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Converting Advantage According to Kramnik, End

  • WIM energia
  • | Aug 2, 2013
  • | 7745 views
  • | 15 comments

Today we will wrap up the series on how to convert an advantage according to Kramnik. This article is the seventh installment on this topic. Last week I showed you several of my games from the recent World Open, where I had a chance to practice what I have learned from Kramnik's games. Today I will show you four examples from my games played at the recent USA - China match in Ningbo, China from July 18-28th. Although the USA team lost the match, it was a great international and a team experience for me. I also had a really good time there as the organization of the match was at the highest level.

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The Chinese women's team consisted only of 2400+ players, with top two players belonging to the top 20 women in the world. Naturally I felt a bit intimidated playing such a high level of opposition, and I ended up with four draws and one loss in the standard time control competition.

Here is my game against Wang Jue where I slowly built up an advantage. The diagram position is about equal, but maybe one can give a small edge to White, who after all has a central pawn. Eventually Black ended up with a bad bishop on g7, and I got the advantage of the two bishops as well.

At a critical moment I did not find the correct bishop retreat and the game ended in a draw. If I had realized that the BR v. BR endgame is a draw, then I would not have allowed the bishop for the knight swap. It is crucial in endgames to know which pieces to trade and which to keep. Kramnik is very well versed in this area and I should study his games more to improve this aspect of the game!

In the next game Tan has a small edge as my rooks are a bit passive and the pawn on a3 can become a real weakness. The c-pawn can be a strong passed pawn but also can turn out to be a weakness; it is hard to asses now what will happen. My bishop controls the important b8-square, not allowing Black to seize the b-file, while the black knight on e6 is well placed as it protects the c5-pawn.

After some moves we exchanged a pair of rooks and my rook became active on a4. When the kings joined the game it turned out that the c-pawn was a weakness. Trading rooks favored me as the B vs. N endgame was much better for me due to pawns being present on both flanks.

In a key position I did not find the zugzwang idea that could have resulted in a winning position. Instead, I chose a different continuation that let Black clinch a draw. I feel like in this game I was patient enough to build up the advantage but that I was not decisive enough at the critical moment. Kramnik has a good feel for those critical moments where either a pawn break or a sacrifice decides the game.

I lost all three games - one at the classic time control and two rapid - to a top-10 player: Ju Wenjun.

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The last game was very close and I felt like I should have drawn but instead was I outplayed like a baby in the N vs. B endgame. From the above endgame vs. Tan we already know that it is not a good idea to exchange rooks in a position where White has a space advantage and where the bishop will dominate the knight. In the position below I could have exchanged the minor pieces what would result in an easy draw.

Instead, trading rooks was a mistake as the defense of the position with no time is non-trivial. I should have found the fortress with the knight on f6 and the king on c7-d8 but instead put my knight on f7 where it can be easily attacked by the bishop. Once again the topic of which pieces to exchange and B vs. N happened and I was not at my best. Some material to study!

The last example shows how I had a small edge as Black and decided to force a draw instead of patiently building up the position as Kramnik would have done. One has to realize that White has no way of improving his pieces. Black has a better pawn structure and the f5-push will become a threat sometimes. The black rooks are well placed attacking both of  White's weaknesses. Finding h5-Kh7-f5 is not that hard as it is a very standard plan. The only explanation for my decision is that I was worried as this was the first rapid game and I wanted to start well.

There is so much more that one can learn from observing Kramnik's technique, but we shall close this topic for now and move on to some other series next week.

Here is another photo of the U.S. women's team during the free day:

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L-R Sabina Foisor, Tatev Abrahamyan, Viktoria Ni, Alisa Melekhina, Iryna Zenyuk


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Comments


  • 14 months ago

    fwhoberg

    A most wonderful series I really learnd a lot from it.

  • 14 months ago

    Estragon

    An excellent series!  Thank you for it.  You have shared much self-criticism with us, which cannot be easy but will surely redound to your ultimate benefit.

    Cool

  • 14 months ago

    generalchesspr

    the last game why isnt it played out? Did they agree to draw at this point?

  • 14 months ago

    IoftheHungarianTiger

    Very instructive article, Ms. Zenyuk!  I appreciate how you often use examples from your own games ... and not only when you made the correct decisions, but when you believe you could have made a better one.

    And congratulations on your performance!  It's an impressive result against 2400-level competition!  Looking forward to the next series! Smile

  • 14 months ago

    ChessFanNM

    Kramnik is pretty cool, I am watching his game against Caruana right now, similar endgame position that appears to me to be better for White/Kramnik.

  • 14 months ago

    Nandeyo13

    Cool. What a great article! Thank you. As this article ends, I'm looking forward for a better one. Thanks Ms. Iryna Zenyuk :)

  • 14 months ago

    satriajbm

    Really appreciated the series.  Thanks!

  • 14 months ago

    freeline

    I can not keep my eyes on the board. They are so hot

  • 14 months ago

    WalangAlam

    Thanks for a very instructive, well written series! Looking forward for the next one!

  • 14 months ago

    OldFashionedRocks

    Thank you, WIM Zenyuk, for the instruction!  I found it very helpful to see when you invested a lot of time thinking about what to do, in the second game.  Also, in all positions, reading about how you evaluate the position is very valuable to me.

  • 14 months ago

    salowolf

    In Ding vs. Zenyuk, why is 30. .. h5 necessary?  I understand that you may want to step away from the a2-g8 diagonal before playing .. f5 , but why not 30. .. Kh7 immediately?

  • 14 months ago

    Riedemann

    Iryna,

    As always, thank you very much for your posts! So interestings!

    All the best,

    Diego

  • 14 months ago

    darkener

    Your passion for Kramnik is incredible! I wish he could ever show up and read your articles and play some games here!

  • 14 months ago

    KiwiJuise

    I don't really have anything to say, but I can't let the post below be the only one on this very instructive article about CHESS.

  • 14 months ago

    dr-fink

    Alisa Melekhina is hot

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