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Anish Giri vs Yifan Hou
Tata Steel Masters (2018), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-13
Russian Game: Nimzowitsch Attack (C42)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-13-18  truefriends: Black should have played <55... Kd6>
Jan-13-18  John Abraham: Why has the god awful Petrov made a miserable return to elite level chess?
Jan-13-18  Marmot PFL: I wonder how many players would find the one move to draw out of 3 or 4 plausible moves. Black wants to answer 56 c4 with dc4 57 Kxc4 Kc6 so needs the K on d6.

In the game black gets in zugzwang as 59...Kd7 60 Kd3 or 59...Ke6 60 b5 and white wins.

Jan-13-18  Marmot PFL: <Why has the god awful Petrov made a miserable return to elite level chess?>

I like it in blitz but not in long games, who wants to defend for 3-4 hours?

Jan-13-18  Nerwal: Black spent ten long minutes on 42... Qf5, those were lacking later on.
Jan-13-18  Monocle: <John Abraham: Why has the god awful Petrov made a miserable return to elite level chess?>

To give us a break from the god awful Berlin?

Jan-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Funny. After 55... Kc6 56. Ka4 Black is in zugzwang


click for larger view

Jan-13-18  luzhin: Deja vu for Hou. In the same tournament two years ago, also on the Black side of a Petroff (against Carlsen) she chose to exchange Qs into a drawn K+P ending--and on that occasion too she blundered and lost.
Jan-13-18  ChessHigherCat: Moral of the story: Hou dunnit again.
Jan-13-18  ndg2: Memories of carlsen - hou in the same tournament with the same opening and same queen to pawn endgame transition. Is Yifan a bit learning resistant?
Jan-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: It's instructive to see why Black's 55th move was so important. Here's the position with just the Kings:


click for larger view

Kc6?? gives White the opportunity to reply Kc4 and gain the opposition.

It's a little noisy there when you put the Pawns back on the board. I think in particular Black's d Pawn defending the crucial square c4 is what caused Hou to miss the underlying opposition issue. I'm pretty sure she was on increments only, and would have found the correct move if she'd had a little thinking time:


click for larger view

White correctly pushed 2 pawns on adjacent files, and was able to triangulate the King with Kd2/e2/d3 while Black's King had to fall back to d7.

I have to fault Hou for this, even with time trouble. End game play these days is pretty uninspiring. Carlsen, Kramnik, and Karjakin are the only players that quickly come to mind as being able to properly play the endings. If you didn't know who White was, you'd probably think this was one more occasion Carlsen won an endgame that had been dead even in the middle game.

Jan-13-18  luzhin: You need to add Aronian to your list of superb contemporary exponents of endgame play.
Jan-13-18  ChessHigherCat: <Ohio Chess Fan: Kc6?? gives White the opportunity to reply Kc4 and gain the opposition.>

Do you mean that if Hou had played Kd6 instead, then she could have met c4 with c6?

Jan-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Carlsen, Kramnik, and Karjakin are the only players that quickly come to mind as being able to properly play the endings>

Hmmmm...hope you are kidding.

Jan-13-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <John Abraham> <Why has the god awful Petrov made a miserable return to elite level chess?>

I just asked myself the same question. I thought I was replaying a previous game they looked so similar.

Jan-15-18  beenthere240: I would have thought that Hou would have sworn to never lose another drawn pawn ending.
Jan-15-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <beenthere240> . I don't believe in swearing. I believe in good moves.
Jun-03-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: To answer ChessHighercat, after 55 ...Kd6 56 c4, Stockfish gives:

1) =0.00 (43 ply) 56...c6 57.Kc3 dxc4 58.Kxc4 Kd7 59.Kd4 Kd6 60.Kc4

or

2) =0.00 (48 ply) 56...dxc4+ 57.Kxc4 c6 58.Kd4 Kd7 59.Kc4 Kd6

Jun-03-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Interesting how difficult these K + P endings are.

After 57 … K d6, 58 Kd2! is the only winning move. Could be a good puzzle.

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