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Peter Svidler vs Yannick Pelletier
Biel (2001), Biel SUI, rd 9, Aug-02
French Defense: Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation General (C18)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-17-07  Atking: Did Svidler miss it? He played very well until 26.Nf4. Is a better use of the weakness f6 should be possible? I suggest 26.gxh as 26...Bxh3? 27.Nf4 wins a precious tempo on the game. Else 26....Rc4 27.Be5 Rac8 28.f4 Bxh3 29.Kf2 Rc1 30.RxR RxR 31.Nf6+ Kf8 32.Rh5 Rc2+ 33.Kg3 Bg2 34.Bd6+ Kg7 35.Ne8+ Kg8 36.f5 Bc6 37.Nf6+ Kg7 38.Ng4+ Rg2+ 39.Kh3 Bf3 40.Rg5 as all exchange must win 40...Rxg4 41.RxRg4 BxRg4+ 42.KxBg4 Nf8 (42....Nh8 43.Bc5 and 44.f6+) 43.Bc5 This Bishop is stronger than the Knight. May be to much long to be conclusive but interesting.
Dec-13-07  Necessary Truths: According to Shredder's endgame tablebase, Svidler should have played 51. Ra7 with a win in 29 moves or Rc7 with a win in 38 moves; anything else draws. I guess Svidler needs to brush up a bit on his R+P vs R endgames.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Just picked up a copy of Dvoretsky’s new book, <Tragicomedy in the Endgame> (Russell Enterprises Inc. ©2011). The first position analyzed in the book (at page 8) is taken from this game after <50. … Rxh2>, as follows:

click for larger view

At this juncture, Svidler threw away the win with <51. Kf6??> (so annotated by MD; the TWO question marks seem a bit harsh to me) instead of the winning <51. Ra7> (which deprives the Black Rook of the a-file, and thus of longest-possible checking distance). Dvoretsky’s harsh treatment of Svidler’s error seems excessive particularly in light of the following passage in the Introduction, which recognizes the difficult conditions in which endgames are typically played these days:

“… nowadays it is almost always necessary to play endings in severe time trouble. The principle (sic) reason for this is the radical change in the time controls as well as elimination of adjournments. This is further aggravated by FIDE’s pernicious policy [Love that, so much that I will allow to pass without comment the annoying pleonasm, “further aggravated” – PP] of having games played at as quick a pace as possible, which inevitably leads to superficiality and poorly reasoned decisions. This in turn results in the diminution of chess as art, depriving the games played of both ideological and aesthetic value.” (Op. cit. at p. 7.)

Returning to Dvoretsky’s annotations of this game, I must share with any one with sufficient endurance to have read this far MD’s wry observation that in the above-diagrammed position the fastest way for white to win would be to cut off the black king along the g-file with the brilliant and innovative <51. Rf7-g8!!>, “[b]ut those kinds of moves ... usually are made only by some especially sharp blitz players.” (Op. cit. at p. 9.)

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Svidler missing 51. Ra7 with a win in 29 moves
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