29 October 2023

Article: "Bridging the Gaps of Competency"

"Bridging the Gaps of Competency" is an insightful look at the mastery process over at Medium.com, by Sean Kernan. Some points and themes have been mentioned here before, including how plateauing works. It's a member-only story, but here are a couple of the most relevant quotes from the article, including a chess reference; the "spectrum" mentioned below is the four stages of competence.

I remind students that, regardless of if we are talking about art, coding, pottery, or any skill, change isn’t linear. It’s completely normal to be stuck at a certain level of competency, and then abruptly level up.  It’s like that moment you suddenly realize how to solve a math problem. It all falls into place.


A good teacher is effective at diagnosing where you are on this spectrum. They may not use these labels, but they can intuitively know and help specify where to make changes. They’ll also demonstrate unconscious competence. They’ll show you, in some tangible or visual way, what the skill should look like in its finished form. Don’t assume you need a grandmaster to teach you. In fact, your best bet might be someone who is a stage or two better.

For example, if you are stuck at stage 1 (unconscious incompetence), someone at stage 2 or 3 may have immediate memory of how they got to the next stage. In other words, don’t conflate ability with ability-to-teach. In chess, for example, a grandmaster may have an encyclopedic knowledge of openings and endgames but no patience for beginner mistakes...


You show me someone with an open mind, a desire to learn, and a fighting spirit, and I’ll show you someone who is on the road to mastery. 

28 October 2023

Video completed: The Stonewall Attack in 60 Minutes


I recently completed the video "The Stonewall Attack in 60 Minutes" by IM Andrew Martin, part of the ChessBase series of 60-minute videos on openings. I would generally agree with the comment in the post on The Stonewall Attack, in that the opening analysis is "frivolous" but the example games provided are all useful. Here's a screenshot of the table of contents:

As someone who has studied many (perhaps most) of the Stonewall Attack opening resources available, I would say that the video content could actually be a good starting point for study of the opening, just diving in with some familiarization on key setups and ideas. Personally I found it quite useful in also fleshing out my thinking about the different types of opening setups reached, since Martin provides clear (if brief) explanations about things like piece placement and certain opening ideas. Specifically:

  • Martin gives pride of place to what he calls the "kingside smash" that you can reach as a White player if Black tries standard "solid" moves, reaching a true Stonewall Attack formation. Seeing several examples of these, involving both higher and lower-rated players, helped reinforce typical plans, how to place your pieces effectively, and how to take advantage of normal-looking moves by Black that are actually quite weak.
  • The seminal game Rubinstein-Reti (1908) is a fine illustration of how White can keep going with an attack, even with the recommended defense for Black of 4...Nb4 and exchanging the light-square bishop.
  • Martin presents two games each in the King's Indian / Gruenfeld Defense setups by Black, which feature the idea of an early b2-b4 by White and rapid queenside expansion as the best plan.
  • I appreciated the inclusion of a game with Black playing ...Bg4, which in practical terms has given me the most trouble. White however still has a straightforward way of dealing with this after playing Qe1.
The relatively short format of the video did not feel like a constraint and in fact helped encourage me to re-review the game presentations, since they ranged from around 5-9 minutes apiece. So I will count it as a worthy addition to my Stonewall Attack resources.

24 October 2023

Commentary: 2022 U.S. Women's Championship, Round 11 (Cervantes Landeiro - Eswaran)

This next interesting game features the recently-named Keymer Variation (1. Nf3 d5 2. e3) which like the previous commentary game's setup has various transpositional possibilities, but also some unique characteristics. White ends up in a reversed Dutch position in which Black is doing fine and probably has a small advantage in the first part of the middlegame. White's masterful strategy of liquidating her center, freeing her pieces, then challenging Black's central control works very well, however, putting Black under strain and soon leading to a quick reversal of fortune.

[Event "U.S. Women's Chess Championship 2022"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.10.17"] [Round "11"] [White "Cervantes Landeiro, Thalia"] [Black "Eswaran, Ashritha"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A06"] [WhiteElo "2272"] [BlackElo "2365"] [Annotator "ChessAdmin/Dragon 3.2"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. e3 {this is now known as the Keymer Variation and flexibly can lead to various setups.} Nf6 3. b3 {getting into Nimzo-Larsen territory...sort of.} Bf5 {heading for a reverse London setup, although technically this way of development for Black was advocated by Lasker a long time before the London became popular.} 4. Bb2 e6 5. Be2 {White has nowhere else useful to put the bishop, so an easy choice.} h6 6. O-O Bd6 7. Ne5 {c4 is most commonly played here, but has a dismal result in the database (24 percent). The text move leads to an interesting reverse Dutch setup.} O-O 8. f4 Nbd7 9. d3 {White prudently first takes control of e4 in a reverse Classical Dutch arrangement.} Bh7 {getting the bishop out of the potential future line of fire, for example with e4 or g4 pawn advances.} 10. Nd2 Bc5 {targeting the weak e3 square, so White's next is logical.} 11. d4 Be7 12. Bd3 {now White has a position very similar to the Colle-Zukertort (without a pawn on a3) or the Stonewall (without a pawn on c3).} c5 13. Qf3 {e2 is normally a better square for the queen. On f3 it blocks both the knights and the Rf1 from potentially using the square.} Qa5 {hitting the now-undefended Nd2, another drawback of the previous move.} 14. Rad1 Bxd3 (14... Qxa2 {is possible but no more advantageous for Black.} 15. Bxh7+ Kxh7 16. Nd3 {protecting the Bb2 and now threatening to trap the queen.} Qa5 17. g4 $11 {and White has compensation in kingside space and pressure for the a-pawn.}) 15. Nxd3 Rac8 {of course ...Qxa2?? is no longer possible, due to Ra1 trapping the queen.} 16. dxc5 {White makes a good choice to liquidate her center, which also frees up the long diagonal for the Bb2.} Bxc5 17. Nxc5 (17. c4 $5 {immediately also looks good.}) 17... Rxc5 18. c4 {finally challenging Black directly in the center.} b5 {this feels a little artificial, and White is able to respond effectively.} (18... Qxa2 {is now possible again, with similar ideas as in the above variation.} 19. Bd4 Rc7 20. cxd5 exd5 21. g4 $11) 19. a3 {with the obvious threat of the b4 pawn fork.} Rc6 (19... b4 $6 {would physically prevent White from gaining more space, but White's structure is better after} 20. a4 $16 {and ideas of e4, g4 and Bd4 coming into play.}) 20. b4 Qa4 {although this sidelines Black's queen, it is surprisingly the only move which maintains equality.} 21. cxd5 exd5 {best, but now Black's central pawn is isolated.} (21... Nxd5 $6 22. e4 $1 $16 {and White now dominates the center, with strong prospects for a kingside attack.}) 22. e4 Qc2 {the point behind Black's 20th move, allowing the queen to strive for counterplay deep in White's position. Both the Bb2 and e4 are targeted.} 23. exd5 {liquidating the threat to the pawn with gain of tempo on the rook.} Rd6 {necessary to regain the pawn. The engine evaluation is equal, but it's clear that White has the easier game.} 24. Bxf6 Nxf6 25. Nb3 {eyeing the c5 and d4 squares next.} Re8 $2 {too ambitious, given White's next move. A number of other moves were fine here, including ...Qe4 or doubling rooks on the d-file.} 26. Nd4 $1 {now this permanently wins White a pawn with the fork on b5, or after Black's next allows for even stronger posting of the knight.} Qc4 $6 27. Nf5 {forking the Rd6 and g7, which after Qg3 is a major problem for Black. Eswaran opts to lose the exchange instead.} Rxd5 28. Ne3 Rxe3 29. Qxe3 $18 {Black has no compensation for the lost material and White's pieces are placed excellently.} a6 30. Rxd5 {following the rule to simplify down when winning.} Qxd5 31. h3 {safety first, evidently White was thinking, creating another square for her king.} Ne4 32. f5 {clearing the f4 square and threatening to advance further once the knight leaves e4.} (32. Kh2 $5 {tucking the king away and guarding g3 again.}) 32... Nf6 {physically blocking the f-pawn, with nothing really better.} 33. Qf3 Qd4+ 34. Kh2 Ne4 {Black seems to be out of ideas, so White logically pins the knight against the queen.} 35. Qf4 Qd5 {breaking the pin, but lacking anything else to do.} 36. Rc1 (36. Re1 $5 {looking to go to the 7th rank is another good alternative.}) 36... Nd6 {Black's pieces are too exposed to the Q+R combo, but she refuses to give up just yet.} 37. Rc5 Qd3 38. f6 {with the assault on the king position on top of everything else, the position is now resignable for Black.} g5 39. Qe5 g4 40. hxg4 {winning with calmness.} Qe4 41. Qxd6 Kh7 42. Rc8 Qxg4 43. Qd3+ 1-0

22 October 2023

Commentary: 2022 U.S. Women's Championship, Round 9 (Tokhirjonova - Lee)

I was hoping to wrap up my examination of the 2022 U.S. Women's Championship before this year's finished, but have not been quick enough. I even went backwards with this game, looking at the round 9 win by Tokhirjonova over Megan Lee after analyzing a round 10 game, because of the interesting opening structure. The formation of a fianchettoed kingside bishop plus Nf3 and d4 used to be more common for White in the opening, and appears to be making something of a comeback. This is one of those openings that can transpose easily to a Reti, Queen's Gambit or Catalan, but does not have to.

Here the game follows an independent course, with Black varying the symmetry early with 5...Ne4!? and White choosing to make a real gambit out of it. This provides an excellent lesson in that sometimes nebulous concept of "compensation" - White has an advantage in both structure and development/time, but fritters that away by move 20. Nevertheless, she still has an equal position despite being a pawn down, with her two bishops being very effective. She then correctly chooses to focus on a kingside attack, which Black mishandles and cannot recover. Tactics were key to this for White, especially 35. Bc6! which perhaps Black missed, and sealed the game for White.

[Event "U.S. Women's Chess Championship 2022"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.10.14"] [Round "9"] [White "Tokhirjonova, Gulrukhbegim"] [Black "Lee, Megan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2336"] [BlackElo "2226"] [Annotator "ChessAdmin/Dragon 3.2"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] {[%evp 0,111,19,29,23,-8,32,23,12,4,10,4,28,29,42,14,16,11,15,29,37,35,44,39,67,36,19,0,62,60,63,71,91,83,83,16,37,18,3,0,0,0,-32,-2,0,0,0,0,-36,-51,0,-23,-54,-56,-60,-39,10,20,-1,21,115,41,56,55,141,91,114,117,163,164,198,190,277,291,291,306,306,316,397,503,500,323,325,319,332,325,339,336,333,340,360,360,378,395,404,405,402,412,420,415,429,439,456,460,501,509,601,613,670,697,725,808,943,1016]} 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. d4 {this now brings the opening out of the Reti realm.} Nf6 5. O-O {White has staked out a presence in the center with d4, but waits before committing further with c4.} Ne4 $5 {this is a very rare idea and seems premature. In a symmetrical opening setup, the Black player moving the same piece twice will by definition lose time, so needs to have a specific follow-up idea that makes it worthwhile. Here there do not seem to be enough threats generated by the move to compensate for the time loss.} 6. c4 {scored by Dragon 3.2 as best. White in this position can still use typical Queen's Gambit ideas to undermine Black's center.} c6 (6... dxc4 7. Qa4+ c6 8. Qxc4 $14) 7. Nc3 {There are various good options here, with b3 being played almost exclusively in the database games. Here White instead looks to exchange off the time-wasting Black knight and thereby increase her relative development.