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Mark Lyell vs Michael Steadman
Smith & Williamson ch-GBR (2001), Scarborough ENG, rd 5, Aug-03
French Defense: Advance Variation. Main Line (C02)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-07-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Cool K&P endgame!

After 64.Kd3:


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Stockfish says that black keeps a 0.00 by holding tight with 64...Kd8 or advancing the f-pawn. (64...Ke6 is also good.) The move he made, 64...Kc6, is not losing, but it puts black conceptually at risk because now axb5 in response to ...b5 will be check, forcing black to waste a tempo.

What I find most interesting is how 65.c4 backfires if black plays 64...Kd8:


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65...dxc4+ 66.Kxc4 f4 67.gxf4 g4 68.Kd3 g3 69.Ke2 b5 and black wins:


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In this last diagram, white would win with the black king on e6 or e7, but with the black king on d7 it would be a draw because white would benefit from a tempo gain with e6+ at some point during the pawn race. Maddening!

In the actual game, after 65.c4, black had to play 65...dxc4 with pretty good drawing chances. Instead, 65...f4 doomed him.

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