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  Kramnik - Leko; WCC-2004 (#14) 


This was a game that has already been talked about quite a bit, and even annotated on a couple of web sites. So much was said about this game - much of it, I felt had to be incorrect - that I decided to annotate it. I also thought it might be useful to find out where Leko went wrong ... exactly what the losing move was. 

  {There were MANY mistakes in this contest.}  

  [ The official web site. ]     [ The ChessBase report. ]     [ The  LCC/TWIC  report. ]  

  This game has (now) been updated ... several times.   (10/31/2004 and 12/03/2004)  


Click  here  to see an explanation of all the symbols that I commonly use when annotating a game.   

Click  here  to  re-play  this game ... on another server. (This is not my site, please do not write me about the content!) 

Click  here  to see Kramnik's analysis of this game. (Link may no longer be valid. Friday, June 15th, 2007.) 


  GM Vladimir Kramnik (2770) - GM Peter Leko (2741);  
[B12]
 Classical World Championship Match 
  Brissago, SUI / (Rnd. #14); 18,10,2004.  

  [A.J. Goldsby I]  

wcc_kvlg14.gif, 02 KB


The final game of the World Championship Match between Kramnik and Leko. 

Kramnik - a point behind - was in a very dire situation here. A draw was useless here, Kramnik had to win to keep his title. So everyone knew that Kramnik would go all out in this particular encounter. 

**********************************************************************************************

It seems that if you are in a "must win" situation, the KP is preferable to the QP!!! 

 1.e4 c6;  (C.A.)    
T
he Caro-Kann is a very solid choice of openings ... 
and Leko has already used this opening in Game Twelve of this match.  

However, in my opinion, this is a bad decision here ...  in many variants 
of this opening, Kramnik can play for the advantage ... almost without 
any interference from his esteemed opponent.  

{Leko seems to be playing scared here, which is a sure way to lose.} 

 

(C.A. = Counter-Attack.  A Counter-attack is any opening which does not immediately 
  stake out central control on the first move, but instead allows White to build up a center, 
  and then proceeds to challenge the first player in the center of the board. Two good 
  good examples of this opening philosophy are the French Defense and the Caro-Kann.)  

 

 2.d4 d5;  3.e5!?,  ('!')  (Phalanx)    
I have always said that the Advanced Variation was a very good choice for White against the Caro-Kann, (even when most opening books were united in their condemnation of it!).  

Furthermore, as this game amply proves, White gets an edge and it is not real clear exactly what the best method is for Black to proceed with, in order to gain full equality. Yet another consideration is that these {murky?} theoretical waters are not very well explored.  

As I have pointed out to several of of my Internet students ... 
White forms a pawn wedge 
(in the center)  that dominates play ... 
right to the end of the game!
   

     [ The main line is:  
        3.Nd2 dxe44.Nxe4, "+/="  4...Nd7;  "<=>"  {Diag?}   
        see any good opening book. ]   

 

 3...Bf5;  4.h4!?,     
A very tricky move ... and seemingly just a transposition here. 
(The 'normal' move order, if you can call this line normal, is for 
  White to play g2-g4 here.)  

     [ The more usual move order for this line would be:  
        4.g4 Bd7!{Diagram?}  
        and is the way you find this variation in most books. ]   

 

 4...h6!?;  (Escape square ... for the Bishop. Prophylaxis?)   
A relatively little-used move, especially at the GM-level. 
(A little more normal is the move of ...h7-h5; see the note just below.)  

 ******* 

     [ An alternative here is:  >/=  4...h5!?{Diagram?}   
        with a fair position.  

        [ See MCO-14; page # 185; column # 47, and all notes. ]  

       *************************************************************************   

       Black should definitely NOT play:   
       </=   4...e6??5.g4 Be46.f3 Bg6?!7.h5,  "+/-"  {D?}   
       and White has won a piece.   
       (This trap shows one of the main points of all of White's 
         various {early} pawn advances.) ]  

 ******* 

 

 5.g4 Bd7;  ('!')   
This is not a new position, the database shows that it has been reached dozens of times at the master level. (There are 198 examples of this line in the CB database alone!) 

