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Vladimir Kramnik
Photograph copyright © 2007 Milan Kovacs (  
Number of games in database: 3,124
Years covered: 1984 to 2021
Last FIDE rating: 2753 (2756 rapid, 2797 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2817

Overall record: +548 -171 =966 (61.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1439 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 English (151) 
    A15 A14 A17 A13 A16
 Sicilian (130) 
    B33 B30 B90 B52 B92
 King's Indian (106) 
    E97 E94 E92 E91 E86
 Queen's Pawn Game (105) 
    D02 A46 E10 D00 D05
 Slav (99) 
    D17 D15 D11 D18 D12
 Reti System (98) 
    A04 A06 A05
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (253) 
    B33 B30 B31 B62 B65
 Ruy Lopez (182) 
    C67 C65 C84 C78 C95
 Queen's Gambit Declined (121) 
    D37 D35 D38 D39 D30
 Semi-Slav (109) 
    D45 D43 D47 D44 D48
 Petrov (102) 
    C42 C43
 Nimzo Indian (79) 
    E32 E21 E34 E46 E54
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Kramnik vs Leko, 2004 1-0
   Kasparov vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1994 1-0
   Gelfand vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
   Ivanchuk vs Kramnik, 1996 0-1
   Leko vs Kramnik, 2004 0-1
   Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2000 1-0
   Kramnik vs Morozevich, 2007 1-0
   Kramnik vs Anand, 2001 1-0
   Topalov vs Kramnik, 1995 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (1999)
   Kasparov - Kramnik Classical World Championship Match (2000)
   Kramnik - Leko Classical World Championship Match (2004)
   Kramnik - Topalov World Championship Match (2006)
   World Championship Tournament (2007)
   Anand - Kramnik World Championship Match (2008)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Belgrade Investbank (1995)
   Hoogovens Group A (1998)
   New York PCA/Intel-GP (1994)
   Amber Blindfold (2003)
   Dortmund Sparkassen (2004)
   16th Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2007)
   Dortmund Open-A (1992)
   World Cup (2013)
   Qatar Masters (2014)
   Tata Steel Masters (2018)
   Isle of Man Masters (2017)
   Levitov Chess Week (2019)
   Biel Interzonal (1993)
   Legends of Chess (2020)
   Manila Olympiad (1992)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Kramnik - My Life and Games by jakaiden
   Kramnik - My Life and Games by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Kramnik - My Life and Games by peckinpah
   Vladi Kramn'd Fredthebear Full of White Russian by fredthebear
   Match Kramnik! by amadeus
   Vladi Others by fredthebear
   My Life and Games (Kramnik/Damsky) by Qindarka
   Kramnik on a King Hunt & vs the World Champions by visayanbraindoctor
   Vladimir, the Conqueror by Gottschalk
   Vladimir Kramnik's Best Games by KingG
   Vladimir Kramnik's Best Games by alip
   Vladimir Kramnik's Best Games by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Power Chess - Kramnik by Anatoly21
   English: Vladimir Kramnik Collection by chess.master

   🏆 Global Championship
   Kramnik vs N Sarin (Sep-24-22) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   N Sarin vs Kramnik (Sep-24-22) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   Kramnik vs N Sarin (Sep-24-22) 0-1, rapid
   N Sarin vs Kramnik (Sep-24-22) 1/2-1/2, rapid
   Kramnik vs Anand (Jul-18-21) 1/2-1/2

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Vladimir Kramnik
Search Google for Vladimir Kramnik
FIDE player card for Vladimir Kramnik

(born Jun-25-1975, 47 years old) Russia
[what is this?]

Former World Champion - and former top ranked player in the world - Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik was born in Tuapse, on the shores of the Black Sea, on June 25, 1975. As a child, Vladimir Kramnik studied in the chess school established by Mikhail Botvinnik. In 2000 he won the Classical World Championship from Garry Kasparov and then won the unified title when he defeated Veselin Topalov in 2006 to become the 14th undisputed World Champion. He relinquished the title in 2007 to his successor, the 15th undisputed (and now former) World Champion, Viswanathan Anand.


<Age> In 1991 he won the World Under 18 Championship in Guarapuava, Brazil.

<National> He was =1st in the 1990 RSFSR (Russian) Championship in Kuibyshev, Russia, but placed 2nd on tiebreak behind Andrei Vasilyevich Kharlov. He was =3rd in the Russian Superfinals (2013) after a last round battle with Ian Nepomniachtchi for =1st and the possibility of the title for the first time. However, he lost the game and scored 5.5/9, placing =3rd.

<World> Kramnik’s early attempts at storming the citadel of the World Championship met with mixed results. In 1994, he lost a Candidates quarter finals match for the PCA championship to Gata Kamsky by 1½-4½, and a few months later he lost a Candidates semi-finals match for the FIDE championship to Boris Gelfand by 3½-4½. In 1998, Kramnik was defeated by Alexey Shirov by 3½-5½ in the Candidates match held in Cazorla to determine the right to play Garry Kasparov for the Classical World Chess Championship. In 1999, Kramnik lost in the quarterfinals of the FIDE knockout championship in Las Vegas to Michael Adams by 2-4, including the 4 game rapid play-off.

