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GM Ipatov - GM Kramnik annotated by GM Naiditsch

User Rating: / 15
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 12 December 2013

By GM Arkadij Naiditsch, #1 German chess player, FIDE 2737

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It is really difficult to beat a weaker player with Black, especially when White's ambitions are just to hold a draw. In the current game it seems like White already managed to build a "pawn wall" but with a great sacrifice Kramnik breaks White's defence.

Ipatov,Alexander (2630) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2793) [A46]

World Teams 2013 Antalya TUR (6.4), 02.12.2013

[Arkadij Naiditsch]

Vladimir Kramnik before the start of the game
Images are (C) of the
official site of the tournament

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5
Ipatov was probably a bit afraid of playing the main theoretical lines.
3...h6 A provocation. Black usually chooses 3...c5.
[4.Bxf6 Qxf6 5.e4 would lead us to a very sharp position. White has the center but Black the bishop pair.]
Wow! We rarely see Kramnik play so directly for the win. Of course a move like 4... d6 just cannot be good.
5.e3? What a passive move by White. 5.Nc3 or 5.Nbd2 are much more logical moves, as White should clearly try to play e4.
5...g5 6.Bg3 Nh5
The black bishop is going to take a nice place on g7.
7.Bd3 Bg7 8.Nbd2 Qe7

9.c3 White continues trying to be as solid as possible. Of course White is not worse here, but he can slowly get into a theoretically worse position. Black is going to have the bishop pair and if he manages to develop his queenside White's position could become a bit worse.
There is no need to hurry with taking on g3 as the bishop is not going to run away.
10.Qc2 I would prefer to keep the white queen on e2, but that is probably a matter of taste.
Black of course wants to put his bishop to b7 and it would be nice to have the b5 move played to have the b6 square for the knight.

Alexander Ipatov (2630), #1 chess player in Turkey

Once again White is playing solidly but not the best move. [I think it would make much more sense to castle kingside: 11.00 b5?! And in case of the careless b5 move White always has 12.a4!]
11...b5 12.Nb3
Directed against Bb7.
12...Rb8 Preparing to play Bb7 and to have Ba8 after Na5.
[13.Na5 Rb6 would not bring much for White.]
13...00 [To play 13...Bb7 14.Na5 Ba8 would have been an option as well.]
White continues his passive-solid play.

14...f5! A strong move! Black is taking over the center.
The white bishop finally wants to run away.
15...Nxg3 16.hxg3 c5!
And again Black is giving White no time to regroup and he is controlling more and more squares in the center.
17.Na5 Rb6 18.f4
Another "ugly-solid" move by White. He is giving up the last hopes of creating some sort of play and just hopes to survive the game.
18...d5 19.b4 c4!
Another good decision by Kramnik. [19...cxb4 would have led to a more unclear position as after 20.cxb4 Qxb4+ 21.Ndb3 White is getting quite some play on the c-file.]

20...Nf6 The position is now totally closed, but it is by far not a draw. Black has a few plans to break through. One of them is clearly to build up some play on the kingside.
21.Rdf1 Bd7 The bishop on e8 is going to take a very nice position, controlling both the h5 and c6 squares.
22.Qd1 g4
Not giving White any hopes of playing g4 at some moment.
23.Kb2 Rf7
The black rook is going to h7.
24.Qc1 Bf8 25.Kc2 Rh7 26.Rh2 Be8 27.Rfh1 Nd7 28.Qb2 h5 29.Kc1
White was just waiting for some moves and in the meantime Black has put his pieces to perfect positions. But what to play next?! Try to make a rush on the h-file by transporting the rook from b6 to the h-file and then play Bf6 and h4?! Kramnik finds another very effective way.

A great breakthrough in exactly the right moment.
30.dxe5 Nxe5 This was Black's main idea, a piece sacrifice for just a pawn!
31.fxe5 Qxe5
The pawns on e3 and g3 are hanging.
32.Nf1 Bg7 And now the c3 pawn is under attack. All white pieces are just terribly placed and the 2 rooks on the h-file are totally out of play.
After this move there is no more hope for White. [Of course White should have kept the c3 pawn by playing 33.Kd2 and although the white pieces just have no moves, it would not be that easy for Black to finish the game.] 33...Qxc3+ 34.Qxc3 Bxc3 Now Black already has 2 pawns for the piece and there is still total domination on the board. 35.Bd1 Re6 d4 might already be a killer at some moments now!
36.Bc2 Bg6 The white pieces still have no squares. The rook on h7 is even not giving the white knight on a5 any moves.
37.Nd2 White decides to finally get his pieces out, but all is already too late.
37...Rxe3 And Black got the 3rd pawn.

Black's position is totally winning.
39.Rhh1 d4 40.Rde1 Rhe7 41.Rxe3 Rxe3
What a great finish of a great game! The black pieces are totally dominating the position. We faced a very instructive game, where we saw that by trying not to cross the 4th rank it is usually not possible to hold a draw, even with a rock solid pawn structure.


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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Last Updated ( Monday, 30 December 2013 )
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