Probably the most notable previous use of this position came in a WCS Match ... Mikhail Tal's disastrous title defense against M. Botvinnik in 1961. Tal reached this position twice in that match ... and lost BOTH games!!!  {See the CB web site for more details.}  

     [ If Black goes the other way ... he courts problems.  
       I.e., </= 5...Bg6?!; ('?')  6.h5 Bh77.e6!, "/\"  "--->"   {D?}  
       gives White a very strong attack. (The computer is already 
       showing a large edge [''] for White.) ]  

 

It is quite obvious to me that Kramnik's next move was prepared well in advance 
of this match.  
 6.Nd2!?,  (Maybe - '!')   TN!!!    {See the diagram - just below.}     
Believe it or not ... repeated db searches, (of MANY sources!);  leads me to 
realize that this is probably the very FIRST time that this move has occurred ... 
at least in master practice.

 

  ******************************************* 

 The position after Kramnik's TN on move six.  (kram-leko_wcc04-g14_pos1.jpg, 22 KB)

   *******************************************  

 

For those who say that chess is completely played out, I offer the court: 
<< People's Exhibit number One. >> 

Only six moves ... and we are out of book!!  


     [ A good example of previous - successful! - (recent) master practice 
       would be:  6.h5!? c57.c3 e68.f4 Nc6{Diagram?}   
       This is probably best.  

       *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** 

           ( Or 8...Qb6!?; 9.Nf3, "+/="  {Diagram?}     
              yields a solid plus, and ... "leaves White in control of the Kingside."     
               - GM Nick de Firmian    

               GM Mikhail Tal - GM Ludek Pachman;  / ICT / Bled, Yugoslavia; 1961.   
                   (Replay this historic game.)  

              [ See MCO-14, page # 185;  column # 47, and note # (s.). ] )    

       *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** 

       9.Nf3 Qb610.Kf2!?, "+/="  ('!')  {Diagram?}   
       and White builds on his very obvious edge in space.  

       GM Michael Adams (2640) - GM Alexander Khalifman (2645)   
       ICT / PCA Open, (play-off) / New York, NY/USA; 1994.   
        {White won, 1-0, in 49 moves.}  ]    


 

  6...c5!?;  (hmmm)   {See the diagram - - just below.}   
While this move was praised by some on-line commentators, it did not really thrill me.   

 

  ******************************************* 

 The position after 6...c5.  (kram-leko_wcc04-g14_pos2.jpg, 22 KB)

   *******************************************  

 

Maybe this move would not have been so bad ... if Black would have followed it up differently here.  

     [ Maybe (>/=) 6...Qc8; {Diagram?}  here instead? 

       **********************************************************  

       Probably the most solid move would have been:   
       6...e6{Diagram?}   fortifying the center and also 
       preparing the c6-c5 advance. ]  

 

************************************************************

White could play c3 here, but his response is more challenging and energetic. 

 7.dxc5,     
Kramnik gives up his center with this play, but now Leko has to work  
hard to get the Pawn back.  

     [ Slower and more solid was:   
        7.c3{Diagram?}   
        protecting the center ... but obviously Kramnik did not feel   
        that such a cautious move was appropriate to his  "must win"   
        situation in this game. ]   

 

  7...e6!?;  (Maybe - '?!')     
This strikes me as a tad slow, White now gets a solid plus.  

     [ An improvement just might be:  
       (>/=)  7...Qc7!?8.f4{Diagram?}    
        This could be best here.  

             ( >/= 8.Ngf3?! Nc6!; "=" )    

       8...Qxc59.Bg2, "+/="  9...e6;  "~"  {Diagram?}   
       White might have a tiny plus ... I interpret this position  
       as being rather unclear and positionally vague as well. ]  

 

 8.Nb3 Bxc5!?;  (Probably - '?!')    
This is simply ill-advised and somewhat hasty ... White achieves - and 
 keeps - a very solid and also a very substantial advantage now.  

 

     [ Another idea here was:  
       (>/=)  8...Qc79.f4 h5!!10.g5 Bxc511.Ne2 Bb6 
       12.Ned4, "+/="  12...a6{Diagram?}  
        and Black has a much better time of it than in the game.  

     ***************************************************************************   

       A possibility mentioned by some commentators was:   
       >/=  8...Ba4!?; "~"  {Diagram?}  
       with the idea of taking the Knight on b3, followed by  ...Bxc5.   
       (This also might have been a small improvement over the game.) ]   

 

 

 9.Nxc5 Qa5+;  10.c3 Qxc5;  (Assess this position - who is better?)     
 
