Apr 26, 2001

Round 9

Kasparov - Kramnik [B33]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5

Again V. Kramnik defends Black’s position in the Sveshnikov Variation like he did in the 5th round vs. V. Anand and in the 6th round vs. P. Leko. Still, in contrast to his predecessors, G. Kasparov does not hurry with the move Bg5xf6 in order to prevent the strengthening of Black’s position in the centre and prefers a more quiet line of the Variation.

9... Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 Bg5

V. Kramnik attempts to restrict maximally any opportunities to play actively for his opponent. Black’s bishop is transferred to the strategically important diagonal h6-c1 in order to be ready to take the knight from a3 at any moment, as this knight often tries to come to help its colleague on d5 through the intermediate square e3. In case of a delay, for instance after 11... O-O 12. Nc2 Rb8, White can deprive Black of this opportunity with 13. h4.

12. Nc2 Rb8

Now V. Kramnik restricts White’s opportunities on the queenside preventing a line that would be possible in case of 12... O-O and implies 13. a4 bxa4 14. Rxa4 a5 15. Bb5.

13. a3 a5 14. Bd3 Ne7 15. Nxe7 Qxe7 16. Qe2 O-O

A slightly different reading of the position that was already seen previously. After 16... Qb7 17. O-O O-O 18. b4 a4 19. c4 White managed to take the initiative in the game De Firmian - Sutovsky (Essen, 1999). In another game (Korneev - Illescas Cordoba, Cala Galdana, 1999) after 16... Bd7 17. b4 a4 White played far too originally: 18. Ne3 which allowed Black to equalise the play easily with 18...Bxe3 (you see that the bishop on the diagonal h6-c1 stood him in a good stead)19. Qxe3 O-O 20. c4 bxc4 21. Bxc4 Rfc8 22. Rc1 Be6.

17. O-O Bd7 18. b4


Black did not want to follow the way of 18... a4 19. c4 bxc4 20. Bxc4 that was regarded in the above passage. As a result, the knight passed the square e3 and still took part in the struggle for d5.

19. Nxb4 Rfc8 20. c4 bxc4 21. Bxc4 Be6 22. Bd5 Qd7 23. Qa6 Rc3 24. Rfd1 Bg4 25. Rdb1 Rbc8 26. a4

White’s passed pawn began its advance, and Black has to oppose promptly.

26... h5 27. a5 Bh4 28. Qb7 R3c7 29. a6


Black makes the struggle as keen as possible. A capture of the queen after 29... Rxb7 30. axb7 Rf8 31. Nc6 Kh7 32. b8Q (there is no 32. Ra8 because of 32... Qxb7! ) 32... Rxb8 33. Rxb8 Bh3 34. f3 would make White master of the situation.

30. gxh3?!

Proving to be a big mistake. White should have done something with his kingside. An attempt to stake all upon the strong passed a-pawn with 30. Qxc7 Rxc7 31. gxh3 Qxh3 32. a7 would lead to a position where only Black would be able to play for a win after 32...Bxf2+ 33. Kxf2 Qxh2+ 34. Kf1 Rxa7 35. Rxa7 Qh1+ 36. Kf2 Qxb1 37. Rxf7 Kh7. A concession of white squares on the kingside with 30. g3 Qg4 31. Nd3 Qe2! 32. Qb3 Rc2 33. Bxf7+ Kh7 (33... Kh8 was weak because of 34. Qxc2! Qxc2 35. a7 Qxd3 36. Rb8) 34. Be6 Bxe6 35. Qxe6 would let Black develop a strong initiative with 35... Rf8! (35... Qxd3 leads to a perpetual check after 36. a7 Qxe4 37. a8Q Rxa8 38. Rxa8 Rxf2 39. Kxf2 Qc2+) 36. Rf1 Qxd3, and now if 37. a7, then 37... Bxg3!! 38. hxg3 Rfxf2 wins.
The correct solution was 30. f3!. After 30... Bg5 31. Kh1! (in case of 31. Qb6 Rc5 32. a7 Black would gain an extra pawn with the forced line 32...Be3+ 33. Kh1 Bxg2+ 34. Kxg2 Rc2+ 35. Nxc2 Rxc2+ 36. Kh1 Qh3 37. a8Q+ Kh7 38. Qg8+ Kxg8 39. Bxf7+ Kh7 40. Bg6+ Kxg6 41. Rg1+ Bxg1 42. Qxg1+ Kh7 43. Qg3 Qe6) 31... Be3 (after 31... Bd2 32. Nc6 White would still threaten to bring his a-pawn to the eighth horizontal) 32. Nc6 Be6 (there is no 32... Rxc6 33. Bxc6 Rxc6 34. Qxd7 Bxd7 because of 35. a7) 33. Qb5 White maintaining all his threats.

