Kramnik Taking on the Queen's Indian

Kramnik Taking on the Queen's Indian‎

GM thamizhan
29 | Opening Theory

It is not news anymore that the World number 1 is having a bit of a slump in the last month or so. Carlsen ended up losing a bunch of points in the Olympiad and now he is struggling in the Bilbao Masters tournament. While Carlsen is trying to find his ground, one of the most consistent and solid players of our times, Vladimir Kramnik is moving his pieces in elegant style. With two wins coming from his first two games, Kramnik has placed himself in the lead.

When two strong players contest a chess battle, it is always a visual treat for the fans. The game we would like to share with our readers today is a pure master piece from Kramnik. In this game he proves yet again his ability to grind a slightly better position and eventually take home a full point against world-class players.

Carlsen adopted the 4....Ba6 variation in the Queen's Indian Defense and Kramnik responded with 5.Qa4, not the most popular choice, but one which definitely has surfaced at the top level on several occasions. Now let us take a look at the game.





It is safe to say that we are done with the opening phase of the game and we are transitioning into the middle game. White has a nice semi open 'd' file while back has the same on the 'b' file. White's idea is to mount some pressure on the 'd' file and eventually expand further with e4 and f4 and crack open the 'd' file. Black's plan is to run down the 'a' pawn opening up the 'a' file and target white's 'b' pawn.






The queens are off the board and now we are approaching an endgame. The trade on b6 I would say has helped Kramnik a little. White does not have to worry about black's pawn advance along the 'a' file anymore and the open 'a' file can be blocked with the pawn advance to a4 in the long run.




It is obvious that white is much better in this endgame. The simple reason being that black does not have any clear-cut plan. All he can do is wait for white to attack and try to be prepared. Any hope for black to expand will only lead to more weakness in his camp. The black pawn on 'd6' is a clear target for white to attack. The problem with such positions is that even if they can be technically equal with precise defense, over a period of time the defensive side will get worn out and make some mistakes.




Just a couple of tiny mistakes and a slightly better position is the worst possible combination you can hand to Vladimir Kramnik. He has proved yet again that he can be devastating.

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