"Black is perfectly OK here, both Kramnik and Leko agreed on this 
   after the game."
  - The London Chess Center   [ go there ]   

Despite what was said above, the computer clearly shows a massive edge 
for White. If Peter Leko does not play absolutely perfect chess from here, 
he will be squashed like a bug.  

 

 11.Nf3!?,  "D"  (D = Development.)   {Diagram?}   
While perhaps sound, this was not the sharpest move here.  

 ******* 

However, White enjoys a very nice advantage with this flexible move. 

Additionally, White also has the Bishop pair, and can make Black suffer for 
a very long time - as this game clearly shows.  

     [ After the moves:  (>/=) 11.Be3 Qc712.f4, "+/="  ('')  {Diag?}   
        White's edge is very large. ]   

 

 11...Ne7!?;  (hmmm)     
While seemingly a logical developing move, I prefer to retreat the Queen 
immediately to c7 - White will gain a tempo with Be3 anyway.  

     [ Maybe better is: 11...Qc7. ]   

 

The on-line commentator ... (GM R. Knaak); for the official website, did not 
care for White's next move ... but I think it is both good and logical.  
 12.Bd3!? Nbc6;  13.Be3 Qa5;  14.Qd2 Ng6!?;   
"The correct choice,"  ... said the pundit for an ICS,  ...  
  but Black definitely had a better move.  

 

     [ RR  >/=  14...d4!; "<=>"  {Diagram?}   
        This seems to be a MUCH more active choice for Black 
        than the actual game ... 
        and the computer approves of it as well.  

        Although I did  not  know it, many players (and commentators) 
        were apparently looking at this move ... on several different 
        servers.   

        {I have received several e-mails about this matter ... I never  
         claimed
 to have been the first person to discover this move. 
         It was just that when I was analyzing this game with Fritz, the 
         computer also preferred this move in this particular situation.}
]   

 *** 

  (Editor's note: for a brief analysis of this move, see the CB article 
   on this highly intriguing game.  - Link at beginning of this page.)   

  *******  

 

White ignores the chance to capture on g6 and double Black's Pawns - 
it would have led nowhere ... in a big hurry.  

 15.Bd4! Nxd4;  16.cxd4 Qxd2+?;   (This is totally inept here ... but why?)     
   {See the diagram below.}      
Without a doubt, a bad move here; I literally groaned when I saw that Leko had played this move. (Black is in too large of a hurry to be swapping the Q's.)  [The losing move?] 

 

  ******************************************* 

 The position immediately after Black captures on d2.  (kram-leko_wcc04-g14_pos3.jpg, 20 KB)

   ******************************************* 

 

After this - Black's large lag in his development begins to tell. 
(As far as I can tell, no other commentator has pointed this out yet.)  

After the exchange on d2, the latest version of HIARCS shows a swing in  
the evaluation of the position of nearly a point-and-a-half!  

The change in the  "eval's"  of the position by most computer programs  ...  
 is simply huge. (And in favor of White!)  

  *******  

The REASON(S) that this move is completely wrong are:  

# 1.)  That after the exchange of the Queens, the second party has left 
          White much further developed;   

# 2.)  Kramnik is now firmly in charge of ALL the {remaining} open lines ...   
          both open files and key diagonals;   

# 3.)  The first party has many times more usable space than Black does 
          in the resulting position;   

# 4.)  We have also gotten one step closer to an  end-game  ...  
          that is absolutely miserable for Black!  {Good N vs. bad B.}   

  *******  

 Originally I had only awarded this move a dubious appellation ...      
but after studying this game for days, I decided it was truly worthy of a full question mark - even if that appears somewhat harsh.   

  *********************  

     [ Much better than the game, was the continuation:   
        >/=  16...Qb617.g5!? h5!18.Rc1 0-019.Rc3, "+/="  {Diag?}   
        White has a small edge, but nothing that cannot be defended 
        against with best play.  (I spent many hours with the box ... 
        testing various lines.)  ]   

 

 17.Kxd2 Nf4;  18.Rac1,    
Immediately occupying the file. 

