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Nana Dzagnidze vs Valentina Gunina
Cairns Cup (2019), St Louis, MO USA, rd 4, Feb-09
Caro-Kann Defense: Two Knights Attack. Mindeno Variation Exchange Line (B11)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  OrangeTulip: Pas de deux in the endgame by Valentino
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: the backward, isolated d pawn was the ball game for white, a fatal weakness.
Feb-19-19  noftox: Dzagnidze's decisions from move 40 onwards are simply inexplicable. She imprisons the Rook with 40. ♖a4, immobilizes her Kingside pawn majority by 45. h4 and finally opens the d5-square for the Black King with 47. e5. Obviously her endgame was already inferior but one would expect better from a 2500-level player.
Feb-19-19  Nerwal: <Dzagnidze's decisions from move 40 onwards are simply inexplicable>

The explanation might be simple : this rook endgame is actually lost (or practically lost) and normal moves won't do either.

To me the big lemon is 37. ♖c1 made in bad time trouble. White should block the passed black pawns with her king by ♔e2-d3 while she still can and keep the rook flexible.

In some other games from this tournament Dzagnidze showed pretty good rook endgame technique (vs Kosteniuk and Khotenashvili).

Feb-19-19  noftox: <Nerwal> Yes, 37. ♖c1 is definitely the wrong move. What I meant is that after drifting into a bad position, White gave away all her remaining assets for free.

I wonder whether she could've put up more fight with 39. a4 instead of 39.bxc5. The Rook on c4 looks wrong but to dislodge it, Black will be forced to isolate her d-pawn.

Feb-21-19  spazzky: The engine doesn't mind 37 Rc1 but wants Ke2 first:

1) +0.60 (24 ply) 37.Ke2 h4 38.gxh4 Rh8 39.Rc1 Kd6 40.Rg1 Rxh4 41.Rg6+ Kd7 42.Rxg7+ Kd6 43.Rg6+ Kd7 44.Kd3 Rxf4 45.Kxd4 Rh4 46.Rg3 Kd6 47.a4 c5+ 48.bxc5+ bxc5+ 49.Kd3 a5 50.Rg6+ Ke5 51.Rc6 Rxh3+ 52.Kc4 Kxe4 53.Rxc5 Rh2 54.Rg5

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