After Vladimir Kramnik beat Magnus Carlsen with black at Wijk he talked to Vasiliev at Chesspro. Kramnik didn’t hide his delight at “outplaying” his Norwegian rival.
Originally posted here:
Another chapter in the psychological warfare between Kramnik and Carlsen :) This report has good photos from the start of the round when Carlsen went into his 2-minute think over his first move.
Vasiliev – You weren’t expecting the Catalan?
Kramnik – I wasn’t, of course. It’s clear than in the Catalan I have much more knowledge and experience than he has. Perhaps the assumption was that I wouldn’t prepare for the Catalan, which was true, I didn’t prepare for it. I chose one of the lines and then it became a real game: a complex, double-edged position, which wasn’t decided in the opening.
– Has anyone ever used that all-out advance of the black pawns against your Catalan?
– No, I can’t remember anything right away… You know, I retain my Catalan bishop on g2 and don’t exchange it for anything, even a rook (laughs). Because the moment he gave it up his king immediately came under a mating attack… I think that I played interesting chess, how good it was, the computer will tell.
– I’m glad that I didn’t just win the game – Kramnik continued, – but objectively, without any false modesty, I completely outplayed him. The win was fully deserved, he didn’t even raise his head… I’m very satisfied with it. Carlsen is a great player, so to outplay play him in such a one-sided game is of course very pleasing.
Of course the big hole in the game was the opening where everything actually could have been decided – though from Kramnik’s …Ne5 onwards I don’t think computer analysis does anything to refute Kramnik’s play. There were tricky ways to survive, but in human terms black had a huge edge in initiative and piece coordination (and though Mig’s report is great, as ever – it certainly wasn’t “Kramnik’s first threat of the game” when Carlsen blundered) .
Vasiliev’s report also has a little more on the end to Kramnik-Ivanchuk, describing how distraught Ivanchuk was after letting Kramnik off with a three-fold repetition, though it sounds as though he was in real time trouble.