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Mark Taimanov vs Lev Aronin
USSR Championship (1949), Moscow URS, rd 16, Nov-12
Old Indian Defense: General (A53)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 25. ... Red8 <White is a pawn up but the Black Rooks occupy the open files and White's Q-side Pawns may come under attack. Much depends on the next few moves as to whether White can stabilize the position and retain his material advantage.> Shereshevsky


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And now 26.Rdd1!! <A strong but by no means obvious move. 26.f2-f4 or 26.Rfd1 both suggest themselves. Taimanov, a concert pianist as well as a strong GM, wrote, in Shakhmaty v SSSR 1950 No.1 > "First and foremost, White must defend the 1st rank and not concede the d-file. The tempting 26.f4 is wrong due to 26...exf4 27.exf4 Ne7! 28.f5 Nd5


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When 29.f6 fails due to 26...Rxd6"

26.Rfd1 Rxd6 27.Rxd6 Ra4! would have led to great complications e.g. 28.Rd7+ If 28.Bc3 Ra3 is unpleasant for White. <Taimanov> 28...Ke6 29.Rxb7 Ra2 30.Bc3 Rc2 31.Be1 e4!


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And in view of the threat of ...Ne5-d3 White must go in for the variation 32.f4 exf3 33.gxf3 Ne5 34.Bg3 Nxf3+ 35.Kf1 Nxh2+ 36.Bxh2 Rxh2 37.Rxg7 Kd5 with a draw. <Taimanov>

Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 28. Rd2 <White has parried the main threats and kept his extra pawn.>


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Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 28. ... e4! <Again setting White difficult problems. Black threatens > 29...Ne5 and 30...Nc4


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Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 29. ... exf3


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<If instead >29...Ne5 30.fxe4 Nc4 31.Rf2+ and 32.Bd4 <achieves nothing for Black as the Rook is defended.>

Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 30.Rf2! And not 30.gxf3? Ne5


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Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 31. g3! <Correctly solving the exchanging problem after 31.gxf3 g5! all of White's pieces are awkwardly placed.>


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Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 34. Bd4! <Again suppressing the opponent's counter-play.>


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Instead 34.Bxg7? is a mistake due to 34...Rg2+ 35.Kh1 Re2 and despite being 2 Pawns up White cannot win.


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a) 36.h4 Re1+ 37.Kh2 Ng4+ 38.Kh3 h5 e.g. 39.Rf5 Ne3


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b) 36.Bc3 Nd1

c) 36.h3 h5 And White cannot maintain his advantage.

i) 37.Bd4 Nc2 38.Bc3 Rxe4

ii) 37.Rf6+ Ke7 38.e5 Re1+ 39.Kh2 Re2+ 40.Kg1 Rg2+ 41.Kh1 Rxg3 42.Bf8+ Ke8 43.Bd6 Rxh3+ 44.Kg1 Nd5 45.Rf8+ Kd7 With a draw. <Taimanov.>


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Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 38... h5 <The position has clarified. White is a pawn up in a minor piece ending. Now, operating according to the principle of the two weaknesses, White should advance his e-pawn> (Black's first weakness is White's passed pawn in Shereshevsky's terminology.) <in combination with an attack on h5 by his King - or in some cases an attack on b7 and c6.>


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Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 41. Bd4 <Notice how the Knight constantly comes under the domination of the Bishop. 41.Kg5 would have allowed some counter-play.>


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Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 42...Kf6


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If 42...Ng4 43.Bg1 Black ends up in an unusual Zugzwang.

a) 43...Ne5 4.Bd4 Nf7 45.Bg7! and wins

b) 43...Kf6 44.Bd4+ Kg6 45.e5 and wins

c) 43...Nf6 44.Bd4 Nh7 45.Bg7 Kf7 46.Be5 Ke6 47.Bd4 Black must allow the advance of the White King. <Taimanov>

Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 43...Nf1 <Else 44.Bd4+ wins immediately.>


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Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 44...Kf7


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If 44...Ke6 45.Bc3 Kf7 46.Be1 Kf6 47.e5+ Ke6

<If 47...Kg6 then 48.Bf2 then as in the game.>

48.Kg5 Kxe5 49.Kxh5 Ne3 50.Kg5! Nd5 51.g4 Ke6

<If 51...b6 52.cxb6 Nxb6 53.Kh6 and the g-Pawn is irresistable. Taimanov>


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52.Kg6 Ne7+ 53.Kg7 And Black is defenceless against the following plan: Bd2, g4-g5 and K-march to the Q-side. <Taimanov>


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Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 45... Kg6


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<If instead 45...Ke6 46.Kg5 or if 45...Kf6 46.Be1 and Bc3+>

Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: Superb ending by Taimanov!
Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: Running over the ending with Stockfish-10 appears to throw up drawing chances with the counter-intuitive 33...Kg8!? or 33...Kg6!? instead of 33...Ke6


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Either of these moves defends g7. True, White can force a Rook ending with 34.Bxg7 but in general this exchange increases the drawing chances e.g. 34.Bxg7 Rg2+ 35.Kh1 Kxg7 36.Rxe3 Rb2 37.h4 Rxb4 38.Kg2 Kf6 39.e5+


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And now 39...Ke6? 40.Rd3 Kxe5 41.Rd6 and Black cannot take on c5 because the K+P ending is lost <White's King is inside the square of queening of the b-Pawn. Black's King will end up on c5 outside the square of queening of the h-Pawn.>

39...Ke7! and White can attack the h-Pawn with his King or his Rook

a) 40.Kf3 Rb5 41.Kg4 Rxc5 42.Kh5 b5 43.Kxh6 b4 44.g4 Rc4 45.Kg5 Rc3 46.Re1 c5 = At least I cannot find a win.

b) 40.Rd3 Rb5 41.Rd6 h5 42.Rh6 Rxc5 43.Rxh5 b5 44.Rh7+ Ke6 45.Kf3 b4 46.Rb7 Rc4 47.h5 Kxe5 48.h6 Rc1 49.Rxb4 Rh1 and Black has held the game.


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Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: Continuing the last note let's look at 34.Bd4 instead of 34.Bxg7


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Not exchanging the Knight leaves it actively marauding in White's position. 34...Nc2 35.Bc3 Ra3 36.Kf2

a) 36...Rb3?! 37.e5 Nxb4 38.e6 Nd5 39.Be5 White has a clear advantage.

b) 36...g5!


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Then 37.Ke2 <Not 37.e5 g4!> 37...Rb3 38.h4! (Attacking a target is much better than Kd2) 38...Nxb4 39.Bd4 Rxf3 40.Kxf3 Kf7 41.Kg4 Kg6 42.hxg5 hxg5 43.e5 Nd5 44.e6 Nc7 45.e7 Kf7 = Again Black appears to hold.


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Mar-04-19  hashtag: #Maseltov
Mar-04-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: Very interesting game and commentary.

26 Rdd1 is an extraordinary move. The variations quoted seemed convincing but at the same time it is hard to believe that a Rook retreat to the 1st rank really is the best move.

Gave up & showed the position to a silicon beast and it found another remarkable continuation 26 f4 exf4 27 h4! h5 28 g4!


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27 h4 just wasn’t on the radar but the move demonstrates that aggression pays!

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