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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Evgeny Tomashevsky
FIDE Grand Prix Tbilisi (2015), Tbilisi GEO, rd 8, Feb-23
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-23-15  1 2 3 4: Amazing.
Feb-23-15  Marmot PFL: Another case for the "two bishops" - rook against two knights and a bishop is a draw, because the rook can threaten to take the bishop.
Feb-23-15  dumbgai: Very interesting endgame. MVL misplayed the middlegame, leading to a situation where he was forced to sacrifice material. I would have preferred playing Nc3 first before d4.
Feb-23-15  hcgflynn: this endgame is just wow. wow!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Tomashevsky is no joke.

If anyone saw him at the last World Cup they know the guy <can play.>

Wesley So, Alexander Morozevich, and Levon Aronian can attest to that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Yes, in the last World Cup Tomashevsky was just a round away from qualifying to the Candidates (lost in rapids to Andreikin in the semifinal).

Out of interest, here the endgame down to 6 pieces from tablebase point of view. After 67... Kxh4 it is mate in 57.

68. Ra1 (56) Kg5 (56)
69. Rg1+ (53) Bg4 (55)
70. Rg2 (54) Bc5 (56)
71. Rg3 (55) Nf4 (55)
72. Ke5 (53) Bf2 (53)
73. Ra3 (52) Bh3 (52)
74. Ra5 (51) Bg2 (51)
75. Ra3 (50) Ne2 (50)
76. Ra5 (47) Bg3+ (47)
77. Ke6 (46) Kg6 (46)
78. Ra6 (45) Nd4+ (45)
79. Ke7 (44) Kg7 (46)
80. Ra1 (44) Bh3 (44)
81. Rh1 (42) Bg4 (42)
82. Rg1 (41) Ne2 (41)
83. Rf1 (40) Bf4 (40)
84. Rd1 (35) Nc3 (35)
85. Rd3 (31) Ne4 (35)
86. Kd8 (34) Nc5 (34)
87. Rd5 (33) Ne4 (40)
88. Rd3 (34) Ng5 (36)
89. Ke7 (32) Nf7 (32)
90. Rd4 (19) Bg5+ (19)
91. Ke8 (18) Ne5 (31)

Resigns, since the only way to avoid mate is Rxg4, going for knight-and-bishop mate).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: According to Endgame Explorer: R vs BBN, this endgame showed up twice before (both ended in wins for the minor piece): H Treer vs Fahrni, 1927 and N Grandelius vs S L Ivanov, 2008.
Feb-23-15  Pulo y Gata: Beautiful game! MVL went amok but Tomashevsky's conversion was amazing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The theoretically won endgame arose after 51...Kxh4

click for larger view

Black mates in 62.

Black has to push White's king to the side of the board. The 50-move rule wouldn't be a problem since the pawn and the rook could be captured in time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: As <alexmagnus> explained, the pawnless endgame is also theoretically won

click for larger view

Black mates in 56.

In correspondence chess, in this position Black would be allowed to immediately claim a win.

2013 ICCF Congress in Kraków, decided that for all tournaments started after 01/01/2014, players will be allowed to claim a win or draw if the position can be resolved in a 6 men tablebase position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: <Penguincw: According to Endgame Explorer: R vs BBN, this endgame showed up twice before (both ended in wins for the minor piece): H Treer vs Fahrni, 1927 and N Grandelius vs S L Ivanov, 2008.>

This type of endgame (R vs BBN) showed up in the following three games as well:

Andrei Bonte (2307) - Constantin Lupulescu (2593), Erforie Nord Open, 2010

click for larger view

Thorsten Michael Haub (2474) - Nikolay Sazanov (2217), Muensterland Open, 2006

click for larger view

Heiko Schneider (2250) - Peter Anderberg (2071), Neckar Open, 2001

click for larger view

The players with minor pieces managed to win.