} Nxc3 (7... O-O 8. Qb3 $14) 8. bxc3 dxc4 {now White has a true gambit, however with more than sufficient compensation for the pawn in terms of development and structure, including better central control.} 9. e4 {White plays straightforwardly for the center.} (9. a4 {would be a more prophylactic move, restricting ...b5.}) 9... Bg4 $6 {here with h3 White could either force a trade of minor pieces, thereby winning the two bishops, or a bishop retreat, gaining additional time. White's next move instead maintains the tension in the center.} 10. Qe2 $14 {also threatening to take on c4, spurring Black's next.} b5 11. a4 {looking to disrupt the pawn formation.} O-O 12. axb5 {this was perhaps premature, with e5 and h3 being other ideas.} (12. e5 $5 {and now Qe4 is possible immediately after a pawn exchange on b5.}) 12... cxb5 13. e5 a5 $6 {this allows White's next.} (13... Nd7 {now the Ra8 is protected.} 14. Qe4 Bf5 $11) 14. Qe4 $1 {now the exchange on f3 is forced, due to the fork of rook and bishop.} Bxf3 15. Bxf3 Ra6 {Black is still a pawn up, but is behind in development and space and her pieces are not working together at all.} 16. Ba3 $16 {White's two bishops are now very well placed.} Nc6 17. Bc5 (17. Rfb1 {would more directly target Black's weaknesses, as the pawn cannot be effectively protected. The general rule with hanging pawns is to hit them with everything you have.} Qb8 (17... Qd7 {would indirectly protect the b-pawn, as the Nc6 could then move with a discovered attack on b5 by the queen, but this fails after} 18. Qd5 Qxd5 19. Bxd5 Rb8 20. Bxc6 Rxc6 21. Bxe7 $16) 18. Be2 $16 {threatening Bxc4 due to the pin on the b-file.}) 17... Qc7 {getting out of the way of the Rf8.} 18. Qe3 {recognizing the Q+B battery on the long diagonal is no longer effective and readjusting the queen's position, with more flexibility.} Rb8 19. Rfb1 {this poses no threat to the b-pawn now, as opposed to the position on on move 17.} Nd8 $11 {having stabilized the position, Black redeploys the knight to a better square.} 20. Bd5 {perhaps played with the idea of restraining the ...b4 advance. However, the bishop is a little awkwardly placed here and Black can continue with her knight maneuver.} Ne6 21. Ba3 {White's two bishops are still enough to compensate for the pawn deficit, by helping keep a space advantage and pressure on Black's position, but need to be preserved.} (21. Bxe6 $6 Rxe6 $17 {and now Black is essentially a pawn up for nothing.}) 21... Qd8 {targeting the hanging Bd5 while still covering e7.} 22. Be4 (22. Qf3 {immediately looks better, saving time on the bishop retreat and keeping it on a better diagonal. And if} Nc7 $4 23. Qxf7+ $18) 22... Nc7 {reinforcing b5 and protecting the Ra6, thereby giving the knight useful work to do. Now the b-pawn can advance.} 23. Bc5 {getting out of the way of the b-pawn and to a better diagonal again.} e6 {avoiding a repetition with ...Ne6.