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Victor Markovich Mikhalevski vs Irina Krush
Edmonton International (2012), Edmonton - Canada, rd 8, Jul-01
Catalan Opening: General (E00)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-02-12  weisyschwarz: Nice job by the lowly American.
Jul-02-12  goodevans: For big chunks of this game it looked like it might be heading for a draw before black got the important <46...Nxa2> breakthough.

<56...Nd4> threatened to slowly crush white, who instead opted for instant death with <57.Qg4+?> and <58.Qh4>.

Jul-02-12  PhilFeeley: 58. Qh4?? Was he in time trouble?
Jul-02-12  Shams: <PhilFeeley> There aren't any better moves. Krush just gritted this one out.
Jul-02-12  luzhin: 51...Qg8 is of course forced, but a neat resource nonetheless.
Jul-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: The last moment in which Mikhalevsky could still save the game was apparently on move 47 with an immediate Qh6: 47…Rf7 (47...Qxe4 48.Rg4 and if the queen retreats 49.Ne8! wins) 48.Ne6 Rxg3 49.Rxg3 and Black has nothing better than forcing a perpetual by 49...Qxe4 50.Rg7 Qh4+ etc.; 49...Qg8 doesn't work here because of 50.Rxg8+ Kxg8 51.Qe3 Nb4 52.Qg3+ Kh8 53.Nd8! with a decisive attack, e.g. 53...Rf8 54.h6 or 53...Rd7[/g7] 54.Qh4 Kg7 55.h6+. 47.Rg4? was a crucial waste of tempo.

I wouldn't be surprised if Mikhalevsky was in time trouble close to the time control on move 40, since he missed a forced win that stems rather directly from his previous play on the K-side: 38.gxf6 gxf6 39.Qh6 Rxg2 40.Rxg2 Rg8 41.Rxg8+ Kxg8 42.Nxf6+ Kh8 43.Nd5!

Jul-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: sorry loss for Mikhalevski, elegant 51...Qg8 by Irina.
Jul-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: It was actually Krush who had the serious time pressure, as her clock ran down to a few seconds numerous times before the time control at move 40. Mikhalevski still had several minutes, along with strong pressure along the g-file, but apparently he went with noncommittal moves to get to the time control before working out a plan to break through. Unfortunately for Milhalevsky, however, by that time Krush had figured out the best squares for her pieces to make the breakthrough difficult.

As for 46...Nxa2!, I think Mikhalevski just missed it, or at least miscalculated the consequences. When his attack failed by the narrowest of margins, this pawn snatch carried the day.

Jul-02-12  hellopolgar: the black knight pair after black's 54. ... Nbc2 reminds me of this game Kamsky vs Shirov, 2007
Jul-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <It was actually Krush who had the serious time pressure, as her clock ran down to a few seconds numerous times before the time control at move 40. Mikhalevski still had several minutes, along with strong pressure along the g-file, but apparently he went with noncommittal moves to get to the time control before working out a plan to break through.>

Thanks for the info, I wasn't following the game live. Sometimes this kind of noncommittal play can turn out badly, because it gives the opponent a critical opportunity to improve his/her position before the time control.

Though in fact, I now see that the idea of opening the g-file and bringing the queen to h6 was still winning right after the time control, though in a far from obvious way: 41.gxf6 gxf6 42.Qh6 Rxg3 43.Rxg3 Rf7 (a way to defend against Rg7 that's made possible by bringing the rook to the f-file) 44.Rg6! Qf8 45.Nxf6 Rxf6 46.Rxf6 Qxh6 47.Rxh6 Nxa2 48.f6 Ne6 (48...Kg8 49.Bh5) 49.f7 Nf8 (49...Nb4 50.Rxe6 Kg7 51.Re7 a2 52.Ra7 and the rook is in time to stop the pawn) 50.Rxd6 Nb4 51.Rd8 Kg7 52.Ra8 a2 53.Bg4:


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And White has a clear winning plan: bring the bishop to f5 in order to exchange it with the black knight if the latter moves, and with the king either invade the k-side or march it to a1/b2 if Black blocks the k-side by playing h5. In the latter case, once the white king reaches the q-side it frees the rook for action, and if the bishop & knight have already been exchanged then Rxa2 leads to a winning pawn endgame.

One move later, however, with the black knight played to c6, the same idea doesn't work anymore because of 42.gxf6 gxf6 43.Qh6 Rxg3 44.Rxg3 Rf7 45.Rg6 Qf8 46.Nxf6 Ne7!

Jul-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Well done by Krush, quite a game.
Sep-24-14  Ke2: Awesome game. Lecture by Krush https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgi...
Jun-27-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: If I were white, I would have placed Rook on g4 on 44th move and would have played Nf6! on the next move. I think that spells disaster for Black and Irina did not seem to discuss about this in the analysis so she probably did not notice as it was with her opponent as well.

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