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Vladimir Kramnik vs Lazaro Bruzon Batista
World Cup (2015), Baku AZE, rd 2, Sep-14
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Neo Catalan Declined (A14)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-14-15  dumbgai: KRB vs KR is a drawn endgame but holding the draw can be difficult, especially if the weaker side's king is trapped on the edge of the board. Kramnik could have made life easier for himself by keeping his f-pawn with 41. Qc8+ Rf8 42. Rh8+ Kxh8 43. Qxf8+.
Sep-14-15  Pryzbylewski: This is why you memorize endgames.
Sep-14-15  1 2 3 4: <Pryzbylewski> Thanks for the information.
Sep-14-15  Ulhumbrus: The commentators GM Emil Sutovsky and GM Eygeny Miroshnichenko said that in a rook and bishop versus rook ending if the player with the rook did not know how to defend the ending while the player with the rook and bishop knew how to prosecute the attack, the player with the rook and bishop was almost sure to win the ending. They indicated that it took just one mistake - 113...Kb7? instead of eg 113...Rb3 clearing the square b5 ( They indicated the resource 113...Rb3 114 Kc6 Rb6+! 115 Bxb6 stalemate) - for Black to get into trouble after which following 114 Ra1! Black lasted for just three more moves.
Sep-14-15  Ulhumbrus: As my previous message contained an unfortunate typing error - I misspelt <Evgeny> as <Eygeny> - I am sending it again. Here it is:

The commentators GM Emil Sutovsky and GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko said that in a rook and bishop versus rook ending if the player with the rook did not know how to defend the ending while the player with the rook and bishop knew how to prosecute the attack, the player with the rook and bishop was almost sure to win the ending. They indicated that it took just one mistake - 113...Kb7? instead of eg 113...Rb3 clearing the square b5 ( They indicated the resource 113...Rb3 114 Kc6 Rb6+! 115 Bxb6 stalemate) - for Black to get into trouble after which following 114 Ra1! Black lasted for just three more moves.

Sep-14-15  1971: Great great win from Kramnik. In a tournament like this you have to capitalize on any opportunity. Now he's in a great position to advance safely.
Sep-14-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Bruzon has to be kicking himself, as Kramnik mates right before the 50 move rule goes into effect.

Bruzon was stubborn on move 103 when Kramnik gave him the opportunity to flee to c5


click for larger view

Bruzon chose to repeat the position going back to b7

At that point he had to only last 22 more moves, and the process of boxing him in the corner would take 15-20 itself.

Sep-14-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  stoy: Game 14 of the Lasker Tarrasch match in 1908 went 119 moves in this ending with a draw.
Sep-14-15  visayanbraindoctor: <stoy: Game 14 of the Lasker Tarrasch match in 1908 went 119 moves in this ending with a draw.>

Tarrasch vs Lasker, 1908

I think Lasker used the Cochrane defense, whereas Bruzon used the second-rank defense.

Cochrane defense: <The Cochrane Defense is a drawing method discovered by John Cochrane... The basic idea is to pin the bishop to its king when there are at least two ranks or files between it and the defending king.

Accurate play is required for the defense. The defense is most effective near the center of the board, and does not work on the edge (Nunn 2002:174ff). The Cochrane Defense works when:

the defending rook pins the bishop to the king on one of the four central files (c through f) or ranks (3 through 6), and

there are two or more ranks or files (respectively) between the kings (de la Villa 2008:21316).

The Cochrane defense can also be used with a rook against a rook and knight (Howell 1997:150).>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rook_...

Bruzon used the second rank defense:

<The "second-rank defense" is a passive defense with the defending king and rook on a rank or file one over from the edge of the board (e.g. the second or seventh rank or the b or g file). The method is reliable but it is possible to go wrong, especially if the defending king is near the corner (Nunn 2009:201).>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rook_...

Bruzon repeatedly tried to avoid the Philidor position https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rook_... and the Lolli https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rook_...

Unfortunately for him Kramnik fooled him, subtly maneuvering the game into an inevitable Lolli type position. After 113.. Kb7. Kramnik immediately moves in for the kill with 114. Ra1! This threatens Ra7+ (which he did next move), driving Bruzon's king into a Lolli type position, which was not quite reached because Bruzon blundered with 115.. Kb8. If Bruzon had moved Kc8 instead, he would still have a lost position but the game would reach past the 50 move rule, and he would have drawn. See http://en.chessbase.com/post/baku-2... <115...Kc8 116.Kc6 Rb2 117.Rf7 Rd2 118.Rg7 Rd1 119.Ra7 Rb1 120.Ba3! Rb3 121.Bd6! Rc3+ 122.Bc5 Rb3 123.Rc7+! Kb8 124.Re7! Ka8 125.Re4 Rb1 126.Ra4+ Kb8 127.Bd6+ with mate would have violated the 50-move rule! (125 was the limit).>