} 24. Qf3 Qc8 {Black apparently is now interested in mobilizing her queenside majority and overprotects the Ra6, so that the Nc7 is again mobile.} 25. h4 {White now plays on the kingside, where Black is weaker and White's two bishops and queen are well-positioned. An h-pawn advance against a fianchettoed bishop position is a standard theme, especially when there is no knight protecting it.} Bf8 {looking to exchange off one of the bishop pair.} 26. h5 {White persists with her idea of assaulting the kingside pawn shield.} Bxc5 27. dxc5 {White's queenside pawn structure is shattered, but the increased kingside attacking potential is sufficient compensation.} Ne8 $2 {the general idea of swinging the knight back to the defense is principled, but this avenue does not work.} (27... Nd5 $1 $11) 28. c6 $18 {White chooses to keep the pawn by advancing it into protection; despite being behind Black's lines, it cannot effectively be targeted.} (28. hxg6 {immediately was also possible.}) 28... Qc7 {pressuring the e5 pawn, without which White has no attack.} 29. Qf4 {consolidating the advantage by guarding the pawn and positioning the queen to penetrate on the dark squares. The rook lift threat Rb1-d1-d7 is now quite powerful, given the weakness of f7; meanwhile, Black still has to blockade the c-pawn.} Ng7 30. hxg6 (30. h6 $1 {is also possible as the knight is driven away, with White's pressure resulting in material gain. For example} Nh5 (30... Ne8 31. Rd1 Rd8 32. Qg5 $18) 31. Qg5 Ra7 32. Rd1 Qe7 33. Qxe7 Rxe7 34. Rxa5 $18) 30... fxg6 {this is marginally better than recapturing with the h-pawn, which would open the less defensible h-file.} 31. Rd1 {from this point on, Black desperately tries to fend off White's threats, but this is not possible.} Rd8 32. Qg5 Raa8 {exchanging rooks would simple give White ownership of the d-file.} 33. Rd7 {White's rook is still able to move decisively to the 7th rank, however.} Rxd7 34. cxd7 Rd8 35. Bc6 $1 {White had to find this tactical finesse, with a decoy / removal of the guard theme. Black cannot leave d8 unprotected.} Rxd7 {Black chooses to get rid of the advanced passed pawn and simplify into a (still-losing) rook vs. minor piece endgame. However her pawns are too weak and the knight is outmatched by White's rook.} 36. Bxd7 Qxd7 37. Rxa5 Qd1+ 38. Kh2 Qd5 39. Ra7 {again a rook on the 7th rank dominates.} Qf3 40. Qd8+ Qf8 41. Qxf8+ Kxf8 42. Rb7 Nf5 43. Rxb5 {this is now resignable for Black, but she plays on, perhaps in the hopes of White stumbling into a knight fork at some point.} Ne7 44. Rc5 Nd5 45. Rxc4 Ke7 46. Rc6 Kd7 47. Rd6+ Ke7 48. c4 Nc3 49. Ra6 Kd7 50. Ra7+ Kc6 51. Rxh7 {now all White has to do is snatch Black pawns and end up in a winning K+P endgame structure, exchanging the rook for knight when that happens.} Ne4 52. f4 g5 53. Re7 gxf4 54. gxf4 Kc5 55. Rxe6 Kxc4 56. Rd6 {now the e-pawn can just run in, as Black's king is cut off and the knight cannot take the rook without the pawn queening.} 1-0

