capablancakarpov: One of the most memorable draws of all time, and with
E J Diemer vs Tromsdorff, 1975
probably the best failed comeback i´ve ever seen.Here are the notations of this game by GM Ruslan Sherbakov and Tim Krabbe, original link
Ehlvest - Stripunsky, New York (Marshall Chess Club Championship), 14 December 2004
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.e3 a6 6.b3 Bb4 7.Bd2 O-O 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.O-O Qe7 10.Qc2 dxc4 11.bxc4 e5 12.Nh4 g6 13.f4? Ng4! Suddenly facing serious trouble, White launches on a crazy adventure. 14.Nf3 Bxc3 15.Qxc3 e4 16.Bc2 exf3 17.gxf3 Ngf6 18.e4
White has only one pawn for the piece, but the strong mobile center adds to the compensation. 18...Nh5 19.Kh1 Re8 20.Rg1 Nf8 21.f5 Qh4 22.Bd3 c5 23.d5 Qf6 24.Qc1 Nd7 25.Be2 Qe7 26.a4 "Being a piece down White is just playing normal chess, improving his position, and trying to get more resources into the planned K-side actions." 26...Ne5 Perhaps 26...Ng7 is safer. 27.Ra3 "Probably too creative. 27.f4 looked better with a very unclear play." 27...Ng7 28.f4 Better 28.Rg2 28...Nxc4
29.fxg6 Utter disregard for material considerations. After 29.Qxc4 Qxe4+ 30.Qxe4 Rxe4 31.Bf3 Bxf5 32.Rc1 c4 White would have had "reasonable drawing chances". But he probably preferred the turmoil and the unreasonable winning chances that arise now. 29...Nxa3 30.gxh7+ (-3.16 Hiarcs 10) Kh8 The automatic reaction, but 30...Kxh7, to get the King off the long diagonal, was probably stronger. Now, White is a Rook and a Knight down, and also has to make a defensive move 31.Bf3
"[Black] is spoilt for choice but there is a danger everywhere..." 31...c4 Sherbakov suggests giving back the Knight with 31...Nb5 32.axb5 axb5 or 31...b5 32.Qxa3 b4 when the Bishop cannot reach the diagonal. 32.Bc3 Now this Bishop is the strongest piece on the board. 32...f6 33.e5 Rf8? Better 33...Nf5 34.d6 Qf7? Now White is even winning. After 34...Qe6, Sherbakov gives this fantastic variation: 35.exf6 Rxf6 36.Rxg7 Kxg7 37.f5 Qxf5 38.Qh6+!! Kf7 39.Bh5+ Ke6 40.Qe3+ Kxd6 41.Qb6+ Kd5 42.Qd4+ Kc6 43.h8Q Qf1+ 44.Qg1 Qxg1+ 45.Kxg1 Rf1+!! 46.Kxf1 Bh3+ 47.Ke2 Rxh8 48.Bxh8 with good drawing chances for White. In any case, that was Black's last chance to win - now he's even lost. 35.exf6 Nf5 36.Rg7! Nxg7 37.fxg7+ Kxh7 38.Qe1? But now he's exaggerating. With the simple 38.gxf8Q Qxf8 39.Qe1 (or Qg1) he could have mated Black in 9. The idea was probably 38...Qxg7 39.Qh4+ Qh6 40.Qe7+ Kg6 41.d7 Bxd7 42.Qd6+ and mate, but: 38...Bg4! He must have overlooked that. 39.gxf8N+! A Knight promotion, too! Without that check (which could also come in the form of 39.Qh4+ Qh5 40.Qxg4 Qxg4 41.gxf8N+) White would be lost. Now, he's still better. 39...Rxf8 40.Bxg4 Qd5+ 41.Kg1 Qc5+ 42.Kg2 Qd5+ 43.Kg1? 43.Bf3 was still winning (3.20 Hiarcs 10): 43...Rg8+ 44.Kf2 Qc5+ 45.Qe3 Qxe3+ 46.Kxe3 and the d-pawn decides. 43...Qc5+ 44.Kg2 Qd5+ with the same possibility - but here, in time trouble most likely, a draw was agreed.