Kramnik is no stranger to this endgame. Here he tries but McShane successfully defends. McShane vs Kramnik, 2010

Sep-14-15  visayanbraindoctor: I think Kramnik was clever enough to force Bruzon's King into the 7th and 8th ranks by the time the last pawn was captured. Bruzon could not have used the Cochrane defense because his King was already inevitably forced to the edge by the time he made Kramnik capture his a pawn. (Second rank defense is based on a stalemate, and that would not work if the defender has an extra pawn.)

With Bruzon desperately trying to avoid the Philidor and Lolli positions, Kramnik persisted in setting up traps, which ensnared Bruzon in time trouble.

Sep-14-15  1971: Great post as always <visayanbraindoctor>.
Sep-15-15  Ulhumbrus: <1971: Great post as always <visayanbraindoctor>.> I second that.
Sep-15-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I have posted this before, and it still makes sense:

"There is an appropriate phrase Russian players used to use:

<"Western players are Grandmasters in the openings, Masters in the middle game and beginners in the ending.">"

Sep-15-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: GM <Jan Gustafsson> shows that the ♖+♗ vs. ♖ endgame is even for GMs very tough to understand by loo♔ at the key moments of this endgame: http://www.youtube.com/watch?t=705&...
Sep-15-15  Sally Simpson: Not surprised McShane managed to keep Kramnik at bay.

He successfully defended this ending as the lone Rook player v Summerscale in 2000 (not on here) for 45 moves till Summerscale gave up.

And won this one as the KRB player.

McShane vs S Haslinger, 2006

Had this once, I was the KRB player and agreed a quick draw. 'It's a draw.' says I.

One of the wide guys at the club played me from the position I agreed a draw in and kept winning.

That was about 35 years ago and if we had carried on playing till today he'd still be winning.

I hate these people.

Sep-15-15  visayanbraindoctor: <1971> Thanks


click for larger view

113. Bc5

is a particularly sly trap by Kramnik. He would like to play Ra1+ and Ra7 in order to get into a Lolli type position. However, the immediate Ra1+ can be answered by Ra5, and black again tries to escape via Kb5.


click for larger view

Note that after 113. Bc5, White still 'threatens' a check with Ra1. It's a harmless check, but for most chessplayers, a check is always perceived as some kind of a threat and most instinctively try to avoid one. Bc5 also blocks off the Black rook laterally, thus limiting Black's possible moves.

In time trouble, Bruzon instinctively tries to avoid the check by 113... Kb7.


click for larger view

He forgets that now the a5 square is left undefended, and if White plays Ra1, he cannot block with Ra5 anymore, which he could have done had his King remained on a6. Upon 114. Ra1, Black suddenly finds he cannot defend against a forthcoming Ra7+.

Sep-15-15  visayanbraindoctor: Yet it was not too late to save the game simply because they were too close to 50 moves, and it requires a long and specific series of moves to nail the victory from a Lolli position.


click for larger view

Here Bruzon probably remembers that the Lolli position starts with Kings opposed. If Black plays 115... Kc8, White can oppose kings with 116. Kc6. So he avoids it by playing 115... Kb8 instead of Kc8, which would have prolonged the game until past the 50 move rule. See the analysis below from http://en.chessbase.com/post/baku-2... on how to win from a Lolli position by using the Bishop to limit the defender's rook <115...Kc8 116.Kc6 Rb2 117.Rf7 Rd2 118.Rg7 Rd1 119.Ra7 Rb1 120.Ba3! Rb3 121.Bd6! Rc3+ 122.Bc5 Rb3 123.Rc7+! Kb8 124.Re7! Ka8 125.Re4 Rb1 126.Ra4+ Kb8 127.Bd6+ with mate would have violated the 50-move rule! (125 was the limit).>

Unfortunately Bruzon was in time trouble, could not properly count moves, and his first instinct was to automatically avoid King opposition. Thus Kb8?? which is a blunder that swiftly ends the game before the 50 move rule takes effect. After 115... Kb8 116. Kc6 Rh3 117. Ra1, <Black can't stop Bd6+ and mate. If Rc3 then simply Rf1 with mate next.>

Sep-16-15  310metaltrader: what is so cool is that rh6 check does not work, the bishop blocks and is pinned but gives check and the king as one move and that mates. i love how a pinned piece can still have the effect of prohibiting a square even though it is pinned.
Feb-18-16  Alexandro: What a long game!

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