Although Shirov had defeated Kramnik for the right to challenge Kasparov, suitable sponsorship was not found for a Kasparov-Shirov match, and it never took place. In 2000, however, sponsorship became available for a Kasparov-Kramnik match instead. This meant that Kramnik was the first player since 1935 - when Alexander Alekhine selected Max Euwe as his challenger - to play a world championship match without qualifying. Kramnik reached the pinnacle by defeating long-time champion Kasparov in the Kasparov - Kramnik Classical World Championship Match (2000) in London by the score of 8½ to 6½ (+2 =13 -0) without losing a game, becoming the next Classical World Champion in the line that started from Wilhelm Steinitz. It was the first time since the Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921) that the defending champion had lost a match without winning a game and it was also the first time Kasparov had lost a World Championship match. Kasparov said of Kramnik that: <”He is the hardest player to beat in the world.”>

In 2004, Kramnik successfully defended his title as Classical World Chess Champion against challenger Peter Leko at Brissago, Switzerland, by drawing the Kramnik - Leko Classical World Championship Match (2004) in the last game. Lékó was leading the 14-game match until the final game, which Kramnik won, thus forcing a 7 - 7 draw and ensuring that Kramnik remained world champion. Because of the drawn result, the prize fund of 1 million Swiss francs was split between the two players.

Kramnik refused to participate at the FIDE World Championship Tournament (2005), but indicated his willingness to play a match against the winner to unify the world championship. His next title defence in 2006, therefore, was a reunification match with the new FIDE world title holder from the 2005 tournament, Veselin Topalov. The $1 million Kramnik - Topalov World Championship Match (2006) was played in Elista, Kalmykia from September 21 to October 13 and after controversially forfeiting the fifth game, Kramnik won the rapid game playoff by 2½ -1½ after the classical games were tied 6-6, thereby becoming the first undisputed unified World Chess Champion since the 1993 split. In the following year, Kramnik lost the unified world title when he finished second to Viswanathan Anand at the Mexico City World Championship Tournament (2007). In October 2008, Kramnik exercised his entitlement to a rematch as a challenger to World Champion Anand in Bonn, Germany, but lost the Anand - Kramnik World Championship Match (2008) match by 4½ to 6½ (+1 =7 -3).

Kramnik's tournament performances in 2009 (see below) raised his rating (average of July 2009 and January 2010 ratings) sufficiently to qualify him for the World Championship Candidates (2011). In the first round he beat Teimour Radjabov by the narrowest of margins*: after tieing the classical games 2-2 (+0 =4 -0), and the rapid games 2-2 (+0 =4 -0), he won the blitz playoff by 2.5-1.5 (+2 =1 -1) to move to the semi final match against Alexander Grischuk, which he lost 1.5-0.5 (=1 -1) in the blitz tiebreaker after he drew the classical games 2-2 (+0 -0 =4) and the rapid games 2-2 (+0 -0 =4), thereby eliminating him from the contest. Participating in the World Championship Candidates (2013) on the basis of his rating, Kramnik came =1st with Magnus Carlsen on 8.5/13 after both lost their last round games. As the first tiebreaker (individual score against the other player in the tournament) left them level, the second tiebreaker (greater number of wins in the tournament) relegated Kramnik to second place due to scoring four wins to Carlsen's five.

Kramnik was seeded directly into the World Chess Championship Candidates (2014), as he met the pre-condition that he participate in the World Cup (2013). During the Cup, he defeated Zambian IM Gillan Bwalya in the first round, compatriot GM Mikhail Kobalia in the second round, Ukrainian GM Alexander Areshchenko in the third round, veteran Ukrainian GM and twice former Candidate Vassily Ivanchuk in the Round of 16 (round four), his third Ukrainian opponent in the shape of GM Anton Korobov in the quarter final (round five), one of the wildcards of the event, French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave match in the semi final (round 6) before defeating compatriot GM Dmitry Andreikin in the final by 2.5-1.5 (+1 =3). His win also guaranteed qualification in the World Cup 2015, although he would qualify by rating alone. At the Candidates in March 2014, he placed 3rd with 7/14 behind Anand and Karjakin.

He qualified by rating to play in the World Cup (2015) where he met and defeated Peruvian Deysi Estela Cori Tello and Cuban GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista in the first two rounds to advance to the third round where he lost to Dmitry Andreikin in the first set of rapid game tiebreakers, thereby bowing out of the event.


