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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Alexander Morozevich
Tal Memorial (2006), Moscow RUS, rd 3, Nov-08
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. Delayed Keres Attack (B81)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <notyetagm: ***
But of course, the dishonest kibitzers here at saw the whole line in an instant, since it was so obvious to them but not to the super-GM Morozevich.>

For the record, I was following the game on-line in real time, and there were several kibitzers (not including myself) who quickly identified 48. ... Ke7 as Black's best (and probably adequate to draw) defense in response to 48. c5+. I have no way of knowing whether they were using computers and/or moving pieces about a board, but the idea was very timely posted in comments such as the following: <percyblakeney: If the line with c5+ comes up, Moro should probably retire with the king to e7 instead of taking on c5.>. An excellent assessment by <percyblakeney>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: Ponomariov was able to produce an ending where he has a better pawn structure (a passed pawn, on the queenside meanwhile Moro could not make any use of his Kingside majority) but Moro defended accurately until he made a splendid blunder in the Bishop ending. The way Ponomariov managed to get some winning prospects confusing Moro is very instructive.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. g4 d5 8. g5 Nxe4 9. Nxe4 dxe4 10. Qg4 Nd7 <A new move. 10...Qa5+, Shirov-Georgiev, 1997, 1-0.> 11. O-O-O!? <A kind of gambit. 11.Qxe4 is equal.> Qa5 12. Nb3 Qf5 13. Qg3 Be7 14. h4 Qf3 15. Qh2 Qf5 <15...0-0? 16.Nd4 Qh5 17.Be2 Qg6 18.h5, the Queen is trapped.> 16. Bg2 O-O 17. Qc7 Bd8 18. Qc4 Bb6 19. Bxe4 Bxe3+ <19...Ne5? 20.Qb4 Bxe3+ 21.fxe3 Qf2 22.Bxh7+!, White wins.> 20. fxe3 Qe5 21. Qd4 Rb8 22. h5 b6 23. h6 g6 <23...Bb7? 24.hxg7 wins for White.> 24. Nd2 b5 25. Nf3 Qxd4 26. exd4 Rb6 27. Rhf1 b4 28. Rde1 <28.Ne5? Nxe5 29.dxe5 Rb5, Black wins a pawn.> a5 29. Ne5 Nxe5 30. dxe5 Rb5 31. Bd3 Rc5 32. Rf4 Bb7 33. Rc4 Rfc8 34. Rxc5 Rxc5 35. Kd2 Rd5 36. Re4 Kf8 37. c4 Rc5 38. Re3 Ke7 39. b3 Kd8 40. Be4 Bc8 41. Bf3 Kc7 42. Kd3 Kb6 43. Ke4 Rc7 44. Rd3 Rd7 45. Rd6+ Kc5! <45...Rxd6? 46.exd6 Kc5 47.Ke5 Bd7 48.Kf6! Kxd6 49.c5+! Kxc5 50.Kg7, White wins.> 46. Kf4! Rxd6 47. exd6 Kxd6 48. c5+! Kxc5? <48...Ke7 49.Ke5 Ba6 is a draw. But so does 48...Kd7. 49.Ke5 Ke7 50.c6 Ba6 51.c7 Bc8, draw. 49.Be2 Ke7 (or 49...Bb7 50.Bb5+ Bc6 51.Bd3=) 50.Ke5! (50.c6? Kd6 51.Bc4 e5+ 52.Ke3 Be6 53.Bxe6 fxe6 54.Ke4 Kxc6 55.Kxe5 Kd7, Black wins) Ke7 is a draw.> 49. Ke5 Ba6 50. Kf6 Kd6 51. Be4 Be2 52. Kxf7 Bg4 <52...Bh5 53.Kg7 Ke7 54.Kxh7 Kf7 55.Bd3 e5 56.Be4, zugswang. White wins.> 53. Bxg6 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: One interesting finesse in the endgame that could have arisen if Morozevich had played 48. ... Ke7 is that if Ponomariov had (1) played his Bishop to a8 or b7 and then (2) pushed his pawn to c6, Black could hold by putting his Bishop on the long diagonal (e.g., the g2 square) when the White Bishop is on b7, but he would need to move it to the f1-a6 diagonal whenever White played Ba8.
Nov-09-06  Ulhumbrus: On 48..Kd7 49 Ke5 Ke7 50 Ba8! Ba6 51 Bc6! Bc8 52 Bb5! Bb7 53 c6 Bc8 ( on 53...Ba8 54 Ba4 Black is in zugzwang) 54 Bc4 and Black is in zugzwang, and has to give way.
Nov-09-06  onco111: 46. Kf4 is the kind of move computers don't like. If black refuses the second sac (Kxc5) two moves later, the game is drawn. But Ponomariov figured there'd be a pretty good chance that black would stumble with Kxc5 and give him the win. It worked!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Ulhumbrus: On 48..Kd7 49 Ke5 Ke7 50 Ba8! Ba6 51 Bc6! Bc8 52 Bb5! Bb7 53 c6 Bc8 ( on 53...Ba8 54 Ba4 Black is in zugzwang) 54 Bc4 and Black is in zugzwang, and has to give way.> But in this line, Black should be OK with 51. ... Be2 or 51. ... Bf1.
Nov-09-06  Ulhumbrus: <Peligroso Patzer: <Ulhumbrus: On 48..Kd7 49 Ke5 Ke7 50 Ba8! Ba6 51 Bc6! Bc8 52 Bb5! Bb7 53 c6 Bc8 ( on 53...Ba8 54 Ba4 Black is in zugzwang) 54 Bc4 and Black is in zugzwang, and has to give way.> But in this line, Black should be OK with 51. ... Be2 or 51. ... Bf1.> I think that you are right. One unsuccessful attempt to win goes 52 Bd7 Kxd7 53 Kf6 Ke8 54 Kg7 Bf3 55 Kxh7 Kf8!! the white K can't get out to free the h7 pawn and it is Black who wins.
Nov-09-06  Ulhumbrus: One instructive point about 48 c5+! following 46 Kf4!! is that the Black King is overloaded defending not a pawn in addition to the square c5, but the point e5. White's plan may be described thus: White makes use of the overloading of Black's King to take a central point (e5). His King uses this point to invade the Black position (by Ke5-f6) and from there to remove a pawn (the f7 pawn) which defends a point (g6) on which a winning sacrifice (Bg6) becomes then possible. If one regards the taking of the point e5 as equivalent to the taking of a piece, it means that the capture ..Rxd6 which draws the f4 pawn on to e5 and opens the way for Ke5 exposes not a point to capture but exposes a piece to capture, so Black cannot win a pawn on d6. Kf4 opens the long diagonal for the KB and uncovers an attack upon the point c6 at a moment when the Rd6 is in fact immune to capture. This resource is instructive, entertaining and ingenious to a high degree. If the computers disagreed with Kf4, it suggests that the computers can miscalculate on occasion, if the resource necessary is subtle enough.However the suggestion does not in fact apply here. For on 48 c5+ instead of 48...Kxc5? 48...Kd7! appears to draw. So if White wants to to win, he has to find something else. This was a nice try which succeeded.
Nov-09-06  slomarko: <I assume you are referring to 49. ... Ba6. But wasn't Black already lost after 48. ... Kxc5? 49. Ke5, assuring that the White King will penetrate on the weak K-side dark squares?> 49...Bd7 is better and if 50.Kf6 then Bc6! holds.
Nov-09-06  Tactical: 49...Bd7 50.Kf6, Bc6 51.Bg4
Nov-11-06  Albertan: <whatthefat: Surely it's a dead draw after 46.Rxd7 isn't it?>

