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Ratmir Kholmov vs Evgeny Sveshnikov
RUS-ch KO (1999), Moscow, rd 1, Dec-04
Semi-Slav Defense: Accelerated Move Order (D31)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White's king looks like the dog who try to catch two rabbits at once-in fact,it would become impossible to catch but one.

I got the first move,but this is not a true/false quiz,Sunday is an essay question.

Jul-23-06  EinZweiDrei: Like yesterday's puzzle, a surprisingly easy key, but with some depth to the continuation.
Jul-23-06  RandomVisitor: <psmith>Yes, Rybka finds 45.Nc3+, but the score is roughly -1.2 and it thinks that 46.bxc3 is White's best reply.

The next best move is 45...h5 at -1.0. Rybka has trouble seeing this all the way through to the end, but is helped a bit by endgame tablebases.

Jul-23-06  Grampmaster: Endgames always seem to be more complicated than they first appear. Maybe someone can help me with the line(s) I was looking at.

If 45...Nc3+ 46.bxc3 Kxc3 47.Bf8 g6 48.Bg7+ Kc2 49.g3 b2 50.Bxb2 Kxb2 51.Kd2

Or the alternative:

45...Nc3+ 46.bxc3 Kxc3 47.Bf8 b2 48.Bxg7+ Kc2 49.Bxb2 Kxb2 50.Kd2

Can White hold the draw with these variations?

Jul-23-06  Longbrow: After 45.unless white were to make a mistake/voluntarily give up protection of d3, black to win this game a knight sac is called for whether @ a3,c3 as played or d4,e5, etc. Correct?
Jul-23-06  CapablancaFan: <Grampmaster>< If 45...Nc3+ 46.bxc3 Kxc3 47.Bf8 g6 48.Bg7+ Kc2 49.g3 b2 50.Bxb2 Kxb2 51.Kd2> That's a pretty solid drawing line. I have been checking this line for about 5 mins. for any flaws and haven't found any yet. Pretty good.

Jul-23-06  percyblakeney: After <45...Nc3+ 46.bxc3 Kxc3 47.Bf8 g6 48.Bg7+ Kc2 49.g3 b2 50.Bxb2 Kxb2 51.Kd2> black plays for example Kb3 and waits until white runs out of pawn moves and then moves in over d3 with the king.
Jul-23-06  jahhaj: <Grampmaster> No he can't. Black will always force White's king back until he can't defend e3. Try playing on from either of your lines, you'll quickly realise it is hopeless. Understanding that White cannot hold these types of position is crucial to understanding this problem, and also very useful in real chess.
Jul-23-06  CapablancaFan: <percyblakeney><jahhaj> Still checking the variations, but both of you guys appear to be correct as it does seem that black can play "waiting" moves until white runs out and is forced to relinquish the key d3 square where soon after the e3 pawn falls. With my interest peaked now, I'm pulling out my chessboard to check the continuation personally.
Jul-23-06  NakoSonorense: Thank you, AJ. That's good advice.
Jul-23-06  Longbrow: <percyblakeney> Thanks you described the point I tried to make much better. Black obviously has the luxury of being able to "wait out" white's moves, as well as force white's moves.
Jul-23-06  Grampmaster: jahhaj: thanks I spent time playing on as you suggested and found the winning line for White ONLY if Black gets greedy and hasty as above in my second line.

45....Nc3+ 46.bxc3 Kxc3 47.Bf8 b2?? 48.Bxg7+ Kc2 49.Bxb2 Kxb2 NOW 50.g4! wins for White. 50...fxg4 51.f5!

Jul-23-06  jahhaj: <Grampmaster> Oh yes. I didn't notice that Black has given up the g7 pawn in your second line. That changes everything.
Jul-23-06  aazqua: This is the easiest sunday puzzle I've ever seen, but it is a very instructional game for those unfamiliar with the motif.
Jul-23-06  Fezzik: After last week's Sunday puzzle, I appreciate a nice, easy endgame like this. Ok, maybe it wouldn't have been so easy if I hadn't studied this and similar N vs B endings. This is one of those endgames that really is essential knowledge, thanks for sharing it!

