(3069) Sasikiran,Krishnan (2653) - Aronian,Levon (2781) [D15]
7th World Team Championship Bursa TUR (5), 09.01.2010
[Monokroussos,Dennis]



1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.g3 dxc4 6.a4 e6 7.Bg2 c5 8.dxc5 Qxd1+ 9.Nxd1 Bd7 10.Ne5 Bc6 11.Nxc6 Nxc6 12.Bd2 Nd5 13.Rc1 Bxc5 14.Rxc4 Be7 15.Ne3 0-0-0 16.0-0 Kb8 17.Nxd5 exd5 18.Rc3 Rhe8 19.Re3 Bf6 20.Rxe8 Rxe8 21.e3 d4 22.Rc1 Bg5 23.Bxc6 bxc6 24.Rxc6 dxe3 25.Bxe3 Bxe3 26.fxe3 Rxe3 27.Rxa6 Rb3 28.Rd6 Kc7 29.Rd2 Rb4 30.Rc2+ Kd7 31.Rd2+ Kc7 32.Rc2+ Kd7 33.a5 Rb5 34.Rd2+ Kc7 35.Rc2+ Kd7 36.b4 Rxb4 37.Ra2 Kc7 38.a6 Kb8 39.Rf2 f6 40.Re2 h5 41.Re8+ Ka7 42.Re7+ Kxa6 43.Rxg7 Kb6 44.Rf7 h4 45.Rxf6+ Kc7 46.Rf4 Rb1+ 47.Kg2 hxg3 48.hxg3
After pushing hard to draw blood from a stone, White has at least managed to reach a rook and pawn vs. rook ending that's not yet trivially drawn. One would expect a near-2800 to hold this without too much discomfort, though.

48...Kd7
Black brings the king as near as possible...

49.Re4
and White conversely tries to cut it off as far from the pawn as possible.

49...Rb8
Again good, elementary technique. Until the pawn reaches the fifth rank, the king and pawn combo cannot successfully advance the pawn against the rook.

50.Re3 Rh8?!
It's still a draw, but this is a wasted move. Black's rook has nothing special to do until White brings his king up and around and/or pushes the pawn to g4, but he can and does need to improve the position of his king. [50...Kd6 is the most accurate move, and you'll soon see why.]

51.Kf3 Rf8+ 52.Kg4 Kd6!
The only move to draw. (From here on, an '!' will be given to refer to the only move that preserves the evaluation.) [52...Rg8+ 53.Kf5 Rf8+ 54.Kg6 Rg8+ 55.Kf7 Rg4 56.Kf6 Rg8 (56...Kd6 57.Rd3+ Kc5 58.Kf5 Rg8 59.g4+- ) 57.Re7+ Kd6 58.Rg7+- ]

53.Kg5 Rg8+?
Here it is, the losing move. Black must be very careful where he puts or leaves his king, for two reasons. First, he can't allow White's rook to protect the pawn on the fourth or fifth rank without its being challenged. Second, Black must beware of checks followed by blocks on the g-file (see moves 57 and 58 in the game). To achieve these functions, the king should be on d5 or d4, as events warrant. [53...Kd5! 54.Kg6 (54.g4 Rg8+! 55.Kh4 Rh8+! 56.Kg3 Rg8! 57.Re7 Kd6! 58.Re1 Kd5! 59.Re7 Kd6! 60.Rh7 Ke6! 61.Kh4 Kf6! 62.Kh5 Rg5+! 63.Kh4 Ra5= (63...Rg8= ) ) 54...Rg8+ 55.Kf7 Rg4 56.Kf6 Kd4! (56...Rg8 57.Re5+ Kd6 58.Rg5+- ) 57.Ra3 Ke4!= ]

54.Kf6! Kd5
[54...Rg4 55.Rd3+ Kc5 56.Kf5 Rg8 57.g4 wins: 57...Rf8+ 58.Ke6 Rg8 59.Rg3 and the g-pawn runs.]

55.Re5+! Kd6 56.Re3 Kd5 57.Re5+! Kd6 58.Rg5
The winning idea. Now the g-pawn progresses up the board.

58...Rf8+ 59.Kg7 Rf3 60.g4 Rf4 61.Kh6
White can't do without this sooner or later, even though it seems to let the Black king reach its ideal square. [61.Rg6+ Ke7 62.g5 Rf5 ]

61...Ke7 62.Rg7+ Kf8
A draw? Not quite.

63.g5 Rf1 64.Ra7
If, if, if...if Black's rook were somewhere passive, like b8, then ...Kg8 would be a dead draw. Unfortunately for Aronian, he will never be able to safely get his king to g8.

64...Rg1 65.Kg6 Rg2 66.Ra8+ Ke7 67.Ra5
It doesn't hurt anything, but I'm surprised that White doesn't play the right move right away.

67...Kf8 68.Ra8+ Ke7 69.Rg8
This is the key. White needs to advance the g-pawn, and with the rook on g8 can do so with Kh7 next. Kh6 wouldn't work because of ...Kf7, but after Kh7 Kf7 g6+ does the job. Note that if the position were moved three files to White's left (making White's pawn a d-pawn), then 69...Rh2 would draw. Black would have enough room on the side to give lots of side checks, and White can only take stop them with 70.Re8, but then 70...Rd2 once again prevents White's plan to advance the pawn. Meanwhile, back to the game. The last move was allegedly 69...Kd6 and resigns, but as it's pretty nonsensical and looks more like a stumble on the way to a DGT setup, I'm going to assume it didn't really happen. 1-0