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Vladimir Kramnik vs Hikaru Nakamura
Dortmund Sparkassen (2011), Dortmund GER, rd 10, Jul-31
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Bayonet Attack (E97)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 22 OF 22 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-01-11  Skakalec: I didn't check eith the engine but to me, it seems that Kramniks 27.Rxe7 is a move with "?".

What about 27.Bb5?

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Ooops, sorry, <polarmis> it seems it wasn't clear enough for me. :D

(Well, I often thought that a few more seconds of careful reading would have helped a lot in my live - Lesen müsste man können).

Anyway, that for correcting it! :D

Aug-01-11  frogbert: <Having once read a comment by Kramnik (sincere, in my opinion) to the effect that once one has been world champion, rating doesn't matter very much,>

i'm not sure i "trust" kramnik entirely on this, in particular because he made that statement long before yesterday's game. :o) anyway, it doesn't matter much.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Kramnik should have played in his usual positional style imo. He could have possibly won the game and reached 2800 with that approach. There was no need to go all out in this game.
Aug-01-11  DrMAL: In the tournament section Dortmund (2011) <polarmis> pointed out the link covering this tournament and specifically this game.

This article makes the statement, "And then, instead of e.g. 23.cxd6, he uncorked 23.Nfxg5!!?. At first the move simply looked bad, by which I mean the computers were horrified, but then it gradually emerged that White does have enough compensation for the piece – though no more. 30.h4 was perhaps a better means of forcing a draw."

The reference to computers already reeks of unprofessional arrogance, making the statement just plain wrong. The position is too complicated, engines would show much here (certainly not horror) under short term computation. Indeed, here is the output of my computer running Houdini_15a_x64 with multiple threads (nearly 4 million evals/sec):

21/56 03:22 768,937,104 +0.52 23. ... hxg5 24.Qxg5
22/60 06:04 1,417,737,752 +0.53 23. ... hxg5 24.cxb6

It computes the move as giving a slight advantage to black, most probably still a draw. I was not present during this move, I got to the game on move 31 for white. Looking at earlier kibitzing on here, apparently the move produced quite a bit of discussion amongst the kibitzers even GM Ray Keene decided to comment with <ray keene: i never use a chess computer while commenting-i prefer to use my own brain and let others tell me what the machines think> and I wholeheartedly agree.

I was first to kibitz on 32.Ng5 first thinking it dubious at best but after more thought seeing that it probably loses. The article states, "The magnetic lure of the g5-square again drew his knight: 32.Ng5??! with 34.Ne6+ following. Although playing almost a full rook down Nakamura did leave Kramnik a last chance with 35...Bf6: (diagram). Here 36.Qg6!! instead of Kramnik's 36.g4? might still have made the game a minor masterpiece."

I had commented 35...Qf6 was best and then commented 35...Bf6 was weak. 35...Qf6 gives more luft to black's king, double protects the B on g7, attacks the pawn on f3 and (presuming 36.Ng5 to attack the rook on f7) allows 36...e4! to reinforce black's attack.

However, 35...Bf6 although much a lesser move, is far "making the game a minor masterpiece" black still has some slight advantage after 36.Qg6 with 36...Qd7 37.f4 Ke7 unpinning the rook for a likely draw.

At the juncture, both players moved quickly. It was not easy to see how weak 35...Bf6 was or how poor 36.g4? was. The only thing obvious to me was that white's plan to run his pawns was way too slow, and black had winning counterplay via 36...e4 to first exchange pawns and place the bishop beautifully on e5, but then black's choice of 36...Qb7 to swing to queen around was also clearly very good (winning).

Looking back with more time and Houdini to verify, 32.Ng5? was clearly a losing move but afterwards both players made mistakes with 35.Bf6?! 36.g4? with white still losing probably faster. White's sac on move 32 was unsound either way.

I thought then and still think white simply miscalculated with 32.Ng5? simple as that. The article's attempt to try and somehow relate these earlier games to this one is some sort of dramatic rubbish. Everyone makes mistakes and former WC Kramnik already played a fabulous tournament with five brilliant wins prior to this game.

Aug-01-11  Ulhumbrus: My present guess is that the attack begun by the sacrifice 23 Nf3xg5 is sound.

White may have a winning positional advantage in the position before 23 Nf3xg5, so that this move can be said to start a sound sacrificial attack, an attack justified by sufficient positional advantage.

32 Nxd6 instead of 31 Ng5 might have drawn but could Kramnik have won?

I would like to point out that it was said of Kasparov that he brought his last piece into play before beginning a final attack.

In the position after 30...Rf7 instead of 31 Qxg6 as played, 31 Ra1-a7 brings White's last piece into the attack. What do the computers have to say about this?

Aug-01-11  KingV93: Bold choice of opening by Nakamura as Kramnik has an excellent record against the Kings Indian. Unusual to me but apparently 'book' was the 9..♘h5 10..♘f4 theme. As I played through the game I felt hacking off the knight with the DSB immediately is what I'd have done. I have no idea if it's actually sound strategy and 11.a4 seems thematic; continuing with Qside play, though it's apparently novel according to the Opening Explorer.