01 October 2023

Commentary: 2022 U.S. Women's Championship, Round 10 (Foisor - Yan)

I've been both pleased and intrigued to see the variety of openings played at the various U.S. Championships and examined on the blog. Here we have a noble try at a Colle-Zukertort System, courtesy of WGM Sabina Foisor, which is something of a cult favorite among club players. Her opponent FM Ruiyang Yan knows the main line for Black and ends up with a comfortable middlegame position, with White's attempt at an attacking setup banished. However, there are some tricky tactical possibilities that White passed up that are worth examining. The main conflict occurs after Black wins a pawn and then White sacrifices the exchange in an apparent attempt to avoid a tortured losing endgame. White's play is eventually justified, once again proving the "all rook endgames are drawn" chess saying.

[Event "U.S. Women's Chess Championship 2022"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2022.10.15"] [Round "10"] [White "Foisor, Sabina-Francesca"] [Black "Yan, Ruiyang"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D05"] [WhiteElo "2203"] [BlackElo "2220"] [Annotator "ChessAdmin/Dragon 3.2"] [PlyCount "161"] [EventDate "2022.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. e3 d5 4. Bd3 c5 5. b3 {the Colle-Zukertort system.} Nc6 6. O-O Bd6 7. Bb2 {the classic move. Interestingly, Bb5 is now much more popular.} O-O 8. a3 {keeping the Black knight out of b4. However, this is slow and scores worse in the database than Bb5 (again) or developing immediately with Nbd2.} b6 {Black has to prepare the development of her light-square bishop.} 9. Nbd2 Bb7 10. Ne5 {the classic idea, posting up the knight on e5 and then gaining space on the kingside for an attack. White would welcome an exchange on e5, gaining space and kicking the Nf6 away with an occupying pawn.} Ne7 {this move does multiple things, increasing Black's control of e4 by getting out of the way of the Bb7, and preparing to go to f5 later.} 11. f4 {we now have a very Stonewall-like structure for White, with the difference of a pawn on a3 instead of c3.} Ne4 {for similar reasons as above, Black would welcome an exchange of the knight on e4.} 12. Qe2 {normally the best place for the queen, protecting the weak e3 pawn, forming a battery on the f1-a6 diagonal, connecting the rooks, and giving the option later of perhaps moving along the 2nd rank.} Rc8 {Black now has a classically solid position, with an obvious plan of expanding on the queenside and down the c-file.} 13. dxc5 {this scores well practically, but only if Black does not take with the knight.} (13. Nec4 $5 {is a tactical trick that results in equality, which is probably not what White wants in the first place, however. The main point is} dxc4 14. Bxe4 Bxe4 15. Nxe4 $11) 13... Bxc5 {this lets White off the hook.} (13... Nxc5 $17 {followed by ...Nxd3 exchanges off a key attacking piece for White and leaves Black with the most play.}) 14. b4 $11 {this now gains White both some space and time, by kicking the bishop.} Bd6 15. Nb3 {it's unclear why White chose this, as the b3 square has no advantage to it.} (15. Ndf3 {would be more standard.} Nf5 (15... f6 $6 {here has a tactical drawback, which is} 16. Nd4 $1 $14) 16. g4 {would be the standard reaction.}) 15... Nf5 16. Nd4 (16. g4 {here is not as good, with ...Nh4 now possible, among other responses.}) 16... Nxd4 17. Bxd4 f6 {a standard resource when fighting a Stonewall, as the f-pawn advance cannot be taken advantage of now.} 18. Nf3 Qc7 19. Bb2 $11 {proactively withdrawing, so that the pawn advance ...e5 would not come with tempo. By this point, White's attempt at an attacking setup has been rebuffed, but Black is unable to target any weak points either.} a5 20. Nd4 {targeting the now-weak e6 square.} Qd7 {perhaps not the best square for the queen, as it can become a target here.} 21. Rf3 {this is over-ambitious and also misses an opportunity to complicate Black's life with an f-pawn advance.} (21. f5 $5 e5 (21... exf5 22. Nxf5 $16 {White's kingside attacking chances are now revived, plus White has the prospect of picking up the two bishops.