04 August 2013

Commentary - Dortmund 2013 round 6

The Kramnik-Fridman game from round 6 of the Dortmund tournament is an outstanding example of high-level master chess.  Some thoughts on it, in addition to the game annotations:
  • Kramnik adopts a strategy in the English vs. Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD) setup that he is very familiar with. Although White's setup at first glance appears passive, in fact it contains significant kingside attacking prospects, once Black's early pressure in the center is dealt with. The fact that overall White has scored close to 60 percent from the inoffensive-looking position on move 8 is, I suspect, evidence that the White players who adopt this strategy simply understand the position to a much deeper level than their opponents.
  • Tactical defense is used multiple times by Kramnik in this game to good effect, covering his weaknesses in a dynamic fashion and not tying down his pieces unnecessarily.
  • Kramnik' sacrificial attacking idea that begins with 20. f6 is something born from deep positional understanding of the problems Black will face afterwards on the kingside.  It takes Houdini a few moves down its primary path before it is able to see in its evaluation function that White has full compensation for the material.  (Another good example of the pitfalls of computer analysis for the uninitiated.)
  • The combination starting on move 29 is the highlight of the game and is worth looking at closely, especially because the initial knight sacrifice appears to come out of nowhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment