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Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs Viswanathan Anand
Dortmund (2007), Dortmund GER, rd 5, Jun-29
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation Quiet Line (E15)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-29-07  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 48 Kf4, 48 Rg6+ appears to win: 48 Rg6+ Kd7 49 Rxc6 Kxc6 50 Kf4 winning the f5 pawn. Or 48 Rg6+ Bf6 49 Bg5! Kf7 50 Rxf6+ Rxf6 51 Bxf6 Kxf6 52 Kf4 gaining the opposition in a K+P ending.
Jun-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: The K+P ending looks drawn after 52...Ke6 for example 53.Kg5 Ke5 54.f4+ Ke4 55. a3 a5 56.a4 Kd4 etc.

Jun-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <Ulhumbrus> I agree that 48. Rg6+ was better for white, although after 48...Bf6, white's best follow up might be: 49. Kf4! (diagram:black to move)


click for larger view

Black seems to be running short on moves in which he can continue defend all his pawns.

If 49...Rc8, then 50. Bd2 <threat: Bc3 attacking black's pinned bishop> Rf8 51. Bc3 Ke7 <breaking the pin> 52. Bxf6+ Rxf6 53. Kg5! and either black's f-pawn or his a-pawn falls.

If 49...a5, then 50. Rh6! and black faces the same problems as above, only worse because now Bd2 threatens the bishop and the a5 pawn.

Jun-29-07  hasanelias: Hi, just a question. Why the move 59.Kd4?, there was draw already with 58.b6..Kxb6
Jun-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <YouRang> Pretty strong line. I had this draw in the "strong defense" category but it probably belongs in the "missed opportunity" basket instead.
Jun-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <hasanelias: Hi, just a question. Why the move 59.Kd4?>

You mean <69>. Kd4.

<there was draw already with 68.b6..Kxb6>

Just for the fun of it? Really, the last few moves were kind of a joke, as a draw was trivial for both sides.

This was the game that I was following most today. The computer seemed to think Mamedyarov was ahead most of the way, but I suspect that Anand was never in real danger of losing this. Even 48. Rg6 line I posted above, while giving white better chances, probably doesn't force a win.

Jun-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <Marmot PFL> Perhaps, but you might have been right with "strong defense". The more I work with it, the more it seems that black had a defensive resource to hang on to the draw.
Jun-30-07  khursh: I have a question? Should we give 14Nfg5 a !! mark. As I understand from different analysis any capture of N on e4 leads to forced win for Mamedyarov. And probably the only save move was Rb8 which Anand found.
Jun-30-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  ahmadov: Great game by Mamedyarov... I wonder can this be considered the best draw of the tournament...
Jun-30-07  khursh: <ahmadov:> Its not simply best draw. I think anyone except <Anand>, <Kramnik> and <Leko> could draw this game. This is were their drawing talent is necessary and should be highly acknowledged. And we need creative attackers like <Mamedyarov> to see this kind of games.
Jun-30-07  Ulhumbrus: < Marmot PFL:> <YouRang> On 48 Rg6+ Bf6 49 Bg5 Kf7 50 Rxf6+ Rxf6 51 Bxf6 Kxf6 52 Kf4 Ke6 53 Kg5 Ke5 54 f3! a5 55 a4 Ke6 56 f4 and Black is in zugzwang.
Jun-30-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <Ulhumbrus: < Marmot PFL:> <YouRang> On 48 Rg6+ Bf6 49 Bg5 Kf7 50 Rxf6+ Rxf6 51 Bxf6 Kxf6 52 Kf4 Ke6 53 Kg5 Ke5 54 f3! a5 55 a4 Ke6 56 f4 and Black is in zugzwang.>

It looks like black has 56...Kd4! <go after the b3 pawn while white has to eat the f5 pawn, get out of the way and push the f3 pawn>.

I think black actually promotes first, but it looks like a draw.

Jul-01-07  Ulhumbrus: <YouRang: <Ulhumbrus: < Marmot PFL:> <YouRang> On 48 Rg6+ Bf6 49 Bg5 Kf7 50 Rxf6+ Rxf6 51 Bxf6 Kxf6 52 Kf4 Ke6 53 Kg5 Ke5 54 f3! a5 55 a4 Ke6 56 f4 and Black is in zugzwang.> It looks like black has 56...Kd4! <go after the b3 pawn while white has to eat the f5 pawn, get out of the way and push the f3 pawn>.

I think black actually promotes first, but it looks like a draw.>

In this variation after 55...Ke6 56 f4 Black has the K on e6 and can't play 56...Kd4, although Black can play 55...Kd5.

So either you mean that Black plays 55...Kd5 or else you mean that Black plays ...Kd4 earlier than this.

Taking the first possibility, after 56...Kd5 it will take White six moves to take the f pawn, get out of the way and advance it to f8, while it will take Black seven moves to take the b3 pawn and advance the c pawn to c1. With White to move, Black plays his sixth move in reply to White's sixth move. Therefore Black plays ...c2 in reply to f8?Q and them Qb5+ may win for White.

