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Maxime Lagarde vs Anatoly Vaisser
French Championship (2012), Pau FRA, rd 6, Aug-18
Dutch Defense: Stonewall. Modern Variation (A90)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Did Lagarde lose on time?

White <is> probably theoretically lost in the final position (after <63. … Ke5>):

click for larger view

... nevertheless, the technical challenges facing Black are considerable and the path to victory narrow. For example: <64. Rxb3 f2!> (only move; all others lose!) <65. Rb1 Ke4 66. Kd2 Kf3 67. Ra1 h5 68. Rb1 Kg2 69. Ke2 f4!> (so that, if 70. Rf1 f3+ wins; as on move 64, this is the only move; all others lose!) <70. Ra1 h4!> (here, 70. … f3 would draw; all other moves lose!) <71. Rb1 h3 72. Ra1 h2 Rb1 f3+! Ke3 f1=Q> < >.

<Note>: The foregoing analysis was done using the tablebase available here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Taking another look at the game's final position after <63. … Ke5> (see diagram in previous post), I am not at all certain that White is losing; he may actually be winning.

The tablebase linked in my previous post verifies that if White had continued with the obvious (but likely not best) <64. Rxb3> (as analyzed above), he would have been lost. On further reflection, however, it seems apparent that there is no hurry to take the b-pawn (which is going nowhere with White’s rook on the b-file). Much more to the point is to move the King to the d-file to get within the square of the foremost Black f-pawn. Best seems to be <64. Kd3> (to prevent 64. … Ke4). The resulting position would be (with Black to move):

click for larger view

In the above position (which has seven [7] units, one too many to be in the tablebase, thus leaving us to our own resources), I do not see any way for Black to make progress. If <64. … f4> (to prevent 65. Ke3), the tablebase verifies that White is winning after the simple <65. Rxb3> (although seemingly better in principle would be first 65. Rb5+, to force the Black King to the sixth rank).

Pushing the b-pawn (<64. … b2>) seems pointless, and the tablebase verifies that White is winning after the simple <65. Rxb2> (although, again, there seems to be a more principled move, <65. Ke3>, to prevent 65. … Kf4).

Pushing the foremost f-pawn is no better. After <64. Kd3 f2>, White must be winning after <65. Ke2> (staying within the square of the pawn).

Finally, running the h-pawn (<64. … h5 65. Ke3 h4 66. Kxf3> also yields a position that the tablebase verifies is < >.

In summary, from the final position of the game (as presented in the diagram in my <previous> post, White seemingly would have been winning if he had played <64. Kd3>, which strengthens the hypothesis that White probably lost this game by time forfeit.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Peligroso Patzer> The tournament page confirmed that White lost on time in a winning position.

(Coup de théâtre en fin de partie... Maxime perd au temps dans une position supérieure, voire gagnante ! Chanceux, Anatoly Vaisser obtient sa première victoire.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Thank you for the confirmation, <whiteshark>.

It was a fascinating endgame. Although my first post was off-base (starting with a blunder, <64. Kb3>), the analysis how Black can exploit that inaccuracy seems to me both interesting and instructive.

As noted in my second post, White would almost certainly have had a winning position after <64. Kd3> (or even after the less accurate <64. Kd2>) in the final position in which White "flagged".

Aug-21-12  ajile: Black hasn't done very well with these lines in the Dutch so far. Maybe it's time to try the Leningrad Dutch variation.

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