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Ngoc Truongson Nguyen vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Aeroflot Open (2008), Moscow RUS, rd 9, Feb-22
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: This is one of those really unfortunate cases. After 121.Bc5+ it's an obvious forced mate in two more moves; alas for White that's not good enough as the 50 move rule steps in.

We'd have seen an even more unfortunate case after the more precise 120.Bc7 Rb2 121.Ra1+

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when it's mate next move but the 50 move rule still gets there first.

Feb-23-08  Eyal: There's a video of the final stages of this game, titled "La nulle de Maxime", in the tournament's site (

This game demonstrates once again how hard it might be for the defending side to hold a R+B vs. R endgame, even if it's theoretically drawn (for other recent examples see A Rychagov vs Grischuk, 2007 and A Iljushin vs E Inarkiev, 2008). Going over the final phase of the game (starting from move 71) with a tablebase, it appears that Black defended accurately for a long time - finding several times only moves (or one out of 2 or 3) to hold the draw - and slipped only as late as move 113 (instead of 113...Rg2? the moves that hold the draw are Ka6/a8 or Rc8). Fortunately for him, as <SwitchingQuylthulg> mentioned, the 50 move rule kicked in just on time...

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