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Magnus Carlsen vs Emilio Cordova
Chess Olympiad (2016), Baku AZE, rd 8, Sep-10
Queen's Indian Defense: Classical. Traditional Variation (E17)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-10-16  Bobby Fiske: Cordova suffocated prior to the time control, in zeitnot, he must have thought to be in zugzwang or something, playing the losing move 39..c4.
Sep-10-16  Bobby Fiske: 39..c4 the losing move by black.

But is it still winning for white if black had played 39..Kg7 40.Qh6 and full exchange?

Can anyone with a good computer take a look at that pawn endgame, please?

Sep-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I don't have a good computer, just the little one available on this site, but this is what we see:

39....Kg7 40.Qh6+ Qxh6 41.gxh6+ Kg6 42.Rxf7 Rxf7 43.Rxf7 Kxf7 44.Kxh2 Kf6 45.Kg3 Ke5 46.Kf3 Kf6 47.Kf4 c4 48.e5+! dxe5+ 49.Ke4 Kf7 50.Kxe5 and White wins (I think).

But I think Black can play 44....Kg6 45.Kh3 Kxh6 46.e5 Kg6. Now 47.exd6 doesn't work. If 47.e6 Kf6 48.Kh4 Kg7 49.Kh5 h6. If it were Black's turn to move he would lose, I think, but it's White's. He can try 50.e7 Kf7 51.Kxh6 52.Kxe7 and despite being a pawn down White can push the enemy king back.

We can reach this position, Black to move:


click for larger view

Looks bad. But Black has 1....a6! 2.bxa6 b5! finally making use of his pawn majority. I don't see better than 3.a7 Kb7 4.Kxd6 c4 and both sides queen.

So I'm sure I made lots of mistakes, but that is what I see.

Sep-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Hang on, though, there's more.

In the second line, White doesn't have to play 46.e5. He can hold that move in reserve and advance his king. Because of the constant threat of e5, Black's king has to stay near the center white White's king gobbles the h-pawn. Then if we eventually get to a position like this:


click for larger view

1.e5+ dxe5+ 2.Ke4 and White wins.

Sep-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <bobby fiske> I think I'm talking rot. After 46.Kg4 Kg6 White's in trouble. So maybe 46.e5 is forced after all?

Better wait for better analysts.

Sep-10-16  Bobby Fiske: -Yes, the a6 is a great find! Maybe that move is the miracle save for black? Let's wait and see, until some of the heavy hitters in here takes a closer look.
Sep-10-16  dehanne: Looks routine.
Sep-10-16  ozu: Really a brilliant wrap-up for the champion.
Sep-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: 39...Kg7! does seem to draw; so instead of 39.Rgf2 White should play <39.g6!> which is winning by force: 39...Qd1+ 40.Kxh2 (now there's no Rf1 as in the game) 40...Qh5+ 41.Kg3 hxg6 42.Rgf2 Qe5 43.Qxe5 dxe5 44.Rxf7 Rxf7 45.Rxf7 Kxf7 and this pawn endgame is winning for White (even though he's a pawn down); or 42...g5 43.Rxf7 Rxf7 44.Rxf7 Qxf7 45.Qxd6.
Sep-11-16  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 15...Ba6, 15...Nd7 gets the knight out while 15...a6 supports the advance ...b5

18....Rb8 suggests that Black does not know how to make further progress, as he can hardly want to play ...b5, and it suggests that 15...Ba6 is mistaken. The move exposes the a pawn to a fork

20 Nb5 regains the bishop pair. Although White's e pawn is backward so is Black's a pawn, and the White e pawn can be advanced.

Instead of 22...Kh8, 22...Nf6 23 e4 fe 24 Be6+ Kh8 25 Nxe4 Nxe4 exchanges the knights. The text leaves White's N on f2.

Instead of 27...Be5, 27...Ne5 frees the black queen from having to defend the knight on d7. The text makes it more difficult for White to win the h pawn but also keeps Black's queen and knight tied up

Instead of 32...Ng6, 32...Qh5 seems consistent, having played ...Qe8

Instead of 35...Qh5, 35...Re8 gets the queen's rook into play so that on 36 Qc3 Re5 obstructs the queen

On 39 g6 Qd1+ 40 Kxh2 Qh5+ 41 Kg3 instead of 41...hxg6 41 ...Qg5+! appears to save Black ( not 41...Qxg6+ 42 Kh2 uncovering a pin on the queen) Then one way for White to lose is 42 Rg4?? Rf3+ 43 Kh2 Qh5+ 44 Kg1 Rf1 mate

Sep-11-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <On 39 g6 Qd1+ 40 Kxh2 Qh5+ 41 Kg3 instead of 41...hxg6 41 ...Qg5+! appears to save Black> No, it doesn't - 42.Kh3 wins (42...Qh5/6+ 43.Rh4; 42...Qxf4 43.gxf7+ with mate on g8).

<Then one way for White to lose is 42 Rg4?? Rf3+ 43 Kh2 Qh5+ 44 Kg1 Rf1 mate> Last time I checked pieces pinned to the king couldn't move, so 42...Rf3+ would be illegal. It actually leads to a draw by perpetual after 42...Qe3+.

Sep-11-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Eyal> Thanks as always. Lots of amazing possibilities after 39.g6, but maybe the most amazing is that White can win the pawn ending a pawn down after 39....Qd1+ 40.Kh2 Qh5+ 41.Kg3! hxg3 42.Rgf2 Qe5.

42....Qe5 is such a great idea, it deserves a better fate.

I think they were looking at this line during the post-mortem.

Sep-11-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Like Carlsen vs Yifan Hou, 2016, where what seem to be some very simple king and pawn endings turn out to be anything but.
Sep-11-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Wow, Black's f-pawn eats its way to h2, on the cusp of stardom, and White just blockades it with the king! Hilarious! [and brilliant at the same time]
Sep-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Instead of 37...Rf7?, allowing 38. Qe6 (+3.66 @ 32 depth, Komodo 10.1), Black could have held with 38...Qg6 39. Qxg6 Rxg6 40. Kxh2 = (0.07 @ 35 depth, Stockfish 7).

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