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Teimour Radjabov vs Alexey Shirov
Morelia-Linares (2008), Linares ESP, rd 13, Mar-06
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Opocensky Variation (B92)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-13-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <dzechiel: I'm thinking I may have to eat some crow here. After posting my last entry about the ease of this endgame for white, I decided to visit the endgame simulator and start with the final position from the game, so that I could post my play for all to see.

I had three tries, and failed to win all three times. I'm still not 100% convinced that this is a draw, but I have to now agree with <al wazir> and <VincentL> that black should have played this out>

Perhaps 23. Be4! was a stronger winning try. Near the end, Fritz indicates 28...Bg5 puts up more resistance for Black. After the game line 23...Bg8 29. a5! (+3.11 @ 20 depth), White's advantage at this level of play looks pretty decisive.

Winning this won game was far from easy, but Radjabov's strong followup was sufficient.

As you comment suggests, this is an instructive endgame to play out for improving one's technique.

Nov-13-10  JohnBoy: <YCP: Why not 23. Be4, trapping the rook?> - Good question, and I believe <Boerboel> has to some extent adressed it. Black's trick is to free space at d4 for the d5 rook with 23...d3. White cannot grab the rook right away due to dc2+. Radja then had to decide on the best way to win an X.
Nov-13-10  WhiteRook48: graaah I tried c4
Nov-13-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A rather unique idea:a rook trap. First white chases one rook,then captures the other. The exchange advantage will win for him.
Nov-13-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  sethoflagos: Be4 is the key threat here and the one I first looked at though it needs some preparation to be an effective attack on the Rd5. After 21 b4 black's challenge seems to be to hold losses to the straight R/B exchange. 21 b4 Rc8
22 a4 Rc3

Bc4 looks playable here but black has interesting counterplay -

23 Bc4 d3
24 Kb2 Rxc2+
25 Kb3 Rd4
26 Bxd3 Rxd3 (or 27 Bxh7+)
27 Rxd3

White may prefer not to have a black rook loose on the second rank, but I'm not seeing a clearly better line. If white doesn't play 23 Bc4, black threatens to prevent it with

23 ??? f5
24 gxf5 Rxd3
25 cxd3 Rxf5

Not entirely sure it makes much difference what move you pick for ??? (so long as it's not a really daft one). 23 Rdf1 protects f4 which is otherwise vulnerable. But it leaves the position a bit stifled. 23 Rc1 maybe?

Dunno.

Nov-13-10  goodevans: <dzechiel>, <David2009> et al,

What can I say? I too had a go at the endgame simulator and got a victory first time without too much trouble.

Now, I know I ain't the greatest endgame player in the world but here there is a simple plan which I stuck to religiously.

a) Need to play a5 (as in the game) to fix black's pawns on light squares.

b) Keep black's K away from the Q-side.

c) Focus on winning one of the Q-side pawns to leave a passed a-pawn.

Black's only plan against this is to advance his K-side pawns. I had time to pick off black's a-pawn with the R and still get back in time to stop these. Finally I sac'd my R for black's h-pawn in order to deflect the B from b8 and allow my a-pawn through.

Nov-13-10  alexrawlings: Nice puzzle today. Can anybody tell me what <the endgame simulator> which some user are kibitzing about is please?
Nov-13-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <goodevans: <dzechiel>, <David2009> et al,

What can I say? I too had a go at the endgame simulator and got a victory first time without too much trouble.>

"What can I say?" You can "say" the line of play you used to win. I, for one, would be very interested in seeing it!

Nov-13-10  Salaskan: Fritz immediately gives the final position as +3 for white, who can shut out the black king and then enter the seventh rank with his rook winning pawns. For example 29...Bg5 30.Rf2 (preventing Be3) h6 31.Rc2 Bf4 32.Rc7 b5 33.Ra7 is easy.
Nov-13-10  goodevans: Hi, <dzechiel>

Starting from <David2009>'s link:

21 b4 Rac8 22 a4 Rc3 23 Kb2 f5 24 gxf5 Rxd3 25 cxd3 Rxf5 26 Rc1 Rxf4 27 Rhf1 Rxf1 28 Rxf1 Bg5

Slightly better than what was played by Shirov.

29 a5 Be3 30 b5 g5

Here I think I must of varied from what I originally played. Thing's were pretty similar to last time but I won slightly quicker second time around.

31 Ka2 Bf4 32 bxa6 bxa6 33 Rf2 Kg7

Now maybe 34 h3 would be an improvement on what I played ...

34 Rc2 g4 35 Rc6 Bxh2 36 Rxa6 g3 37 Rb6 g2 38 Rb1 h5 39 a6 g1=Q 40 Rxg1 Bxg1 41 a7 etc

The fact that I played it slightly differently second time around and still won leads me to believe that the plan that I outlined in my previous post is basically winning.

