Sunday, November 11, 2007

Kramnik-Carlsen : Tal Memorial 2007 Round 1

Round 1: Kramnik-Carlsen 1/2-1/2

Kramnik,V (2785) - Carlsen,M (2714) [E05]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (1), 10.11.2007

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.d4 Black can choose to avoid d4 and play the Reti opening with b3 and later Bb2. 4...Be7 5.Bg2 0–0 6.0–0 dxc4 This move was popularized by Karpov in the 70's.He showed that black's smooth active development of the queenside pieces puts him close to equality. Black justification is white have to spend a few moves to recover back the pawn and black will use it develop his position. [6...Nbd7 and ; 6...c6 is another alternative.] 7.Qc2 a6 8.Qxc4 [White can prevent Black's ...b5 by 8.a4 but results have shown that there's two reason why top GM doesn't favor it anymore. 1. it permanently weaken the b4 square and 2. ...b5 by black is welcome because it can lead to a slight but permanent weakening of Black's queenside.] 8...b5 9.Qc2 Bb7 10.Bd2 A sophisticated idea, introduced by Dutch GM Sosonko. White plans to immobilize the c pawn by the pin after a Ba5. In the past, black's most reliable response is 10...Be4 and then after 11.Qc1, either the retreat 11...Bb7 or the developmental 11...Nbd7 but Kramnik himself show that 11...Qc8 is better as his victory against Leko in Mexico 2007. [10.Bg5 is another alternative.] 10...Bd6 This move was second time played and popularized by Anand in his 7th round draw against Gelfand at Mexico 2007. Black prepares in advance the thematic central break ...e5. [ Grischuk choose 10...Ra7 at the World Championship 2007, Mexico and Kramnik replied with a rare move 11.a3!?; ] 11.Bg5 Nbd7 It's interesting to note that Kramnik is willing to lose a tempo with 11.Bg5 because this variation can also arise from the variation 10.Bg5 Nbd7 . Probaly Kramnik assume that the extra tempo 10..Bd6 doesn't prove any better compare then the bishop at e7. 12.Nbd2 Rc8 13.Nb3 c5 14.Bxf6 Nxf6 15.Nxc5 Be4 16.Qc3 e5 17.e3 Bxc5 18.dxc5 Qd5 After 18.... Qd5 Magnus considered black to be at least OK.19.Rad1 Qa8 [19...Qxc5 20.Qxe5 Bxf3 21.Qxc5 Rxc5 22.Bxf3 Rc2 23.Rd6 Rxb2 24.Rxa6] 20.Nh4 Bxg2 21.Nxg2 Ne4 22.Qxe5 Rxc5 23.Qd4 Rc4 24.Qd3 Ng5 25.b3 [25.f4!? is an interesting alternative 25...Ne4] 25...Rc5 26.h4 This move look a little bit weakening the kingside but Krmanik's king need some space to breath! 26...Nf3+ 27.Kh1 Qc8 Threatening mate in one with 28...Qh3++! 28.Nf4 (if 28.Qd7 Magnus thought he would be equal or better after 28...Rc2.) Qg4 29.Qd7 Rf5 30.Rd5 Rxf4 31.exf4 [31.gxf4?? would be a greaves mistake because 31...f5 32.Qe6+ Kh8 33.Qxf5 Qxh4+ (33...Rxf5?? 34.Rd8+ Rf8 35.Rxf8#) 34.Kg2 Rxf5–+ There's no checkmate with 35.Rd8+ because simply 34...Qxd8!] 31...f5 32.Qe6+ Now it all force 32...Kh8 33.Qxf5 [33.Kg2 Is a quick way to draw the game 33...Nxh4+ 34.Kh2 (34.Kh1 Qf3+ 35.Kh2 Qg2#) 34...Nf3+ 35.Kg2 Nh4+] 33...Qxf5 [33...Rxf5?? 34.Rd8+ Rf8 35.Rxf8#] 34.Rxf5 Rxf5 35.Rd1 g5 36.hxg5 Black is a piece up but his knight has no escape route and white pawn is too many. Carlsen gave it back to reach a drawn rook endgame pawn down. 36...Nxg5 37.fxg5 Rxf2 38.a4 bxa4 39.bxa4 Ra2 40.Rd4 ½–½

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