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Vasyl Ivanchuk vs Etienne Bacrot
Aeroflot Open (2005), Moscow RUS, rd 9, Feb-23
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Modern Bishop's Opening (C55)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-07-05  notyetagm: Wow, did Bacrot blunder a pawn on move 11? Is 11 ... ♘a5? 12 ♘xe5! a blunder or theory? It would be amazing for a 2700 rated player to blunder a whole pawn so early in the in a slow (classical) game.
Jul-07-05  aw1988: I'm hedging more on blunder.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Blunder. I think Black was lost for quite some time after dropping the pawn, but I've had a hard time proving it conclusively.

My suggested improvement for White is 23. Rae1, keeping the rook post. A possible continuation is 23. Rae1 Kg7 24. Na3 Rc8 25. Nb5 a5 26. bxa5 bxa5 27. Na7 Rg8 28. Nc6 Kf6 29. R1e6+ Kg5 30. Rxf7 Bxf7 31. Re7 Bh5 32. Rxc7 Kf4 33. Nxa5, and it looks like White is winning the race.

Jul-18-05  TruthHurts: It was a blunder, Bacrot defended all the game after, finding some ways to keep some activity, and pretty well, although white probably missed a win in the beginning of the rook endgame. Nice game.
Jul-18-05  notyetagm: If 11 ... ♘a5? was a blunder, then 12 ♘xe5!! is a tremendous tactical blow by Ivanchuk.
Jul-18-05  who: Fritz feels 40.c5 was a blunder (it is Fritz's 13th choice) and thinks 40.b5 is almost a pawn better. It also feels 43.Rc4 is more than half a pawn better than 43.cxd6
Jul-18-05  TruthHurts: <notyetagm: If 11 ... a5? was a blunder, then 12 xe5!! is a tremendous tactical blow by Ivanchuk.>


Jul-18-05  notyetagm: Too bad Chuky didn't win this game. If he had beaten Bacrot here, he would have gone to Dortmund instead of Sutovsky and would certainly have peformed better than Sutovsky did.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: I agree that 40. c5 looks weak, but it already does not look like an easy win by this time. All pawns are on the same side of the board, there are not many pawns left, and it's hard for White to create a passed pawn.

The obvious plan is to advance the king via a4-b5-c6, starting with 40. Rf2.

Here's an example:

40. Rf2 b5 41. Ra2 bxc4+ 42. dxc4 Re1 43. Ka4 Kf7 44. Kb5 and Black's in trouble.

But what if 40. Rf2 Kg7! so that 41. Ra2 Rxa2 42. Kxa2 Kf6 gaining time for king activity, and I wasn't able to find a win for White in the resulting pawn ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: I don't see the point of <Fritz>'s suggested 40. b5. This blocks the king's path via a4-b5-c6 and further freezes the queenside pawns, so Black can always trade rooks and draw.

In short, I don't see how White could have won this rook ending.

May-24-13  EvanTheTerrible: Great game.

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