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Boris Gelfand vs Konstantin Z Lerner
URS-ch otbor (1987), Norilsk, Aug-??
Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov-Petrosian Variation. Kasparov Attack (E12)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: If you remove ♙h4+♙h5 you get

click for larger view

and white mates in seven moves, starting with <1.Rh3!>

Jul-12-08  Avarus: I was miles away from 44.Rg4. That really is a nice move.
Jul-12-08  costachess: 44. Rf3 Ke8 45. Rf1 b3 46. Ra1 Rb8 47. Rf1! Ke8 48. d7+ Kd8 49.Rf8+ and white wins

Jul-12-08  costachess: correction: 47. ... b2
Jul-12-08  nezhmet: 47. ...Rb6 draw
Jul-12-08  costachess: nezhemet, you´re alright
Jul-12-08  HannibalSchlecter: why on earth on move 38 does black not play Kf6 to keep white's king away?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A very unusual move-white had to allow the rook to the c-file,barred by the pawn. The pawn looks strong,but white's mate threats and later his own advanced pawn render black's pawn hopeless.

The usual question in rook and pawn endings is: can the king be chased from the queening square of the pawn? The answer here is yes-the method:mate threats.

Jul-12-08  D4n: (Zooter) I wanted to play Rf3 too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The problem with 44 ♖f3 is the reply ♔e8-the point is that white has no move to threaten mate (c3 and a3 are barred by the black pawn at b4). The text is used to set up 45 ♖c4-the only way to get to that file is via the fourth rank. Attacking the pawn on b4 is incidental.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: HannibalSchlecter: why on earth on move 38 does black not play Kf6 to keep white's king away?

Hmm, this made me think. I think Gelfand still wins.

38 Kf6 39 Ke4.

If black plays 39 Kb5?, White plays 40 Ke5 and picks up the e pawn. Similarly, if black plays 39 .... b4, white plays 40 Rf3 ch and black must play Kb5 and again white plays 41 Ke5.

If black plays 39 e5, I supect white plays 40 Kd5 and again the black king gets shut out, and white threatens Kc6 pushing the pawn through.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <MostlyAverageJoe: 45...Kd8 46.Rc5 with the idea of getting to the a-file with the usual threat.>

Thanks. The trick is to get the timing right: 46...b3 47. Ra5 Kc8 48. Ra8+ (48. d7+ Rxd7 49. Ra8+ Kb7 50. Ra3 Rd3) Rb8 49. d7+ Kc7 50. Rxb8 (50. d8=Q+ Rxd8) Kxb8 51. d8=Q+.

<Jason Frost>: In your line, why would black play 47...hxg5? After 47...b3 48. Rc7 b2 49. Rxg7 (or 49. gxh6 gxh6, etc.), 49...Kc8 wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Saturday (Very Difficult): White to play and win.

Material: Even. White has mating threats against Kd8. There are no immediate tactical strokes, so a strategic plan is required. The Black K is subject to mate threats when on c8 (temporarily, because of Rb7), d8, e8, or f8. The Black Pg7 takes away a flight square from Kd8 and cannot advance without immediate loss hxg6 and creation of a White passed Pg6. The White Rg3 has access to the invasion point f8 to the right of Kd8, but on the 3-rd rank, because of Pb4, Rg3 has no access to the left invasion point on the 8-th rank (e.g., a8) that would force an immediate win. White must leverage mate threats into tempi to restrain the Black Pb4, to advance Pe6, and to capture Pg7 and/or Ph6.

Candidates (44.): Rf3, Rg4


This counterintuitive move renders the Black Rb7 immobile. White aims to move his R to the 7-th rank, forcing the Black K to the b- or g-file to escape the mate threats. As the variations below show, if the K escapes to the b-file, the Black K-side Ps fall; and if to the g-file, the White R can cut the Black K off long enough for the White K to control e7 and force d8=Q without the aid of the White R, which can then sacrifice itself with impunity for the Pb4.

