Monday, 23 September 2013

Kramniks' Reti win from Dortmund 2013

"Victory in the Tromso World Cup is the second best result in Kramnik's career after beating Kasparov in the 2000 World Championship - even Anand who twice won knockout World Championships never demonstrated such dominance over his rivals"
- Alexander Grischuk (from Chess in Translation's Twitter feed)
by Junta

Vladimir Kramnik showed his class, winning the recent World Cup very convincingly. He didn't seem to be in any real danger throughout the marathon spanning 7 rounds and several weeks, and he played some beautiful positional games as usual.

However, in this post I want to show one of his wins from the Dortmund tournament at the start of August: I was extremely impressed by this game because I play the same opening as White, and this was an absolute model game for the line, with a bayonet attack and exchange sacrifice putting Black firmly on the defensive, and White's whole army joined in the all-out assault.

This 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.O-O O-O 6.b3 line is covered in the final, 8th chapter of GM Alexander Delchev's book The Modern Reti (2012), a book I highly recommend for those who play or want to learn 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4.

I found the final move, 34.Qa1, amusing as it reminded me of another game of Kramnik's where the same queen move would have been the strongest move on move 21, winning at least an exchange (shown in Emmanuel Neiman & Yochanan Afek's book Invisible Chess Moves (2011)). This game was from a rapid match in Budapest in 2001.