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GM Anand - GM Kramnik annotated by GM Balogh

User Rating: / 13
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 23 December 2013
By GM Csaba Balogh, Hungary, FIDE 2648

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Attention: Chess Evolution has a special Christmas offer for you, dear reader. Subscribe for the weekly Top GM Secrets bulletin and enter the "Christmas2013" bonus code to get a 25% discount!

We are already in the KO part of the London Chess Classic rapid tournament. The first encounter between the two former World Champions was drawn, while in the second game Kramnik crushed Anand convincingly with the black pieces. Let's examine how it happened.

A duel of the legendary World Chess Champions

Anand,Viswanathan (2773) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2793) [D40]

5th Classic KO 2013 London ENG (1.2), 14.12.2013

[Balogh Csaba]

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 c5 Kramnik employs his favorite Tarrasch defence, like he often did throughout the entire year. 5.e3 Anand aims for a complex line by keeping all pieces on board. [The main line continues with 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 00 The position has simplified a bit. The current theory evaluates Black's chances to be fine.]

A symmetrical opening which requires many subtleties for both sides. In the following moves both players are intending to make their most useful developing moves without touching the f1 and f8 bishops in order to avoid the loss of an important tempo after Black takes on c4 or White on c5.
With the idea to take on c5, followed by playing b4 and fianchettoing the bishop.
6...a6 Black continues his symmetrical policy. The idea is the same as it was in White's previous move.
7.dxc5 White follows the main line and breaks the balance.
7...Bxc5 8.b4

8...Bd6 However this is a sideline, which will most likely become Black's main reaction after our present game. [The main move is 8...Ba7 9.Bb2 00 10.Qc2 followed by Rd1. White might hope for an edge according to the theory.]
9.Bb2 Anand plays like in the 8.. .Ba7 line. [Now or in the next move, White usually creates an isolated pawn by playing 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Bb2 (10.Nxd5?? obviously never works because of 10...Nxd5 11.Qxd5 Bxb4+!+) 10...00 11.Be2 Now Black's most active arrangement of his pieces is 11...Re8 12.00 Bg4 with active play for the isolated pawn.]
9...00 10.Qc2
White does not hurry to take on d5 to avoid the quick development of the c8 bishop to g4, while as we already mentioned he intends to make all the useful developing moves before touching the f1 bishop.
10...Qe7 11.Rd1 Rd8

12.Be2 Anand finally decides to move his bishop, as he could not find any further improvement of his position. [Slightly more promising was 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Be2 although after 13...Be6! (13...Bg4 could be met by 14.Ng5! and on 14...Bxe2? 15.Nxd5! wins the game as White mates after Qxh7.) 14.00 Rac8 15.Qb1 Bb8 Black could play Bg4 next with a very active position.]
12...dxc4! Kramnik immediately takes the pawn and wins a tempo as the bishop has left the f1 square.
13.Bxc4 b5 14.Bd3 Bb7 15.Ne4 Anand tries the only and most direct attempt to fight for an advantage, but it is going to backfire. [Even after 15.00 Black seems to get the upper hand after 15...Rac8 16.Qb1 Ne5! 17.Nxe5 Bxe5 18.Ne2 Qc7 19.Bxe5 Qxe5 Black has the initiative thanks to his better pieces.]
15...Nxe4 16.Bxe4

White attacks two pieces at the same time, but Kramnik's counterplay arrives just in time.
Pinning the queen makes the capture on h7 very risky.
It seems like after this most natural move, Black gets a significant advantage. [White should have gone for the critical 17.Bxh7+ Kh8 18.Qb1 Black needs to act urgently, otherwise he ends up with a pawn down. 18...Nxb4! 19.axb4 Bxb4+ 20.Ke2 f5! Trying to trap the h7 bishop and also threatening with Be4. White is forced to give back his extra piece. 21.Bxf5! (21.Bg6? loses to 21...Be4 and Rc2 next.) 21...exf5 22.Qxf5 White has an extra pawn, but his king on e2 allows Black to create counterplay. It looks like the game might finish with a forced perpetual check after 22...Rf8 23.Qh3+ Kg8 24.Rd7

And now: 24...Bd5! 25.Rxe7 Bc4+ 26.Kd1 Bb3+ 27.Ke2 Bc4+=]
17...f5! 18.Bd3

[18.Bxc6 does not come into consideration as Black gets too strong on the light squares. 18...Bxc6]
Very strong play by Kramnik. After some less ambitious moves White consolidates with 00, but now he is just missing a tempo to solve the problems.
19.bxa5 [19.Bxb5 could have been met by 19...Bxb4+! winning a pawn and White does not have enough compensation. 20.Ke2 (20.axb4 Qxb4+) 20...Bxa3]
19...Nxa5 20.00 [White does not have time to grab the pawn as after 20.Bxb5 Be4 21.Bd3 Bxa3! 22.Bxa3 Qxa3 Black wins material because of 23.Bxe4 Rxd1+ 24.Qxd1 Rc1+ This is the punishment for not connecting the rooks.] 20...Nc4! The strongest move again. Black increases the pressure by improving his pieces. [20...Bxf3 is less convincing. 21.gxf3 Qh4 22.f4 Black has a perpetual, but to get more than that is difficult.]
[21.Bxc4 bxc4 is also quite hopeless. The c-pawn and the bishop pair, combined with the potential attacks after Bxf3 are just too strong.]
21...Be4! Activating the bishop with tempo and also preparing for the invasion of the rook to c2.
22.Qa1 Nxb2 23.Qxb2

And the game is suddenly over! Black creates a decisive double threat of Rc2, winning the bishop, and the simple bxa3. [On 23...Rc2 White had 24.Qxb5 and he is alive.]
24.axb4 [24.Nd4 bxa3+ is equally hopeless.]
24...Rc2 25.Qb3 Rxe2 26.Nd4
Anand tries to complicate the matters a bit, but unfortunately for him Black has
26...Bd5! 27.Qd3 Qh4 [White resigned in view of the following lines: 27...Qh4 28.h3 (28.g3 Bxg3) 28...Qg5 29.g3 Bxg3+ White gets mated in few moves.]  


View the game

More annotated games, tactics & endgame puzzles, surprise section/study can be found in the weekly Chess Evolution bulletin. 25 pages total. Subscribe!

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Comments (2)
1. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 20:14 23 2013 .
subtle as Kramnik
Very nice analisis  
Kramnik at his best 
so subtle, so deep and very sharp 
2. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 02:10 19 2014 .
subtle as Kramnik
Very nice analisis

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Last Updated ( Monday, 30 December 2013 )
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