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Alexander Khalifman vs Daniil Yuffa
Aeroflot Open (2016), Moscow RUS, rd 1, Mar-01
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Bayonet Attack (E97)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-04-17  Abdunnaser: Fantastic
Oct-04-17  diagonalley: easiest wednesday i can remember :-)
Oct-04-17  TheBish: Khalifman vs D Yuffa, 2016

Black to play (42...?) "Medium/Easy"

This one is easier than yesterday's! That is, after I realized it was Black's move! At first I thought, 2 pawns up, what's the deal here? Rc5 or Kd4, easy win. But with Black to play, obviously you're looking for a draw, and easiest way to achieve that is with a stalemate, if one is so lucky to find one. And then it's so obvious...

42...Rb7! forcing a draw after 43. Rxb7 (stalemate) or 43. Rc5 (or other lateral move to a safe square) Rxb4 and it's an easy draw with Black's doubled pawns holding White's 1 pawn advantage, as White is not likely to create a passed pawn, or if he does, it will become a theoretical draw, if it isn't already considered one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: That was obvious.

But I can't help wondering what happens if white lets black have the b-♙. Of course black doesn't want to swap ♖s, but how does black stop the white ♔ from advancing into black territory?

I guess it can be done, but as white I would have played on a few more moves.

Oct-04-17  unferth: <al wazir> don't see any way for white to make progress if black just shuttles his rook on the 4th rank.
Oct-04-17  Cheapo by the Dozen: <unferth>,

White can put a protected rook on the 4th rank.

Of course, that does leave his h-pawn hanging on the 3rd. :)

Oct-04-17  Cheapo by the Dozen: Steps to solving puzzle:

1. Try to find a win. Fail conclusively.

2. Look for draw.

3. Aha!

Oct-04-17  ozmikey: When something like this is given as a "problem", you can spot it in two seconds. When something like this occurs over the board...
Oct-04-17  Sally Simpson:

I'm thinking it would have better to set it back here with Black to play.

click for larger view

This is where the trap was contrived. White's previous move was 41. g3-g4 setting the stalemate up.

The beauty of 41...Rc7 is that it has a threat. 42...Rc3+ winning the h3 pawn. This leads to a loss ending for Black but it was enough to lower Khalifman's guard making him think this is where he was going.

Oct-04-17  Walter Glattke: 43.Rc5 Rxb4 44.Kf3 +-
Draw not forced.
Oct-04-17  whiteshark: <Draw (is) not forced> but ultimately unavoidable.
Oct-04-17  makinavaja: Instead 42.R:b5, it would have won 42.Rc5, preparing f4 or h4, because the black rook has to remain too passive. There are no chances for active compensaton with two pawns less here. It is always necessary to pay attention until the opponent's resign!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Nice draw. The ending is a draw otherwise....
Oct-04-17  mel gibson: Wow - I didn't see that but I only looked for 10 seconds. LOL
Oct-04-17  jinkinson: Yeah, this seems like it was definitely easy enough to be a Monday problem-I got it in just a few seconds.
Oct-04-17  ChatGrognon: Great idea! (missed it)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: It would be good experience to see if after 43.Rc5 Rxb4 one can hold the draw against a computer.
Oct-04-17  dumbgai: The draw should be quite easy after Rxb4. At some point if white wants to win he will need to move his pawns, and after exchanging down black will always reach a drawn endgame since his king is well placed.
Oct-04-17  Walter Glattke: White could possibly win with
43.Re5 Rxb4 44.Kf3, draw is not absolutely sure.
Oct-04-17  Marmot PFL: About 5 seconds to find if you know what to look for, nonetheless players with winning positions frequently overlook these traps.

Once white plays 41 g4 the draw seems forced, but what about 41 Kf3 Rf7+ 42 Kg4 Re7 43 Rxb5 Rb7 44 Rxg5 and it seems like white should win?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Blindingly obvious. Still, I agree with those who would have let the b-pawn go and played on as white. Probably a draw but you never know.
Oct-04-17  Marmot PFL: <But I can't help wondering what happens if white lets black have the b-♙. Of course black doesn't want to swap ♖s, but how does black stop the white ♔ from advancing into black territory?>

White already did that with the hasty g4 advance. Now he has no entry squares.

Oct-04-17  Olsonist: If White declines the stalemate, the b pawn drops. It's still a draw but less picturesque. The black rook can go back to the 7th rank and taunt.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Great game and finish by Khalifman here. It's in one of Nunn's books.

click for larger view

Move 25, black to play and win.

B Lalic vs Khalifman, 1997

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Wednesday puzzle, I easily found the stalemate offer with 42...Rb7 which accoding to Stockfish is the only move that doesn't lose outright.

However, I wasn't sure the draw was a sure thing after 42...Rb7 43. Rd5 Rxb4 44. Rc8 ± (+0.71 @ 51 depth, Stockfish 8) until I ran it through the computer a few times.

P.S.: For an improvement, instead of 42. Rxb5? allowing 42...Rb7 ⩲ to =, White can win with 42. Kd3 +- (+4.88 @ 32depth, Stockfish 8) or 42. Rc5 +- (+4.88 @ 32 depth, stockfish 8.)

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