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Miskolc Rapid 2007

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Kramnik wins the Miskolc rapid match versus Leko 4.5-3.5 after the final two games were drawn today. Official site here. We pretty much got the eight games of high-class maneuvering we were expecting with a few topical openings along the way. For the most part the games displayed a high level of accuracy, with the caveat that they never entered the sort of tactical melees where we'd expect mistakes. Both players showed some deep positional play atypical of rapid and I'd have to say they were both in good form. ChessBase has some analysis here.

Kramnik's Ruy Lopez, seen in all four games, looked solid for the most part, although he is still prone to the occasionally oddity typical of someone who didn't grow up playing this most strategically intricate of openings. (13...g6 in game six, most notably. I'm guessing many more experienced Spanish players would have played the thematic 13..b3 sac without much thought.) We had more variety when Kramnik had white, although most of the time they went so deep into theory it was almost comical. The game three win was 29 moves from Ivanchuk-Aronian at last month's Amber. Both of Kramnik's wins were his usual "there's no real reason Black should lose this but..." grinds. Pure and simple, other people draw these, Kramnik wins them. You can see a few more of these in his blindfold games at Monaco, where his prowess in squeezing these positions drew high praise from Gelfand, among others.

On the last day they ran through eighteen moves of Beliavsky-Kramnik, 1998 and agreed to a draw. Not exactly the most ambitious display one could imagine during a rapid challenge match. Unfortunately, in the final game Leko failed to make Kramnik pay for that pass. He couldn't avoid exchanges and even one of the only visible tactics of the match (24.Nb4) couldn't tip the balance. Kramnik had the better of the black draw (not for the first time) to clinch the match. He could have played for a win with 29..Qg5 and White is in deep trouble. I assume the last move of that game in the published PGN is a typical relay board end-of-game king on e4 and not a suicide offer.


He could have played for a win with 29..Qf5 and White is in deep trouble.

If this is game 8 then do you mean Qg5 here ???

good observation the final move 30 Ke4 was probably not a real move of the game. Maybe they agreed to a draw first and he simply put the king down on a square in the middle with a person relaying the moves assuming it was an official move. I assume this is what you are saying and it makes more sense to me. 30. Ke4 seems a silly move unless the game already ended.

"but I'll throw sanity to the wind and say 5:3 Kramnik."

"Kramnik wins the Miskolc rapid match versus Leko 4.5-3.5"

Your predictions suck as always.

Well, in a must win situation Kramnik would have played on and the score would have been 5:3.

A while back somebody (rdh, I believe) had a theory that Kramnik is of the school of making the best/right/strongest move in each position. This match makes me think he is right. With nothing major on the line, with possibility of a loss low, Kramnik still chose the move that would yield him the best position rather than highest possibility of a win. If closed Spanish worked before, why not closed Spanish again? If Beliavsky was unable to beat me with this in 1998, why should I change my moves?

That idea is boring to many people. Especially those who insist that draws are a problem or who talk about the great understanding of the game shown by men like Ivanchuk at the board. But I kind of like it. It's like approaching chess as a puzzle for an intellectual: what's the best decision I can make here?

A few other theories flow out of this one. For example, while other men, like Leko, take the same approach, they ultimately end up making more mistakes whereas Kramnik wins, which shows it's not just about approach but about skill. And Kasparov, unlike other tacticians, having good results against Kramnik shows that Kasparov, while employing a different style, also played error-low chess.

Zombre, how can it possibly be a must win situation if Kramnik is leading 4-3? I guess you mean that Kramnik would have won the last game in a "must win situation", but that doesnt make sense.

FP, let´s say if Luca Brazi had told him to win, the score would have been 5:3.

I believe that they use DGT Autosensory Boards for these matches. At the end of the game they are placing the Kings in a configuration to tell the software the game is over and the result.

From the DGT manual:
•A result command if you place both kings in the center:
1-0: kings on the white center squares e4 and d5.
0-1: kings on the black center squares d4 and e5.
1/2-1/2: kings on different colored squares (e.g. e4 and d4)

If, for instance a White King can legally move to e4, then this is mistakenly recorded as a move.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 29, 2007 3:47 PM.

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