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Andrey Rychagov vs Alexander Grischuk
Russian Championship Superfinal (2007), Moscow RUS, rd 10, Dec-29
Semi-Slav Defense: Botvinnik System. Ekstrom Variation (D44)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-29-07  totalnewbie: Who needs endgame books when you have textbook examples right here. B+R vs R, this is how it's done!
Dec-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: What a crazy game. The last 10 moves or so before the time control at move 40 were played in severe time trouble at a blitz speed, so naturally they include several blunders from both sides - e.g., 32.hxg3 should have won for White, whereas after 32.Kg1?? Black could have won by 32...Rc8!

Towards the end, 96.Ke1? is the losing mistake - instead, 96.Re8 or 96.Rg8+ (96...Bg4 97.Re8) would hold the draw. Rychagov was possibly thinking of the following ingenious stalemate trap: 96...Ra1+? 97.Kd2 Rd1+ 98.Ke3 Rxd8 DRAW:


click for larger view

But Grischuk managed to find the winning move, 96...Re2+!

Dec-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Btw, <Peligroso Patzer> mentioned on the main page of the tournament a well-known case of a drawing trap based on a similar stalemate pattern. In the game O Bernstein vs Smyslov, 1946:


click for larger view

Instead of sacrificing the f-pawn and using the king to support the b-pawn, Smyslov thought it was good to advance the b-pawn, because of the skewer of the rook if it captures the pawn once it is on b2. However, after 59...b2?? 60.Rxb2! he realized that 60...Rh2+ 61.Kf3! Rxb2 would result in a stalemate:


click for larger view

So he played 60...Kg4 instead, but the position was already drawn anyway.

Dec-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: 78.Kf3? 78.Kd2 looks much safer as c1 and a3 are safe squares when the second rank or b-file are held by the Rook.
Dec-30-07  Prugno: It's a shame that the need for rapid time controls (to avoid adjournments) is forcing even top GMs to make too many mistakes in endgames.

Obviously no human will ever manage to play this terribly difficult ending as accurately as a tablebase, but somehow I feel that with 20 moves/hour Rychagov, and many others before him, would have been able to hold on for the required 50 moves.

Dec-30-07  kellmano: This game is proper fire on board stuff.

I am bit disappointed if it is inaccurate, but it is still highly enjozable.

Dec-30-07  Resignation Trap: A fascinating game in every phase.

Here is a chronological series of photos taken during this game:

Grischuk thinking after 16.g4: http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate... .

Rychagov meditating (?) after 16.g4: http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate... .

Right before Rychagov's 23.Kxe2:
http://www.chesspro.ru/images/mater... .

Grischuk staring at the photographer after 41...Bc6: http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate... .

Grischuk thinking after 43.g4!: http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate... .

Right when the game enters the ♖&♗ vs. ♖ phase (After Black's 59...Rxa5): http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate... .

Toward the end:
http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate... .

Dec-30-07  Resignation Trap: Poor link by me. Try this again:
Right before Rychagov's 23. Kxe2:
http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate... .
Dec-30-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  minasina: 'Rychagov (= Leverage!) vs Grischuk' [0-1] http://chesspro.ru/chessonline/onli... (Translated: http://www.google.com/translate?u=h... )
Dec-31-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate...

Titled by chessbase.com <The loneliness of the five-piece endings players>

Dec-31-07  Larsker: <minasina: 'Rychagov (= Leverage!)> How uplifting :-) It's plural: Leverages.
Dec-31-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  minasina: <Larsker: <minasina: 'Rychagov (= Leverage!)> How uplifting :-) It's plural: Leverages.>

Singular form came from that funny Google translation: "Leverage - Grischuk. Superfinal CHR. 10 th round". Translation also says, for example:

"[...] it would be difficult to compete with sopernikami-professionalami [...] 15.g4! [variation,which starts from 4 ... h6] , and Grischuk, hitting a tseytnot unable keep this somewhat worse position. [...] 5. Nc3 Time: 1.25 - 1.31. It seems Rychagov soglasen-taki move in the Vienna version after 5 ... Bb4 6.e4. [...] 6. e4 b5 Now Andre still have to forget about the Parents and tightly remembered theory."

etc.

Dec-31-07  Resignation Trap: Rychagov defended the ♖&♗ vs. ♖ endgame well... up to a point.

After 90.Kh2 Kf4 we have this position, with White to play:


click for larger view

Here, White can draw with 91.Rg3! (stalemate idea) Rf2+ 92.Kg1 Rd2 93.Rc3 Bf3 94.Kf1 Kg3 95.Re3 Rd1+ 96.Re1 Rd8 97.Rc1 Rh8 98.Ke1, etc.

