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Pia Cramling vs Natalia Pogonina
Women's World Championship Knockout Tournament (2015), Sochi RUS, rd 5, Mar-29
Queen's Gambit Declined: Lasker Defense (D56)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Strategy of waiting.

After 39.Kxf3 Pogonina decided to wait, and played Kd7-d8-d7 for fifteen moves in a row!!

Position after 39...Kd7

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Position after 53...Kd7

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Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: The art of doing nothing.

"Is there a method to this madness? We may never know if this is an odd way to offer a draw, a strange way to gain time on the clock, or a brilliant try to get the opponent to create weaknesses in his position." (GM Gregory Serper)

According to Serper, these are key features of a position where you might consider "doing nothing":

The position must meet all three of the following conditions

-You absolutely, positively have no good plan.

-Your pieces are on their best squares so you cannot possibly improve any of them.

-You are well prepared for any possible activity of your opponent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Cramling's endgame rules.

Pia Cramling: "You need to have active pieces. You should find more targets. When I put a pawn on h5, there was a target on h6. It was quite logical that pawn should go further."

Mar-29-15  Nerwal: But maybe here waiting was the decisive mistake at move 49. 49.... gxh4 looks bad but the continuation of the game seems to offer very few chances to survive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Pia Cramling: "When I got this rook ending, where she could only make Kd8, Kd7, it was fantastic position for me. But it took me long to decide where I should place my h pawn, whether it should be on h5 or continue on h3. Then I found the right move.

Position after 48...Kd8

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49.h4 Kd7 50.h5

You should find more targets. When I put a pawn on h5, there was a target on h6. It was quite logical that pawn should go further.

Maybe she had to take on h4, but then I could have a possibility to enter with my king to f4. And she would have to play f6. But she has a danger to be in zugzwang. I will go Kf5. So, I think it was nice position for me."

Mar-29-15  SimonWebbsTiger: Pure Ulf Andersson!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: I agree with <SimonWebbsTiger> about the similarities to Andersson. In this game, Ulf Andersson vs Huebner, 1981 Andersson played h5 to fix the h6 pawn for future harvest.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: With this win, Cramling improves to 4.5/5 in classical games with white in this tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Mating Net> That's good. Another analog, not so close, is Rubinstein vs Alekhine, 1911.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Sergey Shipov: "This was one of the best games of the championship. I'm sure Cramling's play in this rook endgame can safely be included in endgame textbooks."
Mar-31-15  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 27...Ke8, 27...Ke7 advances the king towards the square d6

If Black gets into trouble after 28...Nd5 an alternative is to prepare the move by 28...Re6-d6 to be followed by ...Nd5

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