}) 22. Ne6 {the knight does look a little precarious here, but it should be all right:} Rfe8 23. Rad1 {creating tactics against the queen along the d-file} axb4 24. axb4 Qe7 25. Bxe4 dxe4 26. g4 $11) 21... axb4 {Black seizes the opportunity to win a pawn, without White having full compensation.} 22. axb4 Bxb4 23. Bb5 Qf7 $17 {White now has a bit of initiative on the kingside, but not much else for the pawn.} 24. f5 {now this comes with Black in better shape on both the queenside and kingside, than on move 21.} exf5 25. Nxf5 Kh8 {not necessary, but prudent nonetheless to get off the a2-g8 diagonal.} 26. Rh3 (26. Bd3 $5 {would move the bishop back to a more significant diagonal, where it could assist in the center or the kingside. The text move looks aggressive but is not a threat.}) 26... Rc7 {this subtle move clears c8 for the bishop, which now sees the Nf5 and Rh3 lined up on the diagonal.} 27. Rf1 Bc8 28. Bd3 {again, a good idea applied late.} Bc3 $6 {this preserves Black's existing advantage, but is a good idea played too early.} (28... g6 $1 29. Nh6 Qe7 30. Rh4 Bc3 31. Bxc3 Rxc3 $19 {and Black has a dominating position in the center.}) 29. Bxc3 Rxc3 30. Rh4 Bxf5 31. Rxf5 g6 {in contrast with the above variation, Black's pieces are more constrained and the strong light-square bishop is gone.} 32. Rxd5 $6 {White chooses to sacrifice the exchange, perhaps seeing a dull endgame squeeze in her future.} (32. Bxe4 dxe4 33. Rf2 $17 {with a depressing endgame.}) 32... Qxd5 33. Bxe4 Qg5 34. Rh3 $19 {the two Black rooks should triumph here, given the wide-open board and two weak White pawns to target on open files.} f5 35. Qd2 Qf6 36. Bd3 Ra3 (36... Rfc8 $5 {would seem to be the natural follow-up to ...f5, as the f-pawn no longer needs the extra piece support.}) 37. Qb4 Ra1+ 38. Kf2 Ra5 39. Rf3 Rc5 {Black is exclusively moving this rook around, which can't be good. White starts to take advantage of this.} 40. g4 {using the pin on the Qf6.} Qd6 41. Qb2+ Kg8 42. gxf5 {while this is still bad for White, she is at least successfully opening lines against Black's king.} Qxh2+ 43. Kf1 Qh1+ 44. Ke2 Qg2+ 45. Rf2 Qc6 46. Qa2+ Kg7 47. Qa1+ Qf6 48. Qa7+ Rf7 {putting an end to the queen harassment.} 49. Qb8 Rfc7 50. Kf1 {getting out of the way of the Rf2} g5 {this is still good for Black and prevents further opening of files, but will allow White some counterplay in the center.} 51. e4 Re7 52. Kg2 {correctly moving the king towards blocking Black's pawns.} Rce5 53. Rf1 Rxe4 {attempting to give back material and simplify into a more clearly won endgame.} (53... h5 $1 {is also a good idea, as passed pawns must be pushed! White has successfully established a static center based on the light-square pawn chain, but Black can mobilized her two connected passed pawns and still win.}) 54. Bxe4 Rxe4 {now we will get to see how the "all rook endings are drawn" saying applies in practice.} 55. Qb7+ Re7 56. Qf3 Rc7 {so far so good for Black.} 57. Qd3 Qc6+ {Black is still OK, but now the f-pawn is potentially mobile for White.} (57... Rc3 $1) 58. Kg1 Rd7 $6 {Black evidently missed White's f-pawn thrust.} 59. f6+ $1 $11 {the game is now a draw with best play, according to the engine. Black's king is too exposed and the advanced f-pawn too much of a threat for Black to make progress.} Kf8 60. Qg3 $2 (60. Qh3 $5 {this is more restrictive, threatening the Rd7 and to penetrate on the h-file.} Qc5+ 61. Kh1 $11) 60... Qc5+ {Black can now win again.} 61. Rf2 $2 {inviting Black's next.} Rd1+ 62. Kh2 Qd6 63. Qxd6+ Rxd6 {we now go back to the "all rook endings are drawn" line.} 64. f7 Rc6 65. Kg1 h5 {correctly mobilizing her passed pawn majority.} 66. Rf5 Rxc2 $2 {incorrectly allowing White's rook too much scope.} (66... Rc5 $1 $19 {it's much more important to preserve the two connected passed pawns.}) 67. Rxg5 Rc5 68. Rg6 {the only move. Now if the f- and b-pawns are exchanged off, the rook pawn cannot win for Black. This fact drives the next sequence.} b5 69. Rf6 b4 70. Rb6 Rc4 71. Rb7 Rf4 72. Kg2 {the draw is now apparent, with White's rook in a commanding position behind the b-pawn.} h4 73. Kh2 Kg7 74. Kg2 Rc4 75. Kh2 Rf4 76. Kg2 b3 77. Rxb3 Kxf7 78. Rf3 h3+ 79. Rxh3 Rf6 80. Rf3 Rxf3 81. Kxf3 1/2-1/2