Instead, Rychagov's 91.Rg8? allows a forced mate in 51! Grischuk played 91...Rf2+! 92.Kg1 leading to this position:


click for larger view

Black now can execute his forced mate! I will give the toughest defense for White, and I have marked an ! at each point where there is only one move for Black to force the win. (No this is <not> my own analysis! It is from this tablebase: http://www.shredderchess.com/online... )

92...Rc2! 93.Rb8 Rg2+ 94.Kf1 Rd2! 95.Rb4 Ke3! 96.Rb3+ Bd3+! 97.Kg1 Kf3! 98.Rb7 Rg2+ 99.Kh1 Ra2 100.Rb3 Rd2
101.Rb7 Bc4 102.Rc7 Rd4 103.Rc6 Bd3! 104.Rc8 Rh4+
105.Kg1 Be4 106.Rb8 Rg4+! 107.Kh2 Rg2+ 108.Kh1 Ra2
109.Rb3+ [Had Rychagov made it this far, he would have been able to claim a draw by the 50-move rule here. However, it is a forced mate in 34!] 109...Kf2! 110.Kh2 Bf5! 111.Rb4 Kf3 112.Kg1 Ra1+
113.Kh2 Be4 114.Rb8 Ra2+ 115.Kg1 Bd5 116.Rf8+ Ke3!
117.Rf2 Ra6 118.Rf1 Rh6 119.Re1+ Kf3! 120.Re7 Rg6+
121.Kf1 Be4! 122.Ke1 Ke3 123.Rf7 Rb6 124.Rd7 Rb2
125.Rd8 Rg2 126.Rf8 Bg6 127.Rf6 Bd3 128.Re6+ Be4!
129.Rf6 Re2+ 130.Kf1 Rc2 131.Kg1 Rg2+ 132.Kf1 Rg5
133.Re6 Rh5

At last, we're here:


click for larger view

(Continued...)

Dec-31-07  Resignation Trap: 134.Rxe4+ Kxe4 135.Kf2 Kf4 136.Ke2 Rd5
137.Kf2 Rd2+ 138.Ke1 Ke3 139.Kf1 Kf3 140.Kg1 Rc2
141.Kh1 Kg3 142.Kg1 Rc1#

Grischuk actually played 92...Ra2?, which allows White to escape!

Rychagov returned the favor with 93.Rb8?, which allows Black to transpose into the above winning line with 93...Rg2+. And then Grischuk misses this by playing 93...Bd5? It's a draw again!

Finally, White blows the draw for the last time with 96.Ke1?, when 96.Rg8+ Bg4 97.Re8 still holds.

In the final position, White resigned, since 101.Ke1 loses to 101...Rd8!

Dec-31-07  syracrophy: Something that isn't convincing about this game, is that Rychagov had a whole rook of advantage, then one piece and finally he ended with a whole piece down! He was winning!

Can anyone post an analysis of this game? It seemed winning for Rychagov

Dec-31-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: 13...Bg7 is thought by Chess Today to be a new move. 13...Bb7 and 13...e5 had been tried previously.

Very exciting, but the position got too complicated for either player to play well within the time.

GM Alex Baburin points to three consecutive errors that make the game so hard to follow.

31...g3+? (31...Rf8 if 32 Nd4 Bd5 33 Nxb2 e5 and Black is ok)

32 Kg1?? (White could win with 32 hxg3 h3 33 Nxb7 h2 34 Rh1 Rc8 35 Na3)

32...Bd5? (32...Rc8 33 hxg Rxc5 34 Rxb2 hxg3 )

Jan-01-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Resignation Trap: Rychagov's 91.Rg8? allows a forced mate in 51! Grischuk played 91...Rf2+! 92.Kg1 leading to this position:


click for larger view

Black now can execute his forced mate! [] Grischuk actually played 92...Ra2?, which allows White to escape! Rychagov returned the favor with 93.Rb8?, which allows Black to transpose into the above winning line with 93...Rg2+. And then Grischuk misses this by playing 93...Bd5? It's a draw again!>

This sounds very exciting when you follow the tablebase, but - even leaving aside the problem of the 50 moves rule - seems nearly impossible to figure out in actual otb play. In order for Black to realize that in the diagram position <Rc2> is the only move leading to a win - or for White to realize that after Ra2 he can draw only by <Rc8> - one has to figure out (according to how the tablebase line goes) that in about 10 more moves Black would need to execute the maneuver Bd3-c4, which in turn would lead after about 30 more moves of maneuvering to a position where White would have to sac his rook in order to prevent an immediate mate. This seems almost humanly impossible to calculate all the way through. Of course, there are general guiding principles for playing this type of endgame, but can they really help you to realize the fundamental difference between the moves Rc2 and Ra2 in the diagram position?

