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Alexey Shirov vs Alexander Morozevich
Astana (2001), Astana KAZ, rd 2, May-21
French Defense: Classical. Burn Variation Morozevich Line (C11)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-27-10  Eric Farley: Morozevich is just one of the many chess players -- they comprise 99% of all players of all categories -- that know the positions of all variations of all openings but wouldn't be able to win a Queen versus Rook pawnless ending! It's a rare player that studies endings, which are deemed boring by these "experts." If you don't believe me read Capablanca's "Last Lectures" and he'll corroborate what I've just said. One more piece of evidence: In 1978 there was a match between the computer program BELLE (designed by Ken Thompson) and GM Walter Browne. The initial position was a Q vs R ending. Browne had the Queen. With perfect endgame technique he could have won in 31 moves, but he didn't. He overstepped the 50-move limit and the game was drawn!
May-27-10  johnlspouge: Thursday (Medium)

Shirov vs Morozevich, 2001 (55...?)

Black to play and win.

Material: Down a P. The White Ra6 threatens Ph6, the capture leaving Black down 2P. A stalemate resource makes the variation 55…Rxh5 56.Ra5+ feasible for Black.

Candidates (55...): Rxh5

55…Rxh5 56.Ra5 [else, R+P vs. R+P is a book draw]


If White plays 57.Rxh5, he stalemates White. If not, the ending is a theoretical draw, e.g., 57.Ra4+ Kb5.

May-27-10  A Karpov Fan: got it
May-27-10  awfulhangover: I found it!!But of course, I knew it is stalemate week and black has a very strong move. Not that kind of things you know in a real game. I love these stalemate puzzles!
May-27-10  Patriot: Sure, it's "stalemate week", but the solution isn't that hard to find. I realize we have the advantage of knowing there's a stalemate, but objectively Rxh5 is one of those critical moves that should be examined as well as the skewer and resulting stalemate pattern. Moro should've found 55...Rxh5! easily but we have no idea what his circumstances were at the time. Maybe he was low on time...who knows?
May-27-10  desiobu: Easy to spot knowing black is supposed to draw, but I doubt I'd find it OTB.
May-27-10  Formula7: White is threatening Black's pawn on h6 and at first glance it seems there's no way to stop it. However, 55...Rxh5! draws because 56.Ra5+ Kb4 57.Rxh5 is stalemate.
May-27-10  Creg: I agree and disagree with <Once> and a few others, though I like your <Once> explanation, very well said. However, when it comes to movies I agree. They tend to repeat themselves. I guess that is why as you get older you look for more independent, or off beat films, but I digress.

Learning is a different scenario where pattern recognition is important. The more you learn the theme, or the gist of the lesson (for things outside of chess) the better you are at handling future problems. It is true, that for the more experienced these themes may seem redundant, but not everyone here is experienced. Then again, don't GM's continue to study the most rudimentary tactics, endgames, etc, throughout their careers? It may seem boring, but having these themes repeated throughout time actually benefit the learner.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: 55...♖xh5 loses the rook to a skewer,but...

After 56 ♖a5+ ♔b4 57 ♖xh5 is stalemate

Thus, black wins the pawn and the draw is elementary.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kasputin: 55...Rxh5

It is not only necessary but perfectly safe to take this pawn.

If 56. Ra5+ then ...Kb4 and it is a draw. If white captures the rook on h5 then the position is stalemated, and if white declines the capture then the position is completely drawish. Also white has nothing better then 56. Ra5+ in any case.

May-27-10  zooter: I can see the stalemate trick here,

55...Rxh5 56.Ra5+ Kb4 57.Rxh5 stalemate, but is it really necessary for black? I guess so. There is no way to protect the h6 pawn and 2 pawns down would be really bad

Time to check

May-27-10  zooter: I would never have seen over the board this...probably I might have....but stalemate week definitely conditioned me here...
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Once: When you watch Avatar, what do you see? A few might see a straight science-fiction adventure film, but most will see echoes of earlier patterns ...>

Pandora, the totally wired planet, was foreshadowed in Robert A. Heinlein's _Starman Jones_. The marines' fighting AMP suits are versions of the man-multiplying armor suits in Heinlein's _Starship Troopers_, right down to the "drop" from aircraft, and their glove controls are "waldoes" -- "Waldo F. Jones's Synchronized Reproducing Pantographs" -- from his _Waldo_. Heinlein should have gotten a screen credit.

May-27-10  johnlspouge: < <Creg> wrote: [snip] It may seem boring, but having these themes repeated throughout time actually benefit the learner. >

Overlearning is a well-recognized phenomenon for reinforcing memory. If you are not yet <completely> bored with stalemate week, you are still deriving benefit from it.

