The Accordion Method Has Failed

Время публикации: 15.09.2015 01:55 | Последнее обновление: 15.09.2015 05:51

FIDE World Cup: Kramnik beats Bruzon in round 2.1 and annotates the game

Kramnik - Bruzon encounter turned out to be the longest on the first playing day of the second round of the FIDE World Cup. The former World Champion managed to ultimately snatch a victory after six hours of fight. He then shared his impressions with Chess-News.

"Of course I am happy to have won the game, but I wouldn't say I am completely satisfied with my play. I played sort of slowly, it felt like my head was heavy..."  

Vladimir KRAMNIK - Lazaro BRUZON
FIDE World Cup, Baku 2015, Round 2

Catalan opening
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 e6 4.0-0 Be7 5.c4 0-0 6.d4 dxc4 7.Ne5 Nc6 8.Nxc6 bxc6 9.Na3 Bxa3 10.bxa3 a5 11.Bxc6 Rb8 12.Qc2 Ba6 13.Rd1 Nd5 14.e4 Ne7 15.Ba4 f5 16.d5 exd5 17.exd5 Rf7?! (17...Ng6)

(Here and below read Kramnik's analysis of the game): "I had an overwhelmingly rich choice of good moves here. For instance 18.Rb1.
I played 18.Be3 and didn't consider 18...f4 seriously.
19.Bxf4 Ng6 20.Be3 Ne5 21.Qe4 (the most strict choice) 21...Qe7 (a must play move), here again I have plenty of possibilities, but he again manages to hold the position in some miraculous way. I already tried to look for a forced win but somehow it didn't work. There's 22.f4, there are also 22.Kg2 and 22.Bc2 after which I am better in the endgame:
 22...Nd3 23.Qxe7 Rxe7 24.Rab1. It seemed to me as technically won endgame but then I noticed some 24...Ree8 and I didn't like it. I thought I could reply with Ba4-Bb5 maneuver on 24...Rf8 to gradually take control over his pawns.
All in all, I couldn't make a choice and as a result I may have gone with the most abortive 22.Bf4 Qxa3
. Losing is 22...Nd3 23.Qxe7 Rxe7 24.d6.
Here I spent loads of time on calculating 23.Bc2. Of course he has to play 23...Nd3, and there are again plenty of moves for White - 24.Qe6, 24.d6, 24.Bxc7 - but still he can more or less hold in all continuations. There are some extra pawns but with good draw chances. 
Eventually I came up with the idea that moving into the opposite-colored bishops endgame was the best choice: 23.Bxe5
Qxa4 24.Bc3. It is considerably hard to play for Black when it all goes slowly, but Bruzon has found the move that startled me: 

24...Bc8. First I was calculating 24...Re8 25.Qd4, then slowly moving Re1 or Rd2 and he finds himself in a tough position. Perhaps he would be able to hold it but I still would have a big advantage.
I guess I did something wrong in here though.

25.g4?! I didn't like the move myself. I spent quite some energy on calculating 25.Rab1 and considered it to be the strongest option. 25...Rxb1 26.Rxb1 Qxa2. First I thought I was winning: 27.f4 and in case of 27...Qa4, there's 28.Rb8 Qd7 29.Qe6 Qxe6 30.dxe6 Rf8 31.f5! - it is extremely important that I manage to move that pawn. Then g3-g4 and the opposite-colored bishop endgame is simply won even in case of rook exchange after Ba6.
But unfortunately I found 27...Re7! on 27.f4.
27.Bd4 is also a very dangerous move since I am threatening with Rb8. I calculated 27...Qa4 28.Rb8 Qd7 but didn't find a win there.

On 25.Rd2 Black grabs the file 25...Bf5 and Re8 which is pretty unpleasant. In case of 25.Re1 he gets on f5: 25...Bf5 26.Qd4 Bd3 with an idea of Qc2.
25...Qd7 I thought Black had to play 25...Bd7. And here's already a time trouble play in which I guess I again outplayed him. 

26.h3 h5 27.Rd4 hxg4 28.hxg4 Bb7 29.Qe6 Re8

30.Re1 It is clear Lazaro just blundered this move. Maybe he should have tried to trade the queens and hold somehow.
First I got scared of 
 32...Kf8 on 30...Rxe6 31.dxe6 Qc6 32.exf7+ (actually Black could have even taken 32...Kxf7 - CN), but there's 33.f3! Qxf3? (Kramnik missed the correct 33...Kxf7 in his calculations - CN) 34.Rd8+ Kxf7 35.Rf1.
31.f4 Qd8 Here it seems that just any move works. I am sure technically this position is won. (Probably Kramnik has been too optimistic about his chances - CN). White just needs some accurate move here. Maybe even 32.Re2. Although there's 32...Bc8...
32.f5 I was also quite happy with myself since I found 32.g5 in the time trouble (I considered it to be a very strong blow) 32...Bc8 33.g6 Bxe6 34.dxe6, but then noticed a simple 34...Rxf4 (or 34...Qxd4+ 35.Bxd4 Rxf4).
32...Qg5 Bruzon found a smart response. I only expected 32...Qh4 33.Kg2 Bc8 34.Qe3 and it gets hopeless for him.
33.Bd2. It looks like something else might be winning instead of this move.
33...Qh4 34.Kg2 Probably it is not the best move. I had to start with 34.Qe3, protect everything, he would have a tough position. (The computer actually thinks Black is alright which is hardly surprising - White king is unprotected after all - CN).

