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Lembit Oll vs Boris Gelfand
Rubinstein Memorial 35th (1998), Polanica-Zdroj POL, rd 1, Aug-17
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Normal Variation (B45)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Motivaatoriks oli lihtsalt tahe veel elada.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: According to tablebases, Black could have won this with optimal play (the knight drops at the latest after 47 moves), but in fact he hardly did make any progress: <depth-to-mate> 63 moves at move 70 and 57 moves at the end.
Oct-29-17  Nerwal: <According to tablebases, Black could have won this with optimal play (the knight drops at the latest after 47 moves), but in fact he hardly did make any progress: <depth-to-mate> 63 moves at move 70 and 57 moves at the end.>

The winning method of 2♗ vs ♘ at b2/g2/g7/b7 is extremely hard to understand, learn and remember (in some phase it seems the moves don't make sense and you let the king escape, like in the W method of ♗+♘ but much worse). It's just not made for otb play between humans.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: <Nerwal: ... It's just not made for otb play between humans.>

I agree! Many pawnless endgames seem to be beyond human understanding...

Oct-30-17  zanzibar: Well, this is a technical draw after move 58, the first position where I can utilize Shredder's 6-man tablebases:

(58... Black to move)

click for larger view

Black has a win in 80, which looks beyond the 50-move rule. Ah, but the pawn is on the board, so let's move ahead a little:

(70. White to move)

click for larger view

Shredder gives a loss in 63, again beyond the 50-move rule.

So, technically this is a draw.

I think <Bubo bubo> essentially noted the facts - but I do quibble with the phrase "Black could have won this..."

Not according to the current FIDE 50-move rule.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <z> If you're interested in such cases this game is worth a look:-

Timman vs Speelman, 1992

Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: <zanzibar:
Shredder gives a loss in 63, again beyond the 50-move rule.

So, technically this is a draw.>

You are right, but your reasoning is a bit too simple: the Nalimov tablebases give <distance to mate>, so Black can force

click for larger view

mate in at most 63 moves from this position.

Since this number does *not* tell us when the knight gets captured, we must not conclude <63 is greater than 50, hence a technical draw!>

In order to decide whether this game can be won by Black under current FIDE rules, we have to look for the <DTZ> instead, the distance to zeroing the 50-move counter.

This information is provided by the <Syzygy> tablebases:

The position above is indeed a technical draw. Black is really close to winning, but White can keep his knight for 51 (!) moves by playing 70.Nd1!

But after the game continuation 70.Na4? Black could have won, the DTZ now being only 46 moves.

Conclusion: In a certain sense we are both right ;-), and of course no human should ever be blamed for not following the tablebase lines in one of these crazy pawnless endgames!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <Bubo> Interesting. Must admit I was under the impression that Nalimov did take account of the 50 move rule.

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