In other words, if you are still posting instead of snoozing on your desktop, don't complain :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Alex to readdress, burn the pawn off. 55.Kb4 nooooo salvation is handy with Rxh5. Ask injury of Ra5+? Ratify in the second degree draw, mar the lemon Kb4. Ah send winging rook ahead and raze the little grunt. Issue often is settled then. It is lovely seeing two titans at court marshalling matters and missing stalemate again. White nets the point without a racket, if only black made haste with that Rxh5 and slung his arm.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Creg> I don't disagree. Pattern recognition is a vitally important skill and it can be learnt and reinforced by repetition.

But when we assess a chess position, we are using several skills. First we need to work out whether we are playing for a win or a draw. Then we need to decide which positional strategy or tactical device we want to employ. Then we need to identify candidate moves and assess our opponent's responses to each. And finally we need to decide which of our candidate moves to play.

The beauty of a normal chessgames puzzle is that it makes us exercise all of these skills - the chess equivalent of a full body workout. All we know is who is to move. We don't know whether we are looking for a win, draw or even, rarely, a spoiler.

I suppose their is a hierarchy of chess puzzles. The hardest is the CG default of "White to play." Somewhere in the middle is "white to play and win/ draw". And easiest of all is "White to play and win with a pin/ draw with a stalemate".

I don't mind the CG theme of the week. But for me it is the chess equivalent of doing nothing but bench presses every day when I would like to spend at least some time with the Nordic ski machine.

Heck, whatever CG does it good, so please don't interpret anything I saw as remotely complaining!! :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <al wazir: Heinlein should have gotten a screen credit.>

Very well put, sir! Couldn't agree more. Mind you, if we credit him with this film, how many others ought we to include as well?

I actually enjoyed the juxtaposition of the human powered suits, the computer controlled avatars and the way that the indigineous population were able to interface with horse/ eagle creatures. It was as if the three main protagonists each had their own form of avatars - mechanical, computer or organic.

And didn't the flying machine things look as if they had been stolen from Pixar's the Incredibles?

May-27-10  strobane: So, it's black to move and lose?
I could have come up with a lot of losing lines.
May-27-10  slomarko: Rh5! Ra5 Kb4 Rh5 stalemate
May-27-10  wals: Got the first move, (but as I see now, not the correct one,) no chance with the rest. Rybka 3 1-cpu: 3071 mb hash: depth 27:

White's blunder

=0.00 55.Kb2. better

1. (3.14): 55.Kc2 Rh2+ 56.Kd3[] Rh3+ 57.Ke4[] Rh4+ 58.Ke3 Rb4 59.Kd3[] Rxb3+ 60.Ke4[] Rb4+ 61.Ke5 Rb1 62.Rxh6[] Re1+ 63.Kf6 Rf1+ 64.Kg7 Rh1 65.Rh8[] Rg1+ 66.Kh7 Kd6 67.Re8 Kd7 68.Re4 Kd6 69.h6[] Rg3 70.Kh8

Black blunders

+4.16 55...Kb4. better, Rxh5, =0.00.

White blunders

=0.00 62.Kd2. better

1. (4.16): 62.h6 Ka6 63.h7 Rh2+ 64.Kc3 Kb7 65.Kd4

2. (4.16): 62.Rh7 Kb4 63.h6

3. (4.16): 62.Kb2 Kb4

4. (4.16): 62.Rh6

5. (4.16): 62.Kd1 Kc6 63.h6 Kb7

Black blunders,

+4.16 62...Kc6. better, Kc5, =0.00.

and White remained error free to win.

May-27-10  lippizan: <zb2cr: The only reason I got this one was that I knew it was a puzzle and that <> was running a theme of "stalemate swindles" this week>

Not with me. I got it without knowing the theme of the week (this is my first puzzle of the week).

May-27-10  Moonwalker: <wals:
Black blunders,

+4.16 62...Kc6. better, Kc5, =0.00.>

How does black force a draw after <62...♔c5>?

May-28-10  wals: <moomwalker>

With the hope that White chooses
Kc1, Rg8 Rf8, Re8, Rd8, Rb8, Ra8,
Rh7, Rh6, as their next move or
having calculated all the candidate moves to the end, will choose to accept a draw in place of playing another 34 to 42 moves.
Otherwise I don't know, nor do I know why the computer gives birth to these apparent anomalies.

May-30-10  Moonwalker: <wals>
Thanks mate :)
Oct-05-19  ColdSong: Oh my,Morozevich doesn't see 55...Rh5...,It's really pathetic for a strong Grandmaster,and moreover he deserved to draw after have found some kind of enough counterplay to draw (or maybe not) this ending.
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