Magnus Carlsen is a Norwegian Grandmaster born in 1990. At age 14 he became the second youngest Grandmaster ever and in 2005 was the youngest player to attend the candidates tournament.
Despite his young age he already won several super tournaments, including Corus 2008 and in 2009 winning the 21st Pearl Spring Chess Tournament with a score of 8/10 and a tournament performance of over 3000 Elo.
He was coached by Garry Kasparov in 2009 and is by far the youngest player ever to have an rating of 2800.
He currently is the highest rated player on the July 2011 list of FIDE with a rating of 2821.
Vladimir Kramnik is a Russian Grandmaster born in 1975. He won the 1991 World Under 18 Championship and was the Russian national champion in 1990.
Without qualifying (he was picked by the titleholder) for the 2000 World Chess Championship against his mentor Garry Kasparov, he was able to win the title of World Champion with 8,5 to 6,5.
Defending his title against Peter Leko in 2004 and Veselin Topalov in 2006, he eventually lost it in the 2007 held super tournament. He lost the 2008 World Chess Championship against Anand with 4,5 to 6.
He is known for his very strong, solid defense.
He was the highest rated player in the world as early as 1996.
Before this game they encounterd each other 23 times in tournament play, with Kramnik winning 9, losing 4 and 10 draws.
The game transposed into a Queens Gambit declined. Carlsen gets an advantage in the late midgame , although it is Kramnik who has the initiative. Kramnik sacrifices the exchange without enough compensation and Carlsen has a big edge. In time trouble however the Norwegian plays a series of inaccuracies and finally blunders.
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