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Alexander A Evdokimov vs Evgeny Sveshnikov
Russian Championship (2003), Krasnoyarsk RUS, rd 9, Sep-12
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  1/2-1/2

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-02-04  acirce: <soberknight> Playing to win in a position that is not dead drawn has nothing to do with bad sportsmanship. N vs R is not as totally unproblematic to hold as for example R vs R would be. A couple of careless slips and maybe your K has lost connection with your N.
Jun-02-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This was another case where underpromotion wins out. Of course,the knight promotion was needed to knock out the opposition and prevent mate.
Jun-02-04  myratingstinks: Someone please answer a question. Why not promote to queen?
Jun-02-04  AdrianP: <myratingstinks> White must promote with check. If 60. f8Q then Ra8# as <exide> pointed out above.
Jun-02-04  ruylopez900: <soberknight> With advanced endgames like this it is natural for the theoretically lost side to play on to make the won side prove they can do it. If they can then you accept it and resign when mate is forced. Otherwise its not your fault they didn't know it.
Jun-02-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: I checked out the statistics on this type of endgame. Although both ♖ vs ♘ and ♖ vs ♗ are considered theoretical draws, ♖ wins 27% of times in the former endgame, 25% times in the latter one. These statistics are taken from practical games and I do not know how many of those games should have ended 1/2:1/2 with proper defense.
Jun-02-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <chessgames.com> I rather enjoy the punny titles in the daily puzzles even if I sometimes don't get what they mean, so I like the idea of storing them in a separate file.
Jun-02-04  Dillinger: I also like the puns.

At a level of play as high as this, I think it's bad sportsmanship to play on. It's an insult to your opponent, who at his level should easily find the draw.

Jun-03-04  ruylopez900: <Dillinger> Maybe in principle, but may I remind you that Black, guy with the Rook, Sveshnikov could not win this ending. Therefore it can hardly be considered disrepectful for Evdokimov to have continued playing on.
Jun-03-04  acirce: <Dillinger> As if it never happens that a player "should easily" find the draw, or the win, but doesn't. What is wrong in finding out?
Jun-03-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: The statistics on practical percentages noted higher can be restated as follows: bare ♖ vs ♘ yields 63.5% to the ♖; bare ♖ vs ♗ yields 62.5% to the ♖. For a comparison, ~55% is the yield to White from the initial position of chess. Personally, I see nothing a'priory disgraceful playing such adds. That one should excercise a good judgement (i) when to abort the try and (ii) how to use clock goes without saying.
Jun-03-04  Dillinger: <ruy>, I meant Sveshnik should not have played on. I am guessing it was black who refused draw, since he had the (useless) material advantage. <acirce>, I just think that Svesh should give a 2400 player credit for understanding how to draw the game instead of (arbitrarily?) playing on to the 86th move!
Jun-03-04  Dillinger: <Gypsy> I think it's particularly wrong for either side to play on hoping the other loses a drawn position on time!
Jun-03-04  acirce: <Dillinger> Look at the game from the N promotion on, there are many pitfalls and potential pitfalls on the way as is natural when the starting position is with the K and the N somewhat awkwardly on the rim like that. I can imagine MUCH weirder things than a 2400 player making some stupid mistake in such a position.
Jun-03-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Dillinger: <Gypsy> I think it's particularly wrong for either side to play on hoping the other loses a drawn position on time!> You lost me here; we have a disconnect somewhere. I consider it a fine form to play for win a slight, but probably drawn advantage--as long as you play reasonably swiftly. I consider it crass (though perfectly within rules) to play excessively slowly in hopes to bore your oponent into a blunder. I am not sure what scenario you discuss.
Jun-04-04  Dillinger: <acirce> I guess we simply disagree... <I can imagine MUCH weirder things than a 2400 player making some stupid mistake in such a position.> Yes, but conversely, I can think of GM's agreeing to draws in much less clear positions than this!
Jun-04-04  acirce: <I can think of GM's agreeing to draws in much less clear positions than this!> Yes, of course. Was that a joke or an argument? :-) I would accept a "GM draw" in many cases, but I would almost always play on with a small advantage if there was no realistic risk of losing.
Jun-04-04  midknightblue: I dont mean to jump in the middle of this, but any GM that played on from this clearly drawn position would have to be such a moron that I would wonder how he ever became a GM. anyone rated higher than 1400 would easily earn a draw with the king N vs King R in this position.
Jun-04-04  acirce: Why do you think that <midknightblue>?
Jun-17-04  RonB52734: If I'm not mistaken, under USCF rules, white can claim a draw by insufficient losing chances (but maybe has to let his clock run down to 2 minutes to make the claim). I suspect FIDE rules are similar, but I don't know.
Jun-17-04  acirce: <RonB52734> Would that apply to this case? That would be totally absurd.
Jun-17-04  rover: <acrice> The (FIDE) 2 minute rule says that a draw can be claimed if the the opponent is not trying to win by normal means or if winning by normal means is impossible. Now, what normal means is is open to interpretation but I think this position can be won by normal means, as blundering a theoretically drawn ending is quite normal. :)

But I think if the defender has shown that he could defend the position for 20 moves it's not fair to play on just becouse he might not produce the same kind of defense in time trouble. I think it's irrational to expect players to reserve enough time to play 50 more moves in an absolutely drawn position.

On the other hand I can't completely agree with <MidKnightBlue> either. If my opponent doesn't know the defense he does not deserve the half point. And it is my responsibility to find out if he does or not. Of course playing on can be interpreted as an insult saying: "You are weak, you can't even draw this one" but it can also be interpreted as a friendly question.

Jun-19-04  RonB52734: Unfortunately, somebody borrowed my copy of the (USCF) official rules of chess while I was volunteering at the National Elementary Champtionships in Pittsburgh this year, so I can't cite you chapter and verse. Perhaps the person who has my copy will be kind enough to quote the ILC rule for us. (But I'm not bitter).
Jul-16-04  Capafan9: I think that that rule would apply here. Clearly the underpromotion allows white to hold. I was thinking that he may have claimed that rule here. You can't really include blundering into such rules because that would defeat the purpose.
Jun-03-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: Personally, I think it was rather unsporting how long Sveshnikov dragged the endgame out. In this ending, the player with the knight does not really need to know much technique. The key to holding the draw is simply to not let the knight wander too far from the king, which should be intuitively obvious. Yes, there are some long wins for the player with the rook - in fact, some won positions require over 25 moves to mate or capture the knight - but in virtually every non-trivial winning position the knight and king are separated and unable to get together.

As for the statistic that about a fourth of these R vs B and R vs N endings are won in master level play, well, that is actually misleading, since most of these wins came by simplification from favorable endgames. The player with the rook allowed the simplification because he knew he could still win it. If the simplification looked like a clear draw (for example, the king and knight were in contact), then most likely the player with the rook would have played something else.

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