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Benjamin Finegold vs Alexander Shabalov
US Championship (Group B) (2011), St Louis, MO USA, rd 7, Apr-21
Sicilian Defense: Delayed Alapin (B50)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: In the position after <81. h2>:

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it initially seemed to me that White (rather than the actual 82. Bxh2, merely forcing Shabalov to prove he can mate with B and N in a pawnless ending, which should be routine for any GM) had a better defense with <82. Kg2>. Finally it dawned on me that after that, Black would have had the shot: <82. Bf1+>. If White then takes the Bishop, Black safely promotes, but if <83. Kh1>, then <83. Kh3> with <84. Bg2#> to follow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: GM Finegold challenged GM Shabalov's N+B checkmate know-how.. :)

out of respect, Finegold should have offered his hand after 82...Nxh2

Apr-22-11  Caissanist: Not every GM knows how to win this ending, for instance E Inarkiev vs F Peralta, 2007.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: There's also R Kempinski vs Epishin, 2001.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: thanks <Caissanist> <FSR>..
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  Gilmoy: <Peligroso Patzer: <81h2 82.Kg2 Bf1+ 83.Kh1 Kh3> with <84. Bg2#> to follow.> It seems to me like deja deja vu too :)

Ivanchuk vs Shirov, 2009, <84.h7 1-0>: Kg7 85.Bh6+

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Kamsky vs L Bruzon, 2010, <83.h7 1-0>: Kg7 84.Bh6+

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Caissanist: Not every GM knows how to win this ending, for instance E Inarkiev vs F Peralta, 2007;

... and some can win it with their eyes closed: Ljubojevic vs Judit Polgar, 1994

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: BTW, in E Inarkiev vs F Peralta, 2007 (cited above an an instance of a GM who could not win the pawnless B + N ending) only 9 moves were played after the last capture before the game concluded in a draw. It makes me suspect that Peralta flagged, but Inarkiev could not be awarded a win with only a bare king left on the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: R Kempinski vs Epishin, 2001, on the other hand, does seem to be a genuine example of a GM who could not mate with B + N against bare king.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Finally, to return to <Finegold vs. Shabalov>, if White had played <82. Kg2>, in the resulting position:

click for larger view

Although 82. ... Bf1+ (noted in my post two days ago) may be the flashiest win, Black's fastest win would be <82. ... h1=Q+ 83. Kxh1> (if 83. Kf2 Qg1#) <83. ... Kh3> with <84. ... Bf1> and <85. ... Bg2#> to follow.

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