30... Qxh3 31. Qb6

31... Bg5?!

Black does not use his opportunities in full measure. After the game was over there was a long discussion whether Black could succeed with 31... Qg4+ 32. Kf1 Rc5!. It appears that he couldn’t. In this case White would have 33. Bxf7!+ Kxf7 34. Qxd6 Qh3+ (if 34... Bxf2, then it is very important that White has 35. Qd1!, and after 35...Qh3+ 36. Kxf2 Qxh2+ 37. Ke1 Black has nothing but a perpetual check) 35. Ke2 Rc3 (Black’s problem is that the move 35... Bxf2 cannot be combined with a check, and White manages to repel Black’s attack with 36. Qd3 ) 36. Qd5+ Kf8 37. Qd6+ Be7 38. Qxe5 Bxb4 39. Qf5+ Qxf5 40. exf5 Bd6 41. a7 Ra8 42. h4 (with the idea 43. Rb7), and Black, although with an extra piece, would hardly be able to achieve because there would be no way to cope successfully with the white pawn on a7.
Now let’s consider the position after an immediate 31... Rc5!. How should White defend against the threatening 32... Bxf2+ 33. Kxf2 Rc2+ 34. Nxc2 Rxc2+ ?. The threat keeps also after 32. a7, 32. Qa7, 32. Re1 or 32. Rd1. Neither 32. Rf1 can help because of 32... Bxf2+! 33. Rxf2 Rc1+. Of no use is 32. Bxf7+ Kxf7 33. Qxd6 which could be helpful before, again owing to the same 33... Bxf2+ (namely with the check) 34. Kxf2 Rc2+, whereas after 32. Nd3 Qxd3 33. Qb3 the solution is again in 33... Bxf2+! 34. Kxf2 Rc2+ 35. Kg1 R8c3 36. Bxf7+ Kh7 37. Bg6+ Kh6 38. Qf7 Qe2 and White cannot escape a mate.

32. Nd3

The move 32. Nc6 would lead the game to a draw after 32... Bf4 33. f3 (if 33. a7, then 33... Bxh2+ 34. Kh1 Bf4+ 35. Kg1 Bh2+ with a draw) 33... Bxh2+ 34. Kf2 Bg3+ 35. Ke2 (a similar situation appears after 35. Ke3 Qg2 36. Kd3 Bf2) 35...Qg2+ 36. Kd3 Bf2 37. Qb3 Qxf3+ 38. Kd2 (White cannot put his king on the c-file 38. Kc4 because of 38... Rxc6+) 38... Qg2.

32... Qg4+ 33. Kf1 Qh3+ 34. Kg1 Qg4+ 35. Kf1 Qh3+ 1/2-1/2 Draw.

Leko - Morozevich [C10]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nc6

A relatively rare variation of the French Defence. Usually 3... Nf6 or 3... Bb4 is played.

4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e5 Ne4 7. Bxe7 Qxe7 8. a3 Bd7

A plan that includes a castling on the kingside 8... O-O 9. Bd3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 f6 occurred, too.