Also enjoyable to see a SuperGM 'experiment' in OTB play with the ♘ sac, if I'm interpeting the comments from the post-match interview given here earlier correctly, as opposed to trying to go without defeat and without risking those precious rating points.

Aug-01-11  Bobsterman3000: I thought that the KID was thoroughly and utterly discredited.
Aug-01-11  DrMAL: <Ulhumbrus> This is precisely where I got to this game, sipping coffee and reading a few comments. I thought "black was holding his own" not seeing anything for white here.

Houdini does indeed evaluate 31.Raa7 as best but drawn because of the exchange 31...Rxe7 32.Rxe7 b5 33.g4 Qf8 34.Qxg6 Qxe7 35.Ng5 and the perpetual via Qa7-Qa2 from there.

This was similar to the perpetual you and others were referring to after 31.Qxg6 with 31...Rxe7 when I started getting into the position and suggested what I did then (31...Qxe7 what Naka played).

Turns out Houdini evaluates 31...Qxe7 32.Nxd6 (obvious move) as having minuscule advantage for black (around 0.10 - 0.15).

Aug-01-11  polarmis: <DrMAL>, as well as pointing out the article I also wrote it (which I made clear).

<The reference to computers already reeks of unprofessional arrogance, making the statement just plain wrong. The position is too complicated, engines would show much here (certainly not horror) under short term computation.>

I assure you I have absolutely no arrogance whatsoever when it comes to chess - more like an entirely justified inferiority complex :) And I think it's pretty clear to anyone that a statement like "the computers were horrified" isn't intended to be taken entirely seriously. Computers don't feel any emotions whatsoever. Nevertheless, all our computer friends (also not serious, I'm not friendly with any computers) switched from giving White a tiny edge to clearly favouring Black. e.g. Chessbomb now has -0.84, Whychess is -0.91, Chessok is now only -0.22, but all of those figures were initially much higher in Black's favour. So as a description of the initial "computer" reaction I think what I wrote's fine, just intentionally hyperbolic. Of course I don't think humans can outplay computers in these positions, but still, Kramnik's calculation or intuition was actually better than their first judgements - which is something.

On the "minor masterpiece". Maybe I should have been clearer, but I don't mean by that White would win - getting a draw after playing those two sacs/dubious lines would strike me as a minor masterpiece (far from flawless, but what is?). Overall, as far as I can see, you saw the game pretty much as I did.

<The article's attempt to try and somehow relate these earlier games to this one is some sort of dramatic rubbish.>

I'm sure you have a vastly better understanding of computer chess but from that comment I'd question your basic human understanding. I'm not saying the earlier incident "caused" yesterday's game, but of course they're comparable and, in my view, it's obviously interesting to see what Kramnik said back then as well.

Aug-01-11  FlashinthePan: <newton296:kramniks sac was a biy dicey but should have held at least a draw. I ran game through houdini and it seems to think kramnik blew his last chance to draw here:> That only goes to show that the whole sac idea was flawed from the start, as what's the point of a sac if the best you can hope for is to struggle hard to equalize in the best-case scenario?
Aug-01-11  DrMAL: <polarmis> Egg on my face, I did not realize when writing you had prepared this article.

No, I do not think you were being arrogant, forgive me for that. I guess I was still annoyed with some comments by others, resulting in me giving 3 IGNORES and getting distracted, from their rude accusations about engines during the game.

Thanx for compiling the article anyways, as I wrote to begin with it was (otherwise) very informative. Yes, you seemed unclear about what "minor masterpiece" meant, it certainly implied to me white was going to win with the sac (or that it was even good).

In all honesty, I claim less than average ability with computer chess, it is only recently I started using engines as much other than an opponent. I just know it takes them awhile to evaluate complex positions such as these and do not trust them during live games except as fun inputs (like GM Keene posted).

It's lousy see engines are abused or a few making rude comments to good players accusing them of abusing engines. Personally, not knowing others on here, I much prefer to assume they understand chess quite well in making their posts unless they convince me otherwise (such as "Life Master" AJ with his usual arrogant rubbish in Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999 few pages up).

Thanx again taking the trouble to write your article (even with this bit of confusion). I particularly liked the quote from Anish Giri I would not otherwise have seen, cheers.

Aug-01-11  polarmis: No worries, <DrMAL>, I might actually slightly edit that "minor masterpiece" comment later to make it clearer :) I also meant that it's a beautiful idea if White can completely paralyse Black there despite his lack of material - even if it needs a mistake from his opponent to make it "work". (In general, of course, all of Kramnik's sacrificial play was flawed if he can only hope for a draw - it might have been justified against e.g. Meier, but not someone who calculates as well as Nakamura.)
Aug-01-11  JoergWalter: We should be happy that sometimes Kramnik is very bold. it gives interesting stuff for discussions and analysis. game 6 from the 2002 match against Deep Fritz has a daring sacrifice 19.Nxf7. Although Kramnik resigned the game, that time it was heavily discussed whether the final position was a draw. Still I don't know today. And Kramnik did not behave like a cry baby.
Aug-01-11  DrMAL: Thanx <polarmis> yes I also very much agree about your comment with Nakamura. I am not sure about Meier he is also really good. <JorgeWalter> makes good points but I cannot agree about the sac being all too promising.

