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Tigran Levonovich Petrosian vs Hrair Simonian
TCh-ARM (2008), Yerevan ARM, rd 4
Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation. Wing Attack (B43)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-06-11  TheaN: Thursday 6 January 2010


Material: = (Black 6♙ vs 6♙ > 1♙♙)

Candidates: Bxa6, Kf4, g4, <[Bxh5]>

The first sac to come to mind is obviously Bxa6. Very obviously not much later we can already dismiss this move. No initiative, no compensation. It is odd then however, many did not immediately consider the ram Bishop on the other side of the board. Consilidation moves like Kf4 are much more logical, or g4 to exchange inner for outer pawns. However, the sac is so obvious once you see it.


<40....gxh5 41.g4 hxg4 42.h5 > where the positioning of the White King determines. So, the Bishop is actually immune.

<40....Kc7 41.Be2 > this is not a pleasant position to be in as Black. Now White is dominating the king side's outer files, and g4, h5 - h8 are easy enough moves. Black has to give up his defense, allowing White to create a second weakness on the Queen side. And as Waitzkin always says, in the endgame you need two weaknesses to exploit to win. Time to check.

Jan-06-11  M.Hassan: "Medium" White to play 40.?
Materials are equal
White has doubled pawns on e file which although in general is a disadvantage but in here helps him because Black King can not use d5 and d6 squares and if White pushes b pawn to b4, Black King can not use Queenside at all for as long as Bishop is stationed on a6f1 diagonal and Black a pawn can not march towards promotion because it will be captured. So, I think the game may continue thus:

40.b4 Bd7
41.Kf4 Bb5
42.Bf3 Kc6
43.Kg5 Kd7
44.Kf6 Ke8
45.g4 hxg4
46.Bxg4 Bd3
I saw 40.Bxh5 but did not think it would be a winning line!-Lot to learn

Premium Chessgames Member
  Geronimo: I saw immediately that the white pawn structure was stronger than it's initial appearance suggested and that black's bishop and king were both ineffectual. I then looked at an immediate 40. Kf4, with the intention of attacking the pawn chain - what can the black pawns really do here? - and an eventual white queen. Of course 40.Bxh5 got the job done immediately *sigh*.

Is 40. Kf4 losing? It would be so typical of my play to grind out a win with a blunt mallet when a scalpel would have been sufficient....

Jan-06-11  nuwanda:

i wonder how many people here have seen that after 40.Bxh5 black is just one tempo short of stopping the white h-pawn...

so, as <Once> told us, fritz move 39...Bb7 defends against this threat. but i would like to know how fritz will defend the resulting position, to me it seems lost.

after 40.Kf4 black has the choice:

40...Kxb6 41.Kg5 Bxe4 42.Kf6 Bxg2 43.Kxf7


40...Kd7 41.Kg5 Ke7 42.Bf1 Bc8 43.Bd3 Bb7 42.Be2 Bc8 43.Bd1 Bb7 44.Kf4

and both defences seem to be lost

Jan-06-11  daveinsatiable: 35 f4! is a beauty, the sort of move I'd never find (indeed it took me a good couple of minutes of head-scratching just to work out why it was played). Lovely.
Jan-06-11  gmalino: Oh yes, it's Thursday, fighting day for me.

Looks like you need to have endgame-skills for this puzzle, let's see...

White to move. Even material, everyone has ws-bishops. White has doubled pawns on the Kingside, blocked by a black pawn that is protected by blacks ws-bishop. We have a King close to blacks pawns, so this could be a decisive lead.

40. Kf4 aiming on the f7-pawn. Black can't protect with the bish because he has no space behind this pawn. .........Kc6
41. Kg5 Kd7
42. Kf6 Ke8
That holds for black!

Ha, now I saw something mariachi-style.

40. Kf4 Kc6
41. Kg5 Kd7
42. Bxh5! gxh5
43. g4 hxg4
44. Kxg4 Ke8
45. And the black King is in the magical square.....
Somewhere must be one! tempo.
Trying it differently. Maybe the King moves are unnecessary..

40. Bxh5! gxh5
41. g4! hxg4
42. h5!
And Voilą, the h-pawn can't be stopped anymore....

If this is right it's the first week in which I got 4/4, uh-uh-uh...

Jan-06-11  Chesschatology: <Once> A lovely peice of analysis, throwing light on the depth and creativity of Petrosian's play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: The idea of the bishop sac in this sort of position comes to mind very quickly. The black LSB is blocked from stopping the h pawn from promoting, so getting to the all important g6 square takes quite a while... 1 ... Bd7 2 ... Be8 3 ... f5/f6 and now the bishop is free to get to g6. BUT now we come to the crux of the problem for black. Playing 3 ... f5/f6 allows exf6, at which point the black LSB has 2 pawns to stop and both are on the six rank... over! So even though the attack does need this extra thrust (if black accepts the sacrifice) it is there all the same (if black does not accept the sacrifice)!

