06 March 2023

Commentary: 2022 U.S. Women's Championship, Round 4 (Yu - Morris-Suzuki)

This commentary game from round 4 of the 2022 U.S. Women's Championship features an imbalanced attacking game in the "Iron English" setup popularized by GM Simon Williams and IM Richard Palliser. Oftentimes the English has a reputation as a more quiet or positional system, with action for White taking place on the queenside. This is not necessarily the case, however, and this game illustrates how White can generate kingside pressure and then break through if Black is not diligent about pushing their own alternate plan for counterplay.

[Event "U.S. Women's Chess Championship 2022"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.10.08"] [Round "04"] [White "Yu, Jennifer"] [Black "Morris-Suzuki, Sophie"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2297"] [BlackElo "2126"] [ECO "A36"] [Annotator "ChessAdmin/Dragon by Komodo 2.6.1"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.e4 {White breaks the symmetry and lays claim to d5.} 3...d6 4.g3 Nc6 5.Bg2 g6 6.Nge2 Bg7 7.d3 {the "Iron English" or modern Botvinnik setup is now reached.} 7...O-O 8.O-O Ne8 {while this is the #2 move in the database, it scores in an inferior way to both ...a6 and ...Rb8, suggesting that Black should prioritize getting on with queenside plans, rather than taking the time to reposition the knight.} 9.Be3 {this contests d4 further, but more importantly allows for a Q+B battery to be formed on the c1-h diagonal.} 9...Nd4 {the most popular move. Black would be happy to have the knight exchanged and get a pawn on d4, which would be a "bone in the throat" for White.} 10.Qd2 ( 10.Bxd4 cxd4 $17 {with ...e5 now a threat to consolidate Black's central control, along with moves like ...a5 to restrain White's b-pawn.} ) 10...Nc7 11.f4 {With Black's natural play being on the queenside, White chooses to expand on the kingside, which is where her pieces also have more influence. Using the f-pawn as a lever is one of the key ideas of the "Iron English" setup.} 11...Rb8 12.Nd5 $6 {this seems premature and Black picks the correct move to exploit it.} 12...Nxe2+ 13.Qxe2 {the queen is now off of its best diagonal and no longer threatens to exchange the Bg7 after Bh6.} 13...Ne6 $6 {Black however returns the favor, by not immediately pressing her natural plan of queenside expansion. This lets White recover the initiative.} ( 13...b5 ) 14.e5 b5 15.Rad1 {getting the rook into play is clearly a good idea, but it is difficult to determine which square is best for it.} ( 15.b4 $5 {is the engine's idea.} 15...cxb4 ( 15...bxc4 16.dxc4 Nd4 17.Bxd4 cxd4 18.exd6 exd6 19.Qd2 $14 ( 19.Ne7+ Kh8 20.Nc6 Qb6 21.Qf2 $14 ( 21.Nxb8 $2 d3+ 22.Qf2 Bd4 $19 ) ) ) 16.Bxa7 Rb7 17.Bf2 $14 {and Black's b-pawn(s) will be weak.} ) 15...Re8 {a relatively passive approach.} ( 15...Nc7 {challenging White's strong knight seems like a good idea.} ) 16.b3 {a good but conservative reaction.} ( 16.f5 Nd4 17.Bxd4 cxd4 18.e6 fxe6 19.Nb4 exf5 20.Nc6 $16 {looks good for White, although Black gets some compensation for the exchange.} ) 16...b4 $2 {this seems to be a classic strategic error, closing the side of the board where Black needs to make progress. The extra space is mostly meaningless.} ( 16...Nd4 $5 ) 17.Qf2 $16 {getting the queen to a more effective diagonal while also backing the f-pawn, which threatens to advance. Black is now under significant pressure and has no good options.} 17...Nd4 18.Bxd4 cxd4 19.Qxd4 {White is distracted from the kingside breakthrough, but at the cost of a pawn for Black. Note the space advantage and better coordination of White's pieces as well.} 19...Bg4 20.Rde1 ( 20.Rd2 $5 {looks more flexible, with the potential of later going to f2.} ) 20...a5 {this attempt at counterplay is too slow. Black can try to focus on defense instead.} ( 20...Bf5 $5 {would physically block the f-pawn advance while maintaining pressure on the d-pawn.} ) 21.Qb2 {looking to reposition the queen to a more effective square again, while also clearing d4 for the d-pawn's advance.} 21...a4 22.d4 Qa5 23.Qd2 Qa7 {Black just has some harassing ideas now, rather than real counterplay, and White is close to winning.} 24.Kh1 {smartly avoiding the d-pawn pin. White is not in a hurry.} 24...dxe5 $6 {this simply helps White break through and also control the center, but again there are no good options for Black.} 25.fxe5 Red8 $6 {as often happens, when under severe pressure a player starts making worse and worse moves. White correctly identifies the new weakness on e7 and decisively targets it with her queen, also attacking the hanging Bg4.} 26.Qg5 $18 Qxd4 27.Re4 ( 27.Nxe7+ {also wins.} 27...Kh8 28.Nc6 h6 29.Qxd8+ Rxd8 30.Nxd4 Rxd4 31.Rxf7 $18 ) 27...Qb2 28.Rxg4 Qxa2 {a useful illustration of how pawn snatching on the queenside when your king is under heavy attack is not worth it. White's attack is now masterful, sacrificing back the material to break through.} 29.Nxe7+ Kh8 30.Rh4 Rf8 31.Be4 Qe2 32.Nxg6+ fxg6 33.Rxh7+ Kg8 34.Rxg7+ Kxg7 35.Qxg6+ Kh8 36.Qh7# 1-0

