing so was to rely on the (bad, IMO) FIDE rule of short/blitz tiebreakers. This failed for him with Gelfand.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KWRegan: The last move is a curious case. ChessBomb's live transmission gave 44.Ke4 1-0. Whatever source I used at the time---TWIC or ChessBase most likely---regarded this as a case of the common DGT-board artifact of recording the arbiter's placement of Kings in the center as a move, and deleted the move. But ChessBase Big 2013 agrees with this page, and as the clincher for me, so does GM Konstantin Landa's live commentary at
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