Feb-23-15  Marmot PFL: <Howard Staunton in The Chess-Player's Handbook, originally published in 1847, included almost 100 pages of analysis of endgames (Staunton 1848:403–500). His analysis of the very rare rook versus three minor pieces endgame is surprisingly sophisticated. Staunton wrote, "Three minor Pieces are much stronger than a Rook, and in cases where two of them are Bishops will usually win without much difficulty, because the player of the Rook is certain to be compelled to lose him for one of his adversary's Pieces. If, however, there are two Knights and one Bishop opposed to a Rook, the latter may generally be exchanged for the Bishop, and as two Knights are insufficient of themselves to force checkmate, the game will be drawn." (Staunton 1848:439) Modern-day endgame tablebases confirm Staunton's assessments of both endings (Müller & Lamprecht 2001:403). Yet Reuben Fine, 94 years after Staunton, erroneously wrote in Basic Chess Endings that both types of rook versus three minor piece endings "are theoretically drawn" (Fine 1941:521). Grandmaster Pal Benko, an endgame authority and like Fine a world-class player at his peak, perpetuated Fine's error in his 2003 revision of Basic Chess Endings (Fine & Benko 2003:524). Grandmaster Andrew Soltis in a 2004 book expressly disagreed with Staunton, claiming that rook versus two bishops and knight is drawn with correct play (Soltis 2004:84). Endgame tablebases had already proven that Staunton was correct, and Soltis wrong, although it can take up to 68 moves to win (Müller & Lamprecht 2001:403).>
Feb-23-15  Marmot PFL: Staunton also promoted the most popular set of chess pieces (known today as Staunton pieces although designed by Nathaniel Cook) and organized the first international chess tournament (London 1851).
Feb-23-15  kelu: Can't MVL try keep on playing and claim for a "50 pawnless moves" draw ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: He can't because Black can capture the rook in time. For instance, in the final position, White can avoid the mate only by sacrificing the rook 92.Rxg4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: The Tomahawk does it! That was a tremendous display of chess skill.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Fifty moves rule - If both sides have made 50 consecutive moves <without making a capture> or pawn move then a player may claim a draw.
Feb-23-15  Steve.Patzer: I believe it is possible to get a draw after the captures of the Bishop and Rook.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: White went full caveman <15.Ra8> on the Q-side, <17.d4> center, and <23.Nxc4 27.Bxf7+> K-side, but never sniffs a profit. It surely leaks advantage to Black, just because he's not using his tempi to force trades (and so he craftily uses it to offer bad deals).

By naive point count, R+PPPP ~= BBN. If the PPPP were a flying wedge of 4 with K support, they might win by themselves :) But as 2 pawn islands of 2, they fail the first test of the rosette: everything does not protect everything else. Then they're only ripe apples, and Black just doubles them off.

Hence, somewhere around 25, White was already essentially down a piece ~= 3 points, as only the horizon masks the inevitability. Fatigue does strange things?

Feb-23-15  ponaldpuck: Would have loved to see MVL take the bishop and make Tomashevsky prove he knows the B+N mate. I guess that would have only led to Tommy feeling one of two things: insulted...or humiliated.
Feb-24-15  Ulhumbrus: Because Black combines the moves 17...exd4 and 20...Be6 the capture 21 Bxe6 will not give Black doubled e pawns.

Perhaps with 18...c5 Tomashevsky has anticipated that White will not be able to keep Black's backward d6 pawn from advancing to d5

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I was going to post about the BBN v. R ending, but I see that everyone has already thoroughly explored that! <Marmot PFL> has even found what I wrote in Wikipedia about it! I would add that George Walker, like Staunton, recognized that BBN v. R was a win, while BNN v. R was a draw. <The Art of Chess Play> (4th ed. 1846), pp. 253-54. The only known example of the latter ending is this battle of titans: Karpov vs Kasparov, 1991.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I would be greatly surprised if Tomashevsky couldn't win with B+N, but hey, Epishin and Ushenina failed, among others: Endgame Explorer: BN vs K. To paraphrase Larry Evans, no one ever drew a game by resigning.
Feb-24-15  falso contacto: Is it too late to start supporting this guy?
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