Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

The Endgames of Tromsø, Part 4

  • GM BryanSmith
  • | Sep 5, 2013
  • | 7285 views
  • | 8 comments

At this point we know who won the World Cup - former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik showed that he was of a higher class and won the tournament very professionally. But we will continue to look at the endgames played throughout the tournament, now focusing on the fourth round.

By this point the number of contestants had already been reduced quite a bit, and there were not so many games being played. Of the classical-length games, there were only two which fit into the topic of the "Without the Lady" column - the first game of the Le Quang - Svidler match, and the second game of the Kramnik - Ivanchuk match.

Le Quang Liem's game against Peter Svidler went into a queenless middlegame as early as move eight. Le Quang got the better of it soon, with the black king unable to castle in a fairly open, symmetrical position. This variation might be practiced by those who are insistent on a Gruenfeld-type position (these queenless positions can arise in various ways in Anti-Gruenfelds), but other than that it looks like Black faces some problems with few winning chances. Eventually Le Quang made some inaccuracies and Svidler was able to hold with help from a positional exchange sacrifice.

phpapb2Cr.jpeg

Having lost the first game of their match with white, Ivanchuk needed to win as black against Kramnik - a tall order. He tried to create complications by answering 1.Nf3 with 1...b6. In fact, the position he reached was quite reasonable, but White was very solid. The queens were traded, an endgame was reached where White had doubled pawns. With good judgment, Kramnik fought back on the kingside, resulting in mutual pawn masses on opposite sides of the board. Kramnik nicely sucked the life out of black's game, and obtained the draw offer from Ivanchuk once Black no longer had any realistic winning chances and was perhaps a bit worse.

phpTrZkwy.jpeg

None of the matches Caruana - Granda Zuniga, Nakamura - Korobov, or Kamsky - Mamedyarov fit into my column, which only deals with positions where there is no queen. Caruana, Korobov, and Kamsky won in the classical games. Moving on to the rapid tiebreak games, there were several which fit the topic of my column. We will be looking at the most interesting.

Le Quang once again had the better position against Svidler in the first game of their tiebreak. However, a strange positional decision allowed Svidler to reach a position where his active pieces compensated for the pawn deficit.

In the second game, Svidler won a long ending in which his bishop and knight defeated the rook and pawn - thus Svidler advanced.

The match between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Boris Gelfand was pretty much decided in the first game of the tiebreaks. Gelfand got a nice advantage with black in the Gruenfeld, but at the wrong moment decided to begin active operations, rather than slowly improving his position. An endgame was reached, in which Gelfand apparently overpressed, passing by several chances to make a draw. In the end, Vachier-Lagrave's various passed pawns defeated the bishop.

phpm2hG5t.jpeg

In the second game of their tiebreak match, Vachier-Lagrave held the draw comfortably as black. We won't be examining that game.

None of the games from the Andeikin - Karjakin match met the criterion for the column. Dmitry Andreikin won in the first part of the tiebreaks.

Finally, there was the epic battle between Evgeny Tomashevsky and Alexander Morozevich. After drawing both classical games, they were also in the tiebreaks. Both of the first two rapid games ended in draws in opposite colored bishop endings. Here they are, without commentary:

phpVzzwY2.jpeg

With the match still tied, they moved on to ten - minute games. Morozevich won the first game, while Tomashevsky won the second in a huge 169-move battle. Neither of these games can be in my column - while the second game was and ending, it was a queen ending, and if queens start appearing in this column, I would need to chose a new name for it...

With the ten-minute games still tied, the players moved to blitz games. In the first of those, Tomashevsky won a ragged game as black.

And in the final blitz game of the match, a must-win for Morozevich (which would have forced the match into one more 'Armageddon' blitz game), an ending with each side having three connected passed pawns. Tomashevsky's were on the kingside (where both kings were located) and it turned out that, far from slowing down the pawns, the presence of the black king gave the white pawns more impetus. A draw was agreed due to repetition, although Tomashevsky could have delivered mate in one move! In any case, it didn't matter because a draw was all he needed to advance.