Kramnik could have retreated his Bishop here, but apparently his excellent chess instincts told him that he had nothing to fear from a  "NxB"  trade on the d3-square.   
(Leko's sorry d7-Bishop is doomed to play the role of spectator for the remainder 
  of the game - rather than that of the active participant.) 

     [ Several on-line commentators suggested that White play:  
        (</=)  18.Bf1!?{Diagram?}   
         to retain the Bishop. 
         (White will continue with Ke3 on the next move, with  
           the much better game. "+/=" )  ]  

 

 18...h5?!;  (Oh-no!)   {See the diagram, just below here, please.}   
This supposedly active move ...  
could be the proverbial straw which broke the camel's back.  

 

  ******************************************* 

 Black just played ...h5 here.  (kram-leko_wcc04-g14_pos4.jpg, 20 KB)

   *******************************************  

 

It is also a violation of principle, when (far) behind in development,  (...) 
you NEVER open lines!  (Never, never, never!!!)   

 

     [ After the moves:   
        >/=  18...Nxd319.Kxd3 Bb5+20.Ke3 Kd721.b3, "+/="  {D?}   
        White has a very solid edge.  (But I never found a forced win,  
        and I spent about 45 minutes with Deep Junior, looking for a 
        winning line from here.) ]  

 

 

 19.Rhg1! Bc6;  20.gxh5 Nxh5!?;   {See the diagram ... just below.}    
Possibly another dubious move, The IRON HORSE, (Fritz 8.0); is (instead) recommending that Black exchange on d3 (first) and only then play ...Kf8. (Black will be able to {eventually} gather in the stray button on the h5-square.)  

 

  ******************************************* 

 The position that follows Black's twentieth move here.  (kram-leko_wcc04-g14_pos5.jpg, 20 KB)

   *******************************************  

 

After about 30 minutes of machine time, one program awards White more than a one-point edge here. 

 

     [ Maybe just  20...Kf8!? here? ]   

 

White now plays his position with great energy - although Ke3 was also worthy of consideration here.   
 21.b4! a6!?;  {Box?}   {Diagram?}     
This move looks forced, (And is also the first choice of Fritz 8.0!); ...   
although the LCC web site assigns this move a question mark, (but does 
not bother to tell us which move is better).  Argh!  

     [ Even worse would be: 
        </=  21...Rc8?!22.b5 Bd723.Rxc8+ Bxc824.Ke3! Bd7   
        25.Rc1, ''  (Maybe  "+/-")  {Diagram?}    
        and the  "box-of-chips"  ... 
        says that White is basically winning here. ]  

 

  *** *** *** *** *** ***  *** *** *** *** *** ***  *** *** *** *** *** ***  *** *** *** *** *** ***   

White's next move might be a double-exclam ... despite what the fish on 
one chess server said about this play.  

(White's next play is an attempt to completely refute Black's opening   
  strategy ... in this game.)    

Aside from the text move, Ke3 has also been recommended by several pundits ... 
but it strikes me as a little bit slower than the actual continuation chosen in the game.
 22.a4! Kd8?!;  ('?')   {See the diagram ... just below.}    
This looks very awkward - and also causes an immediate change in the computer's assessment of the position here. (Without a doubt, the move  ...Kd8;  is very bad and possibly worthy of a full question mark here. The only reason I do not wish to be hard on Leko here... is that he was already growing critically short on time. Another reason that I do not award this move a full question mark - after deep reflection, over a period of several days - is that analysis will clearly demonstrate that nothing might save Black's game at this point, anyway.) 

 

  ******************************************* 

Black's last move looked  less than best.  (kram-leko_wcc04-g14_pos6.jpg, 20 KB)

   ******************************************* 

 

Now Leko's position was working against him, as he battled with the clock as well here. (And this was probably one of the reasons that Leko was unable to find the way out of this mess.)  

 

     [ After the following continuation:  
        >/=  22...Bxa423.Rc7 0-0!?24.Ng5! Bb5!?{Dm?}   
        (Several programs want to play this move here, however 
          it may be that   24...b6;    is a safer try.)   

       25.Bh7+ Kh826.Bc2!,  ''  {Diagram?}   
       White is clearly much better, but at least I don't see a 
       forced win this position. (...Kg8; Bd1!) ]   

 

 23.Ng5 Be8[];  24.b5!?,  ('!')     
White continues to press forward.  

