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Laurent Fressinet vs Alexandra Kosteniuk
Villandry Rapid (2007) (rapid), Oct-21
Sicilian Defense: Canal Attack (B51)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-15-09  Whitehat1963: Okay, seriously, two questions:

1. Why is this over suddenly?

2. Why did they bother?

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: "Given the right circumstances, the basic endgame of Rook and Bishop versus Rook is, in theory, a draw. But, in practice, the side with the lone Rook often loses. If the defending side does not play carefully, he may drift into an indefensible position."

click for larger view

"This is the so-called Szen position - a known draw - in which the Kings stand opposite each other in an L shape (like a Knight's move) and the weaker side's Rook defends the 'long' side of the board (the side with the most room for maneuvering."

"Now we will see the so-called Cochrane position, which represents the surest way of defending."

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"This is it! Although Black is against the ropes, it's only temporary, because the pin prevents White's King from advancing."

Ljubojevic vs Portisch, 1982

Pal Benko, "Endgame Laboratory - Headache Ending," Chess Life, May 1983.

Endgame Explorer: RB vs R

Looks like 235. Kc8? was a misstep; 235. Re1 should hold. Instead 235 ... Ra7 (mate threat) 236. Rc1? (236. Rb1) Ra2 and White is lost; 237. Rd8 Bd6+ forces 238. Rxd6+, or 237. Rc1 Rh2 forces 238. Rxc5+.

Since the last capture was 121 ... Bxg3, Black could have claimed a draw by the 50 Move Rule anywhere after Move 171, presuming it was in effect for this Rapid game. Perhaps White was trying to win on time.

Mar-15-09  Open Defence: nice post, very informative thanks!
Mar-15-09  Jim Bartle: Just a guess, but maybe they don't count moves in rapid, so he couldn't claim the draw via the 50 moves?
Apr-21-09  WhiteRook48: wow. Very impressive. I have seen this before. Here's an annotation after 233. Rd1 233...Be3???
Black vaguely remembers that the rook should be forced into a bad position- but the black rook should be on e7 then. 234. Kd8 Bc5 235. Kc8???
<235. Re1> draws
235...Ra7 236 Kb8? Ra2 237 Rc1 Rh2 0-1 because 238...Rh8#
Apr-25-09  Nuncle: Apparently Fressinet was not recording moves, so was unable to claim a draw. Presumably someone was recording, though.
May-30-09  fref: The opening looks more like a Spanish game than a Sicilian defense.
Jul-23-09  seigneur: According to Wikipedia:

The longest decisive tournament game is Fressinet-Kosteniuk, Villandry 2007, which Kosteniuk won in 237 moves.[2] The last 116 moves were a rook and bishop versus rook ending, as in Nikolić - Arsović. Fressinet could have claimed a draw under the fifty-move rule, but didn't do so since neither player was keeping score, it being a rapid chess game. Earlier in the tournament, Korchnoi had successfully invoked the rule to claim a draw against Fressinet; the arbiters overruled Fressinet's argument that Korchnoi couldn't do so without keeping score. Fressinet, apparently wanting to be consistent, didn't try to claim a draw against Kosteniuk in the same situation.[3]


Aug-10-09  Dredge Rivers: Of course, if I was playing her, I'd try to make it last as long a possible, too!
Jul-29-10  JimmyVermeer: White's 228th move was a mistake in that it gives Black a forced mate in 13. Rh8 would have been better, as would claiming a draw under the 50-move rule.

Black's 233rd move was a mistake, as it once again permits a draw. Ra7 would have been better.

White's 235th move was a mistake, once again allowing Black a forced mate in 11. Re1 would have been better.

White's latest and greatest mistake was his 238th move when he resigned rather than claiming a draw by the 50-move rule (or 116.5-move rule, if you like).

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Obviously,this game is a study and not a real game;white could have claimed a 50 move draw many moons before the close.

The ending is almost always a draw-exhaustion can cause either player to lose-but best play usually draws.

Sep-10-10  percyblakeney: <Obviously,this game is a study and not a real game>

It's a game all right, as <seigneur>'s quote shows, and it wouldn't have been too exciting as a study. The ending is hardly <almost always a draw>, the side with the bishop wins in more than 40% of these endings according to the endgame explorer, and Shirov vs Wang Hao, 2010 was just a few days ago. Kosteniuk won the same ending also in Corus B 2005:

Kosteniuk vs Onischuk, 2005

Jan-06-11  Raisin Death Ray: <Dredge Rivers> <Of course, if I was playing her, I'd try to make it last as long as possible, too!>

Are we still talking about chess? :)

Jan-08-11  Dredge Rivers: <Raisin Death Ray> <Are we still talking about chess?>

Maybe, maybe not. A gentleman never tells! :)

Jan-08-11  Raisin Death Ray: <Dredge Rivers> <A gentleman never tells!>

Yes, but what does that have to do with you? :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  adamico: Why didn't black play the simple 71. Rf7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: if 71...Rf7 72 Rxf7 Kxf7 73 f3 is only a draw.

Slightly surprising, but the Black King can never let the White King come to g4,as f4 would force exchange.

But if the Black King guards g4, then White can just toggle the King between h2 and g2 and Black cannot make progress.

Jan-09-11  Eduardo Bermudez: 238 !!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  adamico: <tamar>

Wow very instructive. Thanks.

Apr-08-11  Tigranny: Isn't 237.Rc1 a blunder because 237...Rh2 has a mate threat of 238...Rh8# that is impossible to avoid because had White's rook stayed on d1, 237.Kc8 would've avoided the mate threat?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Tigranny: Isn't 237.Rc1 a blunder because 237...Rh2 has a mate threat of 238...Rh8# that is impossible to avoid because had White's rook stayed on d1, 237.Kc8 would've avoided the mate threat?>

Posirion after <236...Ra2> (I've always wanted to say that).

click for larger view

White is lost at this point after any move. Black threatens 237...Bd6+ 238.Kc8 Ra8#. Since 237.Kc8 allows 237...Ra8# immediately, White has to make a rook move.

237.Rc1 pins the bishop, but with the rook cut off from interposing on the 8th rank Black's 237...Rh2 sets up a mate threat that can only be delayed if White gives up his rook.

Feb-05-12  Tigranny: Never mind about my previous comment, 237.Kc8 loses to 237...Ra8#. Sorry Phony Benoni.
Feb-05-12  King Death: Only 237 moves? What a pair of wimps!
Feb-28-19  GumboGambit: This is the longest decisive game between two humans in the DB.
Aug-15-20  C. Auguste Dupin: What about two tortoises?

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