Pogonina vs Chess.com Move 29. ...
Natalia Pogonina vs Chess.com
Qa4 renews the threat of Bxa6 since Qd7 is unguarded. Rbc8 was the natural riposte when this line was on the table some days ago. That might not be the only response.
29. ... Rbc8 Old suggestion.
29. ... Ra8 Why not? Black has lost the opening and calls to see if White has anything. Exposing the throat will not help though. White can just continue the mobilization with 30.Bc4 and if now, 30. ... Rac8 all Black gained was a tempo loss.
29. ... g6 The idea is to give the king some space and with Kg7 also be able to move the f-pawn according to circumstances. My favourite last move. Can it work here? Let's look at 30.Bxa6 Bxa5 It's called a "magnetoffer" in Swedish (part of the deflection family, you pull/lure a piece to a position where it stands worse or will be exposed. Found the word now: attraction.). 31.Rxa6 Qxa6 32.bxa6 Rxb8+ This is an interesting position. It should certainly be looked at.
29. ... b5 You always have to look at b5. Sicilian, remember? 30.axb6 Bxb6 it looks as if the black a-pawn will fall. I'm not sure but Bxb6 is stronger than dsarkar's line Rxb6 in the comments
29. ... Qc7 could be tempting. 30.Bxa6 Qxa5 31.Qxa5 Bxa5 and it is equal isn't? Not really. White plays 31. Qxc6! bxc6 32.Rxb8 and have the rook pair against the queen.
29. ... Rc7 was apparently on discussion. Some White options where not penetrated. Black should be happy to stay away from this line.
29. ... Rbc8 is the natural move. 29. ... g6 is certainly attractive but one needs to go deep into the R+R vs Q endgame before any conclusion can be made. I think I might have played it just for the fun of it. I mean, the fun factor in this game, so far, has been totally on White's side.
If we were to remove all but the bishops and kings, it would look like this:
Equal pawns, bishops of different colours. Let's assume it's White's move. 1.b4 Bringing the kings closer seems normal since the kings are a critical factor in this kind of bishop endgames. 1. ... Kf8 2.Kf1 Ke7 3.Bc4 f6 4.Ke2 Kd7 5.Bd5 b6 6.axb6 Bxb6 7.f3 with ...a5 I think we can agree on a draw. With black to move the draw is even closer.
What we have potentially in the game is the move ...b5 or xa5 vs xb7, then we would get a position like this: