TCEC Season 16 Superfinal Game 100 – Stockfish-AllieStein
|Game||Season 16, Superfinal, Game 100|
|Links|| TCEC archive|
The last game of the TCEC season 16 superfinal proved to be a sharp and complex game. The given book moves entered in a sharp accelerated dragon line (Sicilian defense) with opposite side castling. Stockfish playing as white sacrificed two pawns for attacking prospects. Allie then made a counter-sacrifice by giving up an exchange to relieve some of the pressure, and then managed to press back. However, since the pawn sacrifices by white, black's king safety was always somewhat questioned, and ultimately, it proved to her downfall.
The underlying tactics in this game are bewilderingly complex and worth a detailed analysis.
|Position after 16. Nd5|
1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 8. Bb3 d6 9. f3 Bd7 10. Qd2 Rc8 11. O-O-O Ne5 12. Kb1 a6
End of book. This position has been played over a hundred times at the masters level, including some games at the top GM level. Based on the opening statistics, the position is quite sharp and favors white. In the game, white continues by sacrificing two kingside pawns to open up files for attack. It is an idea that has been seen before.
13. h4 h5 14. g4 hxg4 15. h5 Nxh5 16. Nd5 (N) (diagram)
Novelty in the Lichess masters database. The main move was 16. Rdg1.
|Position after 43... f5|
16... Rc5 17. Bg5 Re8 18. fxg4 Bxg4 19. Rdg1 Qd7 20. Qf2 Rxd5
Black sacrifices the exchange to relieve some pressure. The position was problematic due to the strong knight on d5, and if the knight moves, it reveals a threat on f7 by the bishop on b3.
21. Bxd5 e6 22. Bb3 d5 23. exd5 exd5 24. Re1 Rc8 25. Rh4 Nc6 26. Nxc6 bxc6 27. Ka1 Qf5 28. Qg1 Nf6 29. Bd2 g5 30. Rh2 Ne4 31. c3 Bf3 32. Bd1 Bxd1 33. Rxd1 Re8 34. Bc1
White pieces have been retreating since the exchange sacrifice. However, the position remains sharp.
34... f6 35. Re1 Re5 36. Rhe2 Re7 37. Qb6 Qc8 38. c4 Qb7 39. Qa5 Kf7 40. Qa3 g4 41. Rf1 Kg6 42. cxd5 cxd5 43. Rg2 f5 (diagram)
White begins the infiltration via the h-file by exploiting the pin on the g-file. With best play, it is possible that black is already lost because of the king safety issues.
|Position after 52. Rh6|
44. Qh3 Qb5 45. Rh1 Kf6 46. Qh7 Ke6 47. Qg6+ Bf6 48. Rh5 Qf1 49. Qg8+ Ke5 50. Rc2 g3 51. Qb8+ Kd4 52. Rh6 (diagram) Bg5
Pushing the g-pawn was a curious try for black, although at the end, it does not work: 52... g2 53. Rxf6 g1=Q 54. Qb4+ Kd3 55. Rfc6. Interestingly, even with two queens, black is lost. For example: 55... Qg5 56. Kb1 f4 57. Rxa6 and black will have to sacrifice a queen for the bishop on c1 to prevent the immediate mate.
|Position after 63. Qe7+|
53. Qb4+ Ke5 54. Rg6 Qb5 55. Qa3 Bh4 56. Rcc6 g2 57. Qf3 Qf1 58. Qh5 Re8 59. Rxg2 Re6 60. Qh8+ Rf6 61. Qb8+ Kd4 62. Qb4+ Ke5 63. Qe7+ 1-0 (diagram)
The game was adjudicated as white win by the TCEC win rule.
A plausible game continuation would be 63. Qe7+ Kd4 64. Rcc2 Be1 65. Qa7+ Ke5 66. Rg1. The most resilient move here is 66... Qxg1 where white ends up with a queen for a knight, easily winning. If black wanted to avoid the queen sacrifice, the end result would be even worse. For example: 66... Qd3 67. Qc7+ Rd6 68. Rxe1 and black is a full rook down and facing a forced mate in 14.
Analysis by GM Sadler: https://tcec-chess.com/articles/Sufi_16_-_Sadler.pdf
- https://lichess.org/iEGgO9VV#30 (accessed on 2019-10-26).