Nov-13-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: OK, I went back to the endgame simulator again this morning and was able to win as white the first time out. I think it helped to have a good night's sleep.
Nov-13-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  sethoflagos: I got this with the 23. Be4 line

21. b4 Rc8 22. a4 Rc3 23. Be4 d3 24. Kb2 Rxc2+ 25. Kb3 Rd4 26. Bxd3 Rg2


click for larger view

Crafty prefers this to 26...Rxd3

27. Bxh7+ Kxh7 28. Rxd4 Rxg4 29. Rxd6 Rxf4 30. a5 Rf3+ 31. Ka4 Bf6 32. Rb1 Be5 33. Rb6 Rf2 34.Rxb7 Bxh2 35. Rh1 Kg8 36. b5 axb5+ 37. Kb4 Rb2+ 38. Ka3 Rg2 39. a6 Bd6+ 40. Kb3 Rg3+ 41. Kc2 b4 42. a7 Rc3+ 43. Kb2 Rc8 44. Rf1 f6 45. Rg1 Be5+ 46. Kb3 f5 47. Rgxg7+


click for larger view

Proverbial sledgehammer to crack a walnut

Bxg7 48. Rb8 Rxb8 49. axb8=Q+ etc.

Nov-13-10  wals: Did not even think of a pawn move.

A very even game until:-

depth: 22 : 7 min :
Black blunder
(+1.93):20...Bh4. Best, Rc5, 0.30.
g5, 0.39.

depth: 22 : 6 min :
Black blunder
(+2.70):26...Rxf4. Best, h5, +2.34.

depth: 23 : 4 min :
Black blunder
(+4.99):28...Bd8. Best, Bg5, +2.38.

Black resigned move 29.

Nov-13-10  David2009: Alex,
Visit crafty chessforum

<alexrawlings: Nice puzzle today. Can anybody tell me what <the endgame simulator> which some user are kibitzing about is please?>

Nov-13-10  David2009: <goodevens> Congratulations on finding the win first time!

More generally there have been some excellent kibitzes today.

<goodevans: {snip] I too had a go at the endgame simulator and got a victory first time [snip] here there is a simple plan which I stuck to religiously:
a) Need to play a5 (as in the game) to fix black's pawns on light squares; b) Keep black's K away from the Q-side; c) Focus on winning one of the Q-side pawns to leave a passed a-pawn.>

This - forming a strategic plan - seems to me exactly the right approach to use. There is a temptation when playing Crafty EGT to move as fast as it does. It is much better to take time to think things through and form a plan and try it out.

Sometimes the best-laid strategic plans fail because of a concealed tactic which Crafty EGT discovers: but, hey, that't chess.

You can also think of the more difficult endgame or middlegame positions as strategic puzzles. What is the right strategy to use? Thus they complements the tactical puzzles set by Chessgames.com.

For an example in preparation, see Friday's GOTD Tal vs Tolush, 1957 (post in preparation but it is too late tonight I am off to bed. We have been having an excellent evening with friends).

To anticipate tomorrow's post: At move 32 Tolush (Black) had the fleeting opportunity to sacrifice the exchange (32...Rxg5) to blunt Tal's attack. It gives Tal a winning ending but the R v N ending reached against Crafty EGT some moves later is hard to win - unless you spot the right strategic plan when the ending suddenly becomes straightforward.

Nov-13-10  rilkefan: <al wazir>:
"28...h4 29. Kb3 b5. Now what?"

28...h5 29.Kb3 b5 30.ab ab 31.Rf5 looks good to me.

But ok, it does sound like the endgame is harder than I thought. Guess I'll give that Crafty site a try.

Nov-13-10  gofer: Well the rook trap was not difficult to see, 21 b4 screams to be played, but can white complete the task? It is easy to trap a rook in this position, but also taking it is not going to be easy!

<21 b4 ...>

The threat of Bc4 is immediate and must be dealt with first. Otherwise black might as well reply with Rb5 and accept the exchange down. In any case other moves are inferior! (i.e. 21 b5 Be4 winning Ra8 or Rd5 and 21 f5 Bc4 winning Rd5 with a skewer!)

<21 ... Rc8>
<22 a4! ...>

The rook trap is complete. The rook cannot go to any square on the 5th rank without being taken and so all white needs to do now is play Bc4 or Be4. Bc4 is no longer available, so black must try to make Be4 unavailable.

<22 ... f5!>

Now that Bc4 is not available, playing f5 is not so disasterous.

<23 gxf5 ...>

Now it is at this point that I am starting to doubt black's strategy. It is a bit like a poker player being drawn in to raising on the flop, river and turn only to find out that he doesn't have the nuts. If black plays 23 ... g6 then the best he can hope for is losing rook for bishop, 24 Be4 Rxf5 25 Bxf5 gxf5, but I don't see this as a good result. Black has opened up the g file and created pawn islands and still traded rook for bishop! I think at this stage that black should go for 21 ... Rb5 and "take the hit", yes black loses the exchange, but gains not having an open file directly in front of its king.

In passing part of me liked 22 c4! dxc3 23 Bxh7+ Kxh7 24 Rxd5 but this seemed way too dangerous... ...Time to check!

Nov-13-10  Patriot: I only spent several minutes on this and 21.b4 comes to mind quickly to trap the d5-rook.

