Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chess, chess and more chess. But I'm on holiday!

Today I'm suffering from a well known malaise. I finished work yesterday, and have a week's holiday. So today I've felt woolly headed and lethargic. A shame really, as there is so much top class chess going on. I took a brief look at the games from Sao Paulo, and I want to look a little more deeply into the ending between Caruana and Anand. It was a rook ending where Caruana finished with rook and 2 unconnected pawns against Anand's rook, yet the game finished in a draw.

The lead up to this had been fascinating, but here, Anand as black played 69..Kg7. I first thought, why not 69..Kf7? I then thought that white might have a win after 69..Kf7 70.Rf8+ Kxe7 71.Rf2 where black's king is cut off. However, black has 71..Rh1+ 72.Kg3 Rh8 switching to a frontal attack which will work as white's pawn hasn't crossed to the fifth rank. If now 73.g5, then 73..Rf8 when white either has to exchange rooks leading to a drawn pawn ending, or allow black's king in front of the pawn. After Anand's 69..Kg7 Caruana played 70.Kh4 and the game was agreed a draw.Black will play 70..Rh1+ and then return to e1, and there isn't much white can do as his rook can't leave e8, and his king can't cross the e-file.

Apart from Sao Paulo, there is a Grand Prix tournament in London where defeated World Champion challenger, Boris Gelfand is currently leading. Gelfand was gifted a win from Chinese player Wang Hao in another rook ending.
In this position, the Chinese GM played 55..Kh7? and after 56.Kf7 forcing mate, resigned and burst into laughter!

There is also a women's Grand Prix in Ankara which is being a bit overshadowed in news terms by the men's events. Perhaps organisers could bring themselves to not clash top women's with men's events so that the women get a fair go in the press. A strong field is being led by top seed Anna Muzychuk.

Ok, that's it because I'm on holiday! I will be getting back to blogging very soon (tomorrow!) but I leave 2 testing positions:

 What killing move did black miss in this position?

What move would you choose as white here? (There are loads of interesting lines here!)

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