Kramnik won Chalkidiki 1992 with 7.5/11, and in 1993, he played in Linares, finishing fifth and defeating the then world number three, Vassily Ivanchuk. Following some solid results in the interim which resulted in him winning the 1994 PCA Intel Grand Prix, major tournament triumphs were soon to follow, such as Dortmund 1995, Horgen 1995, Belgrade 1995, =1st in Dos Hermanas in 1996 and 1997, =1st in Tilburg 1997 (8/11). Dortmund became a favourite stop, as Kramnik has gone on to win nine more times in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, Dortmund Sparkassen (2006), Dortmund Sparkassen (2007), Dortmund Sparkassen (2009) and Dortmund Sparkassen (2011), as either equal or clear first; in the 2011 edition of the event he won by 1.5 points despite losing in the last round. In 2000, Kramnik won his first Linares tournament, completing his set of victories in all three of chess' "triple crown" events: Corus, Linares, and Dortmund. Kramnik later captured additional Linares victories in Linares (2003) (shared) and Linares (2004) (outright). He won the Tal Memorial (2007) with 6.5/9, 1.5 ahead of Shirov. Kramnik had exceptionally good results in 2009, winning once again in Dortmund and then winning the Category 21 (average ELO = 2763) Tal Memorial (2009) in Moscow with 6/9 and a TPR of 2883. At the time, the average ELO rating of the field made it the strongest tournament in history. He also participated in the London Chess Classic (2009) in December, finishing second to Magnus Carlsen. These magnificent results qualified him for the 2011 Candidates on the basis of his boosted ratings. Kramnik began 2010 at Corus Group A (2010) in the Netherlands, during which he defeated new world number-one Carlsen with the Black pieces in their head-to-head encounter, ending Carlsen's 36-match unbeaten streak. A late loss to Anand knocked him out of first place, and Kramnik finished with 8/13, tying for second place with Shirov behind Carlsen's 8½ points. He came 2nd in the preliminary Shanghai Masters (2010) to qualify for the Grand Slam Chess Final (2010) against Carlsen and Anand, who had pre-qualified. He then won at Bilbao with +2 -0 =4 over world champion Anand, then-world number one Magnus Carlsen, and Shirov. The 2009 Tal Memorial and the Grand Slam Final at Bilbao were the most powerful tournaments (in ratings terms) ever staged. In late 2011, he easily won the 15th Unive (Crown Group) (2011) with 4.5/6 and a TPR of 2903 and finished the year with outright first at the London Chess Classic (2011) with +4 -0 =4 and a TPR of 2934, recovering ground lost following a mediocre performance in the Tal Memorial (2011) where he failed to win a game. In June 2012, he placed =4th at the category 22 Tal Memorial (2012), with 4.5/9 and in July 2012, =3rd (4th on tiebreak) at the category 19 Dortmund Sparkassen (2012) tournament. Kramnik finished 2012 with a surge, placing 2nd at the London Chess Classic (2012) behind Magnus Carlsen, scoring 6/8 (16 points in the 3-1-0 scoring system used in the event) and a TPR of 2937 to Carlsen's 2994.

His final training preparation for the Candidates tournament in March at the category 21 Zurich Chess Challenge (2013), was less than completely successful in terms of results (2.5/6), drawing five and losing one to Anand, although it seemed to contribute to his game fitness at the Candidates as he placed second by the narrowest of margins, scoring equal to Carlsen who won the event and the right to challenge Anand for the World Championship. He placed =4th with 4.5/9, a point behind the winner, in a low scoring Alekhine Memorial (2013) and then had one of his worse ever results at the Tal Memorial (2013), coming last with 3/9 (+0 -3 =6). However, he returned to form in the Dortmund Sparkassen (2013), placing outright second behind Adams, scoring 6.5/9, jointly dominating the category 19 field to the extent that no other player scored better than 50%. In November 2014, Kramnik competed at the category 20 Petrosian Memorial (2014), and was outright second behind Alexander Grischuk with 4.5/7, signalling a mild return to form after a slump that saw him exit the world's top 10 for the first time since he entered the top 10 in January 1993. There followed 2nd at the powerful Qatar Masters (2014), with 7/9, and =1st at the London Chess Classic (2014).

2015 saw Kramnik starting his competitive year by placing outright 3rd behind the winner Anand and runner-up Hikaru Nakamura, ahead of Sergey Karjakin, Levon Aronian and Fabiano Caruana respectively, in the standard section of the RR category 22 Zurich Chess Challenge (2015). He won the final section of the Zurich event, namely the Zurich Chess Challenge (Rapid) (2015), but the added points were insufficient to give him the overall lead and he finished with 3rd prize behind Nakamura and Anand respectively. A relatively poor performance at the Gashimov Memorial (2015) where he scored only 4/9 was followed by a solid performance at the Russian Premier League 2015 (see below) and a below average 3.5/7 for fourth place at the annual Dortmund Sparkassen (2015). He saw out the year with equal third, scoring 6.5/9 at the powerful Qatar Masters (2015), half a point behind the joint leaders Magnus Carlsen and the rising Chinese star Yu Yangyi. Kramnik started 2016 with equal third on 5/9 at the Norway Chess (2016) behind Carlsen and Aronian respectively after also coming third in the preliminary Norway Chess (Blitz) (2016) used to determine the draw. Several months later in July he placed =2nd (with 4/7) behind Vachier-Lagrave at Dortmund Sparkassen (2016). Kramnik's year in standard time chess finished with a reasonably efficacious equal third at the London Chess Classic (2016), a point behind the winner Wesley So.

In April 2017, Kramnik was second on tiebreak ahead of co-runners up Wesley So and Veselin Topalov at the category 21 Gashimov Memorial (2017), scoring 5/9, half a point behind the winner Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Two months later he again placed equal second, this time at the category 22 Altibox Norway (2017), scoring 5/9 alongside Hikaru Nakamura, a point behind the winner Levon Aronian.

