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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Sergei Rublevsky
World Championship Candidates (2007), Elista RUS, rd 1, May-29
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation (B46)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-29-07  Karpova: Great Queen ending from Rublevsky who scored an important win! He shows that he can play fantastic chess!
May-29-07  Knight13: Sucks that Ponomariov didn't have the guts to resign until the very end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Exciting Queen vs Queen ending with pawns thrown in.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: What exactly does he gain by resigning. Queen endings are tricky and there are always chances of perpetuals.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: <plang> 92...Qg2 is pretty much curtains for White's queen as black is now certain to end a queen up.
May-29-07  Justawoodpusher: 49 Qb6 is the decisive mistake by Pono here.

Well, if a woman (the queen) leaves the man (the king) alone with another woman the game is over...

May-29-07  Justawoodpusher: Correct play would have been e.g. "stay by your man" with 49 Qd2!
May-29-07  Ezzy: <Justawoodpusher - Well, if a woman (the queen) leaves the man (the king) alone with another woman the game is over...> You describe it perfectly :-)
May-29-07  Ezzy: Ponomariov v Rublevsky
FIDE candidates Matches Elista, Kalmykia Russia, 29.05.2007 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.0–0 Nf6 9.Qe2 Be7 10.Na4 0–0 11.c4 Bb7 12.e5 Nd7 13.Bf4 Nb6 <Novelty I think. 13...a5 has been played before> 14.cxd5 cxd5 <14...Nxa4 15 d6> 15.Nc3 Nd7 16.Rad1 Nc5 17.Bb1 a5 18.Rfe1 g6 19.Be3 Ba6 20.Qd2 Rb8 21.Bd4 Rb4< Idea is to play 22...Nd3 23 Bxd3 Rxd4> 22.Qe3 Nd7 23.a3 Rb7 24.f4 Bc4 25.Rd2 Nb8 26.Bd3 Bxd3 27.Qxd3 Nd7 <That was a surprise. I was sure it was heading for c6> 28.Na4 Qb8 29.Rc1 Rc8 30.Rdc2 Rbc7 31.Rxc7 Rxc7 32.Rxc7 Qxc7 33.Qc3 Qb7 34.Kf2 <[34.Qxa5 Bxa3 35.bxa3 Qb1+ 36.Kf2 Qc2+ 37.Kf3 Qe4+ 38.Kg3 Qxd4 and black is extremely active.]> 34...Qb5 35.Qc2 Nb8 36.Nc3 Qb7 <Threatening 37...Nc6 and the bishop can't go to e3 because of 38...d4 >37.Ne2 Nc6 38.Bc5 Qb5 39.Bxe7 Nxe7 40.Qc3 h5 41.Nd4 Qb6 42.Ke2 Nf5 43.Nxf5 gxf5 44.b4< Time to create a passed pawn >44...axb4 45.axb4 Qa6+ 46.Ke3 Qa7+ 47.Qd4 Qa3+ 48.Kf2 h4 49.Qb6? <extremely clumsy play by Ponomariov. It's not as if the white can do anything on b6. He has just ruined a good position >49...Qb2+ 50.Ke1 Qc1+ 51.Ke2 Qc4+ 52.Kd1 Qf1+ 53.Kc2 Qc4+ 54.Kd1 Qf1+ 55.Kc2 Qxf4 56.Qd8+ Kh7 57.Qe7 Qxe5 58.Qxf7+ Kh6 59.b5 Qe2+ 60.Kc3 Qc4+ 61.Kd2 d4 62.Qf8+ Kg6 63.Qg8+ Kh5 64.Qe8+ Kg5 65.Qd8+ Kg4 66.b6 Qc3+ 67.Kd1 Qd3+ 68.Kc1?? <Why would Ponomariov allow black to win a pawn with check. Very strange choice of king move. [68.Ke1 Qe4+ 69.Kf1 Qb1+ 70.Ke2 Qb2+ and surely black has to keep checking so not to let the b pawn queen. 71.Ke1 Qc1+ 72.Ke2 Qe3+ 73.Kf1 d3 74.Qg8+ Kf4 75.g3+ Kf3 76.Qa8+ Qe4 77.Qxe4+ fxe4 78.Ke1 hxg3 79.hxg3 e3 80.b7 d2+ 81.Kd1 Kf2 82.b8Q e2+ 83.Kxd2 e1Q+ 84.Kc2 This is probably a draw.] >68...Qf1+ 69.Kb2 Qxg2+ 70.Kb3 Qf3+ 71.Kc4 Qc3+ 72.Kb5 Qb3+ 73.Ka6 Qa3+ 74.Kb5 Qb2+ 75.Ka6 Qa2+ 76.Kb5 Qe2+ 77.Kc5 Qc2+ 78.Kd6 d3 79.b7 d2 80.Kxe6 Qe4+ 81.Kf6 Qc6+ 82.Ke5 Qxb7 83.h3+ Kxh3 84.Qd3+ Kh2 85.Qxd2+ Qg2 86.Qd1 Qf2 87.Kf6 f4 88.Kf5 f3 89.Kg4 Qg3+ 90.Kh5 f2 91.Qf1 Qf3+ 92.Kh6 0–1

Extremely bad Q+P endgame play by Ponomariov. Move 49 Qb6? just neglects his king, and Move 68?? Just defies all chess logic of allowing black to win a pawn with check.

May-30-07  Marmot PFL: Probably Ponomariov didn't think he cpuld lose with the passed b pawn and played carelessly. Extremely good technique by Rublevsky.
May-30-07  acirce: <49 Qb6 is the decisive mistake by Pono here.>

Disagree. This was a draw for a long time, based on perpetual check possibilities and White's advanced passer. The much more logical 57.Qf6 instead of 57.Qe7 looks like an instant draw, but even afterwards it's probably still drawn somehow.

May-30-07  DP12: 18.Bh6 is an amusing possibility maybe.
May-30-07  euripides: I find it quite natural that Ponomariov wanted to evacuate his king (68...Kc1). On average, a pawn is proabbly worth less than a tempo here. It is very tricky to defend with the king in front of the advancing pawn, because threats to the king generate tempi for the attacker.

May-30-07  Justawoodpusher: I played around for quite a while with Fritz and <acirce> you are right, 57. Qf6 holds the draw. After 59. Qxf7 it is at least very difficult to find a way to draw.
May-30-07  IMDONE4: <Ezzy>, Kc1 is not a mistake... after Ke1 black can play Qe3+ and then after the king moves, d3!, and its an even easier win
May-30-07  Knight13: <Kc1 is not a mistake...> I put this move in my Deep Junior 9 and soon after Kc1 is played the red light came on, which means it IS a mistake. The computer gave the score as -1.41 before Kc1 and after Kc1 it became -2.45.
May-30-07  euripides: <knight> the drop of 1 point in the evaluation may just mean that the computer noticed Kc1 loses the g2 pawn. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a mistake.
May-30-07  IMDONE4: <Knight13>, see what evaluation junior gives after Ke1

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