Jan-01-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Eyal> Yes, the wins in 30, 50, and over 100 moves would seem like finding a trail in the Sahara desert.

Just for fun I plugged in an easier case, a random position, two bishops and knight on the edges versus knight, and got an instant mate in 56 moves on the tablebase.

Following the technique through, it seems learnable, but the geometry isn't one I would try at first.

Jan-02-08  Atking: Sorry to not pursue the debate on this ending (Interesting too) but the opening phase is soo mysterious. I worked on it 2 days. Hoping the lines I give here to this chess community are correct. If the queens must be exchanged I think the best way for White is 18.Nc7+ Kf8 19.Qxe6 fxQe6 20.fxQg5 hxg (20...h3!? 21.0-0+ Bf6 22.Nxe6+ Kf7 (22...Kg8? 23.fxBf6 hxBg2 24.f7+ white pawn is more efficient than black one) 23.Ncd8+ RxNd8 24.RxBf6+ NxRf6 25.NxRd8+ Ke8 26.BxRa8 White Rook seems stronger than balck passed pawns) 21.0-0+ Bf6 (Stronger than Nf6?! as 22.NxRa8 Bb7 23.Nc7, Bg7 is too passive. Else 21...Kg8?! is the kind of move that Karpov will enjoyed with: 22.Ne7+ Kh7 23.Nxe6 Bxb2 24.Rab1, 24...c3? is even mate 25.Rf7+ Kh6 26.Rg7!) 22.NxRa8 compare this position with the actual game, White has improve his chance. 22...h3!? 23.Bf3 Bxb2 24.Rab1 Bf6 25.Nc7 Ne5 26.Nxb5 NxNc6 27.BxNc6 Ke7 28.Rbc1 a6 29.RxNf6! KxRf6 30.Nd6 e5 31.Rxc4 Now it's clear that White pieces could stop the pawns then take them. If these lines could be avantageous for White I will not be surprise if Kramnik or Anand will use this variation on their match.
Aug-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: I took another look at this game recently (after managing to win a pawnless R + B vs. R ending in a casual game).

This really was quite a remarkable game in all its phases. One possible variation seemingly not addressed in any of the other postings was the possibility of 55. Ng7 (in lieu of 55. Rc4+ sacrificing the Knight for the sake of eliminating the last Black pawn.) Rychagov, of course, knew that the ending was a theoretical draw after all the Black pawns were captured and probably relied on this. On the other hand, given the practical difficulties in defending this ending, he might have wanted to try to save his Knight.

The winning line for Black that I have found after 55. Ng7 goes as follows: 55. Ng7 Rh2+ 56. Kg1 f2+ 57. Kf1 Bd7 58. a3 Kf3 59. Rc3+ Ke4 60. a4 Bh3+ 61. Rxh3 Rxh3 62. Kxf2 Ke5 . The foregoing line is the result of rather quick analysis with no computer assistance, so it may well be flawed.

Sep-11-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: The position after Black's 17th move is truly amazing, with both Queens en prise, as well as the White Knights sitting on the c6 and d5 squares.
Oct-10-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: Interesting analysis by Dvoretsky of this endgame, as well as 2 other RB vr. R endgames (P San Segundo-Carrillo vs Beliavsky, 1997, Bologan vs Rublevsky, 2007) in http://www.chesscafe.com/text/dvore...
Sep-01-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Eyal: *** Towards the end, 96.Ke1? is the losing mistake - instead, 96.Re8 or 96.Rg8+ (96...Bg4 97.Re8) would hold the draw. Rychagov was possibly thinking of the following ingenious stalemate trap: 96...Ra1+? 97.Kd2 Rd1+ 98.Ke3 Rxd8 DRAW:


click for larger view

***>

<Eyal: Btw, <Peligroso Patzer> mentioned on the main page of the tournament a well-known case of a drawing trap based on a similar stalemate pattern. *** >

For anyone who may be interested, the comment is at page 43 of the referenced thread. See this link: Russian Superfinals (2007).

Sep-15-11  Beautiful.LMS: This game is really bizarre, and I wish I could see half of the stuff these players had to have seen to get as far as they did.
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