Team Events

<Olympiads> Kramnik has won three team and and individual gold medals at the Olympiads as well as two team silvers. He played in the gold medal winning Russian teams in the Manila 1992, Moscow 1994 and Yerevan 1996 Olympiads, his first gold medal being awarded to him as an untitled 16 year old in 1992 when he scored eight wins, one draw, and no losses to record a remarkable TPR of 2958. In 1994, he came fifth on the second board with 8/11 and a 2727 TPR. In 1996, he scored a relatively meagre 4.5/9 on the second board. He did not participate in any more Olympiads until 37th Chess Olympiad (2006) in Turin, when he again won a gold medal with overall best performance on the top board with 6.5/9 (2847 TPR). In the Olympiad (2008) in Dresden, he scored 5/9 on top board and a 2735 TPR. Kramnik played board one for the silver medal winning Russian team in the Chess Olympiad (2010) in Khanty-Mansiysk, coming fifth with a scored of 5.5/9, winning 2 and drawing 7 with a TPR of 2794. At the Chess Olympiad (2012) held in Istanbul, he again played top board scoring 5/9 and coming 7th on that board, leading his team to another silver medal. At the Chess Olympiad (2014), he again played board 1 for Russia. He played board two for Russia in the Chess Olympiad (2016), scoring individual gold for his board, and team bronze with his countrymen.

<National Team Events> In 1991, 2490-rated FM Kramnik represented Russia on board 2 at the World U26 Championship played at Maringá; with a perfect score of 6/6 he helped Russia to win gold, and won individual gold for his performance. He played in the European Team Championships on one occasion, in 1992, when the then FM was rated 2590. Again representing Russia, this time on board 3, he helped his team to win gold with a 6/7 effort, and won individual gold for board 3 as well as a gold medal for the best rating performance at the event, that being a 2863 performance, ahead of Kasparov's 2809 performance that won rating silver. That same year (1992), he also played on the USSR team against the Rest of the World. He played for Russia twice in the World Team Championship, in 1993 and 2013. On the first occasion, he lead his country to a bronze medal, and on the second occasion - at the FIDE World Team Championship (2013) - to a gold medal.

<European Club Cup> Kramnik participated in the European Club Cup between 1995 and 1999 inclusive, in 2005 and again in 2015 and 2016. He started off playing board one with SV Empor Berlin in 1992 and 1993, moved on to Sberbank-Tatarstan Kazan in 1994 where he helped the club to bronze, then played board one with the powerful Agrouniverzal Zemun team in 1998 and 1999, winning team silver in 1999. Since then, he played for NAO Paris in 2005, winning team bronze and for the Siberia Novosibirsk team in the European Club Cup (2015) and European Club Cup (2016) winning team gold in 2015 as well as an individual gold for board 1.

At the Russian Team Championship (2015), Kramnik played board 1 for Siberia Novosibirsk, winning gold for that board; his effort also helped his team to win gold. He repeated his individual effort in the Russian Team Championship (2016), this time helping his team to a bronze medal in the double round robin 5-team contest.


In 2004, he won a simul against the German National Team 2½:1½.

In October 2002, Kramnik played an eight game match against Deep Fritz (Computer) in the Brains in Bahrain (2002) match, drawing 4-4 after leading 3-1. In 2006 the German organization Universal Event Promotion (UEP) staged a return match of six games between Kramnik and Deep Fritz in Bonn, which Kramnik lost, +0 -2 =4.

In April 2012, Kramnik and Levon Aronian played, as part of their preparation for the 2012 Candidates Tournament, a six-game training match in Zurich. The Kramnik - Aronian (2012) match was drawn 3-3 (+1 -1 =4). From late November to early December 2016, he played a rapid and blitz match against Yifan Hou at the Kings Tournament in Romania, winning both by significant margins, the rapid by 4.5-0.5 and the latter by 6/9 (+5 -3 =2).


Kramnik has been an excellent and consistent performer at rapid and blindfold play. He won or shared the overall lead at Amber in 1996 (outright overall 1st), 1998 (=1st with Shirov with 15/22), 1999 Monaco (14½/22), 2001 (=1st with Topalov with 15/22), 2004 (=1st with Morozevich with 14.5/22), and 2007 (outright overall first with 15½/22). He also won the 2001 rapid play match against Lékó by 7-5, drew the 2001 rapid play Botvinnik Memorial match with Kasparov 3:3 and the 2001 rapid play match against Anand 5:5, lost the 2002 Match Advanced Chess Kramnik vs. Anand (Leon) 3½:2½, was runner up to Anand in the Cap D'Agde FRA (2003), won the 2009 Zurich Champions Rapid (2009) with 5/7 and shared 1st in the 2010 President's Cup in Baku with 5/7. In tandem with the London Classic 2014, Kramnik came =1st in the blitz event and =3rd in the rapid play open.

