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Peter Svidler vs Etienne Bacrot
Morelia-Linares (2006), Morelia MEX, rd 4, Feb-22
Russian Game: Nimzowitsch Attack (C42)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-22-06  fgh: Bravo for Svidler! :-)
Feb-22-06  John Abraham: Good job by Svidler. He maintains his joint lead with Leko.
Feb-22-06  EmperorAtahualpa: This is the second time already that Bacrot is playing the Petrov in Linares. He usually goes for the Ruy Lopez!
Feb-23-06  Karpova: <EmperorAtahualpa>
well, his results with the petrov weren't that bad. he got a comfortable draw against topalov and only lost to him at corus because of a stupid blunder which can be easily avoided. but it seems that the petrov is not enough to stand a really good chessplayer like svidler
Feb-23-06  AdrianP: That was a very nice conversion by Svidler. To my casual and unskilled eye, it looks like Bacrot defended from move 20 onwards quite well, but Svidler's technique was excellent.
Feb-23-06  Karpova: 14....Qa4 looks like a waste of time to me
Feb-23-06  euripides: After 20...f6 Svidler's very elegant rook manoeuvre induces Nb6 allowing the isolation of the f pawn. That and White's superior activity make the defence difficult. Beautiful stuff.
Feb-23-06  ughaibu: Does Svidler have a reputation for the endgame? This one was impressive.
Feb-23-06  AdrianP: He's fluffed a few. I dimly remember one where he agreed a draw in a one position, or something like that.
Feb-23-06  AdrianP: ... in a <won> position.
Feb-23-06  ughaibu: Thanks.
Feb-23-06  Karpova: this is Svidler's famous draw in a winning position
Svidler vs Anand, 1999
and here he resignes in a drawn position
Kramnik vs Svidler, 2004
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: An impressive technical win for Svidler in the ending.

20... f6 (?!) looks dubious. Maybe 20... Re7 is safer.

I would say that the decisive mistake was 22... Re7 (?), because after 23. Rhc4 Nb6 (23... Ne5 24. gf!) 24. Bb6 ab 25. gf, Black has three weak pawns (c7, f6, h7), and White has not a single one. It is well-known that it is very difficult to save a game when you have 3 weak points.

So maybe Black should have played 22... fg. For instance, after 23. Rhc4 (23. Bg5?! Re1 24. Kd2 Re5) Nf6 24. Rc7 Rc7 25. Rc7 Nd5 26. Rb7 Ne3 27. fe Re3, Black could have more hopes of a draw than in the game actually played.

Feb-23-06  euripides: <Mateo> nice line. But after <23. Rhc4 (23. Bg5?! Re1 24. Kd2 Re5) Nf6 24. Rc7 Rc7 25. Rc7 Nd5 26. Rb7 Ne3 27. fe Re3> 28 Ra7 I think White may win the pawn race e.g. 28...Rg3 29 b4 Rxg2 30 b5. If Black doesn't go after the g pawn then White's pased pawns look very strong. It's certainly a critical position - other options are 22..Ne5 and 22..Re5.
Feb-23-06  euripides: Sakaev thinks Black can draw the ending after move 40 if he prevents the rook invasion that happens in the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <euripides> <other options are 22..Ne5 and 22..Re5.> After 22... Ne5 23. gf gf, black pawn structure is weakened. What do you think?

After 22... Re5 23. Rhc4, I think White has a big edge.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <euripides: Sakaev thinks Black can draw the ending after move 40 if he prevents the rook invasion that happens in the game.> Interesting. Could you tell us what does he say exactly? Does he give a variation or does he say at what point Black may have blundered?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <euripides> After 23. Rhc4 (23. Bg5?! Re1 24. Kd2 Re5) Nf6 24. Rc7 Rc7 25. Rc7 Nd5 26. Rb7 Ne3 27. fe Re3 28. Ra7, 28... Re1 desearves consideration. The idea is to take the g2 pawn with check, winning a tempo.

For instance, 28... Re1 29. Kd2 Rg1 30. b4 Rg2 31. Kc3 (maybe 31. Kd3) Rg1 32. Kb2 (not allowing Rb1) Rf1 33. b5 Rf8. At first sight, I would say that Black should draw. But the variation is not forced and I am not an IGM.

Feb-23-06  alexandrovm: I love the position starting from 42. Swidler plays this ending with great precision. It is important to know all this ending theory.
Feb-23-06  euripides: <mateo> Sakaev is fairly vague about the details, but says Black should keep the rook on the e file and the king on f7-g7. I guess that the essential point may be that the f pawn is not far enough from the main pawn mass to act as a decoy and that White therefore may have no way of making progress. White might try to organise a pawn storm on the queen's wing, given the unusual pawn formation, but the black rook on e1 is well place to cope.

I agree 22 Re5 and Ne5 are not very promosing. I still suspect that the pawn race after 22..fg should come out in White's favour, but it would take a good deal of analysis to demonstrate.

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