Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Missed Opportunity

Movsesian in contemplation

There was a recent game in the Russian Team championship: GM Volokitin vs GM Movsesian which ended in a 160 move draw. The opening was a Sicilian Scheveningen: Keres Attack

View the Game
Download pgn

However, in the position achieved after 47.Kb1, the 6-piece tablebases reveal a forced mate in 33 moves.

Here Movsesian played 47...Kf5 which doesn't make any progress. But after: 47... Qf5+ 48. Ka2 Qa5+ 49. Ra4 Qd2+ 50. Kb1 Qc3 51. Ka2 Qc2+ 52. Ka3 Qb1 53. Ra5+ Kf6 54. b4 Ke6 55. Rc5 a6 56. Rc6+ Ke5 57. Rc8 Qd3+ 58. Kb2 a5 (temporarily giving up the pawn in order to create a high class zugzwang) 59. bxa5 Qb5+ 60. Kc2 Kd4 61. Rh8 Qc6+ 62. Kb3 Qc3+ 63. Ka4 Qc4+ 64. Ka3 Qe6 65. Kb2 (65.Kb4 ?? Kc3 and mate soon follows) Kd3 66. Rh7 Qf5 67. Rh1 Qe5+ 68. Ka3 Qxa5+ (with a pure queen vs rook ending where the defenders rook is completely out of position and vulnerable). 69.Kb3 Qc3+ 70.Ka4 Qxh8 etc.

A superb example of the might of technology in chess.