An unexamined life is not worth living.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Missed chance to beat a grandmaster

I faced a grandmaster in a 15 minute game on ICC yesterday, probably for the first time after playing there on and off for about 10 years. After making a blunder in the middlegame, I was forced to give up a piece for only a pawn. However, in the endgame, my opponent played a couple of inaccurate moves, and suddenly my pawns were rolling:

Mr-Pattaya – DDT3000

image  White to move. 1R6/1P4k1/8/5p2/1r4p1/3P3p/4KN2/8 w - - 0 50
Apparently Black’s pawns are too strong, and White’s are not going anywhere yet, so White decided to bail out and sacrifice both b7 pawn and the knight: 50. Rc8 Rxb7 51. Rc1 Kf6 52. Nxh3 gxh3 53. Kf3

image Black to move. 8/1r6/5k2/5p2/8/3P1K1p/8/2R5 b - - 0 53
The rook endgame is likely winning for Black, but we were down to about 1 minute SD, with 1 second increments, so as usual, a comedy of errors ensued. A few moves later, however, I got my chance for glory, after White played 66. d6??

image Black to move. 8/7r/3P1R2/8/8/4k2p/5p1K/8 b - - 0 66
66… Rh6!! would have won the game, as after 67. Rf8 Rxd6 I should be able to get to the Lucena position. Allowing me to queen the ‘f’ pawn after 67. Rxh6 f1Q should not save White either.
Instead I played 66… Ke2?? and White gave me a perpetual check with the rook, resulting in a DRAW. Perhaps – a fair result?

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