Yes it is.

Nov-13-06  Manic: It's odd. Although I think that the kibitzers are right in saying that 48...Ke7 draws, GM Ian Rogers in his newspaper column and the ICC newsletter both give Kf5 and c5+ !! (excellent moves). By these annotations, I assume that both consider it to be a forced win after 46.Kf4.
Nov-13-06  AdrianP: 7. ...d5 is extremely unusual although Moro seemed to get an OK-ish position out of the opening.
Nov-15-06  Albertan: <AdrianP: 7. ...d5 is extremely unusual although Moro seemed to get an OK-ish position out of the opening.>

Yes it is, i found Black had only played the move 15 times in my database (which has over 2 million 6 hundred games). Maybe the most famous game this move was played was in the Bobby Fischer-Samuel Reshvesky game from the 1966 US Chess Championship (won by Fischer in 43 moves which is in the database: Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1966

Nov-15-06  euripides: Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1966 is not quite the same position. There Reshevsky played 6...d5 against a Keres attack in the Sheveningen, so a6 had not been played. This allows White to force the isolation of the d pawn, and the move was identified as suspect in Keres' own annotations to the game against Bolgoljubow that gave birth to the variation (which, it seems, he dreamed up over the board). 7...d5 in this game, which started with a Najdorf move order, does not have this problem, because Bb5+ is not available. It does open the position after Black has made six pawn moves out of seven, leaving him a little behind in development, but the idea avoids the Perenyi and seems quite appealing.
Jan-02-07  FJCF: my question is possible ??? 43.Bb7 44.Kf4 Bf3 45.Kf3 (45.Rf3 a4 46.Ke4 Rc7) a4 46.Ke4 axb3 47.axb3 Ra5 48.Rf3 Ra7....
Jul-25-07  positionalgenius: A great game....
Sep-07-07  dabearsrock1010: This guy has such a creative end game mind
Feb-18-08  sallom89: <dabearsrock1010> very true.
Mar-02-08  sallom89: 10...e5 wouldn't it cost Ruslan a knight ?
Nov-14-08  gambitfan: 50 ♗e4? ♗e2 51 ♔f6 ♗g4 52 ♔xf7 ♗f5
Nov-14-08  gambitfan: After 50 ♔f6 , 51 ♗e4! is the obvious winning move of the game...

To prevent this deadly mobve, instead of 50... ♔d6? 50... ♗d3!

Dec-23-08  DwayneMeller: 10...e5 11Qze4! And e5 is pinned to the king.
Jul-16-09  shaqcosteau: I'm confused as to why Morozevich didn't play 43...Bb7 in order to trade black's terrible bishop. I see 43...Bb7 44. Kd4 Bx 45. Rx Rc7, and I assume there is an idea involving c5 that I'm not seeing. Any help?
Nov-08-10  sevenseaman: Winning move comes at the very end.
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