If Black does not play 44…b3 (e.g., 44…Ke8), Rg4-c4-c5 gains access to the a-file and then the 7-th rank anyway, and play proceeds as below.

44…b3 45.Ra4 (threatening 46.Ra8#)

45…Rb1 [Kc1 46.Ra8+ Rb8 47.d7+ Kc7 [or Kb7] 48.Rxb8 Kxb8 49.d8=Q+]

46.Ra7 (threatening 47.Rxg7 48.Rg8#)

The Black Pg7 must fall. To meet the threat 47.Rxg7, Black can counterattack:

(1) 46…b2 47.Rxg7 Kc8 48.Rg8+ Kb7 49.Rxb8+ Kxb8 50.d7 b1=Q [Kc7 is no better]

51.d8=Q+ K moves 52.Qd5

White defends both Pg2 and Ph5 and cuts the Black K off from the K-side. Black cannot prevent the White K from approaching Ph6. After Ph6 falls, White has a slow but certain win with Q+2Ps vs. Q.

Black can also frustrate the threat 47.Rxg7 directly:

(2) 46…Ke8 [Kc8 47.Rc7+ is an transposition into (1) with Pb3 instead of Pb2]

47.Rxg7 Kf8 48.Rf7+ Kg8 [Ke8 49.Rh7]

49.d7 (threatening 50.Rf1 51.Rxb1 52.d8=Q+)

Because the White K controls e7, the best choice for Black is a losing Q+P vs. R endgame.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: This was an excellent, subtle puzzle.

As an aside, 43...Rf2 instead of Rb7 sure looks like a draw.

click for larger view

One potential continuation is 44 Rxg7 Re2+ 45 Kd5 b3 46 Rb7 b2 and black looks in good shape.

click for larger view

Jul-12-08  nosh: <johnlspouge> There's a much better line for 44 ... b3 that doesn't let Black queen the pawn.

44 Rg4 b3 45 Ra4 Ra8 46 Rf4!

Now to prevent mate, Black has to move his king allowing a check with the pawn and eventual trade of rooks allowing White's pawn to queen with check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: To understand intuitively why 44.Rf3 is undesirable, the Black R can block mate threats on the a-side, so most of White's advantage derives from mate threats on the h-side. The move 44.Rf3 only forces Black to strengthen his defenses on the weak h-side with 44...Ke8.

I agree with <Jimfromprovidence>, that this puzzle is very instructive. The mate threats leveraging the advance of Pd6 and Ke6 here could occur in many R+P endings.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<nosh> wrote: <johnlspouge> There's a much better line for 44 ... b3 that doesn't let Black queen the pawn. 44 Rg4 b3 45 Ra4 Ra8 46 Rf4!>

Nice catch! I wondered why Lerner did not try the loss I described, which seemed better than the game line. Thanks, <nosh>.

Jul-12-08  jmuller: <Jul-12-08 mpl: The point of 44.Rg4...>

Thanks, mpl. I understand the position, now. :-)

I've enjoyed endgame week this week. :-)

Jul-12-08  alphee: Amazing and instructive, in fact the black rook got too many things to take care of. I was miles away from it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Another strategy black may have employed was 42...Rf6+, knocking the king back to the fifth rank.

click for larger view

Now, assuming 43 Kd5, black then plays 43...axb4.

click for larger view

His position is more flexible and in a better position to draw.

Jul-12-08  belgradegambit: < nezhmet: 47. ...Rb6 draw>

48. Rg8 mate

Jul-12-08  234: Friday puzzle Jul-11-08 <54. ?> Speelman vs Sax, 1988
Jul-12-08  Marmot PFL: Gelfand gave the drawing line for black as 43...Rf6+ 44.Ke5 Rf2 45.Rxg7 b3 46.g4 b2 47. Rb7 Kc8.

Jul-12-08  DarthStapler: I didn't get it
Jul-12-08  Jason Frost: <belgradegambit: < nezhmet: 47. ...Rb6 draw> 48. Rg8 mate>

Rg8 dosen't exist whites rook is on f1 blacks King is on e8. 47...Rb7 is also a draw

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