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Michael Adams vs Ian Nepomniachtchi
London Chess Classic (2017), London ENG, rd 6, Dec-08
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-08-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Played a few of these "drawn" 4 vs. 3 on the King side Rook endings in my career. Not one of them ever ended in a draw. I don't care about the theory--in real life the 4 pawns win almost every single time.
Dec-08-17  Marmot PFL: Most of the time the stronger player will be the one with more pawns, but at GM level this should be a draw.
Dec-08-17  SChesshevsky: Did this game actually transpose to a Sicilian Dragon or Dragon-dorf?
Dec-08-17  zanzibar: <SChesshevsky> SCID classifies this as, after 7...Bg7, as follows:

<ECO: B70j [Sicilian: Dragon, 6.Be2 a6 7.a4 Bg7]>

.

Dec-08-17  SChesshevsky: <zanzibar> Thanks for investigating. Another London Chess dragon. That makes three. Are we seeing the start of a dragon comeback on the major tournament scene?
Dec-08-17  zanzibar: Critical position -

(White to move after 35...Nc7-e8)


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Perhaps 36.b6 is best play here, giving equality (+0.00/36). Instead 36.c4?! allows a knight fork tactic to kick in, losing a pawn.

(36.c4 Nd6 37.Rc7 dxc4 38.Bxc4 Ra1+ 39.Kf2 Rc1 40.b6 Nxc4 41.b7 Rb1 42.Rxc4 Rxb7)

I'm not sure it's not that impossibly deep a combo, so I wonder if Adams was in time trouble at that point?

.

Dec-08-17  Marmot PFL: <I'm not sure it's not that impossibly deep a combo, so I wonder if Adams was in time trouble at that point?>

Could have been, but that's about the same stage of the game where black blundered in this game also - Caruana vs Anand, 2017 at the point where the older players often start to tire.

Now the two oldest players are tied for last place, and Wesley So will try to grind down Adams even more tomorrow. Chess has no pity that way, nobody cares how good you were ten years ago.

Dec-09-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: If Yates played at a GM-level, then perhaps the 4 v. 3 ending poses tremendous problems even at the highest level--Capablanca vs Yates, 1930.
Dec-09-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <An Englishman: Good Evening: Played a few of these "drawn" 4 vs. 3 on the King side Rook endings in my career. Not one of them ever ended in a draw. I don't care about the theory--in real life the 4 pawns win almost every single time.>

<Marmot: Most of the time the stronger player will be the one with more pawns, but at GM level this should be a draw.>

Twice in my career, I had the extra pawn in this 4 vs 3 ending.

As a 1750 player facing a 2100, I won when my opponent defended poorly, then as an experienced master, my 2000 rated opponent held the draw.

The key defensive idea is to play h4/h5, as the player with the extra pawn should strive for h5. Even if h5/h4 is achieved the ending is generally drawn, despite <Englishman>'s assertion above, but the defender's task is more difficult.

Dec-09-17  Ulhumbrus: < Marmot PFL: <I'm not sure it's not that impossibly deep a combo, so I wonder if Adams was in time trouble at that point?>

Could have been, but that's about the same stage of the game where black blundered in this game also - Caruana vs Anand, 2017 at the point where the older players often start to tire.

Now the two oldest players are tied for last place, and Wesley So will try to grind down Adams even more tomorrow. Chess has no pity that way, nobody cares how good you were ten years ago.> If the older players are going to suffer from fatigue when playing sessions of several hours I suggest a return to the traditional time controls of a few decades ago with adjournments and with computers, telephones etc excluded from the presence of the players during any adjournment interval.

Dec-09-17  Scuvy: I would have expected 6 Be3 from Adams, who is well-versed in the English Attack against the Najdorf.
Dec-10-17  ChessHigherCat: 21. b5 is incredibly slick, figuring out that after axb6 en passant and Nxb6 the super-knight attacks d5 and prevents c4 and then, after Nxd5 the N keeps white from winning the piece back with b4! It's like one of those 5-in-1 miracles utensils they advertise on TV at 5 a.m.
Jun-07-20  tbentley:


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Here at move 70, g4 is probably the easiest draw, but Rh4 does not yet lose. (Rh1 also draws, but I haven't analyzed that.) After 70...f5, 71. Rb4 loses, but Rc4! maintains the draw (although not the way Adams played the position). Ke2, Ke3, and Kf2 also draw. After 71...Kg5,


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the strange looking 72. Kg2! is the only drawing move. Following 72...Ra2+ 73. Kh3 Kf6, white now must play 74. Rb4!


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After 74...Ke6 75. Kh4 (only drawing move) e4 76. Kg5 (g4 works similarly) Rf2 77. g4 e3, white now must play 78. Rb6+


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and the importance of the rook being on the b file instead of the c file is clear. White will win the f pawn and draw.

In the similar position after 71. Rb4 Kg5 72. Kg2 Ra2+ 73. Kh3 Kf6


click for larger view

White has no good moves, although I haven't analyzed enough to figure out why.

(Of course both sides have some alternative choices which I haven't analyzed, but the tablebase says 71. Rb4 loses and 71. Rc4 draws.)

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