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Anish Giri vs Vassily Ivanchuk
Reggio Emilia (2012), Reggio Emilia ITA, rd 6, Jan-02
Bogo-Indian Defense: Wade-Smyslov Variation (E11)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Capablanca couldn't have played the endgame better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Nor Smyslov.
Jan-02-12  rilkefan: Not to be argumentative, but how can you tell? If both players missed some world-class-tricky resource for black I won't have seen it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: < rilkefan >

Just have a feeling.

Jan-02-12  drnooo: seems to me that the major mistake was trading rooks

after that it was a super simple win with both rooks on the board there was still mucho room for a fight, and complications...though still with a far worse position: that h pawn of white always looming out there like a bad dream

Jan-02-12  King Death: Maybe this will seem abstract, but Black will have long term difficulties in any ending because of his weak pawns. The best he can probably manage is a tough road to a draw. This is just an unpleasant endgame to defend at this level and it's very easy to go wrong. For a long time there were no moves that were obviously losing for Black but he couldn't really try anything active either because his weaknesses would be exposed.
Jan-02-12  rilkefan: On move 16 we're already in the endgame, or nearly. The main feature of the position is the putrid condition of Black's pawns on the kside; but he has the two bishops, an ok center, and white's c4 pawn might be a target after ...Be6. I would play that or more likely Ba7 hoping the two bishops are worth something after regrouping. It seems to me that ...h5 forces the exchange of the LSB and leaves the h pawn more exposed. If black could play h4 then never mind, but what was Ivanchuk's idea?
Jan-02-12  BadKnight: where did ivanchuk go wrong? opening? after the queens are off it looks black has an unpleasant position and can only hope for a draw.
Jan-02-12  falso contacto: 15. e3 seems to be a good move.
Jan-02-12  falso contacto: Because when the bishop finds some space, it's already too late. Black plays a good move, according to the machine (41. ...Rc8), and it's not enough.
Jan-02-12  messachess: Technically, the final position is Zugzwang. Black will have to move the K and let white's h-pawn queen.

The question is, how did a player of Ivanchuk's strength get into that dilemma?

Jan-02-12  Shams: <Technically, the final position is Zugzwang.>

Well, not quite.

click for larger view

51...pass 52.Kc3 pass 53.Kxc4 pass followed by eating the f4 pawn.

Jan-02-12  Shams: <rilkefan><Not to be argumentative, but how can you tell?>

I bet everybody loves "Captain Epistemology" at parties!

The ending *looks* masterly, for sure. =)

Jan-02-12  messachess: <Shams: <Technically, the final position is Zugzwang.>

Well, not quite>

at move 51. it's black's move. Whether it's 51..c3 or any K move, white's h-pawn soon queens.--??

Jan-02-12  uscfratingmybyear: If this ain't zugswang then somebody changed the definition.
Jan-02-12  Shams: Actually what am I looking at, just 51...pass 52.e5+ wins. The position is not zugzwang because Black is lost whether he has the move or not. If you could save the game by "passing", it might be zugzwang.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Shams> I agree. Black loses immediately whether or not he's on move, so it's not zugzwang.

It would be a more interesting question if you took away all the pawns except White's two h-pawns and Black's pawn on f7. There I think you could argue about whether the position is zugzwang. Black on move loses instantly: he must move away and allow the h6 pawn to queen. If White is on move, and Black is allowed unlimited passes, White still wins, but it takes considerably longer. White must march his king to f8, then queen the pawn on h6. So in that event you could argue (1) it's not zugzwang, since White wins in any event, or (2) it is zugzwang, since if Black can pass White wins much more slowly (i.e. he has to play the seven extra moves Kd3-d4-d5-d6-d7-e8-f8).

Jan-03-12  rilkefan: <<Shams>: <rilkefan><Not to be argumentative, but how can you tell?>

I bet everybody loves "Captain Epistemology" at parties!>

That's "Dr. E.", thank you very much, and now that I have small kids I don't party often.

Maybe e6, a5, d6, e5, h6 is just too many pawn moves - if you're going to be forced to play 15...h6 and allow your DSB to get traded after his DSB destroys your kside (I assume Ivanchuk saw that going in) why not play 7...Bxd2 - and if so why play 4...a5? Well, presumably there were reasons at every point, and looking backwards everything appears easy.

Jan-05-12  Dionisos: After this defeat, I guess, Ivanchuk lost his mind and played like a raging child (who is not able to learn with losses).
Jan-05-12  JohnBoy: a typical problem arose after 7...e5. Black was able to pin the f6 knight. Black's bishop at b4 cant get back to help. So either the knight at c6 is misplaced and should be at d7, or else an exchange needs to take place at d2. After the exchange at f6, black is defending a shattered structure - a thankless task.
Jan-23-12  ajile: Weak pawn islands are easy prey for White.
Aug-07-12  fisayo123: Giri was very critical of Ivanchuk's h5 because after the echange of LSB's white can maneuver his knight to f4. Fantastic vision from the kid.
Jul-29-17  tigreton: Impressive play in the ending by Giri, without hurry. The knight was much stronger than the bishop, thanks to the doubled pawns, and both the rook ending and the pawn ending were winning for White.
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