RELATED STUDY MATERIAL

Comments


  • 7 months ago

    VedantR

    At this point we know who won the World Cup - former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik showed that he was of a higher class and won the tournament very professionally. But we will continue to look at the endgames played throughout the tournament, now focusing on the fourth round.

    By this point the number of contestants had already been reduced quite a bit, and there were not so many games being played. Of the classical-length games, there were only two which fit into the topic of the "Without the Lady" column - the first game of the Le Quang - Svidler match, and the second game of the Kramnik - Ivanchuk match.

    Le Quang Liem's game against Peter Svidler went into a queenless middlegame as early as move eight. Le Quang got the better of it soon, with the black king unable to castle in a fairly open, symmetrical position. This variation might be practiced by those who are insistent on a Gruenfeld-type position (these queenless positions can arise in various ways in Anti-Gruenfelds), but other than that it looks like Black faces some problems with few winning chances. Eventually Le Quang made some inaccuracies and Svidler was able to hold with help from a positionalexchange sacrifice.

    Le, Quang Liem vs. Svidler, Peter
    FIDE World Cup 2013 | Tromso NOR | Round 4.4 | 20 Aug 2013 | ECO: A31 | 1/2-1/2
    1. Nf3Nf62. c4c53. d4cxd44. Nxd4g65. Nc3d56. cxd5Nxd57. Ndb5Nxc38. Qxd8+Kxd89. Nxc3A symmetrical position is reached, where Black has the disadvantage of his inability to castle. Unlike similar endings arising in the Philidor defense (1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.dxe5), and the Old Indian, here the c-file is open, which means that the black king will not have a comfortable home on c7. 
    9... Bg710. Bd210.Bf4 is natural, but some earlier games showed that Black can play 10...Bxc3+, and White's weaknesses on the c-file compensate for the two bishops. 
    10... Be611. g3Nc612. Bg2Ke813. O-O-ORc814. Kb1f5Black is creating weaknesses, but he needs somehow to connect the rooks. 
    15. Nd5Bd716. h4Kf717. h5e518. Bc3Rhd819. f4Be620. hxg6+hxg621. fxe5g522. e4Bxd5?Black has been suffering for a while, but this move should lead to a lost position. He had to try something like 22... Bxe5, although Black would still be in trouble. 
    (22... Bxe523. Rh7+Kg824. Rdh1)23. exd5??Missing his chance. White should take on d5 with the rook, with the point that after 23.Rxd5 Rxd5 there is the tactical shot 24.e6+! 
    (23. Rxd5Rxd5If Black takes on e5 either way, White will get two bishops against a rook, with an easily won position. (23... Nxe524. Rxe5Bxe525. Bxe5This is very hopeless for Black. )24. e6+!A crucial Zwischenzug. 24... Ke725. exd5White has an extra pawn, with two connected passed pawns in the center, an easily-won position. )23... Nxe524. Rh7Rxc3!Black must do this, but now he gets a blockade in addition to his kingside majority. 
    25. bxc3Kg626. Rhh1Bf827. Rde1Bd628. Kc2g4Fixing g3, which makes it very hard for White to do anything, since if this pawn falls he will be in danger. 
    29. Re3Rc830. Bf1Rc531. Rh8White cannot keep the d5 pawn, since the bishop needed to guard against ...Nc4. 
    31... Rxd532. Rd8Kf633. Kb3 13 months ago

    Mixologist

    The B+N vs. R+pawn endgame was brilliantly executed and very instructive.  Thanks (as always) for the excellent annotations!

  • 13 months ago

    NM Splane

    I think this note, to move 43 in the Gelfand game, might be wrong.
    "The point is 44.Bxb7? c2 45.Be3 Bd4!"
    Due to 46. Bxd4+
     
  • 13 months ago

    diogens

    Thanks IM. Svidler showed great technique in th B+N vs. R ending. It's not easy at all

  • 13 months ago

    bigdoug

    good article.

  • 13 months ago

    MSC157

    What about the 1st game of the final? :)

  • 13 months ago

    Qurator

    IM Bryan Smith, I am forever indebted to you. Thank you so much for this insightful article and the ones that came before.

    It's a lot to take in one sitting but hopefully I will revert to this page and the links at the bottom for reference. 

Back to Top

Post your reply: