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Aug 19,2002
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Kasparov – Kramnik (m/13) [C67]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6

This is the fourth time for this match that Kramnik chooses the Berlin System.

4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 h6 10. h3

In the ninth game of the match Kasparov checked with 10. Rd1+ Ke8 and only then played 11. h3. Probably in this game he wanted to spare a move.

10... Ke8 11. Ne4

11… c5

A novelty. Black aimed at the square d4 at once. This move would have been bad if the white knight stood on c3 because then it got the squares b5 and d5. But now there’s quite another matter. 11... b6 12. b3 c5 13. Re1 Be6 14. Bb2 Be7 15. c4 Rd8 16. Rad1 Rd7 17. g4 Nh4 18. Nxh4 Bxh4 19. Rxd7 Kxd7 occurred previously with a draw (Unzicker – Troianescu, Venice, 1969).

12. c3

White hurried to cover d4. A transfer of the dark-squared bishop to the big diagonal with 12. b3 looked logical, but maybe White disliked 12… Nd4 in this case. After 13. Nxd4 cxd4 there was a possible line 14. Rd1 Bf5 15. Rxd4 Rd8 16. Rxd8+ (16. Rc4? was bad because of 16… b5) 16... Kxd8 17. f3 Bxe4 18. fxe4 Bc5+ 19. Kf1 Bd4 20. Bg5+ Kc8 (Black need not 20... hxg5 21. Rd1) 21. Rd1 Bxe5 with an absolute equality.

12... b6 13. Re1 Be6 14. g4 1/2-1/2

Having made an active pawn move, Kasparov proposed a draw which was accepted. Otherwise Black got a counterplay on the kingside by a standard manoeuvre with 14... Ne7 to be followed with Ne7-g6 and h6-h5. Practically, this draw secured Kramnik’s victory in the match, because the thirteenth World Champion has to win by Black in order to equalise the score – now the probability of such a win is extremely low.





"He who fears an isolated queen's pawn should give up chess". Siegbert Tarrasch











"The most powerful weapon in chess is to have the next move"! David Bronstein.











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