April 24, 2012 14:14

Kramnik levels score against Aronian

Kramnik levels score against Aronian

Vladimir Kramnik has won Tuesday's third game of his match against Levon Aronian. The score in Zurich is now 1.5-1.5 with three more games to go.

1.e4 hasn't been too popular at the very highest level recently, but it's been played in two out of three games in Zurich! What started as a Four Knights soon became a Scotch Opening, and a sharp fight was ensured when the players castled on different flanks. At some point Aronian sacrificed his queen for a few minor pieces, and the game became both interesting and very difficult.

Below you can find the live commentary which was provided by GM Sergey Shipov during the third game, and translated by Colin McGourty.

[Commentary by GM Sergey Shipov - original in Russian at Crestbook]

PGN string

The players ranked number 2 and 3 on the FIDE rating list are competing against each other over six classical games. They'll play an additional rapid game if the main game on any given day is drawn in under three hours, but so far this hasn't happened yet. Game 4 will take place on Wednesday, Thursday is a rest day, and the final two games are scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Don't miss the masterclasses by both Aronian and Kramnik, recorded during the first rest day and included in the video playlist below!
Event Aronian-Kramnik | PGN by TWIC
Dates April 21-28, 2012
Location Zurich, Switzerland
System 6-game match

Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik

Rate of play 40 moves in 120 minutes, 20 moves in 60 minutes and, for the remainder of the game, 15 minutes plus an increment of 30 seconds per move
Bonus As a bonus for the audience, Kramnik and Aronian will play an additional rapid game if the main game on any given day is drawn in under three hours

Live commentary

Sergey Shipov is a highly acclaimed Russian grandmaster, coach, author and commentator. His Russian annotations at Crestbook are being translated by Colin McGourty, who did this many times before on his own site Chess in Translation. More information on the match can be found here.

Anish Giri
Our ChessVibes Training co-editor Anish Giri is also annotating the games for his own website.


Saturday, 21 April: 15:00  Game 1
Sunday, 22 April: 15:00  Game 2
Monday, 23 April: Rest Day
Tuesday, 24 April: 15:00  Game 3
Wednesday, 25 April: 15:00  Game 4
Thursday, 26 April: Rest Day
Friday, 27 April: 15:00  Game 5
Saturday, 28 April: 13:00  Game 6

Videos by Macauley Peterson

Colin McGourty's picture
Author: Colin McGourty


redivivo's picture

"this match isn't the most important event in Kramnik's life. It's unlikely he'll decide to show off his most precious analysis"

Hehe, excuses, excuses :-)

RealityCheck's picture

"After all, there isn't that much time remaining until the new candidates event."
When will you boys from the Mc Donald gerneration learn that serious chess means competing in candadates matches that lead to the world championship. It really isn"t about ratings and popularity contests!! ;-}

redivivo's picture

It's only a year left to the Candidates so Kramnik is handicapped by having to save his preparation.

S3's picture

why do you watch chess when you clearly don't know the game?

redivivo's picture

To get the chance to learn from great thinkers like you.

S3's picture

It's been years and still no progress. You should give up.

Zeblakob's picture

Hi S3, where were you? Join us at chesscube, everybody is there including Septimus.

Zeblakob's picture

I mean chessbomb

Niima's picture

Hilarious RealityCheck! Thanks for the good laugh.

SHUKI's picture


mdamien's picture

What a thriller!

Anonymous's picture

mc donald *generation
*candidates matches

Anonymous's picture

out of curiosity, What does that mean 'Mc Donald Generation' anyway? :D

RealityCheck's picture

@Anonymous You belong to the Mc D.. Generation when you promote getting things (results) fast and cheap by way of lowering standards. When you show dis-respect for diligence, perseverance, quality etc..

Anonymous's picture

mc donald *generation
*candidates matches

Bob's picture

Brilliant game.

Sligunner's picture

. . . and brilliant annotation (and translation).

Niima's picture

Shipov takes chess commentary to a whole new level. And the translation is unbelievably good. Good work guys and thanks.

Abbas's picture

Nice game by Kramnik.

Aditya's picture

Seriously! Is Shipov translating the world championship? I would wish for that. And I would wish for the games to be as exciting as here (although there is a lot less at stake here). The Nxc3 was so much better than my alarm clock this morning!

Thomas's picture

In any case, the world championship will have another great, and possibly bilingual Russian-English live commentator: Peter Svidler.

Roberto's picture

21. Rxe6?!

Thomas's picture

21.Rxe6? fxe6 22.Qxc4?? Be3+ 23.Kb1 Rd1 mate

Zeblakob's picture

Shipov comments are phenomenal: he is a poet. I remember (when I was a kid) his similar comments on Kasparov-Kramnik 2000 WCC match. Only Yermolinsky can be compared to him in this poetry-like fashion.

Frits Fritschy's picture

Some time ago I advocated a match between Aronian and Carlsen, just for the fun of it (and to skip all FIDE politics). There was a reaction that this wasn't realistic; who would be interested in a match about the title 'the best of Carlsen and Aronian'?
Now we have a great match about the title 'the best of Kramnik and Aronian', with great fighting games. I admit, it owes a lot to Shipov's great comments. What I like about them, is that he risks making mistakes by giving live comments, not knowing the result of the game.
These kind of matches are the essence of chess. It's not about the best crusher of the weakies, like sometimes in open tournaments, not about tactical draws as in top level tournaments, not too much about psychological pressure as in some WC matches. It's just two well-prepared top players showing their very best chess.
Please, more of this!

