Inspiration #6: Winning an "Equal" Endgame

Inspiration #6: Winning an "Equal" Endgame

NM SamCopeland
Feb 25, 2015, 9:35 AM |

GM Ernesto Inarkiev won this year's Moscow Open with a remarkable 8/9 score. Inarkiev is one of those many players who have been playing incredible fighting chess at a high level for many years. These days, we are so blessed in the chess world that even a 2700 level player can get lost in the crowd.

Of Inarkiev's Moscow Open games, I was particularly interested with the following final round victory. It is not flashy, perhaps it is not even particularly well played, but it is very impressive to me how Inarkiev generates some progress, some pressure, and eventually a win out of the most miniscule advantages. Out of the opening, I cannot believe that Inarkiev has an objective advantage. However, his handling of the position is more confident and sure than his opponent.

I think an interesting insight to glean from this position is that White's position while not better, has more potential for stable progress. Black cannot make stable positional improvements in the way White can. Therefore, Black must seek concrete counterplay. He could have done this by exchanging bishop for knight, playing b5, or inviting White to go pawn hunting. However, Black seemed reluctant to alter the position or enter complications. This soon created practical difficulties as Inarkiev engaged in some impressive manouvering play.

Final Round of the Moscow Open: GM Inarkiev - GM Lysyj