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Kasparov-Kramnik, 2000

Game 8

Games 1-5 Game 7-10 Game 11-16
Game 6
Game 8
Game 10

Game 8
October 21, 2000


Kramnik, V. (2770) - Kasparov, G. (2849) [E32]
Braingames WCC/London ENG (8) 2000 [Baburin]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 b6 7. Bg5 Bb7 8. f3 h6 9. Bh4 d5 10. e3 Nbd7 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. Bxd8 Nxc3 13. Bh4 Nd5 14. Bf2 c5 15. Bb5 Rfd8   After 15...N5f6 16 Ne2 a6 17 Ba4 cxd4 18 Nxd4 Nc5 19 Bc2 White obtained a small, but lasting advantage in Kramnik-Adams, Linares 1999.
16. e4 Nc7!?   This is a theoretical novelty, which maybe quite important for the line with 8 f3. Previously Black played 16...Ne7 here, for example: 17 Ne2 Bc6 18 Ba6 b5 19 a4 bxa4 20 dxc5 and White eventually won in blitz game Kasparov-Kramnik, Moscow 1998.
17. Bxd7 Rxd7 18. dxc5 f5!   So far Kasparov has been playing very quickly, while Kramnik was taking his time. Only this move justifies Black's idea of 17...Nc7.
19. cxb6 axb6 20. Ne2?   I don't lik e this move. In the press room I suggested 20.Bxb6 fxe4 21 fxe4 Bxe4 22 Nf3. After 22...Bxf3 23 gxf3 Rb8 24 Bxc7 Rxc7 25 b4 Rc2 26 0-0 White is better, so probably Black should play 22...Nd5 with compensation, as suggested by GM Illescas.
fxe4 21. fxe4 Bxe4 22. O-O Rd2   Now White seems to be in trouble, as Black's rook is very active on the 2nd rank.
23. Nc3 Bb7 24. b4!   24 Rad1 would be bad for White in view of 24... Rxb2 25 Rd7 Rc8 26 Na4 Rc2 27 Nxb6 Rf8 (pointed by GM Illescas).
Rf8 25. Ra2 Rxa2 26. Nxa2 Nd5 27. Bd4 Ra8! 28. Nc3!   Here 28 Rf3 looked reasonable (28...Nxb4? 29 Rg3), but after 28...g5! White would be in serious trouble. Also the line 28.Bb2 Ne3 29. Rc1 Bd5 30.Nc3 Nc4 looks unpleasant for White. So, Kramnik sacrifices a pawn, but exchanges his miserable knight.
Nxc3 29. Bxc3 Rxa3 30. Bd4 b5    The ending is very unpleasant for White, as with the rooks on the board opposite squared bishops do not promise defender an easy life, as we already saw in game 2 of the match.
31. Rf4!    Great defence! On g4 White's rook will have lots of work. Rd3 32. Rg4 g5   The bishop ending after 32...Rd1+ 33.Kf2 Rd2+ 34.Ke3 Rxg2 35.Rxg2 Bxg2 36.h4 Kf7 37.Kf4 g5+ 38.hxg5 h5 is a bit trickier, but White is not in real danger after 39.Be5.
33. h4 Kf7 34. hxg5 hxg5 35. Kf2! Rd2+ 36. Ke3 Rxg2 37. Rxg2 Bxg2 38. Be5   draw, as after ...Kf5 White has Kd4, after ...Kg4 - Ke3, etc.

All text Copyright Alexander Baburin unless otherwise noted