Kramnik vs. Svidler: 2009 Tal Memorial

Below is Kramnik’s win over Svidler in a Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation. A lot could be stated about the opening theory as Kramnik tried a new move successfully with 12. h4. However, I do not believe Kramnik’s courageous new move is to blame for Svidler’s failure. Instead, Svidler seemed to have forgotten that “Knight’s on the rim are dim” and attempted to spar with a world champion contender minus a Knight. I say minus a Knight due to the fact that Svidler moved his Knight to a6 on move 11 and then left it there to rot.

[Event “Tal Memorial”]
[Site “0:10:33-0:04:33”]
[Date “2009.11.08”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “4”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “Kramnik”]
[Black “Svidler”]
[ECO “D85”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[PlyCount “4”]

1.d4 Nf6{notes by Chris Torres} 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Be3 c5 8.Rc1 Qa5 9.Qd2 O-O 10.Nf3 Bg4 11.d5 Na6 12.h4{Kramnik’s aggressive new move} f5{Svidler’s first missed opportunity to repost his Knight to c7} 13.exf5 Bxf5 14.h5 Rad8 15.hxg6 Bxg6 16.Bh6 Bxh6 17.Rxh6 Rf6 18.Ne5 Qa4{Svidler’s second missed opportunity to repost his Knight to c7} 19.Qe3 Qf4 20.Qxf4 Rxf4 21.Nxg6 hxg6 22.Rxg6+ Kf7 23.Rg5 Re4+{Svidler’s third missed opportunity to repost his Knight to c7} 24.Be2 Kf6{Svidler’s fourth missed opportunity to repost his Knight to c7} 25.Rh5 Kg6 26.g4 Rf8 27.Rd1 Rf6 28.Rh8 Kg7 29.Rd8 Rb6 30.f3 Re3 31.Rd3 Re5 32.Kf2 Rh6{? A bad mistake. Better was 33… b5 34. f4 Re4 35. Re3 Rxf4+ 36. Kg2 Kf7}33.Bf1 Rh2+ 34.Kg3 Rxa2 35.d6 exd6 36.R3xd6 Re7 37.R6d7  1-0

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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