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Grigory Yuryevich Serper vs Catalin Navrotescu
"Rook You Like a Hurricane" (game of the day Jul-24-2009)
Oakham Young Masters (1988), Oakham ENG, rd 4, Mar-31
French Defense: Tarrasch. Pawn Center Variation (C05)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-12-09  TheaN: I uploaded this aesthetically masterpiece as this is, according to Tim Krabbé, the only game with five Rooks on the board.

Many comments include some funny variations where Black either draws unnecessarily or wins earlier:

46....Ra1 is the correct move: 47.Rh7† Kxh7 48.Re7† Kh6 49.Rh7† Kxh7 50.Kh2 Rh1‡ 0-1, where 46....g1=R?! leads to 47.Rd2 with a postponed mate as the g2-pawn is no longer there to protect h1 and the White King can hold off the sole Rook Black is up.

Ironically, though, 46....g1=R!? is in a way correct and an easy win, as 46....g1=Q?? 47.Rh7† Kxh7 48.Re7† Kg8 49.Rg7† 1/2, as Kxg7 is stalemate and White will continue the checks on the seventh rank, effectively deploying two crazy Rooks.

Hard to say where Serper went really wrong, but 18.Ng5 is pretty blunder-ish, as 18....Bxg5 19.fxg5 Nxe5 wins a clear pawn, and the pin on ♙d4 is so obvious it does not even deserve a !. Navrotescu plays the endgame pretty flawlessly, and the end I have just discussed is pretty.

Jan-12-09  blacksburg: oh tim krabbe, i always forget to check his page for updates and for new silly, silly, positions. thanks for the reminder :)

http://www.xs4all.nl/~timkr/chess/c...

the most interesting website on the internet. (except for chessgames.com, of course)

Jan-12-09  TheaN: Just to clarify: although the annotators are correct, Ra1 is mate in seven, and g1=R mate in eight, credits to Rybka. White can 'defend' Ra1 partly with Rg3! and g1=R with, indeed, Rd2. Not such a difference though. And I think everyone prefers the played variation. Nonetheless, it would have been better if the Rook promotion were the only winning move, as in the Saavreda position.
May-08-09  sleepyirv: Very cute- there's usually a lot of comments for a stalemate, but it's nice to see a player ask himself, "Am I stalemating the King and can he get rid of all his moving pieces?"
Jul-24-09  TheaN: ?! My pun? I never expected that pun to actually get true seeing all the better puns in the contest. Thanks CG (or you have made the exact same pun very coincidentally :D).

I know this game isn't unique with a 'forced' Rook underpromotion, but the first and only game with five Rooks otb :). It's a shame Serper resigned, actually.

Jul-24-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A brilliant finish!! Black promotes to a rook to avoid white's rooks from becoming kamikazis in a stalemate trap.
Jul-24-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessgames.com: <TheaN: ?! My pun?> Yes, you get full credit (or blame!). If it was up to us, it would have been in the top 10 for sure, but then again we grew up on 80s music.
Jul-24-09  lzromeu: "I will rook you"
Jul-24-09  WhiteRook48: we will we will rook you - Bush
Jul-24-09  SirChrislov: rook all of you, I'm outta here!!
Jul-24-09  Amarande: The fact of the matter is that this position is a trivially easy win for Black, that the ending is not even especially notable in the normal sense of the word, except for the unique five rooks position. For what it's worth, only 5 of Black's 21 total possible moves throw away the win (the Bishop and Queen promotions draw, while Rg3+ and Rg5 lead to a for White, and g5 is simply a really, really, really bad idea) - all 16 remaining moves, yes, including the utterly nonsensical 46 ... Ra6??!, win easily. (Note that the other moves that apparently throw away a Rook, other than this and the losing Rg3+ and Rg5, don't really: after 46 ... Rxh4+, 46 ... Re4, or 46 ... Rd4, the stalemate bind is broken, and White has not the time to take the Black Rook without allowing a safe 47 ... g1=Q. In fact after 46 ... Rd4! in particular, he loses a Rook, as he cannot both prevent the queening and save Rd7)

<TheaN: Nonetheless, it would have been better if the Rook promotion were the only winning move, as in the Saavreda position.>

One actually should try the "nonsensical" 46 ... Ra6??! then, as after 47 bxa6, it turns out that 47 ... g1=R is now, indeed, the only move that retains a clear evaluation for Black :)

Jul-25-09  uaregg: The last move is just amazing!
Jul-25-09  TheaN: <Amarande: One actually should try the "nonsensical" 46 ... Ra6??! then, as after 47 bxa6, it turns out that 47 ... g1=R is now, indeed, the only move that retains a clear evaluation for Black :)>

That's a nice catch :). Who'd play that move though...

<Amarande: The fact of the matter is that this position is a trivially easy win for Black, that the ending is not even especially notable in the normal sense of the word, except for the unique five rooks position. For what it's worth, only 5 of Black's 21 total possible moves throw away the win>

Although I think that that isn't really catching the point of Navrotescu's final move either: White was clearly playing for the stalemate trap. Of the 5 moves drawing or losing, one of those is VERY natural to play: I guess Serper was already intending the combination after Navrotescu promoted, only to see a Rook end up otb and resign immediately. Pretty humiliating, actually :).

Aug-09-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Is this the only game in the database where one player has three rooks?
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