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Alexander Grischuk vs Boris Grachev
Russian Team Championship (2017), Sochi RUS, rd 4, May-05
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation (B46)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-08-17  JimNorCal: Well, as I write this there are more games to come. Also, I haven't seen all the games which have already been played.

Having said that, I was startled and excited to see White's 34th move in this game. It hard to imagine another game topping this one!

May-09-17  Mudphudder: What an amazing find. That Rb5 was like a computeresque! Grischuk playing with silicon finesse.
May-10-17  NBZ: Yeah how the game turned on Rb5!!

PS: This is what double exclamation marks were invented for.

May-10-17  Ulhumbrus: After 19...b5 20 ab Rxb6 Black's a and c pawns turn out to be weaker than White's a and c pawns
May-10-17  NBZ: <Ulhumbrus>: One other interesting thing about that position. This sequence (...b5 axb Rxb6) happens a lot in the Benoni, but there white has a pawn on b2 which Black can target. Here White actually benefits from having doubled pawns on the c-file, since there is nothing for black to hit on the b-file.
May-10-17  siggemannen: A move for Krabbe's "best" chess moves collection
May-19-17  Walter Glattke: 42.-Qxf5 43.Rg6+ Kh5 42.Qxf5+ Kh4 43.Qg4#
34.-R1xb5 35.cxb5 Qb6 36.Rb1 a5 37.e5
May-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I realized that the key move had to be 34. Rb5 (what else could it be?), but I couldn't see the continuation. After 34...R8xb5 35. cxb5 Rxb5 36. Bxb5 axb5 it's a completely different game. White is up only an exchange to a ♙ and the win isn't clear.
May-19-17  patzer2: For today's Friday puzzle (34. ?) I couldn't resist the obstruction <34. Rb5!> simply because it looked cool and fun.

I visualized as far as 34. Rb5! Rxa1 35. Rxb8, and after the computer best move and game reply 35...Kf7 I went with the immediate 36. e5 to (diagram below)


click for larger view

This move (36. e5) gets a favorable computer evaluation (+2.53 @ 35 depth, Stockfish 8.) However, after 36...Re1 it's an extremely tough nut for White to crack.

Indeed, after Stockfish 8's long 35 depth analysis (+2.53 @ 35 depth) 36.e5 Re1 37.exf6 gxf6 38.Bxh7 Ke7 39.Bg6 Re5 40.Kg1 Qd6 41.Rb1 Rg5 42.Qe4+ Be6 43.c3 f5 44.Qa8 Rxg6 45.hxg6 Qd3 46.Rf1 Qe3+ 47.Kh2 Qh6+ 48.Kg3 Qxg6+ 49.Kf2 Qg5 50.Qa7+ Ke8 51.Re1 Qd2+ 52.Kf1 Qd6 53.Kg1 Kd8 54.Qh7 Kc8 55.Rb1 Qe5 56.Qh6 Qd6 57.Qh8+ Kd7 58.Qg7+ Kd8 59.Qh7 Qg3 60.Qh8+ Kd7 61.Rd1+ Ke7 62.Qh7+ Ke8 63.Qh6 Ke7 64.Rb1 Kd7 65.Qf8 Qd6 66.Qa8 Ke7 67.Rb7+ Bd7 68.Qh8,


click for larger view

I force the program to look one half move deeper and it reveals Black has a forced draw by perpetual after 68...Qd1+ 69. Kh2 Qd6+ 70. Kg1 = (0.00 @ 30 depth, Stockfish 8.)

The difference between my try 36. e5 and Grischuk's much stronger follow-up move <36. Qg3!> is that it prevents any counter play by Black with 36...Re1, and allows White to play 38. e5 in a couple of moves with much more decisive effect.

Surely that's why the computer rates 36. Qg3! Qd7 37. h6 g6 38. e5! (+3.77 @ 31 depth, Stockfish 8) as by far White's strongest choice.

P.S.: Black's decisive mistake is attempting to trade down with <33...Rb1?> which allows White to play the strong winning obstruction move <34. Rb5! .>

Instead, 33...h6 = to (+0.25 @ 31 depth, Stockfish 8) keeps the tension in the position and allows Black to stay in the fight.

May-19-17  ChessHigherCat: Interesting variant on the interference theme. The key is that white's Q is threatening the R on b8, which is only protected by the rook on b1. 34. Rb5 and now black can capture with either R (but not with the pawn, which would allow Qxb8. If 34... R1xb5, then 35 cxb5 and the only alternatives for the black Q are b7 or b6, since she has to defend the rook. If b7, then 36 bxa3 attacking the Q, Q moves and 37. b7 with a steamroller pawn advance. If 35...Qb6, then Rxb1

If 34. Rb5 R8xb5, then 35. cxb5 and black has to lose the exchange with Rxb5 (if not, Rxb1 loses the R outright).

Well, now that I've looked at the continuation, I see I've overlooked 35...bxa1, which still requires a lot of tricky maneuvering in order for white to win.

May-19-17  gofer: The first move was obvious. The reply was also as its the only choice for black that doesn't lose an exchange (or worse).

<34 Rb5! Rxa1>
<35 Rxb8 ...>


click for larger view

The rest was completely lost one me, I didn't know what black would do to defend or white to continue the attack. As <Patzer2> points out <36 Qg3> separates the men from the boys. I was no where near really...

