Chess ShopChess AuctionGM MorozevichGM BaburinGM Psakhis
Book Reviews
GM Buzz
Site Search
Polls Results
Chess Links
Privacy Policy
Designed by Kirovograd Web studio

Kasparov-Kramnik, Game 6

Kasparov - Kramnik match. Game 6 is drawn. Undoubtedly, the main focus yesterday was on the match in London. Prior to game 6 Kramnik was leading 3.5-2.5. As Kasparov was fortunate to draw game 4, it was interesting to see how he would handle Black. As it turned out, Kasparov came under pressure again, but luckily escaped in the end. Kramnikās nerves let him down in the endgame, where he failed to overcome Kasparovās tough resistance. Here is this exciting game with my annotations:

Kramnik (2849) - Kasparov (2770) [D27]
Braingames WCC/London, ENG (6) 2000


1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4   So, we see the Queen's Gambit Accepted again. Obviously, Kasparov's team had not repaired the Gruenfeld Defence yet. Although QGA is a solid and reliable opening, it is surprising that Kasparov included it in his repertoire. 3. Nf3 e6 4. e3 c5 5. Bxc4 a6 6. O-O Nf6 7. a4 This is a surprising choice as previously Kramnik favoured 7 Bb3 (which is also Kasparov's pet line here). In game 4 Vladimir played 7 dxc5. The move 7 a4 was popular in the Botvinnik - Petrosian match in 1963. Nc6 8. Qe2 cxd4     The game would have a different flavour after 8...Qc7 9 Nc3 Bd6. 9. Rd1 Be7 10. exd4 O-O 11. Nc3 Nd5 12. Bb3   This is a rather popular move nowadays. White might be preparing for Nxd5, when ...exd5 won't come with a tempo. The main line here is 12 Bd3 Ncb4 13 Bb1 b6, but 12 Qe4 is also popular. Re8    After 12...Ncb4 13 Ne5 Bd7 14 Qg4 Nf6 15 Qg3 Kh8 in the game Rogozenko-Vaulin, Pardubice 1997, White broke in the centre - 16 d5! exd5 17 Nxd5 Nbxd5 18 Bxd5 Be6 19 Bh6 gxh6 20 Bxe6 Qe8 21 Bb3 Ne4 22 Qf3 Ng5 23 Qf5 Rd8 24 h4 Ne6 25 Bc2, 1-0. 13. h4   This is a novelty. Kramnik used a similar idea against Huebner: White predicts that Black might need to play ...g6 later, so he gets ready for h4-h5. Besides, this White might now use the g5-square. In the game Sturua-Ibragimov, Komotini 1993, Black had no problems after 13 Bd2 b6 14 Qe4 Ncb4 15 Ne5 Bb7 16 Qf3 f6 17 Ng4 Rc8 18 Qh3 Bf8. Ncb4  The line 13... Bxh4 14 Nxh4 Nxc3 15 bxc3 Qxh4 16 d5 Na5 17 Bc2 offers White good compensation for a pawn. 14. h5 b6 15. Ne5 Bb7 16. a5!?   Played by Gligoric against Portisch in a similar position. White weakens the c5-square.
b5 17. h6!   This pawn will sit like a nail in Black's position. g6 18. Ne4 Nc7    Black fortifies the e6-square and prepares ...Bd5. Also worth considering was 18...Nc6. 19. Nc5 Bd5 20. Ra3!?   White cleverly brings the rook into the game. Nc6    The tension is rising and the next few moves should show whose strategy was better. If you give this position to your computer, it will probably take Black here. But White's trumps (the h6-pawn!) should not be underestimated. 21. Bxd5 Qxd5 22. Ncd7 Rad8 23. Nxc6 Rxd7 24. Nxe7+ Rexe7 25. Rc3   Usually in such positions exchanges favour Black, but here White is better due to the weakness of dark squares around the enemy king. f6 26. Be3 Kf7 27. Rdc1 Qb7 28. Rc5 Nd5    Black's knight is well placed now, but that came at the expense of moving his queen to a less than satisfactory position. 29. Qf3    White threatens 30 Bg5, followed by 31 Rxf6. Nb4 30. Qe2 Rc7?!     Around here both players had only a few minutes left. Perhaps 30...Nd5 would be better. 31. Bf4 Rxc5 32. dxc5 e5 33. Qd2 Nc6 34. Qd5+ Kf8 35. Be3 Qd7 36. Qf3!    Of course, White should not swap off the queens. Kf7 37. Rd1 e4 38. Qe2 Qf5 39. Rd6 Re6 40. Rd7+ Re7 41. Rd6    Players made the first time-control. White's position is much better due to his passed c-pawn and well-advanced h-pawn. 41...Re6 42 Qd1 g5 43 Qh5+ Ke7 44 Qd1! Clever! Now White's rook penetrates onto the 7th rank. Re6 42. Qd1 g5 43. Qh5+ Ke7 44. Qd1 Kf7 45. Rd7+ Kg6 46. Rg7+ Kxh6 47. Qd7 Re5 48. Qf7 Rd5 49. Kh1    With this move White says that his opponent is in some kind of a zugzwang. Nd8 50. Rxh7+ Qxh7 51. Qxd5 Kg6+    51...Qc7? loses after 52 Qd6! Qxd6 53 cxd6. 52. Kg1 Qc7 53. Qg8+ Kf5 54. Qd5+ Kg6 55. Qxe4+ Kg7   This position is undoubtedly winning for White, although technical difficulties are still considerable. Kramnik choose the most aggressive way, but perhaps 56 b4 would be better. Then (once the c5-pawn is protected) White can relocate his bishop to c3. 56. Qa8?   The drawback of this move is that White's queen gets misplaced. Of course, it's impossible foresee all variations here, but White's idea may proved to be faulty. Qd7 57. Kh2 Qd3 58. g3 Nf7!   Now Black obtains counter-play. 59. Qb7 Kg6 60. Qxa6 Ne5 61. Qa8 Ng4+ 62. Kh3 Qf5!    Now a draw is inevitable. White's forces lack coordination and two extra pawns do not help him. After 63 Kg2 Nxe3+ 64 fxe3 Qc2+ Black has a perpetual check, as 65 Kf3?? loses after 65... g4+. 63. Qg8+ Kh6 64. Qh8+ Kg6 65. Qe8+ Kh6 66. Qh8+   Nice strategic play by Kramnik and a great defence by Kasparov!

All text Copyright Alexander Baburin unless otherwise noted