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Ivan Sokolov vs Ian Rogers
5th Gibraltar Chess Festival (2007), Gibraltar Gibraltar, rd 3, Jan-25
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange. Positional Variation (D35)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-26-07  sandmanbrig: Queen's Gambit Declined Exchange Variation PWNS all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  luzhin: Very pretty finish: if 56..Kg7 57 Rg8+ Kxf6 58.Rg6 MATE.
Feb-01-07  euripides: A very nice QGD exchange variation, showing the variety of pawn breaks White can generate.

The pawn on e6 looks vulnerable and Black might play 42...Kg7 trying to win it without dropping the f pawn. White then has 43.Rg4+ and Black might play 43...Kh7 or Kh8 depending whether he plans to defend a pawn or rook endgame.

If he goes for the rook endgame, White has 43.Rg4+ Kh8 44.Rxf6 Nxe6 45.Nxe6 Rxe6+ 46.Rxe6 Rxe6+ 47.Re4 Rg6 48.Re7 (if the king were on h8 this would be check) Rg3+ 49.Kf4 Rxh3 50.Rxb7 Ra3 51.Kg4 and White can simply collect the h pawn and move the king to the queen's side. The threat of a6-7 followed by Rb8+ tethers the rook to the a file.

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If Black wants the K+P ending he should go for 43.Rg4+ Kh7 (getting the king forwards faster) 44.Rxf6 Nxe6 45.Nxe6 Rxe6+ 46.Rxe6 Rxe6+ 47.Re4 Rxe4+ 48.Kxe4:

click for larger view

Now after 48....Kg6 White must go for a pawn race which is quite tricky to count: 49.d5 cxd5 50.Kxd5 Kg5 51.Kc5 Kh4 52 Kxb5 Kxh3 53.Kc5 (in order to queen with check; 53.a6 will leave White with a b pawn and seems only to draw) Kg2 54.b5 h5 55.a6 bxa6 (otherwise white will simply win the b pawn and exchange queens) 56.bxa6 h4 57.a7 h3 58 a8=Q+ and White can approach the pawn by checking on the ranks; Black's stalemate defence only works if the pawn is on the 7th rank.

If all this is right, I wonder how much of it the players calculated and how much was intuition.

Nov-29-08  Open Defence: nice post < euripides > thanks! very instructive!
Nov-29-08  Shams: <euripides> in your pawn ending line I think you have white going after the wrong b-pawn: simply 49.d5 cxd5 50.Kxd5 Kg5 51.Kc5 Kh4 52.Kb6 Kxh3 53.Kxb7 Kg3 54.a6 and white's rook pawn strolls to the finish line.
Nov-29-08  euripides: <Open, shams> thanks - I think you're right about the pawn ending.
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