Vladimir Kramnik v Magnus Carlsen
GCT Rapid (Your Next Move) Paris, (Round 9.1) France, 2016
Great chess game by the number 1 and number 2 ranked chess players in the world. Here we are using the "Live Chess Ratings" as of 27 June 2016. Carlsen is No. 1 with a 2855 Classical Rating and a 2894 Rapid Rating; Kramnik is No. 2 with a 2812 Classical Rating and a 2778 Rapid Rating.
This game is featured because it is well played, in each of the 3 parts of a chess game: opening; middle game and endgame. Well, all chess games well played by both players should end in a draw, and this game is no exception. Kramnik just should not have exchanged queens and he would have been able to hold the position. At the same time, Carlsen is truly a great chess player and champion and it is no doubt that Kramnik was just really drained, emotionally and physically by the time he decided to trade queens. Well, the resulting minor piece endgame was complicated enough for Kramnik not to calculate down to the last move to realize the un-advisability of trading queens: At the same time, it is to Carlson's credit and prowess that he played this endgame with great accuracy and took home the full point as well as the championship trophy. Bravo both players for a fantastic example of chess well played. This is also a great example of the importance of endgame play for the mastery of chess and determining the winning of tournaments where a win is the only outcome to capture the trophy while a draw, as pleasant as it is, will not suffice to get you 1st place.
Photo: Albert Silver