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Vladimir Kramnik vs David Howell
London Chess Classic (2011), London ENG, rd 7, Dec-10
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Classical Defense. Main Lines (D27)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 11 times; par: 58 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-10-11  Calar: Does anyone know if Howell resigned or lost on time?

In any case, Howell should really work on his time managment. His losses against Carlsen, Kramnik and Nakamura were all similar: he gets in horrible time trouble for the last 10 or so moves and thus overlooks best moves he needed to draw (or at least to put up some resistance).

Dec-10-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Paint My Dragon: I think we need to appreciate that Howell is a full-time college kid, who's more than a little rusty right now, having not played much this year. Of course, poor form and a lack of practice are likely to be exposed at the LCC, so his nervous play and dodgy clock handling are probably to be expected.

The good news is that he has pledged to take up chess when he graduates, rather than quitting or following the McShane/Sadler amateur route. The bad news is that he will probably be replaced by Gawain Jones at next year's LCC - Gawain is headed for 2650+ right now, whereas David's rating could plummet to 2600 or worse. Who knows, Sadler may also be in the frame, as his rating and results are on a similar path to Gawain's.

Dec-11-11  lost in space: After a long search I found this winning line for White (not complete as not all side lines analyzed):

40...Qf1+ 41. Kxf1 Qa6+ 42. Kg2 Rxc8 43. Nd4 Kh7 44. Kh1 Rg8 45. Nf5 Qc8 46. Qb1 Qc7 47. Nd6+ Kh8 48. Qb3 Qxa7 49. Nxf7 Kh7 50. Qc2+ g6 51. Nd6 Kh8 52. hxg6 Rxg6 53. Nf5 Qxe5 54. Nh4 Qe6 55. Qxg6+ Qxg6 56. Nxg6 Kxg6 and this is 1:0


click for larger view

But there are a lot of alternatives for Black (esp. moves 43,44 are not at all forced)

Dec-11-11  visayanbraindoctor: <lost in space> In general, do your winning lines involve White sacrificing his a-pawn in exchange for one of black's Kingside pawns and threats to the black King?
Dec-11-11  polarmis: Shipov gave the win: 40…Qf1+! 41.Kxf1 Qa6+ 42.Kg2 Rxc8 43.Nd4! Kh7 44.Kh2 Rg8 45.Nf5 Qa2 46.Kg1 Qa1+ 47.Kg2 Qa3 48.Qb7 Qa2 49.Ne7 Rf8 50.Nd5 Qa5 51.Nb6 Qxe5 52.Nd7, but it's weird that's Howell's second resignation (if he resigned) in a position that's tricky to win. Kramnik got a bit carried away with the idea of allowing Black two queens...
Dec-11-11  visayanbraindoctor: If white still has a winning position, then objectively it is not a blunder, as it does not give the win away. However, humanly it is a grave mistake. I think the game probably would have ended in a draw if Howell found the right continuation and Kramnik got rattled afterwards.
Dec-11-11  polarmis: I don't think so - Black's always on the edge of the abyss and can't really get active with the pawn on a7 - so Kramnik would almost certainly have won eventually (the win above's against perfect computer play, but Howell would most likely blunder at some point). It seems to be more a question of how many moves it takes, as there are different ways of avoiding Black's checks.
Dec-11-11  lost in space: <<visayanbraindoctor:> <lost in space> In general, do your winning lines involve White sacrificing his a-pawn in exchange for one of black's Kingside pawns and threats to the black King?>

Yes, at least so far. I am still looking for a more convincing way to win for White (and I think I am close to it)

Dec-12-11  visayanbraindoctor: <polarmis: I don't think so - Black's always on the edge of the abyss and can't really get active with the pawn on a7 - so Kramnik would almost certainly have won eventually (the win above's against perfect computer play, but Howell would most likely blunder at some point). It seems to be more a question of how many moves it takes, as there are different ways of avoiding Black's checks.

lost in space:

Yes, at least so far. I am still looking for a more convincing way to win for White (and I think I am close to it)>

Seeing the way Kramnik fought it out against McShane, his resourcefulness in defense and his propensity to seek out lines that kept the game alive and gave him winning chances, I now believe that Vlad would have eventually won this game against Howell, notwithstanding his grave mistake.

