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

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