Evaluation chart generated by HIARCS Chess Explorer Pro

26 February 2023

Commentary: 2022 U.S. Women's Championship, Round 3 (Tokhirjonova - Wu)

This game was selected for commentary because of its opening/middlegame clash of ideas, which can be seen from both White and Black perspectives in different openings. It is a Sicilian Grand Prix attack, which features an early f-pawn thrust and aggressive moves by White on the kingside. Reverse the colors and you get a common type of English Opening as well, which is what I have experience playing and would like to understand better. This kind of cross-training of openings is one thing I have become more open to over the years, since the more you look, it is interesting how ideas and setups can be similar and relevant.

In this particular case, there are some useful decision points to examine for both White and Black. In the opening phase, for example, Black chooses on move 7 a more standard approach that does not attempt to disrupt White's slightly unusual setup. Black on move 10 also commits to an offensive middlegame stance, when defense is what is indicated. Black should get credit for hanging in the game under tremendous pressure and even equalizing going into the endgame. However White also gets credit for not crumbling after losing all her advantage - which often happens - and then grinding away in the endgame for the win. This is one of those games that has a number of lessons to tell at each stage, so is well worth the study time.

[Event "U.S. Women's Chess Championship 2022"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.10.07"] [Round "03"] [White "Tokhirjonova, Gulrukhbegim"] [Black "Wu, Rochelle"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2336"] [BlackElo "2317"] [ECO "B23"] [Annotator "ChessAdmin / Dragon by Komodo 2.6.1"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 {the #2 reply in the database, but far behind ...Nc6, which (at this stage) scores above 50% for Black. The added control over d4 seems more important than preventing an early e4-e5, the usual reason for playing ...d6.} ( 2...Nc6 3.f4 g6 {is the preferred method for Black players to handle the Grand Prix Attack.} ) 3.f4 {historically by playing g3 here we would enter a Closed Sicilian, but the Grand Prix Attack is now more popular.} 3...g6 {the Grand Prix Attack proper would be entered by transposition with ...Nc6. Here with ...g6, Black chooses to accelerate the dark-square bishop development to influence the center and also contest f5. This scores evenly for Black, while the classic ...Nc6 shows a fairly significant White plus.} 4.Bb5+ {White seems to be mixing and matching her variations, now developing the bishop to b5 as if it were the Moscow Variation. This is less to the point here, as it does not have the same impact on the fight for the center or support White's kingside thrust. Instead Nf3 is by far the most played here, because why not?} 4...Bd7 5.Bc4 {White indicates her desire to preserve the light-square bishop, but essentially this is a free tempo for Black. For this to make sense, White would have to argue that the Bd7 development is a net minus for Black. It does block the queen on the d-file, and White now has more control over d5, but is the trade-off worth it?} 5...Bg7 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.d3 {choosing to delay castling in favor of development, with the idea of thrusting with the f-pawn.} 7...e6 {this leads to standard-type play in the center. Objectively this is not bad for Black, but it is something of a concession to allow White to easily pursue the typical plans here.} ( 7...Na5 $5 {is an alternate way to play that puts more pressure on White to prove her setup is good. For example} 8.f5 $2 {can now be met with} 8...Nxc4 9.dxc4 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Nf6 $19 {with White essentially being positionally lost.} ) 8.f5 {pressuring Black to make an early, complex choice about the direction of the game. Black chooses an aggressive-looking continuation, but it results in a White plus.