dec 12

Results after round 2:

Viswanathan Anand, India (2792) – Fabiano Caruana, Italy (2839) draw

Anish Giri, Netherland (2776) –  Michael Adams, England (2745) 1-0

Vladimir Kramnik, Russia (2760) – Hikaru Nakamura, U.S.A. (2767) 1-0

Anand has never lost on his birthday and actually not on his 45th birthday either. The game against Caruana was drawn by a threefold repetition. Giri won by technical means an ending with an active knight and rook versus a bishop and rook exploiting a passed pawn on the c-file. Adams had some chances to hold the game but didn’t play accurately and lost. Kramnik proved that the King’s Indian Defence is not a problematic opening for him if you secure the space advantage and avoid the tactical tricks.

Kramnik,Vladimir (2760) – Nakamura,Hikaru (2767) [E92]
London Chess Classic (2), 11.12.2014

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 e5 7.d5 Petrosian’s system must be regarded as one of the critical and logical systems against the King’s Indian set-up claiming an immediate space advantage. 7…a5 Black’s best continuation preparing the manoeuvre …Nb8-a6-c5 with a strong position for the Black knight. 7…Nbd7 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Nh5 11.h4! is one of the main ideas played in Keres-Matulovic, Moscow 1963. By using the fact that White has not yet castled he can bring the kingside rook faster into the game. 8.Bg5 h6

Where should White move the bishop?















9.Be3 Petrosian used to play 9.Bh4 with the idea to prevent Black’s liberating break with …f7-f5. 9…Ng4 10.Bd2 f5 Contrary to Petrosian’s method Kramnik cooly allows Black to reach one of the main goals in the King’s Indian Defence reasoning that the advance will be weaker because of the retarded development and concrete action from White. 11.h3 Nf6 12.exf5 gxf5 13.Qc1! The new move in this position. 13…f4 The passive 13…Kh7 would be answered by the strong 14.g4! opening lines and diagonals towards the  Black king. 14.g3 The spearhead must be attacked immediately. 14…e4 15.Nh4 e3 15…f3 16.Bd1 Kh7 17.Bc2 with strong pressure on Black’s position. 16.fxe3 fxg3 17.Ng6 All these moves were played quickly by Kramnik who was still in his preparations.

A critical junction, how should Black continue?















17…Rf7 17…Re8 also seems to be  playable. After the natural 17…g2 18.Rg1 Bxh3 19.Qc2 followed by long castling looks best keeping the options for Nf4 and Nxf8. The most important is to safeguard the White king before entering complications on the kingside. (Not 19.Nf4?? Ng4 20.Nxh3 Qh4+ 21.Kd1 Qxh3 and Black is winning. Such a trap is typical of the King’s Indian Defence.) 18.Qc2 Nfd7? 18…Na6 is the normal move to be played. 19.0-0-0 Now White has secured a positional advantage with attacking chances. 19…Ne5 Keeping the Black bishop diagonal opened with 19…Nc5 and after 20.e4 exploiting it with the manoeuvre 20…Bd4 would nevertheless be answered by 21.Rdg1! Without the King’s Indian bishop Black’s king’s position becomes significantly weaker. 20.Rhf1! Rxf1 21.Rxf1 With more attacking units on the kingside than Black has defensive units it’s only a matter of time before White can convert the advantage to 1-0 21…Bxh3 22.Rg1 Qf6 23.Rxg3 23.Nf4 is also winning. 23…Nxg6 24.Rxg6 Qf7 25.Rg3 Bf5 26.e4 Bg6 27.Bg4 Here we see one of the advantages of the pawn on d5, the outpost at e6. 27…Qf1+ 28.Nd1 Be5 29.Bh3 29.Rf3 is also good. 29…Qf6 30.Be6+ Kh7 31.Bf5 Securing the White squares in Black’s position into White’s hands, particularly the square g6. 31…Bxf5 32.exf5 Nd7 33.Rg6 Qf7 34.Rxh6+ Kg8 35.Rg6+ Kf8

How does White exploit his winning position in the simplest manner?
















36.Nf2! The right moment to improve the worst placed piece in White’s position. 36…b5 This bullet move from Nakamura comes far too late. The position is hopeless. 37.Ng4 bxc4 38.Qxc4 Qxf5

How does White conclude the game?















39.Rg8+! Ke7 39…Kxg8 40.Nh6+ winning the queen. 40.Bg5+ Bf6 41.Qe2+ 1-0 A very well played game by Kramnik who did not only beat Nakamura, he also gave The King’s Indian Defence a serious blow. It will be interesting to study the next game between these players with the same colours.

Round three has the following meetings:

Hikaru Nakamura, U.S.A. (2767) – Viswanathan Anand, India (2792)

Michael Adams, England (2745) – Vladimir Kramnik, Russia (2760)

Fabiano Caruana, Italy (2839) – Anish Giri, Netherland (2776)

Round 1-3 will be played 16.00 – 23.00 and round 4-5 14.00 – 21.00 and all the games can be followed live at

with annotations by English grandmasters and masters.

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