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The World vs Arno Nickel
"Brave New World" (game of the day Jan-12-2007)
Chessgames Challenge (2006) (exhibition),, rd 1, Aug-30
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Polugaevsky Variation (B42)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 929 OF 1067 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-17-06  Karpova: <mang00neq: The great master Tartakower once jocularly said "All rook and pawn endings are drawn".> Before or after
Capablanca vs Tartakower, 1924 ?
Dec-17-06  RookFile: Yeah, he must have said that right after Capa beat him in perhaps the greatest rook and pawn ending ever played.
Dec-17-06  RookFile: Wow, something scary just happenned. Karpova and I independently had exactly the same thought.
Dec-17-06  Nasruddin Hodja: <azaris: Well, it seems 36.b4 is crushing. If there is a defense our collective wisdom has not found it. Since we've been outplaying GMAN for a while, it's highly doubtful he can find one either.>

I agree that white has a much superior position after 36. b4 and that with blunder-free computer checking a loss is almost inconceivable.

But please. Let's leave aside the victory celebrations or the "black is lost" declarations until AN figuratively turns down his king. White may have an advantage, but if AN's analysis has a longer horizon than that of the computers, he still has a decent chance to draw, so let's not relax.

Dec-17-06  Nasruddin Hodja: <<mang00neq: The great master Tartakower once jocularly said "All rook and pawn endings are drawn".> Before or after Capablanca vs Tartakower, 1924 ?>

Actually, it was Tarrasch, not Tartakower who said this. But Rubinstein taught Tarrasch a thing or two about rook endgames, so it's best to say that rook endgames are not drawn until the players shake hands.

Dec-17-06  DrKurtPhart: re: poss in GM AN's box of tricks and swindles
found frm: Open Chess Diary 101-20.

10 March - 30 may 2001

p117. 21 May: Chess, like banana peels, like flower pots falling from windows, has the power to make men laugh

White to move, Ojanen - Ridala, Helsinki 1959

click for larger view

I found this in a column by Gert Ligterink.

Everybody knows how to win this: 1.Rh8, because after 1...Rxa7, there follows 2.Rh7+ and Rxa7. However: 1...Rh2+ and White resigned.    
Every time I come across this diagram, it's the same with me as it was with Ligterink: I can't help laughing.


p118. 22 May: Elementary, my dear Alexes

In the second round of the Astana tournament, there was a remarkable case of double chess blindness.

click for larger view

In the position above, from Shirov - Morozevich, White played 55.Kb2? (Kc2!) and now 55...Kb4?? 55...Rxh5 was perfectly possible: 56.Ra5+ Kb4 57.Rxh5 stalemate.

Now, White won after 56.Rb6+ Kc5 57.Rxh6 Kb4 58.Kc2 Rc3+ 59.Kd2 Rh3 60.Rh8 Kc5 61.Kc2 Kb5 62.Kd2 Kc6 63.h6 Kb7 64.b4 Ka7 65.Ke2 Rh4 66.Kf3 Rxb4 67.Rg8 Rh4 68.Rg6 Kb7 69.Kg3 Rh1 70.Kf4 Kc7 71.Kf5 Kd7 72.Kf6 Ke8 73.Kg7 and Black resigned.

Even stranger is that this elementary stalemate trap had already occurred in top level chess.

click for larger view

In the position above, from Bernstein - Smyslov, Groningen 1946, Smyslov played 59...b2?? There followed: 60.Rxb2 Kg4 (60...Rh2+ 61.Kf3 Rxb2 stalemate) 61.Kf1 draw. *

The tournament books adds that a few days before, Bernstein had shown Smyslov a similar stalemating manoeuver.


* colrs revrsd for:

World v GMAN

click for larger view

59...g7?? Rxg7 60. Kb5 (60...Ra7+ Kc6 61. Rxg7 stalemate) .. Kc8 draw.

59. Kb4 Rg4+ 60. Kb5 Kc8 61. Ra8+ Kb7 62. Rg8 Kc7 63. g7 Kb7 64. c6+ Kc7 65. Ra8 Rg5+ 66. kc4rg4+ 67.kd5rg5+ 68. ke6rg6+ 69.kf5rxg7 70. ra7+kxc6...etc


59. Kd4 Ke7 60. g7 Kf7 61. Ra7+ Ke6 62. c6 Rd1+ 63. Kc5 Rd8 64. c7 Rc8 65. Rb7 Kf6 66. g8Q Rxg8 etc

59. Ra7+ Kc6 60. Kd4 Rg4+ 61. Ke5 Kxc5 62. g7 Kb6 63. Rf7 Kc6 64. Kf6 Rf4+ 65. Kg6 Rg4+ 66. Kh6 Kd5 67. Rf6 Rxg7 res.

Dec-17-06  RookFile: It's kind of funny, for some reason, I've seen this same stalemate trap being brought up in practically every endgame book or conversation I've had with people with endings lately. Ossip Bernstein probably had no idea of the mileage he'd get out of his trap!
Dec-17-06  weisyschwarz: <Thorsson: OK, as apparently we are not winning until we mate, here's a b4 line to mate:

36.b4 Qb7 37.Rf1 Qd7 38.Qxd5 Re8 39.Rc1 Re6 40.b5 Qf7 41.Ra1 Qf4+ 42.Kg1 Rf6 43.bxa6 Rf7 44.Rb1 Qf2+ 45.Kh1 Qf5 46.Qb5 Kh6 47.d5 Qc2 48.Rf1 Rf2 49.Rg1 Qc7 50.Qb6 Rf7 51.Qe3+ Kg7 52.Qd4+ Kg8 53.Rb1 Qc8 54.a7 Rf8 55.a6 Qxa6 56.Rb8 Qa2 57.Qf6 Qb1+ 58.Rxb1 Rxf6 59.a8=Q+ Rf8 60.Qa7 Rf7 61.Rb8+ Kg7 62.Qd4+ Kh6 63.Rg8 Rf1+ 64.Kh2 Kg5 65.Kg3 Rf3+ 66.gxf3 h6 67.Qf4+ Kh5 68.Qh4#

Now is that winning enough?

