Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Draws are not Easy


I played 37... Be3 to help out in the defense against White's charging pawns and indirectly putting pressure on the a7 pawn. White is two pawns up. His bishop on b2 cannot get to the base of my pawn chain while my bishop on e3 can attack White's pawn on g3. I pinned my hopes on my better bishop for counter-attacking if I got out of this bind. 

So, after 38.c6+ bc6  39.dc6+ Kc7 I thought that I had alleviated my position and stood a good chance of capturing the pawn on a7. However, credit to my opponent, he found the aggressive 40.Rd1. White gave up his pawn on a7 for attacking chances on the other side of the board. Let us not forget that White still has that annoying passed pawn on c6. The question was which piece should I capture the a7 pawn with?

I decided on the bishop, and so played 40...Ba7  41.Rd7+... I figured that if I captured with the rook instead, such as 40...Ra7, White could further increase his winning chances by forcing the exchange of rooks with 41.Rd7+ and then use his passed C pawn to tie down, or deflect my king while heading over to the Black pawns on the other side of the board. It is strategy, not much hard calculations.

41...Kc8  42.Rg7... I was uncertain if White expected the check on b8 or not but my next move 42...Rb8+ activated my rook from its miserable life in the corner. Play continued with 43. Ka6 Rb2 44. Ka7

Rook and pawn endings with one side having an extra pawn usually end up drawn--as this one did.


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