     [ Maybe  24.Ke3, ''  {Diagram?}  is (also) good? ]  

 

 24...Nf4;  (hmmm)    
This looks practically forced - several programs confirm this - 
yet Leko has lost a great deal of time with this Knight here.  

     [ </= 24...axb5?!; 25.Bxb5!, ''  ]  

 

Kramnik's next move  ...  "made him happy."  (LCC)   
 25.b6! Nxd3;  (hmmm)     
This capture could also be a little premature, but I have no way of being 100% sure without many hours of analysis.  

It is worth noting ... that this is the SIXTH move that this piece has made in this 
game!  (N/g8-e7-g6-f4xh5-back to f4, and now captures on d3.)  

 

     [ Black could try to adopt a defensive blockade, but after:  
        RR  25...Rc8!?26.Rxc8+ Kxc827.Rc1+ Kb828.Rc7 f6;  
        29.Nf7 Bxf730.Rxf7 f5{Diagram?}   
        Leko's position remains grim.   

      ***************************************************************************  

        Even worse for Black was:   
        </=  25...f6?!26.Nf3 Nxd3; {Diagram?}   
        This is virtually forced.   

  *******  

           ( Bad is:     
              </=  26...Bh5?;  27.Ne1! fxe5!?;  28.dxe5 g6!?; {Diag?}     
              This looks ugly, but Black cannot allow both of White's     
              Rooks to reach the 7th rank!     

              29.Rc7 Rb8;  30.Nc2 Nxd3;  31.Kxd3 Bf3!?; 32.Nd4 Be4+;       
              33.Kd2 Re8;  34.f3 Bf5;  35.Nxf5 exf5;  36.Rxg6,  "+/-"  {D?}     
              and White is winning easily. )      

  *******  

        27.Kxd3 Bh528.Nd2 fxe5!?{Diagram?}   
        If ...Rc8; White simply exchanges Rooks, followed by Rxg7 -  
        with a dominating position.   

        29.dxe5 Rc830.Rxc8+ Kxc831.Rxg7, ""  (Probably "+/-")  {D?}    
        and White is hugely better. ]   

 

Black is soon forced into playing ...Rc8; once Leko loses control of this 
critical open line, his situation worsens considerably.  
 26.Kxd3 Rc8;  27.Rxc8+ Kxc8;  28.Rc1+ Bc6[];    
Apparently this move is forced here.  

Black has blocked the c-file ... but has not kept the White Rook out,  
but now the 'heavy' ... finds another avenue to penetrate into Black's   
position from here.  

     [ The endgame that arises after the following moves:    
        </=  28...Kb8?!; ('?')  29.Rc7 Rxh430.Nxf7 Rh3+ 
        31.Kd2 Bxf732.Rxf7 Rh8!?33.Rxg7,  "+/-"  {Dg?}   
        is almost completely hopeless for Black.   
        (This is certainly much worse than the continuation 
          that actually transpired in the game.)  ]   

 

Now White buries a Knight into the d6-square.  In a similar situation, 
Steinitz  once said a Knight that is firmly anchored on the sixth rank ...   
"is like a bone that is stuck in your opponent's throat."   

Not being able to defend any of the real threats ... and convinced that   
passive play will  {now}  lose ... GM Leko keeps himself busy by munching   
as many Pawns as he possibly can.  
 29.Nxf7 Rxh4;  30.Nd6+ Kd8;  31.Rg1!?,     
This looks both natural and very logical as well.  

     [ The strong program,  Fritz 8.0  greatly prefers the move:   
        31.Ke3!?,  ''  ("+/-")   Maybe - '!'  {Diagram?}   
        with a nearly won position for White from here. ]   

 

 31...Rh3+;  32.Ke2 Ra3;  33.Rxg7 Rxa4;  34.f4!!,    (nice)   
  {See the diagram just below here.}     

A very bold decision. 

 

   *******************************************  

White last move (f2-f4) was very strong. Take a look at that Knight on d6!   (kram-leko_wcc04-g14_pos7.jpg, 18 KB)

   *******************************************  

 

Take a look at this position.  

This moves might be easy - now - for me to find. But I have already watched this entire game on the Internet today, I heard all the expert commentary, I have had hours to analyze the game, I sit at my desk in complete relaxation, and I also have Fritz running in the background as well here.  

