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Alexey Dreev vs Leonid Yudasin
"Yudasin It If You Looked" (game of the day Feb-12-12)
Manila Interzonal (1990)  ·  Nimzo-Indian Defense: Kmoch Variation (E20)  ·  1/2-1/2
To move:
Last move:

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-22-10  TheBish: Dreev vs Yudasin, 1990

Black to play (52...?) "Very Difficult"

Not a lot of time, but I think Black's best is 52...Nc5! -- pretty unclear, don't see a win, but I don't see a win for White either after that.

May-22-10  Dr. J: <Once: After 55. Bg6, black's only move is 55...Rf5+, as everything else loses big time.>

<johnlspouge: <55…Rc8 >, which loses to 56.Re8+ Rxe8 57.f7+!>

Why? 55 Bg6 Rc8 56 Re8+ Rxe8 57 f7+ Kg7 58 fxe8=Q c1=Q looks drawn despite the extra piece, as White(!) cannot afford to exchange queens.

May-22-10  Dr. J: Also, I cannot see that Black has winning chances after 54 Re1. So if I'm right (ha!) both players had other paths to draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Last night I dreamt about rook pawn endgames. This made me sad, as there was a time when I would dream about far more racy and red-blooded subjects. But, hey ho, that's life I suppose.

So I woke up and decided to kibbitz it in case anyone is interested.

Case one: King versus King and rook pawn is a draw.

click for larger view

Eventually the game will resolve itself to this position, with either black or white to move. Black draws by shuttling his king between h8 and g8, and there is nothing that white can do about it. He has nothing that can cover h8, so black can always scurry there unharmed.

White could try 1. Kf7, but then Kh7 kills the pawn. 1. h7 is an instant draw by stalemate because black has no moves.

If it were black to move, he would play 1...Kg8, leading us to here:

click for larger view

From here, 1. h7+ Kh8 is dead drawn. If white's king stays to protect the pawn the black king is stalemated. If the white king moves away, Kxh7.

Case two: King versus, King, rook pawn and wrong bishop.

Again, the defending king must stay near the queening square. The presence of the bishop may make it impossible to shuttle between h8 and g8, so he may need to use h7 and or g7 as well as h8.

Eventually, we get to here:

click for larger view

For white to win, he would need to be able to attack both h8 and g8 to winkle the black king out of his hole. But with the wrong squared bishop he can only attack g8, with either bishop or pawn. Black draws by running to h8, just as in the K v K+RP example above.

Case three: White gets to win for a change.

The win with the right coloured bishop or a knight can be a little tricky, so here they are:

click for larger view

With white to move: 1. Bb2+ Kg8 2. h7+ Kf8 3. h8=Q+.

White black to move: 1...Kg8 2. Bb2 Kf8 3. h7 and the pawn cannot be stopped.

Or with a knight:

click for larger view

With white to move: 1. Nf7+ Kg8 2. h7+ Kf8 3. h8=Q+

With black to move 1...Kg8 2. Nf7 Kf8 3. h7 etc etc etc.

The fact that the sequence works with either side to move means that you don't need to worry about the sequence of moves that get to the final position. As long as you don't puish the h pawn to h7 too soon, black shouldn't get stalemated.

And with that out of my system, maybe I can dream about other things again?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Dr J> Your line gets us to this position:

click for larger view

If white exchanges queens quickly, this would probably be a draw as in the game. The black king would park himself on g8/h8 and that would be that. Wrong squared bishop.

But it is white to move, and the black king is open. So the winning plan would be to check the black king away from the g8/h8 safety zone and only then to exchange queens.

From here, Fritzie sees only one line to win: 59. Qf7+ Kh6 60. Qh7+ Kg5 61. h4+ with an eval of +9.8. The black king is being chased away from the h8 square so that he cannot catch the rook pawn when the queens are exchanged.

May-23-10  Dr. J: <Once: From here, Fritzie sees only one line to win: 59. Qf7+ Kh6 60. Qh7+ Kg5 61. h4+ with an eval of +9.8. The black king is being chased away from the h8 square so that he cannot catch the rook pawn when the queens are exchanged.>

Remarkably enough, this turns to be slightly inaccurate, though White is indeed winning. After 55 Bg6 Rc8 56 Re8+ Rxe8 57 f7+ Kg7 58 fxe8=Q c1=Q 59 Qf7+ Kh6 60 Qh7+ Kg5 61. h4+ Kf6 (forced) 62 Qf7+ Ke5 (forced) the Nalimov tablebase (I omitted the a-pawn so as not to exceed 6 pieces, and it turns out not to matter.) gives the following "best variation":

63 Qe7+ Kd5* 64 Qg5+ wins by converting the h-pawn to a g-pawn; or, "slightly inferior" for Black, *63 ... Kd4 64 Qd6+ Kc3 65 Qc5+ exchanging Queens, and now the Black King is indeed too far away to catch the h-pawn. But essentially this is the only variation for which that is true.

