Good positional play involves tempting small weaknesses in an opponent's position, then building up pressure against them until the defences crack. Very good positional play, however, often involves a higher level of strategy in which the probing of weaknesses is only the first stage of the winning process. The real trick is to turn a positional advantage into a tactical opportunity.

In today's game, from the current tournament in Belgrade, Vladimir Kramnik plays a standard strategy in a Queen's Gambit exchange variation, building up pressure against the black Q-side pawns, then, having forced his opponent into passivity, switches flanks with 20.e4! for an attack on the king. The winning move is 28.d5!, luring the knight from f6 to let White's occupy e4. 29...f5 would invite 30.Nf6+ or even 30.Rxc6. White's 31.Nf6+ was a neat finish: 31...Nxf6 loses the queen to 32.Bxf7+.

White: Vladimir Kramnik

Black: Jan Timman

1 Nf3 Nf6 18 Nb3 Qd6

2 c4 e6 19 g3 Ra7

3 Nc3 d5 20 e4 dxe4

4 d4 Nbd7 21 Nxe4 Qf8

5 cxd5 exd5 22 Re1 b6

6 Bg5 c6 23 Nbd2 Ba6

7 e3 Be7 24 Bc2 Rb7

8 Bd3 Nh5 25 Bb3 Ngf6

9 Bxe7 Qxe7 26 Rac1 Rc8

10 0-0 0-0 27 Nxf6+ Nxf6

11 Qb1 Nhf6 28 d5 Nxd5

12 b4 Re8 29 Ne4 Rd8

13 Rc1 a6 30 Rxc6 Qb4

14 a4 g6 31 Nf6+ Kf8

15 Qb2 a5 32 Nxh7+ Kg8

16 bxa5 Rxa5 33 Nf6+ Kf8

17 Nd2 Ng4 34 Re4 1-0