TCEC Season 16 Division P Game 64 – Leela-Stockfish
|Game||Season 16, Division P, Game 64|
|Links|| TCEC archive|
In this game Leela was playing as white against Stockfish. Leela was able to take the control of the position in the early middle game after black played couple of passive moves. While limiting counterplay, white slowly added pressure against black's position until the threats were too many defend against.
One may find it intriguing to compare the positions after moves 20. cxd4 and 52. Kh3, and observe how Leela built upon the positional advantages after the opening.
|Position after 8... Nxa6|
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 b6 7. Ne2 Ba6 8. Bxa6 Nxa6 (diagram)
End of the book moves.
|Position after 20. cxd4|
9. Nf3 b5 10. h4
Novelty in the Lichess masters database. The book exit already was somewhat in the sidelines (255 Lichess games) and the only book move played by white was heading towards an early novelty. Only 14 masters games were found in the database after 9. Nf3.
10... b4 11. h5 h6 12. Rh3 bxc3 13. bxc3 Nab8 14. Kf1 Nc6 15. Kg1 Rc8 16. Be3 Qa5 17. a4
Black is starting to wander into passivity starting with the next following two moves.
17... Qd8 18. Rg3 a6 19. Nf4 cxd4 20. cxd4 (diagram)
Here a long non-forcing sequence of slow squeezing of the black position is entered. While limiting black's counterplay, white is slowly able to improve the position and build upon the positional threats. Arguably, it is positions such as these where the traditional AB engines struggle most against the NN engines. That is, where the individual moves are less important than the overall arch of the game.
|Position after 52. Kh3|
20... Nb6 21. Bd2 Nc4 22. Bc3 Ne7 23. Nh4 Rb8 24. Be1 Qb6 25. a5 Qb5 26. Qd3 Qb7 27. Kh2 Qb2 28. Rd1 Qb5 29. Rc1 Qb2 30. Qd1 Qb7 31. Bc3 Qc8 32. Qg4 Rg8 33. Be1 Qd7 34. Qd1 Nc6 35. Nf3 Rh8 36. Bc3 Na3 37. Nd2 Rb7 38. Nb3 Rc7 39. Be1 Nb5 40. Rb1 Na3 41. Rc1 Nb5 42. Ne2 Nca7 43. f4 Rxc1 44. Nbxc1 Rg8 45. Qd3 Rh8 46. Nb3 Nc7 47. Bf2 Nc6 48. Qc2 Nb5 49. Nc3 Nba7 50. Qd3 Nb4 51. Qb1 Qd8 52. Kh3 (diagram)
Since move 20. cxd4, there has not been any changes in black's pawn structure, and black's king, bishop, and the kingside rook are still in their starting positions. However, white has been able to improve her pieces such that black's collapse is imminent. Black chooses to play 52... Qd7 which allows white to win the crucial g7 pawn and break black's position. To understand why black considered 52... Qd7 to be the least of all evils, one has to consider the threats by white. These include:
- Improving the white knights to b6 and c5 squares. This threatens to win the a6 pawn to begin with. There are also king safety issues for black.
- White rook can reposition to b/c files after the knights have been improved.
- f5 push breaking black's kingside. If black takes on exf5, then d5 is weak. If white is allowed to take on fxe6 followed by fxe6, then g6 is available for the white rook with protection.
- White queen threatens to come to h7 to win the rook if the black rook moves.
- Bh4 to further control squares near the black king.
52... Qd7 53. Nc5 Bxc5 54. dxc5 Nbc6 55. Rxg7 Ne7 56. Qb6 Nac6 57. Qxa6 Qa7 58. Qxa7 Nxa7 59. Rg3 Kd7 60. Na4 Kc6 61. Rb3 Nb5 62. Nc3 Nxc3 63. Rxc3 Ra8 64. Ra3 Kd7 65. a6 Nc6 66. g4 Ke8 67. g5 hxg5 68. fxg5 Kf8 69. Kg4 Kg7 70. Kf4 Kh7 71. Be1 Kg7 72. Bd2 Ra7 73. Kg3 Kg8 74. Kh4 Ra8 75. h6 d4 76. Bf4 Ne7 77. Kg3 Kh7 78. Kf3 Kg6 79. Ke4 Nc6 80. Bd2 d3 81. Kxd3 Nxe5+ 82. Kc3 Nc6 83. Kc4 Ne5+ 84. Kd4 Nc6+ 85. Kc3 Rd8 86. Be3 Ra8 87. Kc4 Ne5+ 88. Kd4 Nc6+ 1-0
White wins by TCEC win adjudication rule.
- https://lichess.org/PM1i3CYy#18 (2019-09-15)