34...Rd8 35.Rh1 Played in a time trouble rush.

35...Bxd5+? I saw 35...Qf6 which perhaps leads to a draw.
36.Rxd5 Qxg4+ 37.Kf2 Here I again thought I was winning.
37...Rxd5 38.Qxd5 but he came up with a very resourceful 38...c6!. It is clear that the endgame after 38...Qxf5+ 39.Qxf5 Rxf5+ 40.Ke3 is completely lost.

39.Qe6 39.Qd8+ Rf8 40.Rh8+ Kxh8 41.Qxf8+ Kh7 - perhaps it is a winning position but it seemed to me that 39.Qe6 was even stronger.
39...Qd4+ 40.Be3 Qd5

And here, to my complete bewilderment, I found out that winning this position is not that easy: 41.Qe8+ Rf8 42.Rh8+ Kxh8 43.Qxf8+ Kh7 44.Qc5 (I didn't see any other moves), I may not be winning even after 44...Qe4. There are some other moves like 44...Qd3. But I couldn't calculate 44...Qxc5 completely. It must be winning but there was no guarantee. (The machine sees a win for White without the queens on the board - CN). I spent lots of time on this, I was afraid to let the win slip...
41.Qxd5 cxd5 It seemed to me that this endgame must have been technically won but probably I didn't evaluate it correctly.
42.Bd4 This move is also extremely bad. I think one can draw here in any preferable way.
42...Rxf5+ 43.Ke3 Kf7 44.Rh7 Rg5 45.Kf3 Kg8 46.Rh1 Kf7 47.a3 Ke6 48.Rb1 Rh5 49.Kg4 Rh2 50.Rb6+ Kd7 51.Kf5 Rh5+ 52.Kg4 Rh2 53.Be5 Ra2 54.Rd6+ Ke7 55.Ra6 c3 56.Bxc3 Rxa3 57.Bxg7 Kd7 58.Kf5 Kc7 59.Bd4 Kb7 60.Rb6+ Kc7 61.Ke5 Rh3 62.Kxd5 I was happy to proceed into the rook versus rook and bishop endgame. I might not have had even that.
I have played this endgame several times in my career and all those games were drawn. Although I was pretty close to winning against McShane.
62...Rh5+ 63.Kc4 Kd7 64.Ra6 Rf5 65.Bc5 Rf4+ 66.Kd5 Rf5+ 67.Kd4 a4 68.Kc4 Rf4+ 69.Bd4 a3 70.Kd5 Rf5+ 71.Be5 Rf7 72.Ra8 a2 73.Ra7+ Ke8 74.Ra8+ Kd7 75.Rxa2 Ke7 76.Ra6 Kd7 77.Bf6 Ke8 78.Ra8+ Kd7 79.Ke5 Kc6 Deep inside I already accepted the draw, nonetheless, I knew that I still had to use every possibility. I knew that fatigue plays the major role in such endgames... The defensive setups keep turning one into another, and the defensive side can get confused easily. Perhaps the old method is more simple - roughly speaking, it's keeping the rook on d1 and the king on e8. It's not so straightforward but it's harder to get confused there...
(Commentator Sergei Shipov called 
Bruzon's defence strategy an "accordion". Indeed, the king and the rook are placed on the second (seventh) rank (file) after a square. For example, king is on d7, while the rook takes f7 square; the king goes on e8 in case of check and then returns to d7. It resembles the accordion at play - CN).
80.Ke6 Rb7 81.Be5 Kb5 82.Kd5 Rd7+ 83.Bd6 Rb7 84.Ra1 Kb6 85.Rc1 Kb5 86.Bc7 Ka6 87.Kd6 Rb5 88.Kc6 Rb6+ 89.Kd7 Rb5 90.Kc8 Rd5 Possible was 90...Rh5 91.Ra1+ Kb5 92.Ra5+ Kc6 93.Rxh5 - it's a stalemate.
91.Rb1 Rc5 (I guess it is the only move) 92.Rb2 Rc4 93.Kd7 Rc5 94.Bd6 Rb5 95.Ra2+ Kb7 96.Ra4 Kb6 97.Ra1 Kb7 98.Rd1 Kb6 99.Rh1 Kb7 100.Rh6 Rd5 101.Rh8 Rb5 102.Rc8 Kb6 103.Bc7+ Kb7 104.Rg8 Rd5+ 105.Bd6 Rb5 106.Rg6 Rd5 107.Ke6 Rb5 108.Rg1 Kb6 109.Rc1 Kb7 110.Bc5 Kc6 111.Bd4+ Kb7 112.Kd6 Ka6 113.Bc5

113...Kb7? 113...Rb7 (or 113...Rb3) would of course lead to a draw. He followed the pattern - bang! - and it's over.
114.Ra1! It is already lost for Black. I was surprised myself. I checked the sheet although I remembered that the last exchange took place on the 75th move, that meant I still had time to win. 
114...Rb3 115.Ra7+ Kb8 116.Kc6 Rh3 117.Ra1 1-0
I was lucky, although I kept pressuring him the entire game. The opening was successful for me, but I should admit, my rival was defending very creatively." 