<40 Bxh5 ...>

40 ... gxh5 41 g4 Bd7 (hxg4 42 h5 winning) 42 gxh5 Be8 43 h6 f6/f5 44 h7/exf6 winning

<40 ... Bd7>
<41 Be2 Be8>

41 Bd1 is good but doesn't tie the king to the defense of Pa6, so I think white should play 41 Be2.

<42 g4 f5>

I am not 100% certain that 42 ... a5 is 100% necessary, but losing another pawn is really going to make life difficult, but it might be a nice lure to tempt white away from the main attack, but only a fool would take it... ...a king move is equally fruitless...

<43 exf6 Bf7>
<44 h5 gxh5>
<45 gxh5 Kc6(?)>
<46 h6 Bg8>
<47 h7 Bxh7>
<48 f7 ...> winning

Jan-06-11  JohnBoy: Total agreement with <Rouselle> and <dave>. White's 35.f4 is the winner. Beautiful insight. A delightful plan to seal in the black bishop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: T L Petrosian vs H Simonian, 2008 White 40?

White can win a Pawn safely with 40 Bxh5! after which the win requires only care and patience. This has to be done immediately since 40 b4? Bd2 41 Bxa5? loses to gxh5! since 42 g4 f5! 43 gxh5 Be1 wins for Black. I originally went for 40 Bxa6 and then capturing the f and g Pawns before creating a pased h pawn. But this loses to Bxh6 41 Kf4 Kc5 42 Kg5 Ke4 etc 0-1

Before consulting the game, I investigated the position with Crafty End Game Trainer (which is a good way of testing out proposed winning plans for White against a reasonably strong and vey rapid-playing computer opponent):

click for larger view You are white, drag and drop the move you want to make to test out the variations. For advice on setting up Crafty EGT see crafty chessforum. Time to check the game and to enjoy the other kibitzes:
<Chesschatology: <Once> A lovely piece of analysis> Agreed.

<Fezzik: 40.Bh5 wins, but doesn't the much more mundane 40.Kf4 intending Kg5-f6-f7 and so on also win?> 40 Kf4 Kc5 41 Kg5 Ke4 and Black is fine - try this line out aginst the EGT.

Jan-06-11  Fuegoverde: I liked this one, it's nice and easy, but... I didn't found it. Yesterday I found the rook sacrifice but in a real game probably I wouldn't, instead I think that if I was playing a real game there's a chance that I could have found today's Bxh5!
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: What does white do if simply 35...exf4? I suppose 36. e5 to keep white locked in on white squares and keep the lsb a really bad bishop.
Jan-06-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this bishop and pawn ending, material is even, but black has a very bad bishop with no access to any of white's pawns. In slightly different positions (e.g. with dark-squared bishops or knights on the board) white's doubled e-pawns might be a fatal weakness, but in this position they are untouchable and immobilize the kingside pawns, depriving black of any chance to exchange pawns favorably. My first instinct on seeing the position was to play b4, to provoke a5 and pull the black king one tempo further from the kingside. Then I found the simplest plan:


Of course - in pawn endings, the top priority is to create a dangerous passed pawn if possible. The BK and BB are way too far from the action. If black accepts the bishop, white's h-pawn turns into Usain Bolt; if black declines, the remote pawn can be caught, but the position is hopeless.

A) 41... gxh5 42.g4 Bd7 (hg 43.h5) 43.gxh5 Be8 44.h6 promotes.

B) 41... Bd7 42.Be2 Be8 43.g4 Kc6 44.h5 gh c5 (or c6) 46.exf6 e.p. Kd6 47.h6 Bg6 48.e5+ Kxe5 (Kd7 49.Bh5 is overwhelming) 49.h7 Bxh7 50.f7 promotes.

C) 41... Kc6|c7 42.Be2 (Bxg6 fxg6 43.g4 Bd7 or Kd7 contains the h-pawn) Kd7 43.Kf4 Ke7 44.Kg5 a5 45.g4 Kf8 46.Kf6 Bd7 47.h5 gxh5 48.gxh5 Be8 49.Bg4 a4 50.h6 Kg8 51.Ke7 Bc6 52.h7+ Kxh7 53.Kxf7 Bxe4 54.Bxe6 wins with routine technique.