May-19-17  Iwer Sonsch: I don't see anything.

Going for 34.Rxb1 Rxb1 35.e5 fxe5 36.Qxe5. Not a sacrifice at all, is it?

May-19-17  Walter Glattke: I agree, e5 opens lines for the bishop,
and brings Qe5;
the rook change must be done, before e5 then brings advantage. One can test this in several variations.
May-19-17  Iwer Sonsch: Even though <36.Qg3! Qd7 37.h6 g6 38.e5> is indeed winning the hardest, it is also the most difficult way to win. Every single move in the sequence of <38.e5 Qd4 39.Rxc8 Qg1+ 40.Kh3 Re1 41.Rc7+ Kf8 42.Rxh7 Re3 43.Rh8+ Ke7 44.exf6+ Kd7 45.Rh7+ Kd8 46.Qxe3! Qxe3+ 47.Kg4> has to perfectly fit in order to avoid a draw.
May-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  kdogphs: First try! I've noticed the interference theme throughout this week's puzzles and figured that Rb5 was correct, and it was!
May-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

The black rooks are threatened but connected. This suggests 34.Rb5:

A) 34... axb5 35.Rxb1

A.1) 35... Ra8(b6,b7) 36.cxb5 wins a pawn (passed and protected).

A.2) 35... bxc4 36.Rxb8 cxd3 37.cxd3 + - [R vs b].

B) 34... R1xb5 35.cxb5

B.1) 35... Qb6(7) 36.bxa6 is similar to A.1.

B.2) 35... Rxb5 36.Bxb5 + - [R vs b+p] followed by the invasion of Black's field with the heavy pieces.

B.3) 35... axb5 36.Qxb8 wins.

C) 34... R8xb5 35.cxb5 Rxb5 (35... Rxa1 36.bxc6 wins) 36.Bxb5 as above.

D) 34... Rh1+ 35.Kxh1 axb5 36.Qxb8 wins.

May-19-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Wish I received a cent for every reply to the initial move I forget.
May-19-17  Walter Glattke: What says the computer to 37.-Qg4!? in the match continuation!? Must be better than 37.-fxe5.
May-19-17  Walter Glattke: 36.Qg3 Qe6 37.e5 Qxe5 38.Bxh7?? Rh1+
Maybe draw with Qe6 instead of Qd7.
May-19-17  Walter Glattke: 37.-Bd7
May-19-17  patzer2: I was curious to see what the best Stockfish 8 line was for White after <34. Rb5!> 34...axb5, so I played it out to at least 30 depth per move with the following result:

Following <34. Rb5!>, if 34...axb5 White wins after 35.Rxb1 Rb7 36.cxb5 Qe6

( 36...Qb6 37.e5 Re7 38.Bc4+ Be6 39.exf6 gxf6 40.Re1 Kf7 41.Bxe6+ Rxe6 42.Qc4 Qd6+ 43.Kh1 h6 44.Rxe6 Qxe6 45.Qxe6+ Kxe6 46.b6 Kd7 47.Kh2 c4 48.Kg3 Kc6 49.b7 Kxb7 50.Kf4 Kc7 51.c3 Kd7 52.Kf5 Ke7 53.Kg6 f5 54.Kxf5 Kf7 55.g4 Kg7 56.Ke6 Kh7 57.Kf6 Kh8 58.Kg6 Kg8 59.Kxh6 Kh8 60.g5 Kg8 61.g6 Kh8 62.Kg5 Kg8 63.Kf6 Kf8 64.g7+ Kg8 65.h6 Kh7 66.Kf7 Kxh6 67.g8=Q Kh5 68.Qg3 Kh6 69.Qg6#)

37.Ra1 g5 38.hxg6 hxg6 39.Kg1 c4 40.Ra6 g5 41.Qh2 Qe7

(41...Qf7 42.Bf1 Qc7 43.Qxc7 Rxc7 44.Ra8 Kf7 45.b6 Rc6 46.Ra7+ Ke6 47.b7 Bxb7 48.Rxb7 Ke5 49.Rb4 c3 50.Kf2 Ke6 51.Rc4 Rd6 52.Rxc3 Rd2+ 53.Kg3 Rd1 54.Rc6+ Ke7 55.Bd3 (+7.27 @ 35 depth, Stockfish 8)

42.Bxc4+ Kg7 43.Qd6 Rc7 44.Qxe7+ Rxe7 45.Ra8 Rc7 46.Bb3 Kg6 47.b6 Rc6 48.Rb8 Kh5 49.b7 Bxb7 50.Rxb7 Kg4 51.Re7 Kf4 52.Kf2 Rc3 53.Re6 g4 54.Rxf6+ Kxe4 55.g3 Rc8 56.Rf4+ Ke5 57.Rxg4 Rc3 58.Rc4 Rxc4 59.Bxc4 (Mate in 14, Stockfish 8 @ 52 depth}

May-19-17  swclark25: got the first two moves as well, but agreed with <gofer> that the rest was lost on me.
May-19-17  Moszkowski012273: 19...Bxc4 is interesting.
May-19-17  bubuli55: I did not even consider Rb5. That's insane.

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