The Transformation Problem (4)

In the following example, the key position arises after Black’s 26th move. White has an obvious advantage, with more space and weaknesses on c6 and e6. However, neither weak pawn is easy to attack effectively, and it is hard to increase the pressure by normal means.
Kramnik’s solution is the break d4-d5. This actually eliminates both of the weak black pawns, but in the resulting position, the black pawn on b5 is now hopelessly weak and incapable of being defended. Short takes the decision to sacrifice material at once, with 29…c5, but runs into a nice “little combination” in the Capablanca style, with 31.bxc5!, and eventually is ground down after stubborn resistance in the endgame.

Steve Giddins