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Hikaru Nakamura vs Peter Svidler
Korchnoi Zurich Chess Challenge (2017), Zurich SUI, rd 3, Apr-14
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Botvinnik System Reversed (A36)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-15-17  paavoh: Svidler continues to beat Nakamura often...
Apr-15-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: nice endgame crush.
Apr-16-17  Ulhumbrus: Instead of an immediate 23...Rxc3 which allows the capture 24 Qxf7+ in reply Svidler's zwischenzug 23...Nf5!! delays the potential capture 24 Qxf7+ thus enabling Black to play 24...Rxc3
Oct-06-18  sam94: Thanks for your comment ulhumbrus- earlier in Rxc3 line i only saw upto Ng8 blocking the check and forgot that the queen was hanging. Being a patzer i couldn't understand how(in actual game) svidler knew how the was winning (only a pawn up- which in most rook pawn endgames i see today end up being a draw),if someone could clear up on that(and tell me how to get good at understanding endgame positions-books,videos etc.) I'll be really grateful! Thanks again.
Oct-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I was *sure* that black would play 23...Nxd5. But after 24. exd5 (24. Nxd5 Rxc2) Rxc3 25. Qxf7+ Kh8 26. Rxc3 Rxc3 27. Qxb7 Rxd3 28. Rf7 Qxd5+ 29. Qxd5 Rxd5 30. Rxa7, material is even.
Oct-06-18  messachess: The rare end game puzzle. Always difficult.
Oct-06-18  Walter Glattke: 24.-Rxc3 brings 25.Qxf7+ Kh8 25.Rxc3 Rxc3 26.Qf8+ Ng8 27.QxQ 24.-Nf5 is a blunder, 25.Nb5 Rxc3 26.Nxd6 Rxf2+ 27.Rxf2 with 2 hanging pieces by black. 25.Nb5 Qxb4 25.Rxc7 Rxc7 26.Nxc7 Nd6 27.Qxa7 (Qc2? Qb6!) or 27.Qf6 advantasge for white.
Oct-06-18  SChesshevsky: <sam94> Here's my take on some of what Svidler might've been thinking endgame principle wise.

At 28...Rc6, he knows being a pawn up here probably means the chances of losing are small but with possibilities of winning. So worth consolidating the position but putting his rook right, then plan to exchange queens. Possibly the most dangerous white piece.

At 34. Kg3, Svidler probably feels he's better, maybe winning, based on two factors. More active rook based on mobility and Qside pawn majority.

At 42...Rxb5, he's probably reasonably sure he's winning with outside connected passed pawns. But still needs to figure out how to advance with rook in front and how to get his king active.

So the basic endgame principles Svidler may have considered are consolidate an advantage, exchange down, have an active rook, look for passed pawn - outside preferred, get king active.

The trick is to see the potential, while considering opponents possibilities, many moves ahead of time.

My guesses of what Svidler might have considered seem logical but also might be way off, however.

Oct-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White threatens Qxf7+.

Black has Nf5 and f5 (23... Rxc3 24.Rxc3 Rxc3 25.Qxf7+ Kh8 26.Qf8+ Ng8 27.Qxd6 + -).

23... f5 is met with 24.Nb5 Rxc2 25.Nxd6 Rxf2+ 26.Rxf2 Rc7 27.Nc4 with the double threat d6 and Nxe5.

Therefore, 23... Nf5:

A) 24.exf5 Rxc3 25.Rxc3 (25.Ra2 Qxd5+ as in the line) 25... Qxd5+ followed by Rxc3 seems to win a pawn.

B) 24.Rfc1 Nd4 wins decisive material.

C) 24.Qd2 Nd4 25.Rcc1 Nb3 wins decisive material.

D) 24.Nb5 Rxc2 25.Nxb6 Nxd6 wins the knight.

Oct-06-18  malt: Black has ...f5 or ...Nf5

23...f5 24.Rfc1 Q:b4 25.Qd2 fe4 25.de4

23...Nf5 24.ef5 (24.Rfc1 Nd4 )...R:c3
25.R:c3 R:c3 26.fg6 Q:d5+ 27.Kg1 hg6

...Nf5 looks better.

Oct-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Saturday (23...?) puzzle, Black would like to capture the under protected Rook on c3.

However, the immediate 23...Rxc3?? is met by 24. Qxf7+ Kh8 25. Rxc3 +- when White wins due to the threat 25...Rxc3?? 26. Qf8+ Ng8 27. Qxd6 +-.

A flawed but tempting alternative is sacrificing the Knight for two pawns with 23...Nxd5? 24. exd5 24...Qxb4 (not 24...Qxd5+?? 25. Nxd5 Rxc2 26. Ne7+ Kg7 27. Nxc8 +-), but after 25. Qf6! ± to +- (+1.87 @ 42 ply, Stockfish 9) White has a near winning advantage.

The solution to this quandary is the in-between, obstruction move 23...Nf5! which gives Black a clear advantage after 23...Nf5! 24. exf5 Rxc3 25. Rxc3 Rxc3 ∓ (-0.79 @ 36 ply, Stockfish 9).

The extreme difficulty in the puzzle is figuring out how to transition Black's advantage in this Queen and Rook middle game into a winning Rook and Pawn endgame.

P.S.: So where did White go wrong? According to the computer, White's game took a down hill slide with 23. Qf2? allowing today's Saturday puzzle solution 23...Nf5! ∓ (0.79 @ 36 ply, Stockfish 9).

Instead, simply protecting the Rook on c3 with 23. Rfc1 ⩲ to = (+0.40 @ 36 ply, Stockfish 9) would have left White in good shape.

Oct-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  boringplayer: @sam94 Many years ago, I asked a top player in New England what he considered the strongest part of his game. He answered, " Knowing when to trade advantages." In a similar vein, I played over a game where Judit Polgar had white in a King's Gambit. After attacking aggressively, she then traded off most of the pieces to reach a materially even ending. However, she had determined she was much better in that ending, so was happy to give up the attack and win that way. To know that an ending is better or worse for you takes work. I'm reading Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual, and highly recommend it. Mostly, try to enjoy the beauty of endings ( and chess in general ). After all, what good is all the knowledge if you don't have fun playing?
Oct-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <boringplayer>, 'tis a good thing you never asked me such a question, old friend; for I would have thrown my head back and laughed. Always felt my game was something of a bag of tricks, if in a rather different way than Smyslov meant that as a description of the young Tal's style.

In all seriousness, improving one's abilities in that conversion process is far from easy.

Anything Dvoretsky wrote is worthwhile reading, but not meant for the beginner or dilettante. To gain from his books, one must be prepared to work at it.

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