Monday, September 19, 2011

Svidler nearer to goal

Peter Svidler is one game away from winning the 2011 FIDE World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk. He won the first game and drew in games two and three to lead 2-1 over Alexander Grischuk. Now he needs just another draw in the fourth game which will be played tomorrow.

Grischuk will have to do something "extra-ordinary" (as he described it during the press conference after the game) in the fourth game which he must win to take the match to tie-breaks.

As usual, Grischuk got into a terrible time trouble. He was again down to three minutes for eighteen moves. The games are played with thirty second increments but still very suicidal of him to get into such time trouble. For some of his last moves he was literally down to the last second before he made his move.

Some of us spectators thought that Svidler would wrap up the match in this game as he had an extra pawn. But in the press conference he said he thought he was never in a winning position. Play through the game below to see for yourself he was right.

After 27...Re8

The game ended surprisingly quickly. 

28. Nb7 

Now there is an interesting move which might win  28... Bxb3 but Svidler did not go for this move. e.g
29. Nd6 Rd8 30. Nf5 (threatens Rxg7+) and now 30....Bf7 (Rdd2 31. Rxg7+  Kf8  32. Rb1  Rxf2 33. Rxb3 and black has no perpetual) R1xc6. Now the black a-pawn is a long way from queening whereas white has dangerous rook doubling  on the seventh. So it is understandable that Svidler played the safe

28...h5 29. Rxf7 Kxf7 Draw agreed!

The end will be 30. Nd6+ Kf8 31. Nxe8 Kxe8 32. Rxc6 Rb2 33. Rc7 Kf8 34. Rxa7 Rxc3 with a clearly drawn rook ending.


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