Kramnik came in equal 5th with 10/15 in the World Rapid Championship (2015), 1.5 points behind the winner Carlsen, and half a point behind the joint runners up Nepomniachtchi, Radjabov and Leinier Dominguez Perez. He followed up the next day with equal second alongside Vachier-Lagrave scoring 15/21, half a point behind the outright winner Alexander Grischuk at the World Blitz Championship (2015).


Kramnik entered the top 100 in January 1992 and has remained there since that time. He rose rapidly in the rankings such that a year later in January 1993, he entered the top 10 where he has been ensconced since, apart from a few months in 2014. Yet during that time he made it to world #1 in only two rating periods.

In January 1996, Kramnik became the world top rated player. Although he had the same FIDE rating as Kasparov (2775), He became number one by having played more games during the rating period in question. He became the youngest ever to reach world number-one, breaking Kasparov's record; this record would stand for 14 years until being broken by Magnus Carlsen in January 2010.

Ironically, during his reign as world champion, Kramnik never regained the world number-one ranking, doing so only in January 2008 after he had lost the title to Viswanathan Anand. As in 1996, Kramnik had the same FIDE rating as Anand (2799) but became number-one due to more games played within the rating period. Kramnik's 12 years between world-number one rankings is the longest since the inception of the FIDE ranking system in 1971.

In July 1993 soon after his 18th birthday, he crossed 2700 for the first time and has remained in the 2700+ rating ever since. In April 2001, he became the second of only eight chess players to have reached a rating of 2800 (the first being Kasparov, followed by Anand, Topalov, Carlsen, Aronian, Caruana and Grischuk). Kramnik's highest standard rating to date is 2811 achieved in May 2013 when he was ranked #3 in the world.


In 1995, Kramnik served as a second for Kasparov during the latter’s successful defence of his Classical World Chess Championship against Anand, and in an ironic counter point in 2010 he served as a second for Anand during the World Champion’s successful defence against Topalov.

Kramnik has a form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis. In January 2006, Kramnik announced that he would miss the Corus Group A (2006) to seek treatment for this condition. He returned from treatment in June 2006, playing in the 37th Chess Olympiad, winning gold by top scoring on the top board. Kramnik's performance in winning the Classical World Championship in 2000 won him the Chess Oscar for 2000, while his 2006 victory in the reunification match earned him the Chess Oscar for 2006.

On 30 December 2006 he married French journalist Marie-Laure Germon and they have a daughter, Daria, who was born 28 December 2008, and a son, Vadim, born 28 January 2013.

Sources and references Website:; Biography:; Extended and candid interview with Kramnik by Vladislav Ivanovich Tkachiev in August 2011:; Live rating:; *; Wikipedia article: Kramnik

Last updated: 2019-04-15 02:16:11

 page 1 of 126; games 1-25 of 3,144  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Kramnik vs Serdyukov 1-0311984BelorechenskB78 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 10.castle long
2. A Oganyan vs Kramnik 0-1311984BelorechenskB89 Sicilian
3. Remezov vs Kramnik  0-1521985KrasnodarB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
4. Kramnik vs Zhukov 1-0381986BelorechenskB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
5. Zaitsev vs Kramnik 0-1491986Team TournamentB83 Sicilian
6. I Odesskij vs Kramnik 0-1251987URS-chT U16A52 Budapest Gambit
7. Shilov vs Kramnik 0-1371987USSR Boys' ChampionshipB33 Sicilian
8. Kramnik vs Mayorov 1-0341987GelendzhikC12 French, McCutcheon
9. Kramnik vs Otsarev 1-0181987Baku TrainingB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
10. Kramnik vs A Chjumachenko 1-0321987GelendzhikB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
11. Yakovich vs Kramnik 1-0421988URSB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
12. Kramnik vs Danislian ½-½601988URS-chT U18B15 Caro-Kann
13. Golubev vs Kramnik 0-1381988URS-chT U18B33 Sicilian
14. Sakaev vs Kramnik 1-0211989URS-ch U18A85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
15. Kramnik vs B Taborov  ½-½351989GMA QualifierB07 Pirc
16. Kramnik vs S Gorelov ½-½181989GMA QualifierB33 Sicilian
17. L Basin vs Kramnik ½-½491989GMA QualifierA87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
18. Kramnik vs Huzman ½-½101989GMA QualifierC01 French, Exchange
19. V Arbakov vs Kramnik 0-1731989GMA QualifierA87 Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation
20. Kramnik vs Efimov ½-½341989GMA QualifierB33 Sicilian
21. Kramnik vs Yakovich 1-0351989GMA QualifierC53 Giuoco Piano
22. M Tataev vs Kramnik 0-1211989GMA QualifierA81 Dutch
23. E Sapar vs Kramnik  ½-½231989GMA QualifierA04 Reti Opening
24. Dautov vs Kramnik 1-0361989GMA World Cup OpenA81 Dutch
25. Yurtaev vs Kramnik 0-1741989GMA World Cup OpenB30 Sicilian
 page 1 of 126; games 1-25 of 3,144  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 23 OF 23 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-06-22  metatron2: <Sally Simpson: He is handling his time poorly, perhaps he should stop going to the toilet after every move...>

haha probably..

In any case, flagging is legitimate up to a point, after which it is obviously "legal" but leaves bad taste, also to the winner side (unless he has no moral at all).