21.b4

Now it looks like either 21...Rb5 and giving up the exchange immediately or 21...Rc8 to stop 22.Bc4.

21...Rc8 22.a4 looks to be winning.

I didn't spend much time on this, but the 22...Rc3 resource is interesting. I presume the reason is after 23.Be4 d3 24.Bxd5 dxc2+ 25.Kb2 cxd1=Q 26.Rxd1 etc. So black had to give up the exchange anyway after a fight.

Nov-13-10  rilkefan: Ok, fwiw I hadn't understood what's wrong with 22.c4 but I see, having tried Crafty, that black gets a lot of counterplay against the advanced white pawns.
Nov-13-10  toso51: 24...Rxd3??
Nov-14-10  M.Hassan: "Very Difficult" White to play 21.?
Black is a pawn up

The Black Rook on d5 is a target for attack. It can not move to king side and can only manouvre on the Queen side. I spent some time studying the attack by pawn movement as below: 21.f4 dxf4
22.Bxh7+ Kxh7
23.Rxd5
In this line, White looses a Bishop and a pawn and gains a Rook but, this line "did not sit on my heart" since I thought that Shirov would not fall for it and secondly, 21.f4 Rc5 an escape route for the Rook is created. It was at this moment after half hour that I saw the move that could show red light to the Rook

21.b4 d Rook can not move anywhere in row 5 now
21.........Rc8 preventing 22.Bc4
22.a4 This move closes one more refuge square for d Rook if Bishop attacks it via e4 22..........Rc3
23.Kb2 Rxd3
24.Rxd3 Bf2
25.c3 Be3
26.Re1
And I think it is the time for Black to resign and for me to check the solution

Nov-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <sethoflagos> Fritz 10 also likes the 21. b4! Rc8 22. a4! Rc3 23. Be4! d3 24. Kb2! Rxc2+ 25. Kb3 Rd4 26. Bxd3 Rg2 27. Bxh2+ Kxh2 28. Rxd4 29. Rxd6 line.

The win it found versus Crafty was 29...Rxf4 30. Rb6 Rf3+ 31. Kc4 Rf4+ 32. Kd5 Bf2 33. Rxb7 Rd4+ 34. Kc6 Kg6 35. Rb1 Be3 36. Kc7 Rc4+ 37. Kd6 Kg5 38. Kd7 Kg6 39. a5 f5 40. Rb6+ Bxb6 41. axb6 Rd4+ 42. Kc8 Rc4+ 43. Kb7 Rc2 44. Ka7 Rxh2 45. b7 Rh8 46. Rc1 Re8 47. Rc8 Re7 48. Kxa6 Rxb7 49. Kxb7 Kg5 50. Ka6 Kg4 51. b5 f4 52. b6 g5 53. b7 Kh3 54. b8=Q Kg4 55. Qe5 Kh4 56. Rc3 Kh5 57. Qe8+ Kh6 58. Rc6+ Kh7 59. Qg6+ Kh8 60. Rc8#.

White commits to an aggressive attack on the Queen-side with the King and both Rooks penetrating to create a decisive passer. White pretty much ignores Black's King-side pawns, knowing he will win the pawn race with tempo to spare on the Queen-side.

The key is aggressive King play to infiltrate deep on the Queen-side. Passive and defensive King play gives Black good drawing chances.

Nov-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  sethoflagos: <patzer2:> I tried a couple of the move 23 alternates (23 Rd2/Rdf1) and found them potentially quicker wins, but more difficult to play (agree with <dzechiel>, I needed a couple of goes to find the right tactics)

23 Bc4 is slower but pretty well plays itself

Going through your Fritz v Crafty I must admit that I lost track of what either player was trying to do from 35..Be3 on. Why doesn't Fritz play 38 Rxf7 for example?

Oct-26-11  notyetagm: GC: TRAP PIECES BY TAKING AWAY THEIR FLIGHT SQUARES

Radjabov vs Shirov Linares 2008 21 b2-b4! traps Black d5-rook midboard by denying a5-,c5-flight squares

From Evernote:

Radjabov vs Shirov Linares 2008 21 b2-b4! traps Black d5-rook by taking away a5-,c5-flight squares

<GC: TRAP PIECES BY TAKING AWAY THEIR FLIGHT SQUARES>

Clipped from: http://www.thechessmind.net/storage...

Radjabov vs Shirov Linares 2008 21 b2-b4! traps Black d5-rook in midboard by taking away a5-,c5-flight squares

(4012) Onischuk,Vladimir (2483) - Dvoirys,Semen (2598) [B92] Chigorin Memorial Open St Petersburg RUS (5), 18.10.2011 [Monokroussos,Dennis]

21 b2-b4! traps Black d5-rook by taking away a5-,c5-flight squares

Oct-26-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: TRAP PIECES BY TAKING AWAY THEIR FLIGHT SQUARES

Radjabov vs Shirov, 2008 21 b2-b4! traps Black d5-rook in midboard by taking away a5-,c5

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