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Alexander G Beliavsky vs Vasilios Kotronias
Gibraltar Masters (2009), La Caleta GIB, rd 6, Feb-01
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal. Gligoric System Bronstein Variation (E55)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-01-11  Isbjorn: Basically, I find that EGT advances the black king to a central position on the d-file, preventing the white king from doing anything useful after the black rook is sacrificed for the white b-pawn.
Jan-01-11  Charles E: Isaborn, the line I took against the EGT was:

41 b6 Rd8 42 Kc5 Rb8 43 Rxe4 Ke6
44 Rc4 Rc8+

and with the rook exchange the b pawn promotes

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: b6 is so obvious following the rule of " Passed ♙awns must be pushed" .One quick note is that after 41. b6 black has to play 41. ♖d4+ first and after 42.♔b5 or ♔b3 then 42.e3 loses to 43.b7 and if 43.♖d8 fails to 44.♖a8 and that's game over.

click for larger view

Jan-01-11  Eyal: I think <Marmot PFL> is right: after 41.b6 Rd4+ 42.Kc5 Rxa4 White may queen the b-pawn, but it's not the end - it seems that Black can still set up a fortress and draw. So, as the original report from the tournament site says, Beliavsky may have been bluffing.

Btw, regarding <dzechiel>'s line starting with <41.Ra7+>: here Black plays <41...Ke6!> (rather than 41...Kf6?) and it should be a draw. The point is that in case of 42.b6 Black can defend by 42...Rd1, and 43.Ra3 Rb1 44.Rb3 doesn't work, since after a rook exchange the black king is just in time to catch the b-pawn - which wouldn't be the case if it's on f6.

Jan-01-11  David2009: <Isbjorn: <David2009: The EGT defends with line (B) no real surprise there and I win an interesting ending starting 42...Rb8 43.Rxe4 Ke6 44.Re2 Rc8+ 45.Kb5 Rb8 46.Kc6 Rc8+ 47.Kb7 Rc3.> How do you win from there?> Try 48.Ka8 Ra3+ 49.Kb8 Rb3 50.b7 Kf6 51.Ra2 e4 52.Ka8 e3 53.b8=Q Rxb8+ 54.Kxb8 Ke5 55.Ra7 Kd4 56.Rxg7 e2 57.Re7 Kd3 58.g4 Kd2 59.h4 e1=Q 60.Rxe1 Kxe1 61.g5 Kf2 62.h5 Kg3 63.g6 hxg6 64.hxg6 and queens. Having said this, the EGT plays moves that I don't understand (49...Rb3, 50..Kf6) and which seem to be rather passive.

Congratulations to <Charles E> for finding an alternative win: <41 b6 Rd8 42 Kc5 Rb8 43 Rxe4 Ke6 44 Rc4 Rc8+> suckering the EGT into exchanging into a lost K&P ending. Event horizon effect?

The Crafty EGT link is in my earlier post Beliavsky vs Kotronias, 2009

Jan-01-11  TheaN: Bleh! Didn't take a lot of time to analyze, actually considering 41.b6 Rd8 to be the main line and I was uninterested to completely analyse this hehe. Nice idea and perhaps a little disappointing this is probably still drawn for Black.

<Penguincw> <41....Rd4† 42.Kb5 Rxa4> is a little troublesome for White due to a dual promotion or a b-file skewer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Gem of puzzle, sure had me beat, still has even. I got as far as 41 b6 Rd4+ and can see how its 42. Kc5! and not Kb5? but I'm still not sure if W can force the win with Q vs. R+2eP's. Looks difficult anyway. This endgame stuff is way out of my league.

<SufferingBruin> Absolutely. Happy New Year to all!

Jan-01-11  1.e4effort: Hi there, this is my first posting. i was torn between 41. b6 and 41. Kc5. i was leaning toward the King move as i thought b6 would invite 41...Rd4+ and then maybe lose the rook or (eventually) the b pawn (since the King couldn't protect him there). but i was happy i was in the ballpark on a Saturday puzzle - especially after the curveballs this week!
Jan-01-11  WhiteRook48: I chose 41 b6. After 41...Rd4+ I missed 42 Kc5.
Jan-01-11  David2009: Beliavsky vs Kotronias, 2009 postscript: What happens after 41 g6 Rd4+?

click for larger view

Crafty End Game Trainer link to explore the position:

The following line will defeat the EGT. 42.Kc5 Rxa4 43.b7 Ra5+ 44.Kc4 Ra4+ 45.Kc3 Ra3+ 46.Kb2 Ra7 47.b8=Q Rd7 48.Qxe5 Re7 49.Qf5+ Kg8 50.Qc5 Kf7 51.Qe3 h6 52.Kc3 Rc7+ 53.Kd4 Rd7+ 54.Ke5 Re7+ 55.Kf5 g6+ 56.Kg4 Kg7 57.h4 h5+ 58.Kf4 Kf8 59.Kg5 Re6 60.g4 hxg4 61.Kxg4 Kf7 62.h5 gxh5+ we reach

click for larger view

which is according to the Nalimov table base is a mate in 32 moves (ref The win is also given in 'Basic Chess Endings', Fine 1941. Crafty EGT link to the final position: Enjoy finding the win - you are white, drag and drop the move you want to make.

