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Kramnik and Carlsen's Most Memorable Moments

Photo: Lennart Ootes

As most chess lovers are probably aware, Russian chess player and former World Champion, Vladimir Kramnik, resigned from chess shortly after his last game at the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee last month. He cited a lack of motivation and a desire to focus on new chess projects focused on children and education; something Magnus Carlsen also advocates.

Everyone knows Kramnik as the man who beat chess legend Garry Kasparov in 2000 and as the man who held the World Championship title for seven years. That’s quite an accomplishment. Magnus is on good terms with Kramnik, although some might argue about that, given this recent tweet.

Magnus took the opportunity to explain himself soon after during an interview with Chess24 commentator Jan Gustafsson:

Fun fact: one of Magnus’ favorite books is actually written by Kramnik, called “Kramnik: My Life and Games”. If you haven’t read this one yet, you should check it out!

To celebrate Kramnik's career, let’s have a look at the top three most memorable moments between Magnus and Kramnik. They have played each other 63 times so there's a lot of material.

#1 - Magnus beats Kramnik for the first time in 2008

In 2008, Magnus managed to beat Kramnik in a classical game for the first time ever. This was an exciting moment for Magnus as, up until this point, he had only been able to draw. You can play through this game below:

Vladimir Kramnik - Magnus Carlsen
Tata Steel Masters 2008, round 12

#2 - In 2013, Magnus qualifies for his first World Chess Championship against Anand after a tense Candidates tournament

In this tournament, Kramnik and Magnus held equal first position before the last round, but Magnus had the better tiebreaks due to more wins. This meant that Kramnik had to win his game against Ivanchuk, and hope that Magnus would only make a draw against Svidler. Kramnik played aggressively with Black, but soon realized that Magnus was losing his game. That meant that Kramnik would win the tournament with a draw. The problem was that he had risked too much, and was unable to save the needed draw. Since both players lost their games, Magnus won the tournament on better tiebreaks. If Kramnik had made the draw, chess history would have looked very different.

#3 - Kramnik beats Magnus for the first time in seven years during Norway Chess 2017

In this classical game in round seven of Norway Chess 2017, Magnus resigned against Kramnik for the first time since 2010. This was a crucial moment for Kramnik as he hadn’t managed to beat Magnus in seven years. That’s a long time, and a lot of games. Unfortunately, this shining moment didn't last long - all games they played after ended in draws.

Did all this excitement make you want to improve your chess skills? Perhaps you’ll be GM one day too! Learn from the masters in more than 200 Magnus Trainer lessons and interactive mini-games. Enjoy!

The Play Magnus team