} 8...Nd4 ( 8...gxf5 $5 {scores the best in practical terms, although with a low number of games played.} ) 9.fxe6 {correctly exchanging the center pawn.} 9...fxe6 $6 {Black chooses to maintain an equal number of central pawns, but opens the f-file, making White's developmental lead more relevant.} 10.O-O Qb6 $6 {Black is clearly still thinking offense, when defense is more required by the position. The queen move allows the idea of castling queenside, but this would still leave the kingside and center weakened, and Black never in fact manages to castle.} 11.Ng5 $16 {White has a pleasant choice of how to continue. The text move hits e6 and f7 and unleashes the Rf1.} ( 11.Nxd4 {also results in an advantage, for example} 11...Bxd4+ 12.Kh1 Nf6 13.Ne2 Be5 14.Nf4 $18 {White is effectively targeting Black's weaknesses, while Black has no counterplay.} ) 11...Nf6 12.Ne2 {hitting the advanced Nd4, also a defender of e6. Now Black has no good options.} 12...Nxe2+ ( 12...d5 $5 {is what the engine assesses is the best chance for Black.} 13.exd5 exd5 14.Nxd4 O-O-O {and now White can choose between Bb5 and Nf7 to maintain the advantage.} ) 13.Qxe2 e5 {trying to lock the center, but this also decisively boosts White's light-square control.} 14.a4 $18 {this looks a little random, after all the action on the e- and f-files, but in fact it appears to be the most effective follow-up. Black will not have any safety on the queenside either, with the Qb6 exposed to harrassment.} 14...Ke7 {castling is now a distant dream. The text move covers the weak e6 square and connects the rooks.} 15.a5 Qc7 16.b4 {further opening lines and keeping the initiative, with what would only be a temporary pawn sacrifice.} 16...Raf8 ( 16...cxb4 17.Bd2 $18 ) 17.bxc5 dxc5 18.d4 {White is in a hurry to further open things up, but perhaps could have prepared the idea better.} ( 18.Nf3 {the knight is no longer as effective on g5, so repositioning it first makes sense.} ) 18...h6 {Black seizes the chance to gain a tempo on the knight and at least temporarily win a pawn.} 19.Nf3 exd4 20.Nh4 $6 {here White gets distracted with more knight moves, rather than pressing on in the now wide-open center. However Black, under pressure, does not find the best active defense.} ( 20.e5 {would be the direct approach.} ) ( 20.Bd2 {would develop White's last piece and connect the rooks.} ) 20...Be8 $2 {the obvious defensive move to protect g6, but it cannot save Black.} ( 20...Ng4 {is the best try, according to the engine. The mate threat on h2 makes life much more difficult for White, who wins the exchange but sees Black counterattack immediately, regaining material.} 21.Nxg6+ Kd8 22.Bf4 Rxf4 23.Nxf4 d3 {the key move, clearing the d4 square for Black's bishop.} 24.Qxd3 Bd4+ 25.Kh1 {and now Black has to find} 25...Ne5 ( 25...Nf2+ $2 26.Rxf2 Bxf2 27.Ne6+ $18 ) 26.Qb3 Bxa1 27.Ne6+ Bxe6 28.Bxe6 c4 {with a complex position but what only looks like a small plus for White after Qb4.} ) 21.Bf4 $1 {White's last piece gets into the battle, with a vengeance. The two bishops criss-cross Bthe center with nothing to stop them, while Black's centralized king position without a pawn shield makes it obvious White is winning.} 21...Qd7 22.Bb8 ( 22.Rab1 $5 {bringing another piece into the attack first.} ) 22...Nh5 23.Bxa7 {the point of course is not the a-pawn itself, but the threat to the c5 pawn.} 23...Qd6 24.Rab1 {bringing into play major threats on the b-file.} 24...Rxf1+ 25.Qxf1 Be5 {now this threat to the h2 pawn is not enough to distract White.} 26.Rxb7+ Kd8 27.Nf3 {getting the knight back into play, guarding h2 and attacking the Be5.} 27...Rf8 28.Bb6+ {this is a strong move but not a prudent one.} ( 28.Qb1 {would be useful in controlling the b-file, as well as more importantly getting the queen off the file with the rook, thereby eliminating what becomes a tactical possibility for Black.} ) 28...Kc8 {now many things win for White, including probably the most obvious Rc7+, but...