However this is far from the end of the story. The EGT makes a significant mistake:

click for larger view

...h6? is a voluntary weakening of the Pawns undermining the fortress. My strategic plan was to exchange off the King side Pawns to reach the book win (Fine 1941; Nalimov) and moving the Pawns helped me. <Eyal: I think <Marmot PFL> is right: after 41.b6 Rd4+ 42.Kc5 Rxa4 White may queen the b-pawn, but it's not the end - it seems that Black can still set up a fortress and draw.> Exactly.

Finally, 42. Kc3 <Dr. J> is met by Rd3+ when 43.Kd4 allows the EGT to transpose into earlier lines.

Jan-01-11  Isbjorn: Thanks a lot, <David2009>.
Jan-01-11  gofer: Passed pawns must be pushed...

White simply gives up the rook for a queen! A fair trade under most circumstances...

41 b6 Rd4+
42 Kb3 Rxa4
43 b7! Ra1 (Kxa4 e3 leads to a draw at best for white!) 44 Kb2 e3
45 b8=Q e2
46 Qb3+ winning!

46 ... Kg6 47 Qe6+ taking both e pawns
46 ... Kf6/Kf8 47 Qf3+ taking Pe2
46 ... Ke8 47 Qb5+ taking Pe2
46 ... Ke7 47 Qb4+ taking the rook and stopping Pe2 promoting

So, as black is going to avoid this, black is not going to play 41 Rd4+. Instead black is going to play Rd7 (41 ... Rd1 42 b7!), but I think this approach is doomed! The black e pawns are not going to promote, but the white b pawn can be sheparded to b8 by the white king (i.e. 42 Kc5 and 43 Re4). But with the king on f7 there is an even quicker solution...

41 b6 Rd7
42 Ra7 Ke6
43 b7 e3
44 Ra6+ Kf5
45 b8=Q winning

Time to check...

Jan-01-11  agb2002: White is a pawn down.

Black threatens 41... Rd4+ 42.b3 Rxa4 43.Kxa4 e3 44.b6 e2 45.b7 e1=Q 46.b8=Q Qa1+ 47.Kb5 Qb1+, winning.

The strategy for White seems to stop the e-pawns with the rook and to support the b-pawn with the king. If the b-pawn advances sufficiently, it would be possible to even sacrifice the rook provided that the king controls the squares the black rook needs to prevent promotion. This suggests 41.b6:

A) 41... Rd4+ 42.Kc5

A.1) 42... Rxa4 43.b7 e3 44.b8=Q e2 45.Qb3+ (45.Qxe5 Ra5+ - +)

A.1.a) 45... Kf6 46.Qe3 Ra2 47.h4 Ke6 (47... e1=Q 48.Qxe1 Rxg2 49.Qf1+ + -) 48.g4 followed by Kb4-Kb3 winning the pawn on e2 and the endgame.

A.1.b) 45... Ke7 46.Qe3 Ra2 47.Qxe5+ Kf7 48.h4 looks even worse for Black than A.1.a.

A.2) 42... e3 43.Ra3 (43.b7 e2 44.b8=Q e1=Q 45.Qc7+ looks dangerous for Black) e2 44.Re3

A.2.a) 44... Ke6 45.b7 Rd8 46.Kc6 and 47.Kc7 + -.

A.2.b) 44... Rd7 45.Kc6 Ke6 46.b7 Rd8 47.Kc7 + -.

A.2.c) 44... Rd8 45.Kc6 Ke6 46.b7, etc.

B) 41... Rd8 42.Kc5

B.1) 42... e3 43.Kc6 e2 44.Re3 as in the previous lines.

B.2) 42... Ke6 43.b7

B.2.a) 43... Rb8 44.Kc6 and Kc7.

B.2.b) 43... Kd7 44.Ra8 Kc7 45.Rxd8 Kxb7 46.Re8 + -.

B.2.c) 43... e3 44.Kc6 e2 45.Re3 as in the previous lines.

C) 41... Rd1 42.b7 Rd8 (42... Rb1 43.Rb4 Rxb4 44.Kxb4 e3 45.b8=Q + -) 43.Ra8 + -.

Jan-01-11  Patriot: I failed on this one. First I looked at 41.b6 Rd8 as one possibility but my concern was 41.b6 Rd4+ 42.Kb5 Rxa4 43.Kxa4 and both sides promote with black being a pawn up. I didn't see that 41.b6 Rd4+ 42.Kc5! is a winner. So I looked at various tries like 41.Ra8 first or 41.Kc5.

I've seen the Saavedra position several times before but it never occurred to me here.

Jan-01-11  Eyal: <Marmot PFL: The trick to promote the b pawn works here 41 b6 Rd4+ 42 Kc5 Rxa4 43 b7 Ra5+ 44 Kc4 etc, but black might still be able to capture g2 then make a fortress for his king via g6, Rf5-h5-f5 to cut off white's king. For instance 44...Ra4+ 45 Kc3 Ra3+ 46 Kb2 Rd3 47 b8(Q) Rd2+ 48 Kc8 [c3, I suppose] Rxg2 and I don't see how white can win.>

On second thoughts, I'm not sure this plan goes without a hitch for Black: 49.Qxe5 g6 (49...Rf2 50.Qd5+ and the black king has to go to g6, otherwise the rook gets skewered) 50.Qf4+ (rather than Qxe4, allowing Rf2-f5) Kg7 51.h4 and Black may have problems.

