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Arthur Kogan vs Vitali Golod
Baltic Sea Cup (2008), Bornholm DEN, rd 8
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit Traditional Line (C54)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-09-15  Poisonpawns: A great game and a great ending for study and discussion by teachers,students and coaches.Firstly I want to say I think white was winning and should have played 38.a4!My two reasons are as follows:1.White gains more space and paralyzes blacks b pawn.Taking away a tempi later on. 2.White always has an "extra" tempo when needed with b3 down the road.

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Now with this issue;black has to worry about the white king going to b5. So now after say 38..Ke5 I steal more space with 39.h5 with the same idea as before.

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Shortly black will be in zugzwang.There could follow: 39..Kf5 40.f3 e5 41.Kd3 Ke6 42.Ke4

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Eventually the extra tempo with b3 will be useful to white in driving the black king away.For example in this position

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white plays his trump with b3. Now you see why 38.Kd4? gets a question mark, that was a serious error. Now black plays 38...a4! with all of the reverse effects and benefits mentioned earlier. Now it is Black who will hold the extra tempo "in the bank". Black is now pressuring white;In a few moves another critical moment arrives on move 42 for white.

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Here defense is needed with Ke3.Black will then try to squeeze whites king away from the f2 pawn. ex: 42.Ke3 Kf1 Kf3 Ke1 Ke3(if Kg2? black picks up whites queenside pawns) illustrates the importance of having the extra tempi because now black can win with b5!

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Feb-09-15  Poisonpawns: continued...Now white found another move 42.g4?? which loses on the spot, but Golod missed the win which is 42..e5!+

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Black wins because of the extra tempi we spoke of earlier.After ex:42..e5!43.Kxe5 hxg4 44.Kf4 Kh3 45.Kg5

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Now black plays the tempo with b5! winning.This position may occur and black simply wins the space race thanks to 38..a4! and 45..b5!

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Moving on;after some mutual mistakes ,I think the game is almost equal at move 50 but I gave the slight edge to black because his King and Queen are CLOSER to the PAWNS and those pawns are further ADVANCED.

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It is for these very reasons that 51.Qc3?? is a blunder and loses on the spot as it allows black to force a trade of queens,leaving his king closer to the pawns and exploiting the fact that they are further advanced.

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Now we can see more of the benefits of the move 38..a4 This pawn is just out of whites reach

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A beautiful end!

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