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Judit Polgar vs Viktor Korchnoi
Tradewise Gibraltar (2012), Catalan Bay GIB, rd 10, Feb-02
French Defense: Classical. Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-02-12  talisman: white won...thanks chessgames!
Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Travis Bickle: Vic is complaining his clock isnt working properly. ; O
Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  watwinc: Not very courteous ...
Feb-02-12  goldenbear: Thanks chessgames
Feb-02-12  talisman: <Travis> i'm with you...i was pulling for vic, but vic ain't happy right now.
Feb-02-12  Mozart72: Thank you, chessgames.
Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Congratulations Polgar!

Great to see an endgame grind in real time.

Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Nice win by judit! A lot of people thought that she would only get a draw out of this but she ground korchnoi down & got a full point out of it. She ended this tourney on a good note by getting a win & not settling for a GM draw.
Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Thank you, ChessGames, for highlighting this game between two true legends.
Feb-02-12  parisattack: Nice win, but Victor is amazing. We'll check in mid-century, see how Judit's game is holding up in her 80s.
Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Not a draw, in the hands of Polgar.
Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Nice game Polgár! Even the result seems that Polgar can beat Korchnoi, they were however both had a chance to be World Champions at one point (Polgar, 2005; Korchnoi, 1978 and 1981).
Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I think the end game grinds are less common is because of the many quick draws. As for the game, a quick play through tells me 54...Bf6 was necessary. My plan is simply Bf6/d8 and I don't see how the White King can enter. If White can win this, then the f Pawn is the key. Tossing it in Fritz. Results next post.
Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Well, Fritz isn't good enough to win. Anyone able to run this through Houdini or Rybka?


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White to move 55. ?

Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Well, Houdini 1.5c thinks it found a win (d=30) by 55.Be3 55...Bf6 56.f4 gxf4 57.Bxf4 Be7 58.Bd2 Ke5 59.g5 Kf5 60.Kd4 Ke6 (if 60...Bxg5 61.Bxg5 Kxg6 the K+2P endgame is lost for Black) 61.Kc3 (61.Kc4 immediately may save a tempo) 61...Kf7 (otherwise 62.g6 transposes to the main line) 62.Kc4 Bd6 63.Kd5 Bg3 64.g6+ Kf6 (otherwise White's king penetrates into the q-side) 65.Be3 (but here I would think that 65.Bc3+ forces the issue and prevents Black's bishop from attacking White's pawns on the e1-a5 diagonal) 65...Kxg6 66.Ke6 Be1 67.Bc5 Bd2 68.Kd7 Kf7 69.Kc8 Ke6 70.Kxb7 Kd5 71.Kxa6


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And this is a mate in 17 by White per the Nalimov databases but a clear win for White regardless. I'll try Rybka next to see if it finds a quicker win.

Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Ooops! That should have been Houdini 1.5a, not 1.5c. I don't know what I was thinking.
Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Aaargh! Never mind, I set up the initial position wrong, with the Black bishop on g7 instead of f6. I'll try it again, starting with Rybka.
Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Well, Rybka 4.1 thinks that it's found a win, [+5.15], d=26: 55.Ke4 Bc3 56.f4 gxf4 57.Kxf4 Bd2+ 58.Ke4 Bh6 (I think this is questionable since now White's bishop reaches d2 where it protects the Pb4 and supports the advance of the g-pawn. But what choices does Black have? 58...Kf6 59.Kd5 and White's king penetrates the q-side) 59.Be3 Bf8 60.Bd2 Bg7 61.g5 Ba1 62.Kd3 Be5 63.Bc3 Bf4 64.g6 Bc7 65.g7 Kf7 66.Ke4 Bd6 67.Kd5 Bf4 68.Bd4 Kg8 69.Bc5 Kxg7 70.Ke6


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And White's king penetrates to the q-side and captures both of Black's q-side pawns for an easy win. Looks pretty straightforward to me; exchange a pawn on the k-side, advance the k-side passed pawn and force Black's king to go after it, penetrate the q-side along the light squares, and capture both q-side pawns. I don't see how Black can stop this. I'll now see if Houdini can do better

Feb-02-12  Wyatt Gwyon: So did Korchnoi throw @#$%, or has he mellowed in his old age?
Feb-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: And Houdini 1.5a also thinks it's found a win, [+2.58], d=30, in a manner similar to Rybka 4 but much less efficiently, and at the end it may not realize that it has a forced win: 55.Ke4 Bc3 56.f4 gxf4 57.Kxf4 Bd2+ 58.Ke4 Bh6 59.Be3 Bf8 60.Bd2 Bg7 61.g5 Bb2 62.g6 Be5 63.Kd3 Bd6 64.Bc3 Bc7 65.g7 Kf7 66.Bd4 (wasting time) Bd6 67.Kc4 Kg8 68.Bc3 Bb8 69.Kd5 (finally!) Kf7 70.Bd4 Bf4 71.g8Q+ Kxg8 72.Ke6 Bd2 73.Bc5 Bf4 74.Kd7 Kf7 75.Kc8 b6 (horizon effect!) 76.axb6 Ke6 77.b7 Kd5 78.Be7 (the simple 78.b8Q Bxb8 79.Kxb8 a5 80.bxa5 Kxc5 81.a7 suffices) 78...Be5 79.Bf6 (More wasted time. Does Houdini think that it's alter ego won't see that if 79...Bxf6 80.b8Q wins?) 79...Bf4 80.Bb2 Bh2 81.Bc1 Kc6. And apparently Houdini doesn't yet see that 82.b8Q Bxb8 83.Kxb8 is a win for White, even though I have 5-man Gaviota tablebases enabled, and have almost 300,000 tablebase hits so far.


