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Garry Kasparov vs Etienne Bacrot
Armenia - The Rest of the World (2004), Moscow RUS, rd 3, Jun-12
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Annotations by Larry Evans.

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-25-17  Steve.Patzer: I chose 66. Kf3. Does that mean I am superior to Kasparov?
May-25-17  Al2009: Yes, 66.Kf3! classical "triangular" maneuver to put the defending King away from pawns' defence. Very strange that Kasparov missed such elementary maneuver.
May-25-17  Iwer Sonsch: 66.Kf4 and if 66...f6 then 67.h5+ Kxh5 68.Kxf5 Kh6 69.Kxf6 should win, right?
May-25-17  Iwer Sonsch: Nope. 67...Kh6! holds.
May-25-17  Iwer Sonsch: I wonder how Kasparov even missed Stockfish's obvious 61.Bxf7! Nc6 62.h5 Ne5 63.Be6 Kd6 64.Bxf5 (#34 according to Shredder's tablebase), and rather went for 61.Bf3? Nd5+! (0.16 @depth 31).
May-25-17  Walter Glattke: The h-pawn runs through after 61.Bxf7
May-25-17  Iwer Sonsch: <Walter Glattke> That's why the Knight moves are forced.
May-25-17  malt: 66.Kf3 Kh4 67 Kf4
May-25-17  Carlos0012358: 66.Kf3
May-25-17  saturn2: Me too I went with 66 Kf3, 67 Kf4 because the black king can never get to g4 then. When I saw the game continuation I first thought it is another one of those thursdays..
May-25-17  Marmot PFL: Was about 95% sure that Kf3 was best and it's amazing that Kasparov missed it, unless this was blitz.
May-25-17  N0B0DY: <trumbull0042: Nobody's perfect.> I know!
May-25-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Only two pawns per side.

The natural move 66.Kf4 seems to draw: 66... f6 (66... Kf6 67.h5 Kg7 68.Kxf5 wins) 67.h5+ Kh6 (67... Kxh5 68.Kxf5 Kh6 69.Kxf6 wins) 68.Kxf5 Kxh5 69.g4+ Kh4 (69... Kh6 70.Kxf6 wins) 70.Kf4 Kh3, draw.

This suggests 66.Kf3:

A) 66... f6 67.Kf4, followed by 68.Kxf5, wins by trading the h-pawn for the f-pawn.

B) 66... Kh5(6,7) 67.Kf4 Kg6 68.Ke5 (68.h5+ Kxh5 69.Kxf5 f6 draws as above)

B.1) 68... f6+ 69.Kf4 transposes to A.

B.2) 68... Kh5 69.Kxf5 wins (69... f6 70.Kxf6; 69... Kh6 70.Kf6).

B.3) 68... Kh6 69.Kxf5 as above.

C) 66... Kg7 67.Kf4

C.1) 67... Kf6 68.h5 Ke6 (68... Kg7 69.Kxf5 + -) 69.Kg5 and the h-pawn promotes.

C.2) 67... Kg6 68.Ke5 transposes to B.

C.3) 67... f6 68.Kxf5 wins as in A.

May-25-17  Pasker: Even I found Kf3 without any trouble but why not Kasparov? May be a blinder I think.
May-25-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Side puzzle:

After 62...Kxd5, the position is a draw.


click for larger view

Per the notes, "Kasparov threw away a win with 66.Kd4?". So where did black go wrong in the three interim moves?

May-25-17  User not found: Kf3 and then kf4 and black runs out of moves
May-25-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <patzer2: *** as the game notes indicate, 66. Kf3! is an endgame win (mate in 20 per 6 piece Nalimov Tablebase.) <Also winning is 66. Kf2 (mate in 30 per 6 piece Nalimov Tablebase.)> *** >

Regarding your assertion that 66. Kf2 also wins, are you sure you entered the position correctly?

From this position (today’s puzzle):


click for larger view

After 66. Kf2?, Black has three moves (66. … Kh6; 66. … Kh5; and 66. … f6) that are drawing.

One point to note here is that if 66. Kf2 eventually leads to this position (with White to move):


click for larger view

... if White plays 1. h5+, then Black must not capture the pawn immediately (1. ... Kxh5 2. Kxf5 ); instead 1. ... Kh6 and if 2. Kxf5 Kxh5 =.

<Walter Glattke: Zugzwang!? 66.Kf3 Kh4 <(sic; should be Kh5)> 67.Kf4 Kg6 68.h5+ Kh6 same position, only one move later,
what does CG means here? *** >

In your variation, 68. h5+? Is a blunder that allows Black to draw. The best move there is 68. Ke5 .

May-25-17  Iwer Sonsch: Kasparov's <56.f5! Bxf5? 57.Nxf5 gxf5 58.Be2! Nc6 59.Bxh5 b4+ 60.axb4+ Nxb4> (61.Bxf7! Nc6 62.h5 Ne5 63.Be6 Kd6 64.Bxf5 ) came as unexspected for Stockfish as it must have been for Bacrot.

After 56.f5!, Black could have still difficultly hold with 56...gxf5! 57.Bxf5 Bxf5 58.Nxf5 Nc4! 59.g4 hxg4 60.h5 Nd6 61.Ng3 f5! 62.h6 f4 63.h7 Nf7 64.Ne4+ Kc6! 65.Ng5 Nh8 (0.24 @depth 31) or 61.h6 Ne4+! 62.Kd3 Nf6 (0.07 @depth 35).

Way easier would have been 55...f5! (0.16 @depth 33), where Kasparov could have already offered the draw.

May-25-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Just took a look at this “side puzzle”:

<Jimfromprovidence: Side puzzle: After 62...Kxd5, the position is a draw.


click for larger view

Per the notes, "Kasparov threw away a win with 66.Kd4?". So where did black go wrong in the three interim moves?>

This is a good one, Jim.

Without giving full analysis, the answer is that Bacrot’s 64. … Kf6? was losing; either 64. … Kd4 or 64. Ke4 (maximally centralizing the king) would have been drawing. Bacrot may have avoided this defense (I assume, BTW, that given the move count and the inaccurate play on both sides by two extremely strong players, that both of them were in zeitnot) due to the Black pawn on f5 that restricted his king’s path if the h-pawn decided to “do a runner”. Because the blocked diagonal through f5 reaches the h-file on the 7th rank, and because the f6 square is available, however, it’s OK for the defense that the Black king cannot use f5.

One interesting aspect of these features of the position is that if we slightly alter the position in the diagram above by putting the rearward Black pawn on f6 (instead of f7), then the position after 62. … Kxd5 would be .

May-25-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: One more comment for today on this ending.

There is another (but less well-known) game involving a (future in this case) world champion in which White missed a win available with the same move (66. Kf3). In this other game, it was the (future) WCC (Botvinnik) who was the beneficiary of the blunder:


click for larger view

Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs Botvinnik, 1938

After 66. Kf4? g6!, the game was agreed a draw.

May-25-17  RandomVisitor: 64...Ke4 =
May-25-17  stst: Just a shallow eye-balling...get the K to capture the back pawn, via f4-e5-d6 etc.

f4 first as to block it.
The two White pawns should be OK when the Black K's position rather restricted by the White K. Could be a long and dull process...

May-25-17  messachess: And this was Kasparov! Shows end came difficulty. Looks like subtle timeing because presumably 66.Kf4 doesn't win.
May-25-17  nateinstein: Consider me as stupid as Gary Kasparov - I also picked 66. Kd4.
May-25-17  zavariz: 61 Bxf7 seems to be the lead to win.
66 Kd4 ??
Kasparov was tired.....
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