Even more extraordinary is the following alternative (which I suspect a 7-piece tablebase might actually prefer):

63 Qf5+ Kd6 64 Qf6+ Kd7 65 Bf5+ Ke8 66 Qe6+ Kf8 67 Qd6+ Kg8 68 Be6+ Kh7 (The Black King has been driven back to the corner!!) 69 Qe7+ Kh6 70 Qf8+ Kg6** 71 Bf5+ Kh5 72 Qf7+ Kxh4 73 Qh7+ Kg5 74 Qg6+ Kf4 75 Qh6+ winning the Black Queen; or **70 ... Kh5 71 Qh8 Kg6 72 h5+ Kg5 73 Qg7+ Kxh5 (or ... Kh4 74 Qh6+) 74 Bf7+ Kh4 75 Qg3#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Dr. J> So, to summarise:

55...Rf5+ draws relatively easily, as in the game.

55...Rc8 wins for white with best play, but there are opportunities for black to snatch a draw if white doesn't play with the accuracy of a computer.

Feb-12-12  King Death: This was played in the Manila Interzonal 1990, I have no clue what the Cup World (select) could be.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: It's a common error to say the final position is drawn because White cannot promote the h-pawn. Totally wrong. All he has to do is reach a position like this:

click for larger view

And White promotes after <1.h7 Kg7 2.h8Q+>.

Someone else can figure out how to win. You can't expect me to do everything around here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Okay, okay! I know when I've been out-pedanted!

Let's see if we can come up with a more accurate version...

"The final position is a draw with best play because white cannot promote the h pawn and then subsequently keep his newly promoted piece, and without promoting his pawn he does not have sufficient material to mate, as long as black doesn't lose on time."

Incidentally, in your diagrammed position, what happens immediately after 2. h8=Q+?

Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <Once> The game is immediately drawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <acirce> Indeed. The game is drawn when a win cannot be achieved by either player with any series of legal moves. After the pawn promotion to a queen, black has no choice except to capture the queen because it's his only legal move. But as this leads to an instant draw he doesn't need to capture the queen because it's already drawn.

Okay, next trivia question. At what precise moment is the game drawn? When white touches his h pawn, when he reaches for and touches a queen, when his queen touches the queening square, when he releases his hand from that queen or when he presses his clock after completing his move?

Feb-12-12  reisena23: It's such a well-handled game that I bet Master Capablanca would've approved.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: In <Phony Benoni>'s position, doesn't the bishop have to been on a dark square in order for white to win?
Feb-12-12  fokers13: I think someone can call a game drawn when neither side has a winning plan.I mean in our example if black calls for the ref and can demonstrate an adequate defense i believe he can claim a draw.Take my opinion with a grain of salt though.
Feb-12-12  King Death: <Phony Benoni: ...Someone else can figure out how to win. You can't expect me to do everything around here.>

What a slacker....ROFL!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <fokers13> Yes, if it's a quickplay finish. This is what the laws of chess say...

<Article 10: Quickplay Finish

If the player, having the move, has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may claim a draw before his flag falls. He shall summon the arbiter and may stop the clocks.


If the arbiter agrees the opponent is making no effort to win the game by normal means, or that it is not possible to win by normal means, then he shall declare the game drawn. Otherwise he shall postpone his decision or reject the claim.>

So you can't just wibble your pieces around and try to run your opponent out of time. You've got to show that you are at least trying to win.

It's quite hard to prove this if there is no arbiter...

Feb-12-12  bischopper: to be or not to be a draw, to dream, to sleep and to play whole life...
Feb-12-12  DieHard: All this fuss! For me the most interesting moment is move 32. My thanks to Whiteshark for offering some comment. I'm still not sure what Dreev had in mind if Black played other than Qxb5
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Great pun, pretty damm inspired.
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <Okay, next trivia question. At what precise moment is the game drawn? When white touches his h pawn, when he reaches for and touches a queen, when his queen touches the queening square, when he releases his hand from that queen or when he presses his clock after completing his move?>

Tougher! I really don't have that much of a clue. It should be once the move has actually been made, and I guess that would be once he releases the hand from the queen.

Feb-12-12  Julian713: This is quite the exciting draw!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <acirce> Close. When it comes to a promoted piece, the move is completed when the piece touches the promotion square. I guess this is because there can be no doubt about the move after that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: <Once> Ok, I guess there is a logic in that. Are you an arbiter, btw?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A remarkable finish! Black cannot queen because of back row mate-later white cannot win,though a bishop ahead,because it is the WRONG color.
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