White will wind up sacrificing many of his Pawns in an almost cavalier fashion. I am sure that finding all of these shots over the board were not nearly as easy as they are for me now! 

  *********  

White's play is now centered around two very pleasing themes:   
# 1.)  He will advance f4-f5, freeing his extremely dangerous KP;   
# 2.)  With Black's King almost completely boxed in, Kramnik will march his 
          King all the way around to the King-side, usually winding up on the 
          sixth rank. This will create strong, truly unbearable pressure against 
          Peter Leko's King.  

  *********************  

     [ Also possible was:  34.Kd3!?, "+/="  {Diag?}  with a tangible edge here. ]   

 

 34...Ra2+!?;    
The immediate ...Rxd4; was also interesting, but probably inferior to 
the move actually played.  


      [ Black could have tried the following continuation ... which also loses:   
        (</=)    34...Rxd4!?; ('?!')  35.f5!! exf536.e6! Re4+{Diagram?}   
         This is forced, (believe it or not).  

 ******* 

             ( Even worse would be:  </=  36...a5??;  37.e7+ Kd7;  {Diag?}     
               White's next move is a DOUBLE check ... leaving Black no      
               choice but to try and run away.  

               38.e8Q+ Kxd6[];  39.Qe7#. )      

 ******* 

        37.Nxe4 dxe438.Rc7! Ba4{Diagram?}   
        This is forced, White was threatening the winning sack on the 
         c6-square ... to be followed by simply promoting a pawn.  

       ***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***    

        Now I do NOT claim that the next series of moves are forced or best.   
        It is just a sample line similar to what I analyzed with several Internet 
        students.  

        39.Ke3! Bb340.e7+ Ke841.Rxb7 a542.Kf4 a4!?43.Rc7 Bd5 
        44.Ke5! Bb3{Diagram?}    Something like this is forced.   

 ******* 

             ( After the moves:  ("=")  44...e3!?;  45.Kxd5! e2;  46.b7 e1Q;     
               47.b8Q+ Kf7;  {Diagram?}     
               (Now a double-check by White.)     

               48.e8Q+ Kf6;  49.Qbd8+,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?}     
               Black also gets mated. )    

 ******* 

        45.b7! Be6!?;  46.Kxe6!,  "+/-"   {Diagram?}   
         and mate next move.   

        (NOTE:  I stuck this line in because I got several phone calls and    
         also about 10 to 15 e-mails ... almost everyone wants to know   
         how Kramnik would have won after  ...Rxd4;  in this line.    
         Tuesday;  October 26th, 2004.)   

   *********************************************************************************************    
   *********************************************************************************************    

        Another idea - that Black does not have time for - would be:   
        </= 34...Rb4?35.f5! Rxb6{Diagram?}    
        Continuing with the plan.   

 ******* 

             ( Not  </= 35...exf5?;  {Diagram?}      
               (This is a terrible mistake.)       
               as after:  36.e6!,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?}      
               Black will have to quickly give up his Rook      
               to try and avoid the impending mate. )     

 ******* 

        36.fxe6 Rb2+37.Kf3 Be8[]{Diagram?}   
        This is forced ... otherwise White will advance the pawn, taking full    
        advantage of a double-check to promote the foot-soldier on the e-file,   
        from here.   

        38.Rg8 Rb3+39.Kf4 Kc740.Rxe8 b5!?{Diagram?}      
        Trying to make it a foot-race  ...  anything else is hopeless.   

        41.Ra8 Kb642.e7,  "+/-"   {Diagram?}   
        Black cannot prevent the Pawn from advancing to the queening   
        {promotion}  square from this position.  ]   


 35.Kf3 Ra3+;   35.Kf3 Ra3+;   {See the diagram - just below here.}     
Black has been slowly sliding into the abyss ... with his minus on the clock,  
I doubt that Leko had any practical chance to really save this game from here. 

 

  ******************************************* 

 Black just played ...Ra3+ here.  (kram-leko_wcc04-g14_pos8.jpg, 18 KB)

   *******************************************  

Take a look  ...  and decide for yourself.  

 

 36.Kg4! Rd3?;  (YUK!!)   {See the diagram  ...  just below.}    
Now Black's position will take a drastic turn for the worst.  