} 29.Ba6 $2 {without an immediate threat, this allows Black to execute the following tactic, based on the Nf3 pin.} 29...Bxh2+ $1 30.Nxh2 Rxf1+ 31.Nxf1 Bd7 32.Nd2 d3 {amazingly, Black has now equalized and the game objectively should end in a draw by perpetual, which both side have (Ra7+ for White). However, the fight continues. How does White, whose king is now quite open as well, manage to emerge victorious?} 33.c3 {White starts by taking away the d4 square, which is the obvious way for the Black queen to penetrate.} 33...Ng3 ( 33...Qg3 {and Black maintains the ability to force a perpetual, for example} 34.Ra7+ Kb8 35.Rxd7 ( 35.Bc7+ Kxa7 36.Bxg3 Kxa6 37.Be5 Kxa5 $10 ) 35...Qe3+ $10 ) 34.Ra7+ Kb8 35.Rb7+ Kc8 36.Ra7+ {White gains some progress in the time control by repeating moves this way.} 36...Kb8 37.Bc7+ Kxa7 38.Bxd6 Ne2+ {removing the knight from attack by the Bd6 and gaining the necessary tempo for recovering the bishop.} 39.Kf2 Kxa6 40.c4 Kxa5 41.Bxc5 {the engine rates this with only a slight plus to White, yet the positional imbalances would seem to make it somewhat easier for White to play, given that the d-pawn is blockaded while the passed e- and c-pawns are not.} 41...h5 42.Ke3 {this does not actually threaten the d-pawn yet, since Black can use the fork trick on f4 to exchange it for White's g-pawn.} 42...Ka4 $6 {this move seems to be the culprit for Black's subsequent problems, as she puts her king too far from the action.} ( 42...Be6 ) 43.Bd6 $1 {with opposite-colored bishops, this square allows the bishop to restrain Black's pawns and prevent the fork trick on f4, while also clearing the way on the c-file for the pawn.} 43...Nc1 44.Nf3 {the blockade is no longer needed and the knight gets into the action.} 44...Be6 {a little too late now.} 45.Kd2 {chasing the knight away from the pawn, which is now doomed.} 45...Nb3+ 46.Kxd3 Na5 47.Ne5 $18 {now White is winning again, with two passed pawns, a centralized king, and a better knight.} 47...g5 {Black's only hope is to mobilize counterplay with her pawn duo.} 48.Be7 {nothing looks good as an option now for Black.} 48...g4 49.Kd4 ( 49.Kc3 {would maintain dominance over the Black knight.} ) 49...Nb3+ 50.Kc3 Nc1 51.Nd3 $6 {a strange decision, to allow a pure opposite-colored bishop ending, which is by far a better possibility to draw for Black.} 51...Nxd3 52.Kxd3 Ka5 ( 52...g3 $5 ) 53.Kd4 Kb6 {now Black's king is not so badly placed.} 54.c5+ Kc6 55.g3 Ba2 {Black's strategy now should be to use the bishop to protect the h-pawn and/or threaten the e-pawn if the White king strays too far. White cannot break the blockade on the c-pawn.} 56.Ke3 Kd7 57.Bd6 Bf7 58.Kf4 Ke6 $2 {with this, Black abandons the blockade of the c-pawn, leading to a lost position.} ( 58...Kc6 ) 59.Kg5 $1 {Black apparently did not believe White could make progress. However...} 59...Be8 60.Bf4 {Black is now in zugzwang, as the bishop is overloaded protecting the h5 pawn and the c6 square. The next king move is comparatively best, but still allows White a winning advantage.} 60...Ke7 61.Kf5 $1 Bd7+ 62.Ke5 {in contrast with the previous situation, White's king is now fully centralized and Black's king has been forced back to the 7th rank away from the c-pawn, where it is also vulnerable to further harassment by the bishop. White still has to defend the e-pawn with her king, but finds the correct way to make progress.} 62...Bc6 63.Bg5+ Kd7 64.Kf5 {now White can advance the e-pawn. Note how Black's bishop is in the way of her king.} 64...Bb7 65.e5 Kc6 {this is meaningless, since White's bishop can protect the pawn and not be chased away successfully.} 66.Be7 Kd5 67.Bd6 h4 {Black's last gasp, which contains an endgame trap.} 68.gxh4 ( 68.Kxg4 $2 hxg3 69.Kxg3 $10 {and White will not be able to break through against Black's light-square bishop, which defends in all lines.} ) 68...g3 69.e6 g2 70.Bh2 {the game is now effectively over.} 70...Kxc5 71.h5 Ba6 72.h6 Kc6 ( 72...Bd3+ 73.Kf6 {and one of the pawns will queen.} ) 73.Kf6 Bd3 74.Kf7 Kd5 1-0

