Reports | April 27, 2012 20:03

Kramnik-Aronian game 5 drawn, while we've arrived in Zurich

Kramnik-Aronian game 5 drawn, while we've arrived in Zurich

The fifth match game between Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian lasted 43 moves, saw quite some excitement especially in the final phase, and eventually ended in a draw. The match score is 2.5-2.5 with one more game to go, which starts at 13:00 CET tomorrow.

This morning we arrived in Zurich to "check out" the Aronian-Kramnik match, and our first impressions are very pleasant. In the centre of this pretty and sunny Swiss city there is the Paradeplatz ("parade square") and right there it's difficult to miss the luxurious Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville. Under big chandeliers, and with an audience of about a hundred chairs (all filled), the two players are fighting under the conditions that such a top level match deserves. Below the game analysis you can find a few photos; we're also preparing a video.

Below is GM Sergey Shipov's live commentary of today's 5th game (original in Russian here at Crestbook).

PGN string

Note that you can click on the variations in the analysis to follow them on the board

Lake Zurich, in the central southern part of the city, with the mountains as a stunning backdrop

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The Grossmünster, a Romanesque-style Protestant church and one of the three major churches in the city

Yes, it's a chess-minded city!

The Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville, where on the first floor the match takes place

The playing hall was pretty packed today

On the first row we see Kramnik's wife Marie-Laure and their daughter, as well as Petra and Viktor Kortchnoi

Vladimir Kramnik

Levon Aronian

The press conference after the game was also well attended...

...with Levon Aronian entertaining the audience (and his opponent!) with a number of jokes


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

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. The final game will take place on Saturday, from 13:00 CET. Again we'll have live commentary here at ChessVibes.

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.


Videos by Macauley Peterson

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Thomas's picture

"[Shipov] thanks to the organisers, the new anti-draw rule again had an effect. The grandmasters were forced to play on ..."
Here Shipov is probably wrong, in part (but only in part) he couldn't know. Kramnik could have accepted Aronian's draw offer after 10.-Ne8; all the players then had to do was play another rapid game. And that was Kramnik's own idea rather than a rule imposed by the organisers. Unless one considers Kramnik "the organiser" - after all he found or was offered the money to make the whole thing happen ... .
Moreover, in the press conference it became clear that Kramnik - right or wrong - considered himself slightly better or "more equal". So he would have played on under almost any circumstances, and against anyone!? The only effect of the new anti-draw rule was that Aronian didn't know whether Vlad simply wanted to avoid another rapid game, cf. the following fragment from the press conference:
Aronian: "Now (after 33.Nexc1, keeping one pair of rooks) I realized that you're playing for a win".
Kramnik: "Rejecting a draw offer wasn't enough??"

Anonymous's picture

I think if you are being paid good money to play chess then very early draw offers are unseemly and clearly bad for the sport.

Ians's picture

I'd like to see what Kramnik had prepared against Aronian's 1.d4 , tommorow is the last chance to see it , although Levon apparently say that he prepared 1.e4 for this friendly match

I found the rule of the rapid game really nice to compensate for short draws , the result doesn't inlfuence the match result , but at least those games are rated so the players take it seriously . Not sure you can make it work in a tournament context though . I'd like to see that in the future candidate matches

hansie's picture

And, also in World Championship Matches.

Lee's picture

I'm still struggling with the post match interviews.

If there are four people on the panel and all four are talking at once - which is happening all too often, it's not being led or moderated correctly.

Get rid of one of the commentators and let one of the players take hold of the mouse to play though the game so we can see a more precise flow of thoughts and board positions.

Anonymous's picture

kramnik's wife is fiiine

cmling's picture

Not important, but I wouldn't call the Savoy Baur en Ville "huge". It is probably the smallest of the hotels in Zürich one can consider in the very top category.

Janis Nisii's picture

I don't know if it's only me, but I really find it sexist that women lose their last name when they get married, if not legally, when they're mentioned by the press. IMHO it should be: Marie-Laure Germon and Petra Leeuwerik (not sure if this is actually her maid name, the result of having her mentioned as Petra Korchnoi all the time...)

Sander's picture

I'm not sure if it's just you, someone might agree with you, however why would you bring this up right now after a chessgame (!). It happens all the time, get used to it.

Janis Nisii's picture

I brought this up now because of the captions in this article :)

Janis Nisii's picture

Oh and K's daughter is called Daria, uff! :)

George Morton's picture

Why can't Chess Vibes always send the pgn file of the annotated games, like I'm sure it would be much appreciated by many.

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