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Igor Bondarevsky vs Paul Keres
Moscow (1947), Moscow URS, rd 11, Dec-12
Catalan Opening: Open Defense (E04)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-06-07  Silverstrike: White missed 50.Rxh6+, which checkmates blacks king.

50.Rxh6+ gxh6 51.Qe5+

A) 51...Kh7 52.Rf7+ Kg6 53.Qf5#
B) 52...Rg7 52.Rf8+ Kh7 53.Qf5+ Rg6 54.Rf7 Kh8 55.Qe5+ Kg8 56.Qe8#

The book "Sharpen Your Tactics!" says that white was in time pressure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  g15713: White to move at 74

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According to FinalGen, a chess endgame tablebase generator for Windows, one now knows this is a win for White. Those with Lomonosov Endgame Tablebases for 7 pieces can verify this.

The following is an article on this endgame from ChessPublishing by Poghosyan - a great endgame specialist especially on rook endings!

Start with diagram D. 1 - the reading will make more sense


<"The structure a- and h-pawns versus h-pawn is generally favourable for the defender because losing the pawn does not lead automatically to a lost position. Liquidation to a drawn position without a pawn is often the only drawing strategy achieving a Vancura-type draw."> Poghosyan


<"This move throws away the win. White should have immediately activated his rook placing it behind his pawn. 74.Rd4+ Kf5 75.Ra4 Ra6. This position arose later in the game after 83…Kf5."> Poghosyan

White forgot Tarrasch's rule:

<"The original quote, from page 57 of his book The Game of Chess (1938) is: In complicated Rook endings the most important rule is one laid down by the author: The Rook's place is behind the passed pawn; behind the enemy pawn in order to hold it up, behind one's own in order to support its advance.">


Premium Chessgames Member
  g15713: Black to move at 74

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<"Black misses the opportunity to bring his rook to an active position by 74...Re5 75.a6 Ra5. If 76.Ra8 then 76…Rf5!"> Poghosyan

Black forgot Tarrasch's rule


Black to move at 75

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<"This move loses. Here 75...Re5! was already necessary. 76.Rf7+ Ke4 77.a6 Ra5 78.Rf6 h5 79.Kg3 Ra2=."> Poghosyan

Again Black forgot Tarrasch's rule

Game continuation went:

76.Rb7 Ra6 77.Rb5 Kf3 78.Kh4 Kf4 79.Rb4+ Kf3 80.Ra4 Kg2 81.Ra2+ Kf3 82.Ra3+ Ke4 83.Ra4+ Kf5 84.Kh5 Ke5 85.Kg4 Ke6 86.Kf4 Kf6 87.Ke4 Ke6 88.Ra3 Ke7 89.Ke5 Ke8 90.h4 Ke7 91.Kd5 Kd7 92.h5 Kd8 93.Kc5 Kc7 94.Kb5 Rf6 95.Rc3+! Kb7 96.Rc5

Premium Chessgames Member
  g15713: Black to move at 96

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<"This is a critical position which has been considered by annotators as drawn. In fact, the position is winning for White."> Poghosyan

96...Rf1 97.a6+? (97.Rd5! wins - starting at diagram D. 1.4 detailed analysis by Poghosyan)



White to move at 98:

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<"This position is drawn because Black can achieve the Vancura position where the h-pawn does not play any role."> Poghosyan

98.Rc7+ Kb8 99.Rc6 Ka7 100.Rxh6 Rf5+! 101.Kc4 Re5 102.Kd4 Rg5 103.Ke4 Rc5 104.Kd4 Rg5 105.Rh8 Rf5 1/2-1/2

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