Evaluation generated by HIARCS Chess Explorer Pro

21 February 2023

Training quote of the day #42: Victor Korchnoi

  From the commentary to game 35 in My Best Games by Victor Korchnoi (2011 edition):

There are two types of sacrifices in chess. When a player sacrifices a minor piece, he usually calculates the variations as far as mate, or to the regaining of the material. And this calcuation does not normally demand any great effort. It is another matter when a pawn, rook or queen is sacrificed. Usually such a sacrifice is made not on the basis of deep calculation, but by intuition. After all, often the human brain is not in fact capable of working out all the variations in a complicated position! You have to trust your intuition. It may happen that your intuition deceives you. But human life, in general, is full of dangers! You have to take a risk... And not only at the chess board! 

11 February 2023

Training quote of the day #41: Victor Korchnoi

 From the commentary to game 34 in My Best Games by Victor Korchnoi (2011 edition):

A competent positional player, if he has several plans, does not hurry to carry out one of them. After all, by beginning to implement some plan, he to some extent loses his superiority over the opponent, which in fact consisted of the fact that up till then he had more possibilities than the opponent!

28 January 2023

Commentary: 2022 U.S. Women's Championship, Round 3 (Eswaran - Paikidze)

This next commentary game features a positional struggle involving what IM Jeremy Silman terms - usefully, I think - key "imbalances" between the sides. The opening, a Two Knights Caro-Kann, sets this up early, with Black exchanging bishop for knight on move 4. The minor piece and pawn structure imbalances are the main things both sides have to keep in mind for their strategies. It was useful to analyze their choices and see where different options might have kept more tension in the position.

