This game in the eight round clinched the 2nd place for me. My opponent, the Singaporean IM Chan Peng Kong, was tied for first with GM Fominyh while I was half a point behind. I needed to win this position to overtake the IM and get into second position.
|IM Chan - IM Liew|
A: 35... Nxe5 36. Kf4 Nf7 37. Bg6 Nd6 38. Ke5 Kd7 39. b3 Ke7 Black has a extra pawn but I rejected this line as I could not be sure that white could set up a positional draw with bishop against knight. Looking back this was the best chance for the win.
B: 35... Nxb2 36. Kf4 Kd7 37. Kg5 Ke7 38. Kg6 Kf8 39. Bxb7 Nc4 Black wins the e-pawn and ends up in a similar ending as (A).
So what I choose was the worse possible choice. I might even lose if not careful.
The idea being that my king was now free to move up the board and create threats.
36. Kf4 Kd7 37. b3!
The best chance. White traps the black knight on a3
37... Nxa3 38. Bd3 Kc6 39. Kg5 Kd5 40. Kg6 Kd4
Even though I had anticipated this move on my 35th move, it still came as a shock. I had calculated that this was losing for white. Did I miss something? Was I lost?
In fact 41. Kxg7 is a mistake although it looks very appealing over the board. The white h-pawn looks impossible to stop.
White can get a draw by retreating the bishop
A) 41. Be2 Nc2 42. Kxg7 Ne3 43. Kf6 Nd5+ 44. Kg5 Kxe5 45. h4 Nf4 46. h5
Nxh5 47. Bxh5 a5 48. Kg4 Kd4 49. Bf7 e5 50. Kf3 Kd3 51. Bc4+ Kd4 52. Bb5 Kc3 =
B)Ba6 Nc2 42. Kxg7 Kxe5 43. h4 Kf4 44. Kf6 Kg4 45. Kxe6 Nd4+ 46. Kd5
Nxb3 47. Kc6 picks up the remaining black pawns.
The bishop must be taken
It looks impossible that the white h-pawn can be stopped but like General McArthur, the black knight on a3 will "return" in time.
Now I saw two moves Nc2 or Nb5 and I was not sure which was best.
42... Nb5 ??
42... Nc2 43. h5 Ne3 44. Kf6 (44. h6 Nf5+ 45. Kg6 Nxh6 46. Kxh6 Ke4 , both white pawns are neutralized and black wins.
43. h5 Nd4 44. Kf6 Nf5 45. Kxe6 Ng7+ 46. Kd5??
White can still draw after 46. Kf7 Nxh5 47. e6 Ng3 48. Kf6 ! (48. e7?? Nf5 49. e8=Q Nd6+ forks the king and queen). The knight cannot approach except to repeat the check on h5.
46... Nxh5 47. b4 Kc3 48. b5 Kb4 49. Kd6 Kxb5 0-1