Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tal Memorial
Nov., 2006

This is the final position where white resigned after a heroic effort to promote his pawn on the H file. I said " heroic " because Shirov sacrificed his bishop earlier just to get the black king one more square away from the action along the H file. It's a game worth looking at. Here, at the end, it seems that white still has good chances. The advanced H pawn seems unstoppable unless black sacs his rook for it. Aronian, however, makes use of a zugswang involving the pawns at the other end of the board, namely white's b pawn.

So, 58... Rf7 (diagram) and white resigned. After 59. h7, the not-so-obvious winning technique goes 59...rf8 60. kg7 rh8! 61. kf6 ( if 61. kh8, then 61... kf7 or kf8 zugswang ) rh7 62. ke6 rh2 63. kd5 rb2 64. kc4 rc2. Black should win in this position. Fritz4 gives this position a -3.88 advantage for black.


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