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Ivan Nikolic vs Goran Arsovic
"Marathon Man" (game of the day Jan-02-2017)
Belgrade (1989), Belgrade YUG, Feb-17
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Positional Defense Closed Line (E95)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I see that <soberknight> already spotted that and half a dozen others.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If I were to double the number of moves in the longest game I ever played, it would be longer than this marathon--though not by much!
Jan-02-17  offramp: The longest possible chess game is 5,949 moves, so we are still a long long way from the maximum.
Jan-02-17  offramp: <Drakulo: 138... Ra3+ would have won the bishop, getting a winning chance, instead of fighting for a draw.>

I think it is likely that White played 138. Rc8+, not 138. Re8.

Jan-02-17  The Kings Domain: 😁 An endurance test of the highest order. Fun and top-notch game from the good old days. Black's persistence is admirable, going toe to toe despite his disadvantage, fighting every inch for that hard-earned draw.
Jan-02-17  PhilFeeley: Why didn't the 50-move rule kick in about halfway through this?
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <PhilFreeley> Between about 1985 and 1995 some endgames were required 100 moves, RB vs R being one of them. This change came after the discovery that those endgames need more than 50 moves with perfect play sometimes (for RB can R already some 18th century player showed it mathematically, but nobody knew how common such situations are). The rule was reverted back to 50 moves in any case after the 6-men were solved and one found out that some games need not just more than 50, but almost 250 moves (the current record is 517).
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < Last year there was a game where a player moved his Queen's Rook, then moved it back, then played O-O-O. It went unnoticed and he went on to win the game. We tried putting it in the database but the PGN viewers rejected it. >

Can the game be posted as two games.. part 1 and part 2 then start game two at the 0-0-0 point by loading a FEN string then the game moves? That way on white's first move 0-0-0 the FEN can tell the viewer castling is legal?

Jan-02-17  Petrosianic: That's not the only game out there that contains illegal moves. For example, there was a famous game that I'm not remembering now (Steiner-Colle, 1930?), where a King on h1 got knocked off the board, and replaced on g1 without either player noticing. There was another case of a Knight being put on the wrong square after adjournment, and then moving like a Bishop. But I thought most .pgn viewers had an option to either enforce or not enforce legal moves. This is the kind of thing that DOES turn up in GM play from time to time.
Jan-02-17  Amarande: <Petrosianic> The latter is J Mason vs Winawer, 1883 .
Jan-02-17  Sakariman: At least for me that huge endgame was useless and boring. Why?
Jan-02-17  AlicesKnight: Gerald Abrahams; "....Philidor discovered a beautiful method of winning with B and R against R from a certain position. A German commentator has pathetically said that 'It is only a question of getting that position'.."! Enough said .....
Jan-02-17  ChessHigherCat: <Sakariman: At least for me that huge endgame was useless and boring. Why?> I think black could have spared us this never-ending saga on move 27 with Ng4, threatening N(g)f2#. If 28. QxN(h3), Nf2+ wins the Q. If 28. Qe2/g3/f1, then N(g)f+ forces QxN, NxQ+. If 28. gxN(h3), Rf7 forces 29. QxR, QxQ
Jan-02-17  ChessHigherCat: A Pyrrhic draw: a draw so costly for players and spectators alike that the only winners are the hemlock vendors
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: In case anyone cares, after 108...Kxd5

click for larger view

The position is a draw per the Lomonosov tablebases. Of course, that implies 161 perfect moves by both sides, which would be unlikely, particularly at or near the 20th hour of play.

Jan-02-17  Albion 1959: Who would have thought that after move 110. Kxe3, the game would last for another 159 moves? I don't understand why the 50 move rule was not enforced, or did not apply here at move 161 and at move 216 ! I would expect a game like this from two computers, not two Grandmasters:
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Longest game in the database!
Jan-03-17  Amarande: <Albion 1959> The fifty-move rule draw needs to be explicitly claimed by a player, as does the threefold repetition draw. It is also a common belief that it is obligatory to claim the draw (probably because it is the norm for computer chess software to do so automatically), but it is not.

Another example is Rotlewi vs Teichmann, 1911 where White disdains the threefold repetition draw available around the 33rd move, and in this case comes to grief from it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkThornton: At the 1992 British Chess Championships, in Plymouth, my Rd 8 game lasted for 14.25 hours and 165 moves: I won early in the 6th session. The game reached the endgame of KQ+RP v KQ on move 65, and finished precisely 100 moves later. At the time, someone researched whether it was a record of any sort: the verdict was that it was the second longest game ever played in the UK, both for number of moves and time - it was beaten by a different game in each category. At the next British Chess Championships, the change was made to have a maximum of 7 hrs of play, with no adjournments and a blitz finish, if needed. I always suspected that my experiences played a part in this change.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The reason Arsovic didn't claim a draw under the 50-move rule is that FIDE at the time allowed 100 moves to win rook and bishop versus rook. See
Sep-11-20  Adrian Li: LOL my screen couldn't even fit the notation
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: IM Goran Arsovic is the greatest exponent of the rook versus rook and bishop endgame of all time! Why do I say that? He's had two of them, and scored 1.5 points! So what, you say? The superior side wins that ending over 40% of the time! True, but Goran Arsovic had the rook in both cases! He held the draw in 255 moves in this game, the longest tournament game of all time between humans. Then he WON from the inferior side (on time, I assume) in the rapid game Pavasovic vs G Arsovic, 2017.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Long! Terrible!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Korora: <White missed a win with 238. Kc5 Ra7 239. Rb1 Rc7+ 240. Bc6.>

I cut him some slack, as this was no doubt exhausting for both players.

Sep-08-21  Knightmare07: My finger hurts after going through this game
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