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So, at least in this case, it seems that Rybka 4.1 is a better endgame player than Houdini 1.5a, something that I've observed before.

Feb-03-12  M.D. Wilson: She beats an old man, so she's a genius.
Feb-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <AylerKupp> If only Black could've gotten his king to b8 and played ...Bxb4, with K v. RP + wrong-colored B. But there's no way to make it work.
Feb-03-12  SChesshevsky: <<Marmot PFL: Black's mistake was probably 25...de4 leaving him with weak pawns>>

I agree. It looks like going into tactical complications with not a very good position was unwise. I'm guessing Korchnoi wasn't happy with his position and got frustrated.

Maybe something like 25...a6 with the goal of exchanging off the White squared Bishops helping out the problem backward e-pawn and then try to get ..Ba7 & ..Qf7 targeting f2 might get to exchange Q's or B's and getting better prospects with a double rook endgame.

For the text endgame, I thought typically once the Rooks come off, a passed pawn with same colored B's wins.

Feb-03-12  King Death: <SChesshevsky: <<Marmot PFL: Black's mistake was probably 25...de4 leaving him with weak pawns>> I agree...>

This is a strange looking move and in my opinion Korchnoi missed something in his analysis because his judgment isn't that bad.

<... It looks like going into tactical complications with not a very good position was unwise. I'm guessing Korchnoi wasn't happy with his position and got frustrated...>

Who says his position wasn't very good? Besides, if Black really thought his position was worse, it might often be better to mix it up than to sit there and take it in a passive position. This is one area where great players are just that, they're better at figuring out when a position is bad for them and taking that kind of drastic action.

<Maybe something like 25...a6...>

This idea or 25...Bc6 both seem okay to me although I like 25...a6 better because it prepares ...Ba7 which gains time by the pressure on f2 to get the rook at a8 into the game. Black looks equal after either idea. He has weaknesses but he has play against f2 and I think is this enough. Without knights on the board or an effective pawn break how will White get anywhere?

Feb-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Out of engine curiosity than anything, I thought I would see how Stockfish 2.2.2 and Critter 1.4 evaluate the position, and this time letting them calculate overnight. I was also curious to see how Stockfish would do since it's the only one of the 4 engines I tried (Houdini, Rybka, and Critter being the others) that doesn't have a table base capability. Results :

<Stockfish 2.2.2>: [+10.66], d=49 (yes, Stockfish goes deeper in a given amount of time than any other engine I know, particularly in simplified positions): 55.Kc4 Bd8 56.Kd4 Bf6+ 57.Ke3 Kd5 58.f4 Bd8 59.fxg5 Bxg5+ 60.Ke2 Ke5 (I would have thought that 60...Ke4 would be better, preventing White's next move) 61.Be3 Be7 62.Bc5 Bxc5 63.bxc5 Ke4


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Again a win for White. Stockfish actually evaluated the position at [+10.66] for 3 other White 55th moves; 55.Ke4, 55.Ke3, and 55.Bd4. I thought that the line starting with 55.Ke4 was the most logical and direct but that is deceiving since White's king winds up on c4 anyway, and Stockfish played several inaccuracies by White, delaying the inevitable. Stockfish evaluated the line starting with 55.Ke4 as definitely winning (eval greater than [+2.00] IMO) as far back as d=34 after only 29 seconds of calculation.

<Critter 1.4>: [+4.85], d=33: 55.Ke4 Bc3 56.f4 gxf4 57.Kxf4 Bd2+ 58.Ke4 Bh6 59.Be3 Bf8 60.Bd2 Bd6 61.g5 Be5 62.g6 Bb2 63.Kd3 Bg7 64.Kc4 Bf8 65.Bc3 Bd6 66.g7 Kf7 67.Kd5 (now White's king penetrates the q-side and it's all over) 67...Bg3 68.Be5 (68.g8Q+ followed by 69.Ke6 would have been quicker and simpler. Critter now spends several moves unsuccessfully trying to exchange bishops) 68...Bf2 69.Bd4 Bh4 70.Bc5 Bf6 71.Kd6 (the jig is up!) 71...Bxg7 72.Kc7 Be5+ 73.Kc8 (bizarre, why not 73.Kxb7?) 73...b6 (horizon effect again, apparently) 74.axb6 Ke6 75.b7 Kd5 76.Bb6 (I was wrong earlier, 76.b8Q Bxb8 77.Kxb8 only draws. That's why Houdini avoided it) 76...Kc6 77.Ba5 Bf4 78.b8Q Bxb8 79.Kxb8 and now it's obviously just a matter of time.


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But the remainder of Critter's line is somewhat bizarre: 79...Kb5 80.Kb7 Kc4 81.Kxa6 Kd5 82.b5 Kc4 83.Bc3 (why ???) Kd3 (equally puzzling, why not take the bishop?) 84.Be1 Ke2 85.Bc3 Ke3 86.b6 (phew, I thought that maybe Critter would go for a draw by repetition!)

To summarize: All 4 engines found the winning idea of forcing a k-side passed pawn, pushing it and forcing Black's king to abandon its centralized position in order to prevent it from queening, and then penetrating with the White king along the light squares to capture both of Black's q-side pawns. But all the engines except Rybka committed several inaccuracies along the way from the perspective of finding the quickest winning lines. So, as I've found several times before, Rybka plays the best endgame. Also a warning to make sure that you review any engine's suggested lines in endgame positions.

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