Jan-01-11  patzer2: It's Saturday, and for our puzzle we start off the New Year with an instructive Rook and Pawn endgame. The idea behind the puzzle solution 41. b6! is that if 41...Rd4+, then 42. Kc5! (not 42. Kb5? Rxa4 ) gives White a won position.

The winning technique, if you're not familiar with it, can be difficult. So, playing it out against the computer should prove instructive.

Jan-01-11  zzzzzzzzzzzz: Its not very easy to see at first glance, b6 is obvious to anybody
Jan-01-11  Oliveira: I was thinking about 41... ♖d4; 42.♔b3, ♖xa4; 43.b7, ♖a1!; 44.♔b2, e3; 45.b8D, e2=; and White cannot take the pawn with a sequence of checks.

click for larger view

Totally overlooked the winning 42.Kc5!

Jan-01-11  4tmac: 41. b6 Rd4+ 42. Kc5 Rxa4 43. b7 Ra2! (immediately to avoid some of the problems cited in Eyal last post-leave K on c5) 44. b8Q Rxg2 45. Qxe5 Rf2! 46. Kd6(! I think) otherwise g6 so now Black may have to start checking and return to f2 if the K is on c5 or d5 and reattempt the blockade. I don't know lol! Need 7 piece TB for this and positions like Caruana-Short.
Jan-01-11  gauer: Svidler vs Topalov, 2006 saw a few more elements of the Saavedra theme. User: Lovuschka found the oft-referenced game-source from another century, discussed briefly at J L Fernandez Saavedra vs R D Da Silva, 2001 - & many other pages. User: Sneaky & others offer cool commentary in the 15 or so pages following the former game. This, together with Lucena, Vancura & Philidor themes, are perhaps the 4 most often named ♖ & ♙ studies, with varying frequency for each in game-play.
Jan-01-11  muralman: Er.... This was kind of easy. It was a simple arm wrestle with a rook. There was simply too much for the poor fellow to have to do.
Jan-01-11  patzer2: <David2009> An interesting win against Crafty is 41. b6! Rd8 42. Kc5! Rb8 43. Rxe4 Ke6 44. Ra4 Kf5 45. Kc6 e4 46. Ra3 Kf4 47. Kc7 Rf8 48. b7 e3

click for larger view

49. Ra8! Rf7+ 50. Kc6 Rxb7 51. Kxb7 Ke4

click for larger view

52. Rg8! e2 53. Rxg7 Kd3 54. Rd7+ Kc2 55. Re7 Kd2

click for larger view

56. g4! e1=Q 57. Rxe1 Kxe1 58. g5 Kf2 59. h4 Ke3 60. h5 Kf4 61. g6 hxg6 62. hxg6 .

Jan-01-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this R&P ending, black has an extra pawn which is doubled, but white has the winning advantages - the move, superior king position, and a flexible rook position that supports the advance of the passed pawn from behind or laterally. "Superior king position" can be a subjective judgment without basis, but here it is supported by key facts: (1) the WK is within the square of black's forward passed e-pawn (2) the BK is not within the square of white's passed b-pawn (3) the WK attack on the BR deters the advance of the e-pawn. (4) The WK can support the advance of the b-pawn. The 2nd key fact weighs against 41.Ra7+ Ke6 (42.b6 Rd1 43.b7 Rd8), so the primary candidate has to be the pawn push:


White need not fear 41... Rd4+ (examined last). Passive defenses fall quickly:

A) 41... Rd7 42.Ra7 Ke6 43.b7 Rxb7 (Rd8 44.Ra8 wins) 44.Rxb7 wins.

B) 41... Rd8 42.Kc5 e3 (Rc8+ 43.Kd5) 43.b7 e2 44.Re4 followed by 45.Kb6 wins.

C) 41... Rd1 42.b7 Rb1 (Rc1+ 43.Kb5) 43.Rb4 wins.

D) 41...Rd4+ 42.Kc3!

Anyone familiar with Saavedra duel studies (e.g. is likely to find this trick. Not 42.Kb3? Rxa4 43.b7 (Kxa4? d3 with advantage to black) Ra1 44.Kb2 e3! 45.b8=Q e2 and it appears white can do no better than draw.

42... Rxa4 43.b7 Ra3+ (or ... e3 44.b8=Q e2 45.Kd2 wins) 44.Kb2 e3 45.b8=Q e2 46.Qb7+ followed by 47.Qe4 is winning.

Time to check the game and see how Crafty defends.

Happy New Year to all!

Jan-01-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: So D) 41...Rd4+ 42.Kc3! should read 42.Kc3?, yielding a draw. Congrats to those who found 42.Kc5!.
Mar-22-18  Saniyat24: A mighty fight...nice symmetry in the middle game...!
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