Kramnik-Morozevich (World Championship: Mexico)

Jan 13, 2008, 11:56 PM |




1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 (Kramnik's favorite Catalan.) 3...d5 4.d4 dxc4 5.Bg2 a6 6.Ne5 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Nd5 8.0-0!? (This multiple pawn sacrifice is Kramnik's prepared novelty.) 8...0-0 (Morozevich plays it safe. Black is under tremendous pressure after 8...Nxc3 9.bxc3 Bxc3 10.Rb1 Qxd4 [10...Bxd4 11.Nxc4 Ra7 12.Ba3! is worse for black.] 11.Qxd4 Bxd4 12.Nxc4 Nd7 13.Rd1 and the white pieces dominate the crucial files and diagonals.) 9.Qc2 b5 10.Nxd5 exd5 11.b3 c6 (Kramnik now prepares a brilliant knight sacrifice that destroys black's center.)

12.e4! f6!? (Morozevich accepts the invitation and the pawn-clash begins.) 13.exd5! fxe5 14.bxc4 exd4 15.dxc6! (Black has to cope with a double threat: 16.cxb5 and 16.c7.) 15...Be6!? (Morozevich lost a lot of time, contemplating plausible defenses 15...Ra7 and 15...Qd6.) 16.cxb5! (16.c7? Qxc7 17.Bxa8 Qxc4 is in black's favor.) 16...d3?! (The less aggressive 16...Ra7 seems better, e.g. 17.Rb1 d3 18.Qb2 d2 19.Bxd2 Bxd2 20.b6 Raf7 21.c7 Qd6 22.Rbd1 Rd7 23.Bb7 Qd4 24.Qc2 Qxb6 25.c8Q Rxb7 and the chances are roughly equal.) 17.c7! Qd4? (A losing move. Black had to try either 17...dxc2 18.cxd8Q Rxd8 19.Bxa8 axb5; or 17...Qd6 18.Qb2 Nc6! 19.Bxc6 Rac8, although white should keep the edge.) 18.Qa4! Nd7 (After 18...Qxa1 19.Qxb4 Nd7 20.Bxa8 Rxa8 21.Qe4! wins.) 19.Be3 Qd6 20.Bxa8 Rxa8 (The players must have been exhausted at this point, both blundering on the next move.)

21.Bf4? (After the correct 21.Rac1 Rc8 22.Rc6 Qe7 23.Qxa6 white wins.) 21...Qf8? (Morozevich missed 21...Qd5! with the idea 22.Qxb4? Qf3!!, threatening to mate after 23...Bd5 or 23...Bh3. White would have to play 22.Rac1!, but after 22...Bc5 23.Qxa6 Nb6 24.Rxc5 Qxc5 25.Be3 Qxc7 26.Bxb6 26...Rxa6 27.Bxc7 Rxa2 black has good drawing chances.) 22.b6! (The rolling pawns decide.) 22...Ne5 (After 22...Nxb6 23.Qc6 the double attack wins.) 23.Bxe5 Qf3 24.Qd1! (Chasing the black queen wins.) 24...Qe4 25.b7 Rf8 26.c8Q Bd5 27.f3 Black resigned.