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Humpy Koneru vs Alexandra Kosteniuk
Cairns Cup (2020), St Louis, MO USA, rd 6, Feb-13
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal. Ragozin Variation (E51)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-14-20  GlennOliver: After move 33., this game could and should have been a trivial draw.

Many GMs woud simply have declared it a draw at that point, but fair play to Humpy Koneru for successfully examining her opponent's endgame technique.

Feb-14-20  nevski: I agree with you.
Feb-17-20  spazzky: 54...Nb7+
lost the game
Feb-19-20  MordimerChess: Do you know that just 5 days later Vidit Gujrathi played pretty similar games against Sam Shankland?So if Kosteniuk play 7...Bb7 8. Bd3 Re8 9. cxd5 exd5 we could have 10. Nb5 with pretty annoying line for black (of course if Indian players analyze togehter - just speculating)...

This was the most important game of the tournament. With the draw we would have 3 winners in the tournament.

First very strong move by Koneru 19. Bb5 winning two tempi in the endgame but then some inaccuracies and dead draw which Kosteniuk tried to exploit by maneuver Na4+ Nb2 Nd1, continuing Ne3 would be more solid.

The endgame was quite complex, for example white couldn't push a pawn too early, like 46.a4 Kd5 47. Ne3+ Kd4= 48. a5 Nd6 49. a6 Kxe3 50. a7?? Nc8+
50. Kc6 Nc8 51. Kb7 Nd6+ 52. Kc7 Nb5+ 53. Kb6 Nd6= and then only draw.

And the final mistake 51...Nf5?

If Kosteniuk play 51...Nb7 she could probably save the game.. 52. a4 Kd5 53. a5 Nxa5 54. Nxa5 Kd4=

Koneru would have to still be careful. Easy to make mistakes, ex. 51...Nb7 52. Kb5 Kd5 53. a4 e4 54. Ne3+ Kd4 55. Kb6 Kxe3 56. Kxb7∓ Kf2 57. a5 e3 58. a6 e2 59. a7 e1=Q 60. a8=Q Qe4+ would be winning for black!

Check out my analysis:

Thank you and have fun in analyzing this complex knight endgame. Good brain excercise! :)

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