Again, I would have reversed the order of Saturday's and Sunday's puzzles this week. But still, you're doing a great job. Thanks!

Jul-23-06  aw1988: Good grief!
Jul-23-06  Isolated Pawn: Can anyone explain why White chose not to do 37. Rxa5 ??
Jul-23-06  Isolated Pawn: To answer my own question, it looks like a draw after 37. Rxa5, so maybe he thought he had winning chances.
Jul-23-06  Fezzik: Just a quick note on the line ...Bf8. If White allows the K+P ending without the b-pawns, White's king can never leave the "square" of the e-pawn. That is, it can't go past the point where Black can just push the e-pawn to queen.

Since White has such a limited number of squares for the king, Black can force the White King, through zugzwang, to move away from the e-pawn, and either promote the e-pawn or win the rest of the pawns.

In this case, it's Black's choice on how he wins. Everyone at the professional level knows this, which is why White didn't even try that idea.

Jul-23-06  panthercat: <Grampmaster> White cannot hold the draw in your first variation. The general plan for Black is to threaten to make a passed pawn on the kingside and then, once white is out of moves, force White's king back until e3 drops. For example:

51. Kd2 h6
52. h4 h5
53. Kd1 Kc3
54. Ke2 Kc2
55. Ke1 Kd3
56. Kf2 Kd2 followed by 57...Kxe3.

Another possibility is:
51. Kd2 h6
52. h3 h5
53. h4 Kb3 and then things progress the same way as from move 53 above.

The important thing to note about the first variation is that White needs to keep the opposition to keep Black's king away from the pawns. Once White runs out of pawn moves, Black simply has to place his king in such a way that White cannot hold the opposition. Once Black realizes that White cannot use d3 to hold the opposition, it's a simple matter to force White into losing it.

In the second variation, instead of 50. Kd2, 50. g4!! and White wins: White will get a passed pawn with Black's king well outside the square of the pawn, and Black cannot get his own pawns across the board fast enough (let alone getting through the White king), thus ensuring Black's demise. 50. Kd2 also wins, but it's MUCH slower, and gives White many chances to go wrong.

Jul-24-06  LIFE Master AJ: Jul-23-06 <NakoSonorense>: Thank you, AJ. That's good advice.

You are VERY welcome! (Glad it might have helped someone.)

Jul-25-06  LIFE Master AJ: < Jul-23-06 CapablancaFan: <Grampmaster> <If 45...Nc3+ 46.bxc3 Kxc3 47.Bf8 g6 48.Bg7+ Kc2 49.g3 b2 50.Bxb2 Kxb2 51.Kd2> That's a pretty solid drawing line. I have been checking this line for about 5 mins. for any flaws and haven't found any yet. Pretty good.>

As you noted later, White eventually runs out of moves ... and then Black penetrates on d3. (I analyzed a similar line on the first page.)

Jul-25-06  CapablancaFan: <LIFE Master AJ> Correct. When <Grampmaster> originally posted his line, I only reviewed it for a few mins and initially I did believe that the line may have been enough to hold a draw.<percyblakeney> quite correctly pointed out that black can go into a holding pattern, waiting moves more or less, and soon white will run out of moves and the king will no longer be able to defend the e3 square after which it's curtains for white. I reviewed his continuation and found him to be correct and I told him so.
Jul-26-06  LIFE Master AJ: <CapablancaFan>
Thanks for the acknowledgement. Did you have a chance to review my analysis?

Cheers ... and have a fantastic day!!! :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black's 45...Nce+! forces a won King and Pawn ending. After 45...Nc3+ 46.bxc3 Kxc3 47.Bf8, Black can immediately go for 47...b2! with the same winning idea pointed out above by <LIFE Master AJ>, <CapablancaFan> and <percyblankeney> (i.e. running White out of pawn moves in order to force a decisive King to e3).
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