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GM Kramnik-GM Shomoev annotated by GM Naiditsch

User Rating: / 9
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 17 October 2013
By GM Arkadij Naiditsch, #1 German chess player, FIDE 2724

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We are in the 1st round of the Russian Championship. Quite surprisingly, Kramnik is participating too. Usually Vladimir avoids playing non Top GMs, but as he showed just a month ago by winning the World Cup, he is very good at beating weaker players.
Vladimir Kramnik & Anton Shomoev during the post-game press conference

Kramnik,Vladimir (2796) - Shomoev,Anton (2579) [A05]

66th ch-RUS 2013 Nizhny Novgorod RUS (1.1), 05.10.2013

[Arkadij Naiditsch]

View the game

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3
As usual in not super important events, Kramnik avoids playing main theoretical lines. Of course this doesn't mean that he is not preparing at all. We can be sure that every sideline he plays is very well analysed.
2...b6 Not a bad move, but of course 2...d5 would lead us to most critical positions of the Reti opening.
3.Bg2 Bb7 4.00 e6 5.d3
Once again White avoids the main theory. It was not too late to come back into well-known lines with 5.c4 or even 5.d4.
A logical move. To take the center is never wrong.
White has many different plans here. One of them is to play b3Bb2 next, another one could be to play c4 followed by cxd5 or maybe to play Qe1 and e4.
Not bad, but very strange. It is not always a good idea to have a double fianchetto, but of course at the current moment it is not that stupid. White is planning to put the bishop on b2, so Black is putting his to g7. [6...Be7 followed by 00 and c5 would be the usual way of playing with an about equal position.]
7.c4 Bg7

8.b4?! A very risky decision by White, but an interesting one. The game is getting very forced now.
Black accepts the invitation and is absolutely right to do so. [After the more passive 8...00 9.Bb2 the White pawn on b4 would be much better placed than on b3. Black is not capable of playing c5 anymore because of bxc5 bxc5 and Rb1 with domination on the b-file and a5 would also be a wrong reaction for Black because of b5.]
White is going for the gamble. [It was still not too late to refuse the tactical action by playing 9.d4 but of course Black should be doing fine here... White's d3 followed by d4 cannot give White any advantage.]
[Of course not 9...Bxa1?! 10.Nxe4 Followed by Bg5 with a great position for White.]
Already on move 10 both players spent quite some time and with a good reason. The position is very complicated and it is very difficult to judge the evaluation. [10.dxe4 Bxa1 11.exd5 Bxd5]
10...Bxa1 11.Nxa1 So White is an exchange down, but Black's weak dark squares give White good attacking chances. The position should be pretty unclear.
11...Nd6 12.Bg5 White is weakening Black's structure even more.
12...f6 13.Bf4

A very strong move by Black. [After the less creative 13...00 14.Nd4 Re8 15.Qb3 Nf7 16.Rc1 all of White's pieces would be nicely placed. White's next idea could be to play Nc2Ne3. I would not say that White is better here, an exchange is an exchange after all, but from a practical point of view the game is very open.]
14.bxa5 Rxa5
Now the black rook is very nicely placed on the open a-file and in addition the c5 move will cut all of the white knight's play.
15.Qc2 c5 16.Nb3 Ra7
It looks like Black managed to survive the first wave of White's attacks, he is controlling the center and is an exchange up. Black should be better here.
17.Nxc5! I am giving a "!" to this move not because it is a super strong one, but because it is clearly the best practical choice. In a difficult position White finds his best chances to continue.
17...bxc5 18.Qxc5 Ra6
Once again it seems like Black has consolidated and White is a full rook down.
White brings the last piece into the attack.

19...Nd7?? And Black blunders... [19...Ba8! would have been the right choice, as everything is protected! 20.Nd4 Nd7 And I think that under normal circumstances Black should be winning here. A rook up is just too much. Of course White still has many tricks, but objectively his position should be very bad.]
A very strong check. Black loses a full piece.
[After 20...Qe7 21.Bxd6 Qxe3 22.fxe3 White would already be the one with a small material advantage and the initiative.]
21.Bxd6 Ba8 22.Qf4
The threat is to play Ng5 next.
22...Re8 23.Nd4
The game is almost over. White has a strong attack and all his pieces are very nicely placed, which is too much to handle for Black.

Simply everything is hanging in Black's position.
Black panics, but it was already hard to advise anything to Shomoev.
25.Nxe2 Rxe2 26.Qh6
And the h7 pawn cannot be protected. All in all it was not a very deserved win by White, who clearly made a "bluff" by sacrificing and was on the edge of losing 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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Ivanchuk-Grischuk annotated by GM Naiditsch
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Naiditsch-Vallejo annotated by GM Naiditsch
Kramnik-Andreikin annotated by GM Naiditsch
Andreikin-Sivlder annotated by GM Naiditsch
Ivanchuk-Kramnik annotated by Chess Evolution GM Team
Kamsky-Mamedyarov annotated by GM Naiditsch

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 October 2013 )
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