Taking the second alternative, in the variation above, when can Black play ...Kd4 earlier? On 53 Kg5 Ke5 54 f3 suppose Black tries 54...Kd4 now. That invites 55 Kxf5 and wins. However on 53 Kg5 Ke5 54 f3 a5 55 a4 Kd4! Black's c pawn gets crowned first, so White has to look for an improvement. On 53 Kg5 Ke5 54 f4 Ke4 55 a3 a5 56 a4 Kd3 with White to move, it will take White six moves to crown the f pawn and it will take Black also six moves to crown his c pawn. This looks like a draw.

Can White do better than this? One alternative to 52 Kf4 is 52 Ke3 heading for c4 and it seems then to be White who has all the opportunities to lose a tempo and so to take the opposition. On 52 Ke3 Ke5 53 f4+ Kd5 54 Kd3 a5 55 a3 Kd6 56 Kc4 Kc6 57 a4 wins. This variation may not be the last word, however.

Jul-02-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <Ulhumbrus> My apologies. I did mean 55...Kd4 (not 56...Kd4). After 55. a4, the board looks like this:


click for larger view

This is where I think black draws with 55...Kd4

Now your 52. Ke3! line is more promising, but after 52...Ke5 53. f4+ Kd5 54. Kd3, we have this (diagram:black to move):


click for larger view

Here, you've suggested 54...a5, but I'm not sure that this is best for black. By keeping the pawn on a6, black's two queenside pawns make a nice barrier on the b-file, making it impossible for the white king to penetrate on b4 or b5.

Better then, is 54...Kd6. It's a retreat, but it looks like white can't advance meaningfully. If 55. Kc4 Kc6, and black can toggle between c6 and d6 while white advances the a-pawn. A winning zugzwang doesn't seem to materialize.

Jul-02-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: The pawn endgame wizard has analyzed this position and came to the following conclusion. Not 52.Ke3? but 52.Kf4! is the move. If here 52...Ke6 there is 53.a3! If now 53...Kf6? 54.b4! cxb4 (54...c4 also eventually loses; I don't want to drown you in variations) 55.cxb4 and zugzwang: 55...Ke6 56.Kg5 Ke5 (56...Kd5 comes down to the same) 57.f3 f4 58.Kg4 and Black loses the pawn and the game: 58...Kd4 59.Kxf4 Kc4 60.Ke4! Kxb4 61.f4 a5 62.f5 a4 63.f6 a3 64.f7 a2 65.f8Q+ and 66.Qh8. However, Black has 53...a5! (to which 52...a5 transposes). If then 54.Ke3 Ke5 55.f4+ Kd5 and we have reached <YouRang>'s diagram with Black already committed to ...a5. 56.Kd3 Kc6 57.Kc4 Kd6! 58.Kb5 and White wins the pawn. But... 58...Kd5! 59.Kxa5 Ke4 60.a4 Kxf4 61.Kb6 Ke3 62.Kxc5 which ultimately comes down to queen and b-pawn versus queen. This instance is a tablebase draw but in a practical game White would have some winning chances:


click for larger view

with Black to move.

So I conclude this is theoretically drawn, but Black would have to play precisely not to lose in Q+P vs. Q.

Jul-02-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <SwitchingQuylthulg> Very good! Ah, the subtleties of chess, even in such a simple K+3P vs K+3P position.

A agree that this variant of the 48. Kg6+/49. Bg5 line makes life most difficult for black, even if a win isn't quite forced.

I think the other variant discussed above, where we play 49. Kf4! instead of 49. Bg5 is similar in this regard, and may even be tricker for black to defend as it keeps more material on the board with greater complexities for both sides. Whether or not it's a forced win for white remains an open question.

At any rate, I'm satisfied that Mamedyarov would have been better off with 48. Rg6+!

Jul-02-07  Ulhumbrus: <YouRang> On 52 Ke3 Ke5 53. f4+ Kd5 54. Kd3 one reason for 54...a5 is that White is threatening to play b4 in a position where he will have both the opposition and an advantage in space eg 54..Kd6 55 Kc5 Kc6 56 a3 Kd6 57 a4 Kc6 58 b4 cxb4 58 Kxb4 However on 58...Kd5 59 Ka5 Black seems able to draw with both 59..Ke4 and 59...Kc5 60 Kxa6 Kc6. It seems that the ending is drawn, then, although I don't rule out the possibility that White can make use of related squares in some magisterially skilful way to win.
Jul-03-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <Ulhumbrus: Black seems able to draw with both 59..Ke4 and 59...Kc5 60 Kxa6 Kc6.> 59...Kc5?? 60.Kxa6 Kc6 is no draw. Such situations are only drawn if the pawn has advanced to sixth rank or beyond, when the free pawn tempi are of no use for White. Here, White frees his king: 61.a5 - and Black has to let him out, winning the f-pawn and the game.
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