9. Bd3 Ng5

Those who played it with Black paid attention to the opportunity of 9... Nxc3 10. bxc3 Na5 11. O-O c5 as well.

10. Be2 Nxf3+ 11. Bxf3 f6

In an old game Puc - Korchnoi (Moscow, 1960) there was seen 11... Qh4 12. Ne2 f6 13. g3 Qh6 14. exf6 Qxf6 15. Bg2 e5 with an equality.

12. exf6 Qxf6 13. Ne2 O-O-O 14. O-O h5!

Black drives the white bishop away from the convenient diagonal a8-h1. If he opened up the play in the centre he could have achieved a balance after 14... e5 15. Bxd5 (wining a pawn with 15. dxe5 Nxe5 16. Bxd5 would turn into big problems for White after 16... Bb5 17. Re1 Ng4) 15... Nxd4 16. Nxd4 exd4 17. Re1.

15. c3 g5 16. Nc1 g4 17. Be2 e5 18. Nb3 Kb8 19. Bb5?

White wrongly ignores the opportunity to open up the play. After 19. dxe5 Nxe5 20. Nc5 Bc8 (if 20... Bc6 21. Qd4 h4, then there is 22. Nd3 attempting to simplify the play) 21. Qd4 Rhe8 22. Rae1 (now there is still no 22. Nd3 because of 22... Nf3+!) 22... Bf5 (if 22... h4, then 23. Nd3 is possible already) 23. Bb5 ( in case of 23. Nd3 White has to reckon with 23... Bxd3 24. Bxd3 Qg5) 23... Re7 24. Re3 White surely could get a draw.

19... e4!

Now it’s not easy for White to find good squares for his pieces.

20. Nc5

To make up a plan is hard for White. 20. Re1 h4 21. Bf1 was totally bad because of 21... g3!.

20... Bc8 21. Qa4 Rd6 22. Rae1 h4 23. Re3 Rhd8 24. Bxc6 Rxc6 25. b4 Qg5 26. Rfe1 Rh6 27. c4

27... g3!

Deciding in Black’s favour.

28. cxd5

28. fxg3 hxg3 29. h3 (there is neither 29. hxg3 because of 29... Rdh8, nor 29. Rxg3 because of 29... Qh4) loses because of 29... Qf6 30. Qc2 b6 31. Na4 dxc4.

28... gxh2+ 29. Kxh2 Rg8 30. Rg1 Qg3+ 31. Kh1 Qxf2 32. Rc3 h3 33. g3 h2 34. Rgc1 Rxg3

More showy would be 34... Bh3 with an inevitable Bg2#.

35. Rxg3 Qxg3 36. Rf1 Rg6 37. Nd7+ Ka8 0-1

White resigned.

Anand - Shirov [C11]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Nce2 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. f4 Qb6

The last duel of these opponents in the French Defence (though with a computer assistance) repeated this text until the last move. White got a more pleasant play in the game Anand - Shirov (Leon, 2000) after 7... b5 8. a3 cxd4 (in the seventh round the Indian grandmaster demonstrated his considerations about 8... c4, after 9. Nf3 Nb6 10. g4 f5 11. gxf5 exf5 12. Bg2 Be7 13. O-O h6 14. Rf2 Be6 15. Bf1 g5 16. fxg5 hxg5 17. h4! White took the initiative in the game Anand - Morozevich (Frankfurt, 2000)) 9. Nxd4 Nxd4 10. cxd4 b4 11. a4 Qa5 12. Bd2 Be7 13. Nf3 O-O 14. Bb5 Nb6 15. b3.

8. Nf3 Be7 9. a3 O-O

In the game Shirov - M. Gurevich (Munich, 1993) Black managed to get a good counterplay after 9... f6 10. b4 (judging by Anand’s reaction on the move in the game he could even have played 10. h4!? be that the case) 10... cxd4 11. cxd4 O-O 12. Rb1 a5 13. b5 a4!.

