Rook and pawn endings, my favorite! Rublevsky evens the score 2-2 in his match with Grischuk with this very technical ending. Rublevky, ahead with five pawns against two decides to simplify and convert one advantage for another. The doubled pawns on c2 and c3 are weak, and it will be a herculean task to move them up the board. Rublevky knows that the h5 pawn is also weak, and that it could be captured sooner or later. He decided to transfer his advantage to one side of the board in the form of three connected passed pawns by giving up both pawns on the c file. Whatever is easier! Rublevky wins in a very pragmatic manner with 42. Re5+ Re5 43. Ke5 Rc3 44. Ke4 ( preserving his connected pawns ) Rc2 45. Ra5 ( a very important move; takes away the fifth rank from the black rook ) Rc4 46. Kd3 ( saving a tempo ) Rc1. Now, Rublevsky is ready to take back some value with 47. Rh5. Black is now reduced to attacking weaknesses and harrassing the king. What Rublevksy has to do here is to find shelter for his king against the rook and to defend his weak points as he betters his position. I have forgotten who very astutely said that a winning endgame is more about construction than calculation or analysis. Grischuk went 47...Rg1 48. g4 Rh1 49. Re5+ Kf6 50. Rf5+ Kg7 51. h5 and Rublevsky has constructed a position with only one weak point. Grischuk sensibly plays to cut off the white king with 51... Re1 [ diagram 2 ].
Rublevsky solves this problem in fine technical style with 52. Rf4 with 53. Re4 in mind. Play continued 52... Ra1 53. Ke3 ( white begins to find shelter for his king ) Ra3+ 54. Kf2 Ra2+ 55. Kg3 Ra1 56. Rf5 Rh1 57. Kf4 Rh3 58. Kg5 Rh1 ( it must be very frustrating for black! ) 59. f4 Rh2 60. Rd5 Ra2 61. h6+ ( now possible after the rook moved away from the h file ) Kg8 62. Rd8+ Kh7 63. Rd7 Kg8 ( if 63... Ra5+, then 64. f5 Kg8 65. Rd8+ Kh7 66. Ra7 67. Kh5 and the game is over ). The game went 64. h7+ Kh8 ( 64... Kh7
65. Rf7+ Kg8 66. Rc7 Re2 67. f5 and white is completely winning ) 65. Rf7 Ra7. Black just threw a Hail Mary with this last move, hoping for a stalemate with 66. Ra7? Rublevsky replied 66. Rf8+ and Grischuk resigned. If 66... Kh7, then 67. f5 Rc7 68. Rf6 Rb7 69. Ra6 Kg7 70. f6+ and it's just a matter of time really.