In any event, yes, Kramnik certainly did not go crying about it (not sure if I buy that he saw all the consequences and yet still did it, sounds a bit masochistic). I looked carefully at Kramnik vs Deep Fritz, 2002 and commented there.

Aug-01-11  shach matov: <Bobsterman3000: I thought that the KID was thoroughly and utterly discredited>

not in the hands of Kramnik, he can still lose it with fireworks, in the process bringing a lot of joy to us all!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <BobCrisp> 20 or 30 games by the younger Kramnik with the (relative and elusive) quality of 'wildness'?

I *could*, but I won't. Not because they don't exist, but because you've already been told by others where to find them if you're actually interested, and not just doing your gadfly routine.

My personal favourite is Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1994

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: Kramnik, who was quite down to earth after this loss, said that he deliberately took risks in the last round. <“I had nothing to lose, and if I had won I would have overstepped 2800 and would have scored an excellent result here.”>

I think this and his other comments show he did it for the reasons others and myself listed, and it was a calculated descision. He even said he didn't want another draw, and if he played as in times past he doubtfully would have left with such a strong result it's easy to judge from after the game but how many of the same people would be on him for not trying to play risky to defeat a weak Nakamura with white?

This Kramnik is good for chess, from his position the risk was worth taking imho and his.

Aug-02-11  drnooo: dp ratings ever matter much. Not really, it's who can beat whom, that's all. Such simplicity. Till Anand really shows he can beat Aronion, or anyone anyone else, there is always going to be that lurking question who is best and all the ratings in the world won't mean a damn thing except that so and so probably is better at tournament chess. There they are not a bad index. But in matches? Nope, right now nobody can say that Carlsen could beat Krammnik with the slightest degree of certainty, or Krammnik the other other way around
Aug-02-11  Hesam7: 36. Qg6! seems to have been Kramnik's last chance.

click for larger view

I see only two ways Black can defend against the threat of 37. Qg8+:

<A> 36. ... Qb7 37. Ra2 (the purpose of this move is to avoid the gaze of the bishop on f6, for example: 37. h4? e4! 38. Re1 Qxd5 39. Qg8+ Ke7 40. Qxc8 Qxe6 41. Rxe4 Be5 ) 37. ... Ke7 (37. ... Qxd5?? 38. Qg8+ and it is mate in 17 according to my engine!!) 38. h4

1) 38. ... Ra8 39. Rc2 Rc8 (My engine's suggestion might actually be losing for Black: 39. ... Ra7?! 40. Rc7+ Qxc7 41. Nxc7 Rxc7 42. h5! and I think the h-pawn and the immobility of Black rooks gives an advantage to White.) 40. Ra2 =

2) 38. ... b5 39. Kg2 Qb8 (Black can't play the planned 39. ... Qb6 b/c of 40. Ng5. Black is worse/losing in every line: 40. ... Rg7 41. Qf5! note that the c8-rook is undefended; 40. ... Bxg5 41. Qe6+ Kf8 42. Qxc8+ Bd8 43. Ra8; 40. ... Rcf8 the safest option 41. Nxf7 Rxf7 42. h5!) 40. h5 (and here in almost every single line my engine gives a perpetual)

<B> 36. ... Qd7 (less forcing than Black's other option) 37. h4 (since d5 is not under attack White can skip the rook move) 37. ... e4 38. Re1 Rc4 39. Rxe4 Rxe4 40. Qxe4 Bc3 and the best I can come up with is 'the position is unclear'.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Bobsterman3000: I thought that the KID was thoroughly and utterly discredited.>

In which parallel reality?

Aug-03-11  Ulhumbrus: The move 25 cxd6 opens the c file for Black. An alternative to 25 cxd6 is 25 Re1-e3 developing the King's Rook to the third rank and preparing the move Re3-f3
Aug-04-11  beenthere240: Showing that you're willing to sac a piece in an unclear position will help Kramnik down the line. As I replayed the game, even knowning that black wins, it looked like white had excellent chances for many moves.
Oct-17-11  Everett: <I realised the risk was huge, that more likely than not the sacrifice was incorrect, but nevertheless I decided to go for it. It was a conscious decision. […] I’ve tried to experiment a little [before Kazan], and that game was partly an experiment. I wanted, so to speak, to get my fill of the game. I saw that otherwise it would end up as quite a dull draw and decided – well, let’s have a go. It was a chance to test myself in such dubious, boundless complications against a player who’s famous precisely because of his good play in that type of position.>

It seems that Bronstein basically had this exact feeling in his games all too often, with mixed results...

BTW, has 9..Ne8 ever been refuted?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game:
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