Vladimir Kramnik, the former World Champion, shows no signs of slowing down.
Chess is increasingly dominated by young players, but, at 41, Vladimir Kramnik, the Russian former World Champion, is still among the game’s elite. The following win over Baskaran Adhiban of India at last month’s Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, propelled Kramnik to the highest rating of his career.
1. Nf3d52. g3Nf63. Bg2Bf54. O-Oc65. d3e66. Nh4Bg47. h3Bh58. Qe1Be7So far, the game has proceeded on a very normal path, but Kramnik has no intention of letting it stay that way. 9. f4!I like this move. The bishop on h5 could become trapped. 9... Nfd7
( 9... O-O10. e4!And now the bishop really would be in danger. ...Nbd7?11. g4!Nxg412. hxg4Bxh413. Qe2Bg614. f5And white wins a piece )
10. Nf3f5!?A risky move, but not a bad one. Black wants to change the character of the pawn structure in the center. 11. e4!Bxf3?!I'm not sure why Adhiban wanted to trade the bishop.
( 11... O-OLooks more natural to me, since 12. Nd4Can be met by 12... Qb6!13. c3c5And Black is fine. )
12. Bxf3O-OThe position is pleasant for White. 13. Nc3Definitely not a bad move, but also not the only one.
( 13. e5!?Locking the center is not as stupid as it looks. White can reopen the position later by playing c4, g4, or both. )
13... fxe414. dxe4d415. Nd1!The right square for the knight, which will soon reroute to f2. 15... e5!A necessity. Allowing White to play e5 would be a positional disaster.
( 15... c516. e5 )
16. Nf2c517. Qe2
( 17. f5A typical move in the King's Indian was also possible, but I don't like it. The light-squared bishop would be locked in and it would be difficult to organize g4-g5 with Black's dark-squared bishop on e7. )
17... Nc618. Bg4!I like this move. Kramnik wants to install the bishop on e6. Black is much weaker on the light squares than he normally would be because of the previous exchange of Bxf3 several moves ago. 18... Kh819. Be6exf4
( 19... Qc7The computer wants to maintain the tension, but after 20. f5!?The position looks very dangerous for Black. )
20. gxf4g5?Adhiban lashes out, clearly not content with the way the game is going so far. But Kramnik is not the best guy to make such lunges against. 21. Ng4!Activating more pieces and fighting for control of more dark squares.
( 21. f5?The computer prefers this move, which gives White connected passed pawns, but they are firmly blockaded on the dark squares. That is clearly not the best plan. )
21... gxf422. Bxf4Qe823. e5
( 23. Qb5This cold-blooded move with the goal of taking the queenside pawns might be even stronger, but it's very hard for a human to play. I prefer the text for its simplicity. )
( 23... h5Is the engine's suggestion. I would be surprised if Adhiban even considered it! Still after 24. Kh1!Black is in big trouble, since the knight cannot be taken: 24... hxg4?25. Qxg4With Rg1 and mate soon to follow. )
24. Bc4!Even in dynamic positions, positional themes always come into play. Kramnik chooses the right square, looking to reroute the bishop to d3. 24... Qg625. Kh1Bg526. Bh2Black is crushed. White is threatening e6 and then Black will be helpless. 26... Nb627. Bd3Qe628. Qe4Qd529. e6!The board opens up for the bishops. The rest requires no comment. 29... Rae830. Rxf8+Rxf831. Ne5Qxe4+32. Bxe4Nd833. a4Nxe634. a5Nc835. Nd7Re836. Be5+Ng737. Rg1Bh638. Bxb7Ne739. Nf6Rf840. Be4Ng841. Nxh7Re842. Ng5Re743. Bd3Bxg544. Rxg5Nh645. Bxg7+Rxg746. Rh5
Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 4 in the country. He is a professional player and recipient of the Samford Fellowship in 2013, the most prestigious award in the United States for young chess players. He is at @GMShanky on Twitter and is also on Facebook.
FIDE and World Chess announces today that the 2018 World Chess Championship Match will take place in London in November 2018. The world’s most prestigious chess tournament is to be the climax of a season of high-profile activity to extend the sport’s appeal among global audiences – and make 2018 the Year of Chess in the UK.
After 9 days of intense chess battles at the last leg of the World Chess Grand Prix series 2017 in Palma de Mallorca, the two winners of the series were finally determined: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan, overall 340 points in the series) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia, 336,4 points). They qualified for the Candidates Tournament – the next part of the World Chess Championship cycle, which leads up to the Championship match.
The sole leader of the Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix Levon Aronian made a quick draw with Evgeny Tomashevsky today, inviting the group of rivals to join him at the top. But same as in the previous rounds all games on the top boards finished peacefully and not a single player came close to catching up with him.
After seven rounds Aronian is in the lead with 4,5 points. A group of 8 players is half a point behind, including Vachier-Lagrave. In order to qualify for the Candidates, the Frenchman needs to win at least one more game. Boris Gelfand defeated Alexander Riazantsev, Pavel Eljanov won against Jon Ludvig Hammer, while Teimour Rajabov outplayed Li Chao. After the victory the Azerbaijani Grandmaster still hopes to qualify, but in that case has to win both games.
Javier Ochoa, Honorary FIDE Vice President and President of the Spanish Chess Federation, made the first symbolic move to start the fourth round, which turned out to be the most exciting round of the tournament so far, with six decisive games out of nine.
In the Third Round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Palma de Mallorca games between the four leaders, Vachier-Lagrave-Aronian and Rajabov-Giri, finished in a draw. Peter Svidler joined the group of leaders by beating Jon-Ludvig Hammer in the third round.
The world’s best chess players and chess establishment came together in Bellver Castle to celebrate the opening of the final leg of the FIDE 2017 World Chess Grand Prix Palma de Mallorca – a prestigious qualifier for the World Chess Candidates Tournament.
Katerina Lagno, one of the strongest Russian women-grandmasters won the historic Moscow Blitz Tournament, beating her fellow Russian Olympic team members Alexandra Kosteniuk, Valentina Gunina and Olga Girya.
After a draw against Ian Nepomniachtchi, Teimur Rajabov won the tournament. One of the strongest players, Rajabov had not won a major tournament lately, but has shown phenomenal form in Geneva and managed to overpower some of top world’s players