"Did you really win Volodya?.."

As Kramnik admitted, you can't forget such a game instantly. "Nonetheless, I should prepare for the next game. Maybe I will have a walk now or visit the hammam to let all the stress out... Well, the hammam works till 23:00. So, I should either manage to eat first or get to the hammam. Or maybe I should just have a walk... I should kind of "let go" this game for now, and the sooner I will do so the better.

...Everything is great here. The organisation is wonderful, the playing conditions are also great. I haven't faced any problems yet. I won so I have ensured at least the tiebreak. I was so thrilled with the game that I didn't even notice any other results..."

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.14"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Bruzon Batista, Lazaro"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A14"] [Opening "English"] [Variation "Neo-Catalan declined"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] [Board "6"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O Be7 5. c4 O-O 6. d4 dxc4 7. Ne5 Nc6 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. Na3 Bxa3 10. bxa3 a5 11. Bxc6 Rb8 12. Qc2 Ba6 13. Rd1 Nd5 14. e4 Ne7 15. Ba4 f5 16. d5 exd5 17. exd5 Rf7 18. Be3 f4 19. Bxf4 Ng6 20. Be3 Ne5 21. Qe4 Qe7 22. Bf4 Qxa3 23. Bxe5 Qxa4 24. Bc3 Bc8 25. g4 Qd7 26. h3 h5 27. Rd4 hxg4 28. hxg4 Bb7 29. Qe6 Re8 30. Re1 Rf8 31. f4 Qd8 32. f5 Qg5 33. Bd2 Qh4 34. Kg2 Rd8 35. Rh1 Bxd5+ 36. Rxd5 Qxg4+ 37. Kf2 Rxd5 38. Qxd5 c6 39. Qe6 Qd4+ 40. Be3 Qd5 41. Qxd5 cxd5 42. Bd4 Rxf5+ 43. Ke3 Kf7 44. Rh7 Rg5 45. Kf3 Kg8 46. Rh1 Kf7 47. a3 Ke6 48. Rb1 Rh5 49. Kg4 Rh2 50. Rb6+ Kd7 51. Kf5 Rh5+ 52. Kg4 Rh2 53. Be5 Ra2 54. Rd6+ Ke7 55. Ra6 c3 56. Bxc3 Rxa3 57. Bxg7 Kd7 58. Kf5 Kc7 59. Bd4 Kb7 60. Rb6+ Kc7 61. Ke5 Rh3 62. Kxd5 Rh5+ 63. Kc4 Kd7 64. Ra6 Rf5 65. Bc5 Rf4+ 66. Kd5 Rf5+ 67. Kd4 a4 68. Kc4 Rf4+ 69. Bd4 a3 70. Kd5 Rf5+ 71. Be5 Rf7 72. Ra8 a2 73. Ra7+ Ke8 74. Ra8+ Kd7 75. Rxa2 Ke7 76. Ra6 Kd7 77. Bf6 Ke8 78. Ra8+ Kd7 79. Ke5 Kc6 80. Ke6 Rb7 81. Be5 Kb5 82. Kd5 Rd7+ 83. Bd6 Rb7 84. Ra1 Kb6 85. Rc1 Kb5 86. Bc7 Ka6 87. Kd6 Rb5 88. Kc6 Rb6+ 89. Kd7 Rb5 90. Kc8 Rd5 91. Rb1 Rc5 92. Rb2 Rc4 93. Kd7 Rc5 94. Bd6 Rb5 95. Ra2+ Kb7 96. Ra4 Kb6 97. Ra1 Kb7 98. Rd1 Kb6 99. Rh1 Kb7 100. Rh6 Rd5 101. Rh8 Rb5 102. Rc8 Kb6 103. Bc7+ Kb7 104. Rg8 Rd5+ 105. Bd6 Rb5 106. Rg6 Rd5 107. Ke6 Rb5 108. Rg1 Kb6 109. Rc1 Kb7 110. Bc5 Kc6 111. Bd4+ Kb7 112. Kd6 Ka6 113. Bc5 Kb7 114. Ra1 Rb3 115. Ra7+ Kb8 116. Kc6 Rh3 117. Ra1 1-0

The round has seen lots of other interesting results, those will be presented in a separate material. Stay tuned. 
Information on the tournament


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