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Irina Krush vs Aleksandr Lenderman
US Championship (2010), St Louis, MO USA, rd 7, May-20
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-20-10  beenthere240: This is a weird game IMO. Black gets his rooks in the screwiest position on the queenside, and then they all retreat for an elaborate dance on the northwest corner of the board. When the dust clears, black is busted and Irina has pulled off a huge upset, seeing as just about everyone predicted a loss for her.
May-20-10  SetNoEscapeOn: Good game Irina.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: <beenthere240: seeing as just about everyone predicted a loss for her.> Ahem...

US Championships (2010) ;-)

May-21-10  mrbasso: very weak play for 2598...
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Lenderman is not a GM; he is just a year out of high school. Most of his experience is scholastic chess. It's not that big of an upset.

I think black allowed too many exchanges, in a pawn structure that favors white.

May-21-10  dx9293: <HeMateMe> Alex is most certainly a GM, his title was just confirmed by FIDE in Sofia after he made 5(!) GM norms. That 2598 is not his USCF rating, it is his FIDE rating.

Remember that he also tied for first at Gibraltar this year, and had a chance to tie for first at the Reykjavik Open, before losing to Ivan Sokolov in the final round.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: It's not 'screwy' at all: I've been ground down by IMs in similar positions. Krush got nothing much from the opening, but reached a favorable R+N-vs-R+B ending and played it well. A key point is that the Knight is better than the Bishop while there are a lot of pawns on the board - the old saw about the Bishop being able to operate 'on both sides of the board' doesn't apply if the Knight is mobile and/or centralized with outposts.

But in order to win White must somehow advance (or win) pawns, which means eventual exchanges. These help Black, up to a point - the Bishop becomes relatively stronger. By then, however, it's too late, as White's advantage is overwhelming.

This is also why so much maneuvering is necessary. White has to be very careful to keep control of the game while steadily trying to improve her position. Lenderman actually put up a good defence, as far as I can see, until near the end. It would have been very difficult to draw this ending in practice, whatever engines may say.

May-21-10  beenthere240: <agentrgent> I did see your prediction, which is why I said "just about everyone" in my post. During the game with Lenderman, I nearly lost hope after her poor opening but she defended well and he got his rooks hung up in and was forced on the defensive. I think if he had offered a draw after the exchange of queens he would have saved himself half a point.
May-21-10  beenthere240: I love black's "rook's tour" from moves 26 through 37.
May-21-10  mrbasso: The endgame was _very easy_ to draw before black played the suicidal 37...Ra6 followed by b5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <mrbasso> Well, OK. The double rook ending offers more draw options, apart from the question of the ...Ra6 maneuver. But once a pair of rooks is exchanged black is in trouble.
May-21-10  PhilFeeley: Bravo Irina! I had to leave watching this game when it was all in doubt whether she could hold a draw - with only 1 or 2 minutes left on her clock. I guess she got some more time. GM norm?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: <beenthere240: <agentrgent> I did see your prediction, which is why I said "just about everyone" in my post.> I know... I was just tooting my own horn a little. ;-)
May-22-10  aazqua: Horrible late middle and endgame play by black. Just astonishingly bad.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Domdaniel: <... A key point is that the Knight is better than the Bishop while there are a lot of pawns on the board>>

"In general the line-up of rook plus bishop is rather stronger than rook and knight <to a large extent this depends on structure>, but a few grandmasters for example Evgeni Ellinovich Sveshnikov, think the reserve. Rook and knight is stronger when there are <fixed weaknesses> or, for example, when there are <doubled pawns>."

as Alexander Beliavsky + Adrian Mikhalchishin put it in in <Winning Endgame Strategy>

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Wow! black got diet cola'd in this game!
May-22-10  iamsheaf: Alex Krushed ;-)
May-20-14  weisyschwarz: When she is in her zone, she is unstoppable. I don't think she was in her groove this year, despite going unbeaten.

If Lenderman can get a newer picture, why can't Irina?

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