[Event "U.S. Women's Chess Championship 2022"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.10.07"] [Round "03"] [White "Eswaran, Ashritha"] [Black "Paikidze, Nazi"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2365"] [BlackElo "2354"] [ECO "B11"] [Annotator "ChessAdmin/Dragon by Komodo 2.6.1"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 {the Two Knights Caro-Kann.} 3...Bg4 {the most effective response by Black, who however will need to immediately exchange bishop for knight, as the bishop retreat after h3 is not as effective. This is not a bad trade-off, however, as the Nf3 is a valuable attacking piece and Black will be able to build a strong pawn skeleton on the light squares.} 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 e6 6.Be2 Nf6 7.O-O ( 7.e5 {looks tempting, but scores poorly for White, as attacking prospects are limited and Black will get more counterplay in the center. An example game:} 7...Nfd7 8.Qg3 a6 9.O-O c5 10.d3 Nc6 11.f4 g6 12.Kh1 Be7 13.Qf2 Nd4 14.Bd1 h5 15.Ne2 Nf5 16.c3 Nb8 17.d4 cxd4 18.cxd4 Nc6 19.Be3 Nb4 20.Qg1 Rc8 21.Bf2 Nd3 22.g3 Qa5 23.Kg2 Qd2 24.Rb1 Nxf2 25.Rxf2 Qd3 26.Rf3 Qd2 27.Ba4+ b5 28.Bd1 g5 29.Qf2 g4 30.hxg4 hxg4 31.Rb3 Bd8 32.Rc3 Rxc3 33.bxc3 Ne3+ {0-1, Ezio Righi 2116 - Peter Long 2302, Olympiad-39, Khanty-Mansiysk (6.3), 2010.09.27} ) 7...Nbd7 {a noncommittal developing move, prompting White to play the obvious next move to occupy the center and free the Bc1.} ( 7...Bc5 $5 {is the next most popular and scores slightly better in the database. The point of course is to prevent d4.} ) 8.d4 dxe4 {Black needs to exchange in the center, otherwise White's presence becomes too strong.} 9.Nxe4 Nxe4 10.Qxe4 Nf6 11.Qd3 {the situation in the center is now more resolved, with a standard Caro-Kann pawn structure for both sides and White having the two bishops, a slight long-term advantage.} 11...Qc7 {the queen move is logical, since it occupies the h2-b8 diagonal and at least temporarily prevents White developing with Bf4. However, it may be a premature commitment of Black's strongest piece.} ( 11...Be7 {is most played here, as the logical square for the bishop and to immediately prepare kingside castling.} ) 12.Rd1 {the best file for the rook, supporting the d-pawn again and therefore allowing the Qd3 more flexibility.} 12...Be7 13.a4 {a recently tried move, this indicates White intends to focus her attantion on the queenside. The easiest and best response appears to be simply to block further progress of the a-pawn and restrain the White b-pawn's advance.} 13...a5 14.Bd2 {it is not easy for White to find a good square for this bishop and it is awkwardly transferred here to e1.} 14...O-O 15.Be1 Rfd8 {Black logically places her rook on the best file, opposing White's pieces. The game is equal.} 16.Qc4 {neither side has obvious weaknesses to target, so the middlegame will necessarily feature some maneuvering. Black's plan is easier to identify, however: doubling rooks on the d-file and threatening a pawn break to open it up. The text move is not bad for White, but it does put the queen in the way of the c-pawn.} 16...Rd7 17.Bf3 {the bishop was not doing much on the other diagonal, so f3 is a better square for it.} 17...Rad8 18.c3 {logically reinforcing d4. Also, White has little better.} 18...e5 {Nimzovich famously wrote "the threat is stronger than the execution" - which seems true here. Black is fine after the resulting exchanges, but could have maintained the tension.} 19.dxe5 Qxe5 20.Qe2 Qxe2 21.Bxe2 Nd5 {having previously opted for exchanges, now Black chooses to wait and maneuvers the bishop to f6. It's not clear if this is better, however.} ( 21...Rxd1 22.Rxd1 Rxd1 23.Bxd1 Kf8 $10 ) 22.g3 {controlling the f4 square.} 22...Bf6 {this restrains the advance of White's b-pawn, but gives up its mobility along the f8-a3 diagonal and leaves the bishop biting on the c3 pawn.} 23.Bf3 {returning to its previous square, but now it appears less effective.} ( 23.Bg4 $5 ) 23...Nb6 {now we get another exchange in any case.} 24.Rxd7 Nxd7 {this is better because the knight goes to a better square afterwards.} 25.Ra2 {this appears to be a waiting move, to see what Black will do.} 25...Ne5 26.Be2 Nd3 {forcing the minor piece exchange. White can choose which bishop, however.} 27.Bxd3 Rxd3 28.Ra3 {from this point the position is very balanced, with near- symmetrical pawn structures. Black has better piece activity, but there is no way to make real progress.} ( 28.Ra1 $5 ) 28...Be7 29.Ra1 f5 {contesting g4 and opening the diagonal for Black's king to more quickly head toward the center.} 30.Kf1 {White moves to centralize her king as well, one of the most fundamental endgame principles.} 30...Kf7 31.Ke2 Rd7 32.b4 {White chooses to simplify things on the queenside.} 32...axb4 33.cxb4 Bf6 34.Rc1 Rd5 {defending against the idea of a White pawn advance on the queenside.} 35.a5 Re5+ 36.Kf1 {White can penetrate with the king, but cannot do any damage thereby.} ( 36.Kd3 Rd5+ 37.Kc4 Rd4+ 38.Kc5 Rd5+ 39.Kb6 Rb5+ $10 ) 36...Rb5 37.a6 {the series of exchanges that result mean the position will be drawn.} 37...bxa6 38.Rxc6 Be7 39.Rxa6 Bxb4 40.Bxb4 Rxb4 {short of a blunder, there is no possible result other than a draw at this point.} 41.Ke2 Rb3 42.h4 h5 43.Kf1 g6 44.Kg2 Rc3 45.Rb6 Rd3 46.Ra6 Rc3 47.Rb6 Rd3 48.Ra6 Rc3 1/2-1/2