Monday, July 8, 2013

Ukrainian Championship Produces 210-Move Win

By , GuideJune 27, 2013

The Ukrainian Chess Championship is strong -- this year's round-robin features notables like Ruslan Ponomariov and Pavel Eljanov, among others -- but it's not "super-tournament" strong, which explains why it usually passes by without much attention being given to it from the outside chess world. But one peculiar game has generated plenty of interest: a 210-move win by IM Stanislav Bogdanovich, a 20-year-old player who was facing off against veteran GM Valeriy Neverov, winner of the national championship in 1983, 1985, 1988 and 1996. Both are in the bottom half of the 12-player field (Neverov is actually in last place with one round to go), but a game that passes the 200-move mark is going to attract attention even at the bottom of the standings.
You can play through the entire game here. In summary: Bogdanovich managed to win a pawn with the black pieces, but was still in a very drawish endgame, holding a rook, knight and three pawns against a rook, knight and two pawns, with all the pawns connected and on the kingside. With a secure advantage and virtually no risk of losing, he pressed on, hoping for a mistake from his opponent. On multiple occasions, Bogdanovich appeared to be making no progress when he pushed a pawn before the 50-move rule could be invoked. Finally, Neverov gave up his knight for Bogdanovich's final two pawns, eventually reached a king, rook and knight vs. king and rook endgame that was theoretically drawn, but not easy to hold. After defending accurately for over 30 moves and with the finish line in sight, Neverov blundered, walking into a mating net, which forced his resignation.
Four players, including Ponomariov, remain in contention for the Ukrainian championship with one round to go.

Neverov, Valeriy2515Bogdanovich, Stanislav25670–1D56Kiev UKR5.619.06.2013Alex Baburin
1.c4 e6 2.f3 d5 3.d4 f6 4.c3 e7 5.g5 h6 6.h4 0-07.e3 e4 8.xe7 xe7 9.b3 xc3 10.bxc3 dxc4 11.xc4b6 12.a4 b7 13.a3 c5 14.a5 d7 15.e2 e5 16.0-0 fd817.fd1 f8 18.b2 exd4 19.cxd4 f6 20.h3 g8 21.b3cxd4 22.exd4 f8 23.axb6 axb6 24.xa8 xa8 25.d5 g626.g3 d6 27.c4 b7 28.e1 f5 29.d4 xh3 30.f3 d731.b5 xd5 32.d1 e6 33.f1 e5 34.c3 c6 35.xd7xd7 36.d1 f8 37.d5 b5 38.f1 e6 39.c7 c4 40.b1e6 41.xb5 xf1 42.xf1 The drama begins: Black is a pawn up and determined to win. d5 43.c3 d7 44.g2 g6 45.d1b7 46.d5 g7 47.e3 b2 48.c1 h5 49.c2 b1 50.c4b5 51.c2 d5 52.e3 a5 53.c2 e5 54.a2 e4 55.a7d4 56.a2 h4 57.c2 hxg3 58.fxg3 Now it is R, N and two pawns vs R, N and one pawn. d3 59.f1 a3 60.b2 d461.d2 f5 62.f2 b3 63.f3 b1 64.f2 c1 65.f3 e166.f2 b1 67.g2 a1 68.f2 d6 69.e2 c1 70.a2 e471.e2 c5 72.a2 e1 73.b2 e4 74.a2 f6 75.a6+e5 76.a5+ d4 77.a4+ d5 78.a5+ c4 79.a4+ c380.a3+ d4 81.a4+ d5 82.a5+ c5 83.a2 d384.a5+ c4 85.a4+ c5 86.a5+ b4 87.a7 e5 88.a2c5 89.c2+ d6 90.d2+ e6 91.a2 c4 92.f2 c193.e3 d6 94.g2 f6 A pawn push 14 moves short of the 50-move rule. 95.e2 f7 96.a2 b1 97.f1 b3 98.e2 f599.a2 g7 100.a7+ h6 101.a2 g5 102.d2 c3103.a2 d3 104.a5 b3 105.a2 h6 106.d2 a3107.b2 d6 108.d2 c4 109.c2 e5 110.f2 g7111.b2 c3 112.b7+ h6 113.b2 d3 114.a2 b3115.g1 b6 116.g2 d6 117.g1 c6 118.g2 c1119.e3 e1 120.f2 d3+ 121.f3 b1 122.g2 b5123.g4+ g5 124.e3 e5 125.f1 b3 126.d2 e3127.f1 d3 128.h2 c4 129.f1 c3 130.e2 h6131.a2 d6 132.d2 e4 133.e2 c5 134.a2 g5135.e2 a3 136.c2 e4 137.e2 f5 Next pawn push, seven moves before the fifty that would give White a draw. 138.b2 a1139.c2 f6 140.c6+ f7 141.c7+ e6 142.c6+ d6143.c2 d5 144.d2+ e5 145.b2 e4 146.d2 d6147.f3+ f6 148.d2 d1 149.a2 e6 150.f1 e4151.a6+ f7 152.a7+ f6 153.a6+ g5 154.a2 e1155.h2 f6 156.f1 e5 157.a5+ d4 158.a4+ c5159.a2 b4 160.c2 b3 161.c6 e2+ 162.g1 g5163.c8 b4 164.f8 d6 165.g8 g4 166.h2 c4167.xg4 Chess engines like Deep Fritz and Houdini advocate giving up the knight for two pawns fxg4 168.xg4 c3 169.f4e3 170.f8 d3 171.f7 g2+ 172.h1 xg3 The endgame R+N vs. R isn't nearly that dangerous for the defender as the endgame R+B vs. R. Even though the white king is badly placed, the endgame is still drawn. 173.h2 g5 174.h3 f5 175.a7e4 176.a4+ f3 177.a3+ e3 178.h4 b5 179.c3 f4180.a3 e5 181.a4+ f3 182.a3 b5 183.c3 f4184.a3 f5+ 185.h3 b4 186.g2 e3+ 187.h3 f3188.a8 f4 189.a3 e4 190.a8 d5 191.a3+ e3192.a8 e5 193.f8+ f5 194.a8 e3 195.f8 e4+196.h2 f4 197.f7 g4 198.g1 f3 199.f8 f4 200.g8+h3 201.h8+ h4 202.a8 g3 203.g8+ f3 204.a8 f5205.f8 e2
Neverov was probably tired after a very long game. Almost any rook move would hold the draw, but not 206.h2?? f2 Whoops!207.h8 Only move to stop mate but now there is no escape for the king g4 208.h7 g2+ 209.h3 g3+ 210.h2 d4White resigned because of 210...d4 211.f7+ f3+ 212.xf3+xf3 213.h1 h3# 0–1

With one round left to play here are the current standings in the 2013 Ukrainian Championship:
Full information can be found on the official web site.

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