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Alexander G Beliavsky vs Sergey Dolmatov
47th USSR Championship (1979), Minsk URS, rd 9, Dec-??
Semi-Slav Defense: General (D43)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-21-12  vinidivici: I think 41.Ke3 is a mistake, 41.Nf4 looks much better. In the game after Ke3, black 41...Rc1 is good attacking the a2 pawn. But this effort fails after 41.Nf4 Rc1 42.Nd5! and black b4 pawn would fall while white a2 pawn would stand.

So after my supposed line Nf4, black could try 41...Rc3 42.Ke4 Rxb3 43.Bc4

And white slightly better in my opinion.

Nov-22-12  SimonWebbsTiger: <vinidivici>

it might interest you to know that this game appears in the chapter "The Strongest Piece is the Rook!" of <School of Chess Excellence 1 - Endgame Analysis> by Dvoretsky (Edition Olms, 2001).

41. Nf2! Rc1 42. h4!! assures the draw.

41. Nf4?! is less strong due to 41...Rc3. White can set up a similar defensive position, though, as after 41. Nf2! but the defence is far harder.

Nov-25-12  vinidivici: Right. I have calculated a little bit.

41.Nf2 is a better than Nf4. And the problem lies on the move 41...Rc3. 42.Ke3 Rxb3
43.Nd1!.....rook trapped!! and white king would approach the rook and eliminate it.

Of course not (however the means) to take the rook in terms of axb3. Black a3 pawn would threaten to queen.

Nov-26-12  SimonWebbsTiger: @<vinidivici>

I have noticed you are looking at games which have two minors versus a rook.

Just wondering if you have seen Esben Lund's "Rook versus Two Minor Pieces" (Quality Chess, 2005)? It is an excellent book based on the material Lund has used in training players. Apart from the theory and two practical examples (analysis of two variations in the Catalan and Scotch which give rise to Rook versus the Two minors in the endgame), the book has a lot of positions for judgement and analysis with solutions.

Also, check out the series (three parts with a fourth column devoted to problem solving) on the subject by Serper on

Nov-26-12  vinidivici: tx for the link.

And back for the game, we know that after move 40, white position is difficult to cope, but for the wisdom of the game, one could imagine getting a draw by letting the opponent queening, the defense is to set up the fortress. And yes, let the opponent queening!

41...Nf2 Rc1
42.h4! (for rook not to take it) Ra1
43.Bc4 Rx2
44.Nd3 Rf2+
45.Kxf2 a2
46.Nxb4 a=Q
47.Nd3 Qd4+
48.Kg2 f5
49.Nf4 Qe4+
50.Kf2....and now if black queen stops checking the king, at any cost and in the first chance Bd5!! and protect the h1-a8 diagonal and black cannot do nothing to penetrate that.

Nov-26-12  SimonWebbsTiger: yes, it is a wonderful fortess defence!

The reason Nf2 is stronger than your initial thought Nf4 is because after Nf2 white picks up the b pawn.

Nov-26-12  vinidivici: <Simon>
<The reason Nf2 is stronger than your initial thought Nf4 is because after Nf2 WHITE PICKS UP THE b-PAWN.>

hmm...not exactly like that. Nf4 as the weaker move also aiming to get the b-pawn. But Nf4 fails because 41...Rc3.

So read again my post above....the reason Nf2 stronger is: Its parry the treacherous Rc3 move from black. That the fact b-pawn would finally taken is just a collateral results.

Nf4 is a dangerous too if finally the knight could eat the b-pawn. But it fails to Rc3.

So the problem lies on Rc3.

So if you said that Nf2 is stronger than Nf4 because it takes the b-pawn, well, not really because Nf4 also same as strong as Nf2 if Nf4 succeed to get the b-pawn.

Nov-26-12  vinidivici: sorry for the whirling logic howsoever. It just came up to my mind.
Jul-30-13  goggi: 41.Nf2! Rc1

After 41...Rc3?! 42.Ke3= black can't play 42...Rxb3?? 43.Nd1 Rb2 44.Nxb2 b3 because white has the move 45.Bb1!

42.h4!! Ra1
43.Bc4 Rxa2

This is the idea of the move 42.h4!!
If the pawn is on h2 black wins:
44...Rxh2 45.Nxb4 a2 46.Nxa2 Rxa2


44...Rd2 45.Nxb4 a2 46.Nxa2 Rxa2=

45.Kxf2 a2
46.Nxb4 a1Q
47.Nd5 Qd4+
48.Kg2 Kg6
49.Nf4+ Kf5
50.Bd5! Kg4
51.Bf3+ Kf5
52.Bd5 Qe3
53.Kh3! Qg1
54.Bg2 Qd1
55.Bd5 Qg4+

Feb-11-16  Howard: An issue of New in Chess a couple years back refers to this game as a "famous game".

I'd never heard of it before until then. And it's not in the Informants, either.

Nonetheless, it looks pretty instructive.

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