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Boris Gelfand vs Rustam Kasimdzhanov
FIDE Grand Prix Baku (2014), Baku AZE, rd 7, Oct-09
Queen's Gambit Declined: Harrwitz Attack. Two Knights Defense (D37)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-09-14  DaringSpeculator: Gelfand did a good job to create some winning chances for himself, but he missed a win later on.

<51. f6+> is a killer move! This is a result of an earlier mistake made by Black: <49...h5> is the only move that holds the draw.

Oct-09-14  MarkBuckley: Gotta love 67.Ke4 securing the draw.
Oct-10-14  visayanbraindoctor: This is the most interesting endgame so far in this tournament, IMO worthy of study.

When Gelfand moved 39. Ke4, he made a decision to give up his king rook pawn. But the general rule in endgames is that the advantaged side should retain as many pawns as possible and the disadvantaged side should exchange as many of them as possible. (And to those who keep on harping that modern endgame theory is substantially more advanced nowadays, this rule and the most most important other rules of endgame have been known in theory since before WW2.)

So why not 39. h4 first? It would preserve his Kingside pawns. Black would have to give up his c5 pawn anyway sooner or later if he wished to activate his rook that got 'trapped' in the a5 square. It could still have ended up in a draw, but with more pawns on the board, White would have more winning chances.

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