Most likely, black resigns after 40.Bxh5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: A defensive try for Black that hasn't had much attention is the idea of taking the bishop, playing ...hxg4, and pushing the g-pawn: 40.Bxh5 gxh5 41.g4 hxg4 42.h5 g3 43.h6 g2 ...

Now White must play Kf2 to stop the g-pawn, and if only the black bishop was already on the a8/h1 diagonal black could actually win with ...Bxe4. But in the game, Black must interrupt his rushing g-pawn to play ...Bb7, and the tempo lets White force his h-pawn through first.

Close, though. This was the main line I looked at after 40.Bxh5, as it's the most crucial. Rejecting the Bishop sac, as in the game, or trying to get the black bishop into the action in other ways, simply fails.

Jan-06-11  daveinsatiable: <beenthere240> if 35. ... fxe4, e5 is indeed the move, followed by Bf3 and black's bishop must die preventing the b6 pawn from promoting. White can probably even squeeze in 36. b4 to tie down the a pawn and ensure it comes off right after the bishop.
Jan-06-11  waustad: This reminds me some of a Chandler game: Chandler vs M Steadman, 2008
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The goal of this one is to force the h pawn home with the king,when black's king comes to defend,the other pawns will queen.
Jan-06-11  1.e4effort: well, black's King is out in the garden picking daisies while his foot soldiers are left to pick their noses all by themselves. All the action is on the White kingside, so that's where i'm looking. I do NOT want to sac my Bishop, but I see nothing better that will get the ball rolling. After 40.Bxh5 the White King can do a little pillaging and shepherding. Anyway, that's my guess...
Jan-06-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: FWIW my line B should have read 45... f5. Petrosian's 42.b4 is safe, but unnecesary. Crafty EGT defended my line C by giving up the a-pawn, as hopeless a defense as anything else.

<DomDaniel> A nice point, that black only loses by a tempo in your line.

Jan-06-11  SpoiltVictorianChild: The lack of possible moves made this one pretty easy for me... nothing else seemed to offer much, so I tried Bxh5 and made it work pretty quickly.

Saw that he couldn't stop promotion if he accepted the sac, and that the bishop could keep the queen-side safe while the king marched the pawns up if he didn't...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Domdaniel> FWIW, your point ties in well to the observation of <Once>, that white should have played 39...Bb7, putting pressure on the e4 pawn.

click for larger view

I think that stops the 40 Bxh5 tactic, but white still has 40 Kf4, eying the f7 pawn.

click for larger view

Maybe white still wins here?

Jan-06-11  BOSTER: Looking at this position you have clearly understand that Black infringe Capablanca's rule: when you have a bishop put your pawns on opposite color squares. Of course you can try playing "b4",creating a barrier,or moving white king to "f6",but my opinion this is not a road to Rom. Using the fact,that not black king,not black bishop,because of such chain f7,g6,h5, can not reach very fast h7 or h8 you can play the bold move 40.Bxh5 and create the pass. pawn. If 40...gxh5 41.g4 hxg4 42.h5. But if black did not accept the sacr. you will create the pass. pawn playing g4 and h5 after bishop move back.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I didn't get it
Jan-06-11  estrick: < gmalino: . . . it's the first week in which I got 4/4>

For someone with a 'sac track mind' it's been an easy week for me too.

Jan-06-11  wals: I went for Kf4, which was inferior to Bxh5, according to Rybka.

Analysis by Rybka 4 x64: ply 26 :
10 min :

1. (4.77): 40.Bxh5 Kc7 41.Be2[] Kd7 42.Kf4 Ke7 43.g4 Bb7 44.h5 gxh5 45.gxh5 Kf8 46.h6 Kg8 47.Bh5 a5 48.Kg5[] Bxe4 49.Kf6[] Kh7 50.Bxf7[] Kxh6 51.Bxe6 Bc6 52.Bf7 Bd7 53.e6 Bxe6 54.Bxe6 Kh5[] 55.Bc8

2. (3.08): 40.Kf4 Kc5 41.Kg5[] Kd4 42.Kf6[] Kxe4 43.Kxf7[] Kf5 44.Bd3+[] Kg4 45.Kxg6 Kxh4 46.Be2 Bd7 47.Kf6[] a5 48.g3+ Kxg3 49.Bxh5 Kf4 50.Bf7 Ke4 51.Bxe6[] Be8 52.Bc8 Kd5 53.Bf5 Bb5 54.e6 Be8 55.e7

RYBKA 4 x 64

Looking for major errors.

BLACK: ply 26 : 12 min :
(+4.77):39...Kxb6. Best, Bb7, +2.94.
and Black was struggling, and resigned move 46... .

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