The post 2008 WC match Kramnik does not give up easily anymore.

Dec-12-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 40...Qf1+!! 41. Kxf1 Qa6+ 42. Kg2 Rxc8 43. Nd4 Rf8! And now if 44. Nb5, then 44...Qc6+ 45. Kh2 Qa8!. If instead first 43. Kh2, then 43...Rf8 44. Nd4 Qa2, threatening Qxf2+, etc.

So white has to try something else: 42. Kf1 Rxc8 43. Nd4. If now 43...Rf8, then 44. Nb5 is a real threat: 44...Qa1+ 45. Kg2 Qa4 46. Nc7 Qe4+ 47. Kh2 Qe2 (what else is there?) 48. Qxf8+ Kxf8 49. a8=Q+, winning.

And if 43...Qa1+ 44. Kh2 Qa6, black has lost a tempo: 45. Nb5 Qc6 46. Nc7 Qxc7 47. Qxc7 Rxc7 a8=Q+.

Dec-12-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <al wazir: 40...Qf1+!! 41. Kxf1 Qa6+ 42. Kg2 Rxc8 43. Nd4 Rf8! And now if 44. Nb5, then 44...Qc6+ 45. Kh2 Qa8!>

46.Qxa8 Rxa8 47.Kg2 Kf8 48.Kf3 Ke7 49.Ke4 Kd7 50.Kd5 looks winning for White.

Dec-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Just to clarify the situation here - did either player say in the post commentary of this game that they saw the Qf1 resource in the final position?!
Dec-16-11  bronkenstein: <kingscrusher: Just to clarify the situation here - did either player say in the post commentary of this game that they saw the Qf1 resource in the final position?!> No, IIRC it wasnt even mentioned. Vlad seemed to be completely clueless of that tactical blow , and Howell prematurely resigned for the second time in this tournament (first one being against Magnus) - he kinda wanted to end the suffering ASAP in both games , really weak nerves/low fighting spirit IMO.
Dec-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <kingscrusher> I expect an educational video out of this one! Well, only if you want to. Thanks for the great work over the years.
Dec-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <Everett> I have two videos relevant for this game:

Kramnik's recent wins in London Classic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZVi...

The beginning of Truth and the end of Empathy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8Sm...

Dec-16-11  Sink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=136j...
Dec-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <Sink> Thanks for that - absolutely fascinating analysis by Kramnik.
Dec-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: Who would have thought that the position after 7..Nc6 has only occurred 7 times before in the database. Yet another world ready to be discovered for the adventurous.

Thanks again <kingscrusher>. I enjoyed both videos very much.

Dec-17-11  DWINS: <Everett>, 7...Nc6 is well known theory and has been played thousands of times.
Dec-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <DWINS> must be by transposition then. Click similar games to see what I mean...
Dec-17-11  DWINS: <Everett>, As much as we all love CG, this website is not even close to being a complete database. If you check a professional chess database you will find many games played with this line.
Dec-17-11  acirce: Opening Explorer
Dec-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <DWINS> <acirce> seems like I am naively following a CG tool, giving me a false sense of reality. Thank you both for the correction.

How late in the game does the first new move come, then?

Dec-19-11  Ulhumbrus: The move 40...Qf1+!! follows the advice which Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld stress in their book "Winning chess": look at every possible check and capture
Jul-12-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Kramnik vs D Howell, 2011.
YOU ARE PLAYING THE ROLE OF KRAMNIK.
Your score: 66 (par = 49)

LTJ

PS. I boosted the par to 54!

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