"Exciting Berlin" In London: Kramnik Played for a Win But Had All Chances to Lose

Время публикации: 13.12.2014 18:25 | Последнее обновление: 13.12.2014 18:25

"Every time the Berlin endgame shows up on the board, everyone starts to cry quietly, meaning such positions are boring. However games are often full of exciting play, although the are no queens. I played one of those games today…”

This was said by Vladimir Kramnik after he finished his game against Michael Adams played in round 3 of London Chess Classic tournament. Former world championship was playing black, having chosen Berlin defense of Ruy Lopez, the opening which he played himself against Kasparov in London. At that time Garry couldn’t find a remedy against this variation in his last World championship match. 

"I could have concluded a draw many times but played for a win", - said Kramnik who expected the rook endgame to be more favorable for him. However when the critical moment happened it was now Kramnik to seek a narrow way to a draw.


The Russian spent 46 minutes before making his move. "I had to calculate so many variations...” – he commented in the press center and showed some of them, including long pawn endgames. The position is even everywhere if no serious mistakes aren’t made.
Finally he chose 34...b6, but Adams’s next move skipped Vladimir’s attention: 35.b5.
Kramnik: "So I decided to make a draw: 35...Rg1?!, but completely missed the reply 36.Rg3! Honestly speaking I started to panic a bit over here..." It would be far better to play 35...Rf1 36.f4 g5.
36...Rf1? The mistake that could lead to a very bad sequence. However the position requires very accurate play: 36...Re1+! Now if 37.Kxd4, than 37...Rf1! 38.Kd5 Kd7 39.Rf3 Rd1+ 40.Ke4 Ke6. But 37.Kd5! seems to be worse for black. In that case it would be necessary to play 37...Rd1! (37...Rf1?! 38.Rd3! Kd7 39.f3) 38.f4 d3 39.f5 d2 40.Rd3 Kd7 41.g5 Rg1! (but not 41...g6 42.f6) 42.Rxd2 Rxg5, and black grabs his last chance for a draw.
37.f4 g5 38.f5 Rf4+ 39.Kd5 Kd7

However this was indeed a lucky day for Kramnik as Adams missed the winning move with his mistake made playing move 40.
40.c5? Kramnik: "Yes, I saw that after 40.f6 I had nothing to hope for..."
40...bxc5 41.Kxc5 Re4 42.Kd5 Re3! This was the move Adams missed in his analysis.
43.Rg2 d3 44.Rd2 Rg3 45.Rd1 Rxg4 46.Rxd3 Rf4 47.f6 Rf1 48.e6+ Ke8 49.exf7+ Kxf7 50.Rc3 Rf5+ 51.Kc6 g4 52.Rg3 Rg5 53.Kxc7 Rxb5 54.Rxg4 1/2

Kramnik: "If only I could have only 10 minutes for the rook endgame I would have never got into such a bad position. It happens sometimes: the time is against you…"

All the other games of the round were drawn as well.

[Event "6th London Classic 2014"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2014.12.12"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "Berlin defence, open variation"] [EventDate "2014.12.10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Ke8 10. Nc3 h5 11. Bf4 Be7 12. Rad1 Be6 13. Ng5 Rh6 14. g3 Bc4 15. Rfe1 Rg6 16. Nce4 Rd8 17. Rxd8+ Bxd8 18. b3 Bd5 19. c4 Bxg5 20. Nxg5 Be6 21. Kg2 c5 22. Nxe6 Rxe6 23. Rd1 Nd4 24. g4 hxg4 25. hxg4 Ra6 26. Rd2 Ra3 27. Be3 a5 28. Bxd4 cxd4 29. Kf3 a4 30. Rb2 axb3 31. axb3 Ra1 32. Ke4 Rd1 33. b4 Ke7 34. Rb3 b6 35. b5 Rg1 36. Rg3 Rf1 37. f4 g5 38. f5 Rf4+ 39. Kd5 Kd7 40. c5 bxc5 41. Kxc5 Re4 42. Kd5 Re3 43. Rg2 d3 44. Rd2 Rg3 45. Rd1 Rxg4 46. Rxd3 Rf4 47. f6 Rf1 48. e6+ Ke8 49. exf7+ Kxf7 50. Rc3 Rf5+ 51. Kc6 g4 52. Rg3 Rg5 53. Kxc7 Rxb5 54. Rxg4 1/2-1/2 [Event "6th London Classic 2014"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2014.12.12"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "Berlin defence, open variation"] [EventDate "2014.12.10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Ke8 10. Ne2 b6 11. Rd1 Bb7 12. b3 Rc8 13. Bb2 Be7 14. Ned4 Nxd4 15. Nxd4 Rg8 16. Nf5 c5 17. c4 Be4 18. Ng3 Bg6 19. f4 h5 20. f5 h4 21. fxg6 hxg3 22. gxf7+ Kxf7 23. hxg3 Ke6 24. Kf2 Rcd8 25. Ke2 Rxd1 26. Rxd1 Rh8 27. Bc3 c6 28. Bd2 Re8 29. Rh1 Kxe5 30. Bc3+ Kf5 31. Kf3 Kg6 32. Rd1 Rd8 33. Rxd8 Bxd8 34. Be5 Kf7 35. Kf4 a6 36. Bb8 Ke6 37. g4 b5 38. Be5 g6 39. Ke4 Be7 40. Bf4 Bf8 41. Be3 Bd6 42. Bf4 Bf8 43. Be3 Bd6 44. Bf4 Bf8 1/2-1/2 [Event "6th London Classic 2014"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2014.12.12"] [Round "3.3"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C52"] [Opening "Evans gambit"] [Variation "Tartakower attack"] [EventDate "2014.12.10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. d4 d6 7. Qb3 Qd7 8. dxe5 Bb6 9. a4 Na5 10. Qa2 Nxc4 11. Qxc4 Ne7 12. exd6 cxd6 13. O-O O-O 14. Qd3 Ng6 15. a5 Bc5 16. Be3 Re8 17. Nbd2 Bxe3 18. Qxe3 d5 19. Rfe1 dxe4 20. Nxe4 Qe7 21. Nd6 Qxe3 22. fxe3 Rd8 23. Red1 Rb8 24. Rd4 Be6 25. c4 b6 26. axb6 axb6 27. Ra7 h6 28. h3 Ra8 29. Rb7 Rdb8 30. Rc7 Ra5 31. Kh2 Rc5 32. Ra7 Kf8 33. g4 Ra5 34. Rc7 Rc5 35. Ra7 Ra5 36. Rc7 1/2-1/2 


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