Monday, July 23, 2007

Zlotnikov - Zaichik

Here an international master outplays a grandmaster in a rook-and-minor-piece ending, from round six of the New Jersey Futurity International 2007.

IM Mikhail Zlotnikov (FIDE 2367) - GM Gennadi Zaichik (FIDE 2473), NJ Futurity International 7/10/2007

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.e3 c5 4.Nbd2 Nc6 5.c3 cxd4 6.exd4 Bg4 7.h3 Bh5 8.Be2

Eighth move alternatives for White include 8.Qa4, 8.Bb5, and 8.Bd3. The position is similar to the exchange variation of the Caro-Kann.

8...Qc7 9.0–0 e6 10.Ne5 Nxe5

Black should have swapped bishops by 10...Bxe2 11.Qxe2 before exchanging on e5.

11.Bxh5 Nc6 12.Be2 Bd6 13.Bd3 0–0 14.Nf3 Rab8 15.Qe2 Rfe8 16.Re1 e5

Black would like to start a minority attack, but 16...b5? loses a pawn to 17.Bxb5.

17.dxe5 Nxe5 18.Nxe5 Bxe5 19.Be3 Bh2+ 20.Kh1 Bf4 21.Qf3 Bxe3 22.Rxe3 Qb6 23.Rb1 Rxe3 24.Qxe3 Qxe3 25.fxe3 Re8 26.Re1 Kf8

Now both players have a weak center pawn.

27.Re2 Re5 28.Kg1 Ke7 29.Kf2 Nd7 30.g4 h5 31.Bc2 Nf6 32.Kf3 Kd6 33.Rd2 g6 34.Rd4 Nh7 35.gxh5 Rxh5 36.h4 Nf8?

Black should have played 36...Nf6 with an equal position.

37.c4 Ke7 38.cxd5 Kd6 39.Rf4 f5 40.e4 fxe4+ 41.Bxe4 Nd7

Now White forces a winning rook-and-pawn endgame.

42.Bxg6! Ne5+ 43.Kg3 Nxg6 44.Rf6+ Kd7 45.Rxg6 Rxd5 46.Rg7+ Kc6 47.Rf7 Rd8 48.h5, Black resigns.