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Magnus Carlsen vs Ding Liren
Tata Steel Masters (2016), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 13, Jan-31
Spanish Game: Open. Bernstein Variation (C80)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: The practical difficulty in holding this ending by Black should not be underestimated. Here are a couple of examples of losses by pretty strong players generally highly regarded for their endgame prowess:

Leko vs Ivanchuk, 2008

Akopian vs Kamsky, 2009

Jan-31-16  Ulhumbrus: Not to mention Kramnik vs L Bruzon Batista, 2015
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Keep the rook far away, pin the bishop where possible.
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  keypusher: From the Keith Arkell page:

<wordfunph: another one for GM Arkell.. In rook and bishop against rook endgame, English GM Keith Arkell has apparently won 16 times out of 16. This ending has been known for many years to be a theoretical draw, but in practice the defender frequently loses.>

Keith Arkell

But, I still think Ding will be fine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Endgame Explorer: RB vs R

42.3% win
57.5% draw

Jan-31-16  Brit: There's still a 0.2% chance Black will win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Here's one other example where the weaker side lost this ending:

A Rychagov vs Grischuk, 2007

Rychagov was "only" 2528, but he had qualified for the Russian Superfinal that year. (Besides which, he had defeated Svidler in the first round of that event, so he was on good form when he lost this R+B vs. R ending to Grischuk.)

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  whiteshark: 2nd rank defence is permanently installed
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  keypusher: If 78.Kd3 Black can play 78....Rd2+.
Jan-31-16  Brit: If <78.Kd3 Rd2+ 79.Bxd2>
Jan-31-16  Brit: Unfortunately, Carlsen blundered.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Brit: Unfortunately, Carlsen blundered.>


78.Kd3 Rd2+ 79.Bxd2 is stalemate.

Jan-31-16  Brit: <keypusher> Right. Thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Bye all.
Jan-31-16  Strongest Force: Is this the equivalent to 'chess-masturbation'?
Jan-31-16  Ulhumbrus: 86...Rg3+ invites White to play 87 Bxg3 stalemate. One player who lost a rook versus a rook and bishop ending may have missed this particular resource.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: 107th end the game
Jan-31-16  Ulhumbrus: With 98...Rf2+! ( not 98..Rf3 as given above) Ding Liren employs the zugzwang resource for a second time and this time Carlsen decides to take the draw by 99 Bxf2 and stalemate.

Congratulations to Ding Liren for passing the stiff examination, and an examination set by Carlsen at that, one of the toughest examiners possible.

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  whiteshark: Congrats to Carlsen for winning <Tatasteel 2016> with the greatest of ease.
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  perfidious: <Brit: If <78.Kd3 Rd2+ 79.Bxd2>>

This is the 'second-rank defence' which serves as the drawing mechanism referred to above by <whiteshark>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cro777: Magnus Carlsen: "As a professional you have to try to win rook and bishop endgame."

Ding Liren demonstrated a textbook technique of drawing using a "second rank defense" (keeping both king and rook on the second rank as far as possible).

Position after 72…Kc2

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This is a simple and unbreakable defensive set-up. The king and rook are on the squares of color opposite of the bishop's color. The distance between them is one square. The king may be forced to the first rank but the defending side can hold thanks to stalemate resources.

73.Rd4 Rf2 74.Rd3 Re2 75.Bd4 Re4 76.Ra3 Re2 77.Be3 Kd1

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. 78.Rd3+ <If 78.Kd3 then 78...Rd2+! This important defensive resource will be used later. See next diagram.>

78…Ke1 79.Rc3 Kf1 80.Kd3 Ra2 81.Rc1+ Kg2 82.Ke4 Kg3 83.Rc8 Rg2 84.Rf8 Kg4 85.Bf2 Kh3 86.Kf3 Rg3+

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87.Kf4 Rg4+ 88.Kf5 Rg7 89.Bd4 Rg3 90.Be5 Rf3+ 91.Bf4 Kg2 92.Kg4 Rf2 93.Rh8 Re2

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Feb-02-16  Steve.Patzer: Great kibitzing!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I've seen endings like that played "live" at my club etc. Sometimes the R and B can win. It is tricky. Endings like that are a nightmare. Well defended by Ding Liren.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <cro777: Magnus Carlsen: "As a professional you have to try to win rook and bishop endgame." Ding Liren demonstrated a textbook technique of drawing using a "second rank defense" (keeping both king and rook on the second rank as far as possible).>

Interesting explication.

Nov-15-16  clement41: In this specific line of the open Ruy Lopez, despite the apparent tactical fireworks occurring around ...dxc2, the game gets rather nullified and drawish
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