Sacapawn wrote on 08/03/06 at 16:58:08:

This looks promising for White

**27.Rxc6 bxc6 28.Kc3 Ra8 29.Rh2 c5 30.dxc5 Kc6 31.Kb4** was analysed to draw by OstapBender in an earlier post. But **31.Kd4** blocking Black's d-pawn seems better. One variation is **31.-,b4 32.f5 Ra5 33.fxe6 fxe6 34.Rf2 Rxc5 35.Rf8 Ra5 36.Re8 Rxa2 37.Rxe6+ Kb5 38.Kxd5 Rd2+ 39.Ke4 Rb2 40.Rg6 Rxb3 41.Rxg7** and White wins.

I should clarify that this was Smyslov_Fan's analysis. I just tidied up his previous post and added a few diagrams (BTW, he owes me - BIG TIME!

).

I think your 31.Kd4 is a nice idea and I will try to look at variations in a bit more detail when I have more time - as will SF, no doubt. when he returns from his vacation. I imagine HgMan will be analyzing this even sooner!

Here's the position after 36.Re8 in your line:

**after 36.Re8**

After a quick glance, I think White is already winning at this point. If so, then the improvement for Black must come earlier.

Incidentally, my first thought was that 36...Rxa2 looked like an obvious blunder (after which Black is indeed slaughtered quickly), and surely defending the e6-pawn with 36...Kd7 is better. However, after 37.Rg8 Rxa2 38.Rxg7+ Kc6 then 39.Rg6 looks absolutely crushing.

Maybe Black can improve on the ...b4/...Ra5/...Rxc5 plan (or look for improvements earlier in Smyslov_Fan's line).

Excellent contribution, Sacapawn! If earlier improvements are found, you heads up may end up saving HgMan's life. Otherwise, you may have just forecast his death...

(metaphorically speaking, of course)

[Edit: Taking another look, I think 34...Rxc5 is a blunder. Black can improve with 34...Ra7 (since the white c5-pawn is not going anywhere it can be scooped up at a more opportune moment). I don't know if this is enough to hold the position in the long run, but it's certainly a big improvement. From here, my main line runs 35.Rf8 Rxa2 36.Rc8+ Kd7 37.Rg8 Rd2+ 38.Ke3 Rb2 39.Rxg7+ Kc6 40.Rg6 Kxc5 41.Rxh6 Rxb3+ 42.Kd2 Rg3 and I see Black holding this final position. I doubt if this line represents best play, however.

One fiinal observation: if Black is not going to play 34...Rxc5 after all, then there's not much point to 32...Ra5. Maybe another place for Black to look for an improvement.]