There is no point arguing whether it is right or wrong, since it is a personal preference.

Kramnik claims the moral code of the new generation changed. I have a feeling too, that these days players feel more comfortable doing that even on GM level, and that there was more "respect" in the past (and GMs felt more embarrassed to act this way).

I remember Carlsen had a Knight+pawn vs Bishop and a dead drawn position (the bishop could easily block the queening square), in one of covid's online rapid tourneys (I think it was a blitz tie break there). Carlsen's opponent had a few seconds left, so he had to pre-move, and so Carlsen anticipated his pre-move and blocked his bishop to queen his pawn.

I don't remember which tourney it was and who was the opponent (maybe someone else here remembers?), but I do remember that after that game, his opponent was very disappointed, complaining that Carlsen was just playing on time in a dead-draw, and Carlsen was also apologetic, feeling uncomfortable with that type of win, even though everybody agreed that it was a legitimate win (and specifically in that case, I think it was OK to play on. There is no clear cut border, just a feeling of when it is "not right"..)

Jul-06-22  fabelhaft: <I remember Carlsen had a Knight+pawn vs Bishop and a dead drawn position (the bishop could easily block the queening square), in one of covid's online rapid tourneys (I think it was a blitz tie break there). Carlsen's opponent had a few seconds left, so he had to pre-move, and so Carlsen anticipated his pre-move and blocked his bishop to queen his pawn>

Sounds like this Armageddon game:

Carlsen vs Nepomniachtchi, 2020

Jul-06-22  metatron2: Spot on <fabelhaft>.. impressive how quickly you found it
Jul-06-22  SChesshevsky: <...Kramnik's opponents played much faster in the endgame...>

I didn't see the Andreikin game but in Keymer's endgame, at the end, I found it highly doubtful he made his last moves by hand with a mouse. At a minimum, it was probably a sequence of pre move tricks.

I wouldn't, and I don't think Kramnik would, have any problem with timing out in a scramble with pieces still on the board OTB. But in that case, Keymer surely would have resigned because I don't think he could have physically made his time.

Think Kramnik's trying to be diplomatic mentioning the moral aspect. But he also specifically mentions cheating. Believe he might be alluding to anything that is not allowed equivalently OTB but is allowed online, like playing tricks or specialized equipment, to win an otherwise unwinable game is cheating.

I'm just guessing about Kramnik's thoughts but it's clear to me. If Keymer had any online tricks help, that Kramnik did not have, he cheated to win that game.

Jul-06-22  Sally Simpson: Hi Metatron,

<Kramnik claims the moral code of the new generation changed.>

If Kramnik thinks that then he should expect to be flagged in blitz. As I said before, it's part of the blitz game and the player has done nothing illegal.

I think Kramnik mentioning cheating is him alluding to the fact that if the win is so important to you that you are willing to flag someone (him in particular) in an online blitz game then what other steps would you take to win.

His opponent, who without a doubt has been a victim of flagging himself (we all have, it's part of the game) flagged him and Kramnik says he is not going to play online anymore unless it's against his friends who hug the same moral high ground as he does.

He could not stand the heat in the kitchen so he has left and gone to the salad bar where I presume they do not set two move traps (often called jokes in GM parlance) against each other because that too may be be viewed as trying to win by violating some 'basic fair play rule.'

His comments have landed with a bang on other forums with many a Saint Teresa holding up a pious hand claiming they do not flag people. Then off to salad bar with you where the neutered dogs don't eat other for fear of being out down. When in fact the sound you heard was Kramnik throwing his toys out of the pram.

He's got the hump because he blew a won game and lost on time. Good. To me that proves the 'Ice Man' is human after all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The yute have no respect OTB either:

Jul-06-22  fabelhaft: <I wouldn't, and I don't think Kramnik would, have any problem with timing out in a scramble with pieces still on the board OTB. But in that case, Keymer surely would have resigned because I don't think he could have physically made his time.

Think Kramnik's trying to be diplomatic mentioning the moral aspect. But he also specifically mentions cheating>

But online non increment speed chess is very much about <timing out in a time scramble with pieces still on the board>. Kramnik had 2 min 30 sec, which is a lot of time, in that position. It looked as if he was counting on his opponent timing out rather than on finishing the game some other way. It was first 39 moves later Kramnik timed out.

Rather than talking about cheating and how unthinkable and shameful it was of Keymer and Andreikin to win these games on time against a former World Champion like Kramnik, he should probably realise that the format invites this type of chess. It is quite common to see top players winning games on time just before being mated, or winning on time in totally lost positions. The clock is no less important than the position.

Jul-06-22  fabelhaft: The Andreikin-Kramnik game had this position a couple of moves before Kramnik timed out. Kxf3 is actually a tablebase win for white, which Andreikin missed. It didn’t matter much since Kramnik was losing on time also after the played Rxf3.

click for larger view

Jul-06-22  SChesshevsky: <... he should probably realise that the format invites this type of chess...>

The type of chess like cheating chess. Well the whole point is, now he does.

So he got tricked into thinking that these guys wanted to play chess. Chess decided by the moves. If these guys didn't stack pre moves or have any equipment advantage, so be it. Kramnik got beat.