 

  ******************************************* 

 UGH!!!  {Black's last move was a mistake!}  (kram-leko_wcc04-g14_pos9.jpg, 18 KB)

   *******************************************  

 

Now White - playing with truly great, admirable skill - throws away his Pawns to weave a mating web around Peter Leko's King. 

 

     [ RR   After the moves:  
       >/= 36...Ra137.Nxb7+ Bxb738.Rxb7 Rg1+39.Kh5, ''  {Diag?}   
       Black is a Pawn down, and the box says that Black is completely 
       busted - but it is still an improvement over the actual text move. ]  

 

  **************  

The rest is merely a display of Kramnik's considerable technique.
(The box says that  ...Rd1!;  was a much better move for Black on 
  move thirty-seven.)
 

It was only after Black's next move that the boxes began to grasp that Black was lost.  

Note that White's play from this position is VERY thematic ...   
Kramnik plays almost exclusively on the weak dark squares.   
 37.f5! Rxd4+?!;  38.Kg5! exf5;  39.Kf6! Rg4;  40.Rc7! Rh4?!;    
Putting the Bishop on d7 was a far trickier try - it would have lasted longer, and coming just before time control, would have caused Kramnik to think.  

 

  41.Nf7+,  Black Resigns(1-0.)   {See the diagram ... just below.}   

It is now mate in two ... ("+/-") ... definitely a good time to quit!  
 (Editor's note - work it out ... or fire up your computer!)  

 

  ******************************************* 

 Time to say ...  "GOOD NIGHT!"   (kram-leko_wcc04-g14_pos10.jpg, 18 KB)

   ******************************************* 

 

A great game by Kramnik ... but Leko could not have played any worse, I think. Also - his opening was simply horrible - you expect that kind of play from a Class "C" player, but not a WC Candidate!! 

 

   Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2004.  All rights reserved.   

 

   1 - 0   


  This game - the raw HTML code was  {initially}  generated with the programChessBase 8.0.  


I started analyzing this game as soon as the first move was made, I finished the great part of my analysis late last night, after the NFL game. (St. Louis defeated Tampa Bay.)  But of course, I then had to format the game ... this took approximately 4-5 hours of constant work. (I also had to then create the diagrams for this page.)  I was not really planning on analyzing this game ... it was just that many friends/contacts, (as well as yours truly); had so many questions after the game, ("Why did Leko lose?"  "Where did he go wrong?")  ...  that I decided to go ahead and try to tackle this game. (It was not part of my work schedule, and interrupted many regular, paying projects. But what the hay, a WCC Match does not come along every day!!!)  

I realize that many of the opinions that I have put forth here will be somewhat controversial ... much of what I say may not be accepted. This does not matter to me. I achieved several goals here, with this page. (Timeliness and also some pretty good analysis. I also wanted to find where "the losing move" was played, I think that I have done that as well.) 

In the end, every page will be judged on its own merit. Certainly this one has something to add to the debate on this game ... it also has many things that other pages do NOT offer. (Like handy links to other sites' analysis of this contest!) 

Enjoy this game, and please respect my copyright. & Please let me know what you think of my work, as well. (Thanks!)  


If you have any questions about this game - please contact me.
A.J. Goldsby;  P.O. Box 11718; Pensacola, FL 32524  (USA)  
[ I no longer offer the CB version of any game. Too many people that will not respect ANYONE's copyright!! ] 


Tues; October 26th, 2004:  I received so much e-mail about this game ... that I decided to update this game in a major way. I spent several days re-analyzing key lines, polishing the wording, etc. It is nice to be timely ... it is even better to take your time and do it right. Hopefully now, more ideas will be explained and more questions answered. 

Sunday;  November 21st, 2004:  This game continues to generate interesting comments and e-mail. Thanks to everyone who has written and sent in analysis! I currently have no plans to re-do this particular game. 


  Copyright (c) LM A.J. Goldsby I 

   Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 1985 - 2015.  All rights reserved.  

 ******* 

This page was created in October of 2004.  
I finished annotating this game the night of October 18th, 2004. 

The final formatting of this page was completed on:  Tuesday; October 19th, 2004.   
(I did a major update on this game on:  Tuesday; October 26th, 2004.)  

This page was last modified or edited on:  Tuesday, April 28, 2015 02:07 PM .  


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