Kramnik: Cool, Calm and Collected

Kramnik: Cool, Calm and Collected

Dec 27, 2015, 1:03 AM |

Kramnik's first round win with Black over Cori Tello from the World Cup in Baku is a model game in remaining cool, calm and collected in the face of a wing attack.

Facing an early wing attack

White has just played 8. g4

If Black captures with ... Nxg4 then White will use the half open g-file with Rg1

Castling short is met with g5 and Black walks right into White's ready made attack.

Here I like Kramnik's very calm 8. ... h6. He will gain counterplay with a timely ... c5 break.

Kramnik will play ... b5, Bb7, Rc8 in preparation of White castling Queenside, and if not he will focus on the King on the e-file should he remain uncastled.

Preparing the ... c5 break

Black has produced no weakening of his position and prepared counterplay in ... c5
I very much like the compact arrangement of Kramnik's pieces, waiting to spring to life.

Classical IQP Theme: Can you find the best move for Black?

Active Defence: Preparing Counterplay
A wonderful sequence of "Active Defence" leading to the liquidation of material as a defensive measure.
Observe how Kramnik prepares his own counterplay, forcing exchanges.

How did Kramnik deal with the threat of Bh6 and Qg7 mate? Black to Move

My Game Annotations and Analysis: Cori Tello-Kramnik, FIDE World Cup Baku Round 1, 0-1