P.S. Note that neither Rook nor Queen were swapped until the game was all over bar the mop-up.>

Looks pretty convincing to me. I want to keep the Queen and Rook into the endgame. I am headed to the ballot box, and then to bed. As usual, if anyone has a better remedy, I'm all ears.

Dec-17-06  patzer2: <RookFile> I think you're right in suggesting that 36. Qd8 forces a difficult but sure winning Rook ending. The 36. b4 line is appealing and looks promising, but I'm not convinced that the best analysis indicates a 100% sure win for White.

So, I'm voting for 36. Qd8 .

Dec-17-06  RookFile: Well, I'm just really surprised at how Qd8 and Qb6 is being dismissed out of hand. Last week that was the 'plan du jour'. This week it's b4, I guess.
Dec-17-06  Artar1: <Boomie: Our next voting challenge, assuming b4, will come after 36...Qd7. Many have pointed to this as black's best try.>

It is if were we to play 36.b3.

Dec-17-06  RookFile: Well, if ...Qd7 is the best try, then that's strong indication it was a mistake on black's part to go to b5 in the first place. The queen was already on d7! Think of what he might have done with those two extra tempos....
Dec-17-06  whatthefat: <RookFile>
The position has rather changed since then though.
Dec-17-06  Archives: R-E-D-R-U-M
Dec-17-06  whatthefat: Hmmm, after reading through the analysis on <RookFile>'s forum, I'm still in limbo between 36.b4 and 36.Qd7. Thankfully there's still a while before votes must be in.
Dec-17-06  twinlark: <You've changed your tune.> I didn't want to piccolo note.
Dec-17-06  tolow47: funny I thought Rf5 would be a superstrong and aggresive move.
Dec-17-06  tolow47: I looks like we're trying to lure the queen away with the b pawn to take black's d pawn. Lets stop the foreplay and just power take it with Rf5 which black can't stop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Qd8 for me, that's what I'm voting for.
Dec-17-06  Archives: I like the Qd8 idea - exchanging down to a Rook ending.

*Casts vote*

Dec-17-06  chesstoplay: I voted for 36. Qd8.

I'd like a forum of who voted for what move to help me decide what leadership line to follow.

I'm willing to change my vote to 36. b4.

I'd like to know what move RV, Thorsson, jepflast, Monad, Domdaniel and many others that I have learned to respect voted for.

Thanks for the great effort from all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Hi <chesstoplay>
My attitude is something like Honza expressed on the previous page: we're lucky to have a pleasant choice. I've mostly been looking at Q+R positions, both after 36.b4 and 36.Qd8 Qe8 37.Qb6 -- and I think both of them are wins.

I'm also hugely impressed by RookFile's masterwork on the rook ending after 37.Qxe8. I have some vague doubts, but there's nowhere I can point to a better try for GMAN.

It's possible all three win. I lean to 36.b4 still because it seems crushingly efficient. I simply can't understand people who ask 'where's the win?'. It's spread across many different variations, but the themes are consistent.

I do worry a little over lines where people reach a +3 evaluation and figure the job is done. There's still a danger that GMAN could jettison some pawns to activate his Q+R, in which case drawing sacrifices and combinations become a threat. But every one I've seen can be dealt with by using patience, and squeezing him a little harder before taking any pawns offered.

I've just played through a 100-year-old ending, E.Cohn-vs-Nimzowitsch, Munich 1906 (not in the CG database, unfortunately, and missing from some of the big online and commercial ones as well - but the ending from move 39 is in My System).

At one point Fritz was screaming for a move (55...Qe5 instead of 55...a5, if anyone is interested) that won material and would have left Nimzo 2 or 3 pawns up. It was far too obvious to overlook, and it had no hidden traps like a perpetual for Cohn. But it would have been a distraction from his plan; his queen would have taken too long grabbing pawns and working back to its strong centralized position. So he kept the pressure on: Cohn resigned 10 moves later.

Our winning method after 36.b4 is similar.

I've now got so much analysis - much of it duplicated elsewhere already - that posting it would probably breach the Geneva conventions on saturation bombing. But tomorrow I'll search for lines that haven't been covered and try to plug some gaps.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: The demented are always with us, along with their 'funny' little moves. But who could vote for 36.Rf5?

It never figured in analysis, it was never in the top seven engine moves. It was brought up here once or twice. <Billovsky>, I think, and I both explained why it's actually bad.

It's nothing worth getting excited about, and the numbers are tiny. But there's a pattern - a small, steady vote for non-crazy but weak moves. Maybe the game isn't living up to its educational billing after all.

Or maybe some folk can't be educated.

Dec-18-06  tigersclaw: I`ve looked over the various options and I`m voting for 36.Qd8 ... which in my opinion is more forceful and offers Black less chances to wriggle about, which is what is going to happen after 36.b4 ...
Dec-18-06  AgentRgent: 36. Qd8 Qe8 37. Qxe8 is simply winning! Why make this harder than it has to be?
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