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Alexander Tolush vs Igor Bondarevsky
USSR Championship (1939), Leningrad URS, rd 15, May-10
French Defense: Classical. Burn Variation Main Line (C11)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Bondarevsky played the sneaky 72..Rc3 here.

The position is an example of the "rule of five" (Cheron, 1927). Black's pawn is on the 3rd rank and White's King is cut off by two files. 3+2 = 5 and so White should be able to draw provided his King is not cut off above a safe rank.

Unfortunately, Tolush chose to play the very natural 73 Re1. After 73..Kf6 74 Kb5 e5 the situation had changed: 4+2 = 6!

Note that White could not have escaped with 74 Rf1+ Ke5 75 Re1+ Kd5 76 Rd1+ Ke4 77 Re1+ Re3 - the point behind 72..Rc3!

Tolush could have drawn by exploiting the downside of 72..Rc3 - the fact the Rook is a target for the White King which can reach a safe rank. Hence 73 Kb5! draws because White could answer 73..e5 with 74 Rh6! cutting of the Black King.

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Featured in the Following Game Collection[what is this?]
Round 15 (Wednesday, May 10)
from USSR Championship 1939 by Phony Benoni

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