With the Andreikin game, unless it looked like he was blatantly manipulating the clock. Like making a number of moves in no time, I don't have a problem with the time out. Though it is a punk way to win but proper.

The Keymer game is a whole different story. Though, if he did not avail himself with online tricks or have special equipment, I would have to apologize and commend him on his online accuracy and dexterity. That would be a proper win though obviously punkier.

I think Kramnik's point is that it's not so much about the flagging. I'm sure he's been flagged in no-increment blitz before. But the view that there's other things at work than just two guys using roughly the same equipment and banging out the moves in the same way. Then it's more about technological tricks than chess. And you'd think a GM would be embarrassed by winning an unwinnable game by using technological tricks.

Jul-07-22  metatron2: <When in fact the sound you heard was Kramnik throwing his toys out of the pram>

Hi Sally,

I haven't seen the games, so I can't say weather Kramnik was just a poor loser, or the flagging tasted badly for the spectators as well.

From the info <fabelhaft> provided here about the games, I can say that keep on playing R vs N endgame, is legitimate on GM level even on classical games, but the stronger side will normally stop if he sees that he can't make any progress. I don't know what happened in that Kramnik blitz game, but it seems legitimate to go on playing such endgame in a blitz, even without making visible progress.

I don't about the other game, <SChesshevsky> claims that Kramnik's opponents moved fast and accurate up to a suspectful level. My guess is that Kramnik is just not playing enough online bullet (if at all), so he couldn't stand the pace and the pre-moves technique of his opponent.

So yes, based on those reports, and without actually watching the games, it does seem like Kramnik was just being a crybaby here.

That doesn't change my stand about flagging with bad taste in general, and the examples I gave there. The cases I hate most, are when I have like 3 queens with few secs, and my opponent has a single pawn on the board, and he is making efforts to trick me not to grab his last pawn. I mean for crying out loud, don't I deserve to get at least a draw there?

Anyway, I will conclude with an example of Naka being a sport vs Rey Enigma:

Jul-07-22  shach matov: Looking at <fabelhaft>'s post with position and time left for each party, there should be zero controversy on this topic. It's as black and white as it can possibly be. Having 1.5+ minute advantage and a "clearly won position", Kramnik still had to show a precise and quick technique, and he simply failed to do so. The position still requires precision and avoiding blunders, which is not always easy in blitz. So he took his time, way too much time, and lost. One of the important skills in blitz is the ability to quickly and precisely (by human standards at least) convert a winning position. If you lack that ability, you have no business playing high level titled tournaments, not to speak of complaining after you fail to perform at the required level.

So maybe it's good that he quit, but it's not because of any "moral" issues but in view of the fact he is simply (apparently) not able to compete in faster time controls with younger guys. Which is natural. It's just better to leave with class rather than with embarrassing excuses for not being able to play well.

Jul-08-22  Sally Simpson: Hi shach matov:,

I'm sure his skill is still there, you do not lose that overnight. He lost from a winning position in blitz. That has probably never happened to him all that often and this one stung.

In Guillotine Blitz the flagging option is a major factor. If you are getting beat move faster to get them to move faster and hopefully make a mistake. If they do not move faster then their is good chance they (or you) will be flagged.

It's not uncommon to see more moves being played in the last 20-30 seconds than the rest of the game as it descends into total farce. It's meant to be fun, it is, but some take it far too seriously.

If there was any kind of increment Kramnik's opponent would have agreed a draw.

Jul-09-22  shach matov: Hi SS,

The point still remans that if you choose to play blitz no increment, you either have to use every possible means at your disposal to try to win, or be ready to lose. Knowing full well about premoves and the rest, Kramnik still chose to participate; then after losing, he rants and complains. It's plain silly.

If you willfully decide to go to Bronx at 3 AM to take a leisurely stroll and get robbed at gunpoint, what sense does it make for you to complain afterwards??

And if the event was just for fun, then why complain if you lose? Chess is very competitive and nobody wants to lose. His opponents put him to a test and he failed. As simple as that.

As was shown above, in Andreikin game Kramnik actually had a theoretically lost positing and less time on his clock. The idea that his opponent should accept a draw in that situation is silly. In the other game Kramnik was wasting lots of time and his opponent felt it and took advantage of it. That is chess 101. Time, especially in blitz, is like another piece on the board. If you're blundering that piece, it would be foolish for your opponent not to take it.

I would say this, that if the Keymer position arose in a classical game, his resignation should have been automatic; anything else would be foolish or disrespectful, depending on your point of view. But (as mentioned above) in blitz no increment, you still have to prove that you have the quick technical skills to convert the position. Kramnik simply failed to do that. And, again, if it's just for fun then no reason to rant about it. Have your fun and move to more serious business...

Aug-01-22  iges04: Kramnik (in Russian) on the Youtube channel "Levitov Chess":

On Firouzja: very weak understanding of chess yet. His play against Nepomniatschi (h4, g5) was a disaster, 2200-2300 ELO level play. Young players make a lot of positional mistakes, haven't any chess concept, their openings are random. Probably too much online blitz. A lot of weak games in the tournament.