Xeno's picture

I don't think this minimatch decides who is the better player of these two, it's clear from how they play that they take this considerably less seriously than for example Tal Memorial. You'll never find Aronian playing so hard to win with black in a serious match game either, especially not while in the lead, or Kramnik blindly following Gunina's opening preparation that already had been pointed out as weak. Entertaining games though, at least when Aronian has been black, but if something is at stake things of course won't look like this.

Zeblakob's picture

The question remains: how to decide who is the best of them.
Possible answer: they have to play an infinite number of games in a finite amount of time.

Thomas's picture

An infinite number of games in a finite amount of time would be rapid and blitz games?? To me the question might rather be: Do we really need to know, and can we find out who's the better player? Or can we accept that both are quite strong, and about equally strong (too close to call)? Even if the match turned out to be one-sided it would only say something about their current form, and might include match dynamics - once you're behind, it's somewhat irrelevant how far behind you're in the end. And 'better player' also includes results against other opponents - or is Aronian much stronger than Anand because he has a personal plus score against Vishy?
Who is stronger, Nakamura or Karjakin? Nakamura won a match some years ago, but to me this doesn't answer the question - nor would a possible rematch in the near future.
Nonetheless, such matches are - of course - enjoyable and revealing. But they cannot provide definite answers to such questions. Not even a serious match such as a WCh match!!?

Zeblakob's picture

Agree, my previous comment was sarcastic: an infinite number of games in a finite amount of time is impossible. For the same reasons, I used to say that there is a difference between world champion and the winner of world championship.

Frits Fritschy's picture

"You'll never find Aronian playing so hard to win with black"; "if something is at stake things of course won't look like this" - thank you for proving my point. I wish it would always be like this!
But please reconsider your remark that a former world champion 'blindly follows' the opening preparation of a player with a rating a 300 points lower.

Frits Fritschy's picture

Of course my last comment was meant as a reaction to Xeno.

redivivo's picture

"But please reconsider your remark that a former world champion 'blindly follows' the opening preparation of a player with a rating a 300 points lower."

He said so himself, didn't he? He thought Gunina had prepared the line deeply with an engine and decided to follow her moves without having checked the line.

filiusdextris's picture

Game of the year?

Remco Gerlich's picture

Kramnik playing 1.e4, followed by the Scotch Four Knights, castling long, and Aronian answering with a queen sacrifice on move 11.

It's a good thing I'm not a betting man, that opening was about the last thing I expected.

Lee's picture

The 'friendly' nature of this match is nicely underpinned by the way the players are conducting themselves post match.

Aronian explaining his g5 move: "I was preventing the draw and I managed to do it" *laughing*

I loved aronians description (16:10 of the post match video) of the computers recommendation of Rb8 as a 'very sad move'.

To me, this comment underpins my dismay at the over reliance on the computer by the commentators.

The players are not computers, they are highly intelligent and creative people playing fighting chess, it's a battle of technique, with tension and courage in abundance as they test each others ideas and seek to impose their game. This is also why the psychology of the moves described by the players during the post-mortem is infinitely more interesting to me than the computer evaluations.

Like most people, I can see the computer evaluation and main lines as I follow the game, so there's no need for the commentators to provide that. They are in my opionion there for "Color" commentary to impart to us the subtleties that the computers can't articulate.

Sure, lets bust out the engines and seek the numerical truth of the game at an appropriate point, but during live commentary and post match doesn't strike me as the time to do so.

joe's picture

aronian also made a funny /ironic / interesting comment when defending an argument by the commentators stating that their computer rated the position as winning for Kramnik by saying " He always overestimates the value of the queen "

He of course being the computer

Thomas's picture

But the result of the game showed that engines were right, and Aronian was wrong or overly optimistic about his position? It seems that engines do not always overestimate the value of the queen, in Aronian's game against Nakamura in Wijk aan Zee ( http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1653894 ) they "supported" Levon - so they also consider piece activity and can count pawns in addition to pieces ... .
As to live commentators, they have a tough job, maybe at times tougher than the players themselves: While Aronian or Kramnik is thinking for 10 or 15 minutes, they already have to come up with an assessment of the position - even though they are weaker than the two on the stage (Carlsen and Anand weren't available for live commentary :) ). So I find it OK if they consult engines, as long as they also come up with verbal explanations and do not forget that the players are human. The live commentators on the official site did a great job in that respect, switching on engines only every now and then. So did Shipov.

nickeur's picture

That was a good entertainment thanks to russian boy

nickeur's picture

it it was
LOL ;-)

joe's picture

thanks to them both

Abhi's picture

Kramnit played 1. e4 !! shock of the day for me.

1-pac's picture

Great game Vladimir!

Don't lose hope: you can still regain that title...
Play with your heart and you'll never be disappointed with your play again.

Congratulations to Levon for the fighting game.

Andre From Outkast's picture

This has to be the most exciting game I've watched in 2012 so far. Well done to both players.

bhabatosh's picture

right after first game when kramnik lost I saw few posts stating that Kramnik/Anand is weaker players !! You must feel shameful if you ever have such thing in your mind.

Ali Brabzuela's picture
Ali_Brabzuela's picture

This game just answer the call of times, entertaining chess.... just to please the fans all over the world :)

saturnz's picture

many thanks to chessvibes for this coverage, I particularly enjoy the annotations attached to the games, highly amusing!

columbo's picture

great game, so fresh ! as fresh as Shipov comments !!!

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