10. h4

The position after the ninth move was seen as long ago as in the 19th century, but the advance h2-h4 is a novelty here.

10... f6 11. Rh3 Na5?

If Black wanted to play with the knight he should have included a preliminary exchange 11... cxd4 12. cxd4 and only then he could have played 12... Na5.

12. b4!

Now the central unit of White’s pawn chain, the pawn on d4, is covered reliably.

12...cxb4 13. axb4 Nc4 14. Ng3 a5 15. Bd3

15... f5

A concession. Black hurries to close the position on the kingside fearing White’s attack with Bd3xh7 and Nf3-g5+. Still, an attack including a sacrifice of two pieces should be performed very accurately. So, after 15... Ra6 an immediate 16. Bxh7+ Kxh7 17. Ng5+ Kg8 (totally bad is 17... fxg5 because of 18. hxg5+! Kg8 19. g6, black king being not able to parry White’s threat) 18. Qh5 fxg5 19. hxg5 Black has 19... Ndxe5! (19... Bxg5 20. fxg5 Ndxe5 needs to be proved, too) 20. fxe5 Nxe5, and the consequences of the attack are not at all evident as there is no 21. dxe5 because of 21... Qg1+. Probably White should have realised his threat after a preliminary 16. b5 or 16. bxa5 Rxa5 17.Rb1.

16. Ng5 Rd8

The knight won’t go away after 16... h6. It is too stable. After 17. Qh5! (weaker is 17. Bxc4 dxc4 18. bxa5 Rxa5 19. Rxa5 Qxa5 20. Nxe6 because of 20... Rf7 with a very unpleasant threat of Nd7xe5, so, after 21. Nxf5 Rxf5 22. Nxg7 Nxe5! 23. Nxf5 Bxf5 24. fxe5 Bxh3 Black manages to get a good counterplay.) 17... Bxb4 (Black has to remove the bishop from e7 as soon as possible as is an obstacle for its own king in case that it would have to escape from a burning house, for instance after 17... Qc6 White wins with 18. b5 Qb6 19. Qg6 hxg5 20. hxg5) 18. Ne2! White is to win if he demonstrates a reasonable greediness.

17. Qh5 Bxg5 18. Qxg5

Black has time to fortify after 18. hxg5 Nf8.

18... Rf8

After 18... h6 19. Qe7 Rf8 20. Nh5 Rf7 21. Qe8+ Rf8 22. Qg6 Rf7 23. Rg3 Black cannot parry the threat to the square g7.

19. Nh5 Rf7 20. Rg3 g6 21. Bxc4 dxc4

22. b5!

The engagement of the dark-squared bishop in the attack decides in White’s favour.

22... Qxb5 23. Ba3

A bit more precise was 23. Qd8+ . After 23... Nf8 (in case of 23... Rf8 White mates with 24. Qe7 Rf7 25. Qe8+ Rf8 26. Rxg6+ hxg6 27. Qxg6+ Kh8 28. Qg7#) 24. Nf6+ Kg7 25. Ba3 the solution is in the advance of the h-pawn ( h4-h5-h6).

23... b6

23... Qb6 is of no use because of 24. Qh6 Qd8 25. Rxg6+ hxg6 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27. Qxf7.

24. Qh6 Bb7 25. Rxg6+ hxg6 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27. Qxf7 Rg8 28. Bf8 1-0

Black resigned.

"Chess is so interesting in itself, as not to need the view of gain to induce engaging in it;and thence it is never played for money."

Benjamin Franklin, "Chess made easy", 1802

"It is one of the insights of modern players, and especially of the best ones, that one has toplay the position itself, not some abstract idea of the position."

John Watson, "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy", 1998

Back to Top | Home Page
© 2000 GMChess. All rights reserved.
About | Our Policies | E-Mail | Site Map