TCEC Season 14 Superfinal Game 49 – Leela-Stockfish
|Game||Season 14, Superfinal, Game 49|
|Links|| TCEC archive|
|Position after 20. Ne6|
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nc3 g6 7. Bf4 Bg7 8. Qa4+ Bd7 9. Qb3 Qc7
Book exit into a well-traversed Benoni line. The position has been played hundreds of times by the masters. Although 9... Qc7 is the most popular move in the book, 9... b5 has been more popular recently at the highest human level.
10. e4 O-O 11. Nd2 Nh5 12. Be3 f5 13. exf5 Bxf5 14. h3
The first uncommon move, although still a typical idea in the follow-up book lines. 14. Be2 is the popular move in the masters games.
14... Bd7 15. Nde4(N) Kh8 16. Bc4
White reinforces the control over the e6 square behind the pawn on d5. This comes with the idea of Ng5-e6. Black should consider playing h6 soon if white's idea is to be prevented.
16... a6 17. a4 Bf5 18. Ng5
Note that forking to try to win a piece wouldn't work: 18. g4 Bxe4 19. Nxe4 Nf4
18... Qe7 19. O-O Nd7 20. Ne6 (diagram)
White managed to get a knight on a strong square. Now black needs to make a choice. Some example lines:
- Defending against immediate threats: 20... Rfb8 21. Bg5 Bf6 22. Bxf6+ Qxf6 23. Rfe1 and white would keep a piece in the e6 anchor square with a positional advantage.
- Going for active counter-play offering the exchange: 20... Ne5 21. Bg5 Qf7 22. Rae1 h6 23. Nxf8 Rxf8 24. Rxe5. Counter-sacrifice to prevent Bxh3. 24... Bxe5 25. Bxh6. White is pawn up with otherwise roughly equal position.
- Accepting the exchange sacrifice would be dubious for white: 21. Nxf8 Rxf8 22. Rae1 Nf3+ 23. gxf3 Qh4 24. Bc1 Qxh3
- Black has an interesting piece sacrifice option, but in the end, it does not seem to work: 22... Bxh3 23. Ne4 Bxg2 24. Kxg2 Nxc4 25. f4 Nxb2 26. Nxd6 Qd7 27. Nxf8 Rxf8 28. f5 Qxd6 29. Be7
Black went with perhaps the most obvious option, exchanging pieces.
|Position after 33... cxd4|
20... Bxe6 21. dxe6 Ne5 22. Bd5 Nc6 23. Rae1 Rab8 24. Ne4 Nf6 25. Bg5 Nb4 26. Nc3 h6 27. Bxf6 Rxf6
After the exchanges, white is left with a strong advanced pawn on e6. Black cannot easily attack the pawn due to the lack of the light-square bishop.
28. g3 Re8
Removing a defender to e6 would not work, because white would take back with the knight and fork the queen and a rook: 28... Nxd5 29. Nxd5 Qe8 30. Nxf6 Bxf6
29. h4 Rf5 30. Bg2 Bd4 31. Ne2 a5 32. Bh3 Re5 33. Nxd4 cxd4 (diagram)
Damage to black's queenside pawn structure has been done. The doubled d-pawns are now somewhat weak and white begins targeting black's pawns. White has also underlying motives to penetrate via the f-file with a rook and queen battery, as well as restricting black's knight by threatening to penetrate via the queenside.
|Position after 54. Bc2|
34. Qc4 Nc6 35. Qd3 Qg7 36. Re4 Rc5
Black avoids exchanging the rooks with 36... Rxe4, as white would maintain the threats. For example: 36... Rxe4 37. Qxe4 Qf6 38. Kg2 Kg7 39. f4 d3 40. Qxd3 Qxb2+ 41. Rf2 Qd4 42. Qf3 h5 43. f5 Rf8 44. Qb3 Qb4 45. Qd1 Qe4+ 46. Kh2 gxf5 47. Qxh5 Qxe6 48. Bxf5 Qh6 49. Qxh6+ Kxh6 50. g4. The resulting endgame would be close to winning for white due to better pawns and bishop over knight.
37. Kg2 Re7 38. Rfe1 Qf8 39. Rg4 Re5 40. Rf4 Qe8 41. Rc1
Move 41. Qf3 could also have been played, but white has a different idea to overload black's pieces.
41... Rg7 42. Qb3 Qe7 43. Bg4 h5 44. Bf3
Black's pieces are now finally overworked and white is able to simplify into an advantageous endgame. If black took on e6 directly, white would get two pawns with close to winning endgame. Example line: 44... Qxe6 45. Qxe6 Rxe6 46. Bxc6 bxc6 47. Rxc6 d3 48. Rc3 Rb7 49. b3 d2 50. Rd4 Kg7 51. Rxd2
44... Nd8 45. Rc8 Kh7 46. Rxd4 Nxe6 47. Rd5
Black managed to finally neutralize the e6-pawn. However, this comes with a cost of ruined pawn structure.
47... Nc5 48. Qd1 Rxd5 49. Qxd5 Qf6 50. Bxh5
Winning a pawn temporarily. Taking the bishop would trade the queen to a rook: 50... gxh5 51. Qxh5+ Qh6 52. Rh8+ Kxh8 53. Qxh6+. As black's knight and rook are uncoordinated, the result would be an easy victory for white.
50... Qf7 51. Qxf7 Rxf7 52. Bd1 Nd3 53. f4 Nxb2 54. Bc2 (diagram)
Black won the pawn back. However, the resulting endgame is now arguably winning for white. This is because of better pawn structure and piece coordination.
|Position after 76... Rh3|
54... Kg7 55. Kf3 d5 56. Rc5 Rd7 57. g4
Threatening to create connected passed pawns.
57... d4 58. Rb5 Nc4
Pushing the d-pawn would just simplify the position, ending the game quicker. For example: 58... d3 59. Rxb2 dxc2 60. Rxc2 Rd4 61. Rc7+ Kg8 62. Rxb7 Rxa4.
59. Bd3 Rc7 60. h5 gxh5 61. Rxh5 Rc6 62. Rh7+ Kf8 63. Rxb7 Nd6 64. Ra7 Rc3 65. Ke2 Ra3 66. Rxa5 Ra2+ 67. Ke1 Ra1+ 68. Kd2 Ra2+ 69. Kc1 Ra3 70. Rd5 Nb7
Black gives up the last pawn to postpone the inevitable. A trade would be winning for white: 70... Rxd3 71. Rxd6 with no hope of draw for black.
71. Rxd4 Nc5 72. Bc2 Ne6 73. Rc4 Ng7 74. g5 Ne8 75. g6 Kg7 76. Kb2 Rh3 1-0. (diagram)
White wins by the TCEC win rule.
An example continuation: 76... Rh3 77. a5 Rh5 78. f5 Nd6 79. Rc7+ Kf6 80. Rc6 Ke7 81. g7 Rg5 82. Rxd6 Kxd6 83. f6 Ke6 84. g8=Q+ Rxg8 85. Bb3+ Ke5 86. Bxg8 Kxf6 87. a6 and the a-pawn will queen.
- https://lichess.org/CLYdITBg#28 Accessed 2019-12-05