Some videos with Kramnik:,

Oct-02-22  fabelhaft: Kramnik is at the moment playing a rapid/blitz tournament in Moscow, together with Karjakin, Morozevich, Radjabov, Artemiev etc. Lagno is playing while her husband Grischuk has withdrawn.
Oct-09-22  fabelhaft: Kramnik has always given a rather balanced impression, but one does wonder about his opinions over the last years. Before the war he was generally pro-regime with regards to Russia, frequently criticizing the west while stating that simple logic shows that Putin had nothing to do with what happened to Navalny, that such discussions are based on western lies, that the west should learn from Russian laws, etc.

His views are probably shared by many Russians and in no way extreme. The criticism was directed towards Europe and the US, where he meant Trump won but was cheated by proven vote fraud. But he was close friends with Kiev’s major Klitschko, and his mother is west Ukrainian. So the war must at least have presented him with some questions, no matter his sitting in various boards with Shoigu and Peskov etc. He has after all lived in the west for decades, with French wife and children, and likes to discuss politics.

But he hasn’t said a word on the subject these eight months, and goes to Moscow to play with Karjakin, while Russian government officials talk about how western satanists invade Russia and how all European countries unite against Russia now just like they did together with Hitler (Poland, England etc were hardly united with Hitler, it was rather the Russians that had a pact with him), and the repeated calls for use of nuclear weapons. Some minor things are even more ridiculous, like the film clip from the 1890s claimed to show the racism of a young Queen Elizabeth (born three decades later). Everyone involved in producing these ”facts” of course know that they are lying.

World War II is blamed on the Poles (who were invaded by the Russians together with their ally Hitler), what happened in 1939 was according to statements by the current Russian government simply the Russians liberating the Poles, and so on. Just holding up an empty sign is not allowed, and any actual criticism can get you decades in prison, and that even without any war going on officially. Police stops people and check their phones for social media posts or likes, and if they have deleted apps they have to reinstall them to check if they have liked something inappropriate.

It’s one thing if you live in Russia and only listen to Russian news. But doesn’t someone like Kramnik feel that something is off? Or does he approve of the direction things have gone and stay silent not to lose the income from the work he does for western companies? He has always been quite critical of the west even if he lives in the west himself, and nothing wrong with that. But he ought to have some opinion also on what is going on in Russia.

He played Dortmund for 25 years, the event was even renamed The Vladimir Kramnik Tournament back then, the organisers were close friends who stated that it is impossible to even think of holding the event without Kramnik, his title match in Germany was seen as home ground advantage since he was something of an honorary German. And now the Europeans are called satanists and Nazis that have invaded Russia, intending to stop the Russian people from reproducing by the means of forced sex operations. What does Kramnik think about it all, and what is the reason he is silent?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Some minor things are even more ridiculous, like the film clip from the 1890s claimed to show the racism of a young Queen Elizabeth (born three decades later)>

What's this?

Oct-09-22  fabelhaft: <What's this?>

A short clip showed in Russian state TV after Queen Elizabeth died. It was said to depict her in her younger days, showing the same racism as the current Europeans

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: All other whites have an inferiority complex with respect to the British.
Dec-01-22  CCastillo: In case you missed it:

Vladimir Kramnik is senior author on an academic paper entitled, "Acquisition of chess knowledge in AlphaZero."

Dec-01-22  CCastillo: "In this work, we studied the evolution of AlphaZero’s represen- tations and play through a combination of concept probing, behavioral analysis, and examination of AlphaZero’s activations. Examining the evolution of human concepts using probing showed that many human concepts can be accurately regressed from the AlphaZero network after training, even though AlphaZero has never seen a human game of chess, and there is no objective function promoting human-like play or activations. Following on from our concept probing, we reflected on the challenges associated with this methodology and suggested future directions of research. The idea that the neural network encodes human understandable concepts is further supported by the results of the unsupervised NMF method that found multiple human-interpretable factors in AlphaZero’s activations."
Dec-01-22  stone free or die: Does NMF = Non-negative Matrix Factorization?

* * * * *

Yes - see Note 50

50D. D. Lee, H. S. Seung, Learning the parts of objects by non-negative matrix factorization. Nature 401, 788–791 (1999).

The entire paper looks to be available on the link <CCastillo> gave. .

Dec-01-22  CCastillo: My interpretation of that dense paragraph above is mainly that Vladimir Kramnik has concluded that the evolution of AlphaZero's chess knowledge recapitulates the development human chess knowledge.
Dec-01-22  stone free or die: <CCastillo> I suppose that's one reading.

I didn't take the time to do any more than glance at the article - but it seemed they were evaluating AlphaZero's gameplay at various stages of its training.

I saw how they mentioned A0 had to learn not to drop pieces before learning the importance of piece mobility and space. In other words, A0 progressed through the stages of learning much like a human student of the game.

What more they extracted I must've glossed over.

(But thanks again for drawing our attention to the paper)

Dec-02-22  iges04: Gelfand vs Karpov, 1996 Kramnik said this game is one of the best games he has ever seen (Ra1, Na2). Only Carlsen and maybe So have understanding of chess to play in such manner. Full video:
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