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Antoaneta Stefanova vs Olga Girya
FIDE Women's Grand Prix Khanty - Mansiysk (2014), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 4, Apr-12
Slav Defense: Modern Line (D11)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-13-14  Nerwal: Studying the position after 51. ♔g3 is a good exercise on how to convert a winning endgame advantage. Trading bishops with 51... ♗e4 looks overly cautious; black wins more directly by playing 51... a4 52. e6 a3 53. e7+ ♔f7! followed by ♔f6. However, it's not a bad practical choice at all, because the position is much sharper with bishops, and there are still some tricks, for instance 53... ♔g8? 54. ♖b8+ ♔h7 55. ♖d8!! draws. And after 53. ♗c6!? a2 54. e7+ ♔g8 55. ♖a7 b3 56. e8=♕ ♗xe8 57. ♗xe8, the only winning move is 57... ♔f8!.

55... ♖e2 is however a serious technical mistake. Black should try to queen the b pawn, not the a pawn; after the sequence b3 ♖xa3 b2 ♖b3, it's clear that black wins immediately by queening if the rook stands somewhere on the first rank. Therefore 55... ♖e1! wins without much trouble. It is also possible to play 55... ♖c4 with the idea to put the rook behind the b pawn.

On move 58 the king should head to the kingside, because 58... ♔f7 59. ♖a7+ ♔g8 60. ♖a8+ ♔h7 61. e6 ♖c3+ 62. ♔e2 ♖a3 63. ♖xa3 bxa3 64. e7 a1=♕ 65. e8=♕ ♕f6! must be a reasonably easy queen endgame.

The queen endgame reached in the game is a theoretical draw; however, with 66... ♕c3 instead of 66... ♕b2+, black could put white's technique into serious test. White would not be out of the wood yet.

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