TheaN: Tuesday 2 February 2010
Taken: slightly less than one minute, did so yesterday, no time to post.
Material: White up, ♘+♙ / ♗... for now.
Candidates: Rb8, Nf5....hm..... <[both?]>
A very critical position in this game. Black is down in material but is threatening the defender of the Rook on d1. White can move his Queen but this might lead to a strong counterattack by Black. A counterattack, if available, is in order. By the time I spotted <35.Nf5!> and the fact that it threatens mate nullifying the attack on the Queen, I thought it was the winning move. However, then I spotted <35.Rb8 Kg7 (35....Ke7 36.Nf5! with 37.Qd6 1-0) 36.Nf5<>> with quite a similar position but more forced. In fact, the last line runs into the forced drawish <36....Qxf5 37.exf5 Bxd2 38.Rxh8 Kxh8 39.Kxd2 gxf5 <>> and all White advantage is gone, aside having two connected passed pawns. So, that suggests:
<35.Nf5!> but how is this so different from Rb8? In the end this isn't with check, whilst then it is. However, no check is not a problem:
<35....Bxd2 36.Rb8 Rc8 37.Rxc8 1-0> as spoken of earlier. So, Black has to counter and can do so by capturing the Knight. Yeah, or move the f-pawn, which leads to a nice mate:
<35....f6 36.Rb8 Kf7 37.Qe7! Rxe7 38.Rxe7 Ke6 39.Re7 1-0> barely, but mate is mate. Okay, the Knight:
<35....gxf5 36.Qxg5 1-0> bad idea.
<35....Qxf5> so this might still be as forced as it was in the Rb8 line. The difference now, is that the Black King is still on f8. This leads to the very simple zwichenzug:
<36.Qd6 Kg7 37.exf5 > ouch. Does Black have any alternative? Yeah, Nf5 opens up one more defense unavailable in the Rb8 line.
<35....Rc8> hey, that's mean. To be honest I have been looking quite a lot longer than one minute at this defense.
<36.Qd7!> threatening the Rook on c8. 36....gxf5 37.Qxc8 Kg7 38.Qxe5 is losing, so the Rook has to retreat. Lets consider Re8 best, keeping the Rook on defense (36....Rd8? 37.Qxd8 Bxd8 38.Rxd8 1-0).
<36....Re8 37.Rb7> so simple, yet intruging. Forced doesn't always win.
<37....Re7 38.Rb8 Re8 39.Qd6 Be7 40.Qxe7 Kg8 41.Rxe8 1-0>
<37....Be7 38.Qxe8> through the other rank :)
<38....Kxe8 39.Rb8 Bd8 40.Rbxd8 1-0>
<37....Qxd1> desperate measures.
<38.Qxd1 gxf5 39.exf5 > and the Rook on h8 does not compensate for the ♕ / ♖+♗. Moves like 40.Qh5 end the game very soon. Time to check.