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Boris Avrukh vs Alexander Grischuk
Biel Chess Festival (2007), Biel SUI, rd 9, Aug-02
Queen's Gambit Declined: Vienna Variation (D39)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-02-07  thom: can anyone see Grischuk's mistake after move 36?
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <thom: can anyone see Grischuk's mistake after move 36?> Do you really mean *Grischuk's* mistake? Grischuk (black) won.
Aug-02-07  thom: sorry... Boris mistake.
Aug-02-07  syracrophy: Maybe 38.♘g5 was the mistake, because it leaves hanging the a2-pawn. I would have preferred 38.♖b2, to mantain that important pawn
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <syracrophy> After 38.Rb2 Nb4 (or 38...Nc3), how does White save the a-pawn? 38.Ng5 keeps the rook and knight active. While it failed in the end, Avrukh must have thought it the best chance.
Aug-03-07  thom: <Phony Benoni> agree with you.

The mistake was late in the game.

I was thinking in 52. gh4 ♖f1 53. ♖a7+ ♔g6 54. ♔c5 a1=♕ 55. ♖a1 ♖a1 56. ♔b4

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But Boris is lost too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: As this game was being played, I was following it with the computer. I recall that the computer thought white had a draw on move 45, in this position:

click for larger view

Here white played 45. Rf7+? Kg8 <forced> Ra7.

That check on move 45 didn't accomplish much, and the rook actually was more tactically useful on the b-file, where it restricted the knight's movements.

White should have used the opportunity to attack the knight with tempo: 45. Kd4! <forcing the knight to a square where it has less defensive presence>

The knight has 3 choices:
(1) 45...Na4, 46. Ra7 Nb2 <only move!> 47. Nb5 <the a-pawn falls and black is better>

(2) 45...Nd1, 46. Rb8+! <with perpetual check! If the king hides at g6, the rook moves to the e-file and takes Pe6, and the perpetual check continues. If 46...Ke7 47. Rb7+ Kd8, then 48. Nf7+! Kc8 49. Nd6+ Kd8, and its another perpetual!>

(3) 45...Ne2 46. Ke3! Rc2 <making room for ...a2, and still guarding knight> (diagram:white to move)

click for larger view

47. Rf7+! Kg8
48. Re7! a2
49. Re8+ <and now the same perpetual check described above cannot be avoided>

Playing 45. Rf7+? doesn't lead to the perpetual because the black knight can get to d5 where it stops the check at e7.

Aug-03-07  thom: <YouRang> very nice... thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <thom> Thanks, although I just realized that I left out one of the more interesting variations!

After 45. Kd4!, black might also have played 45...Nd5. Here, the knight is guarded by the e6 pawn, and it prevents the rook from checking at e7. However, by playing 45. Kd4, the white king is NOT in check (as it would have been if it had still been on e3).

How does white draw now?...

46. Rb8+ Kg7 <hoping to hide from checks at g6. If 46...Ke7, then 47. Rb7+ and the checks continue..> (diagram:white to move)

click for larger view

47. Nxf5! exf5 <leaving the knight unguarded>

48. Kxd7 Rd1+? <any other move allows perpetual checks from rook at b6, b7 or b8>

49. Ke6 a2
50. Ra8 <the black pawn is stopped, and now white has a passed e-pawn. Now black had better settle for the draw!>

Aug-03-07  alexandrovm: later on the h pawn would be a nightmare for white to watch of the reasons he resigned...
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