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A.J. Goldsby I (2200) - Rick Aeria (2035) 
 Space City Open 
 (Played at the University of Alabama, {campus} at Huntsville) 
Huntsville, AL (Round # 3), 29.04.2000

  [A.J. Goldsby I]  

The  Brilliancy Prize  winner.  (Also click here.) 

I have won many brilliancy prizes in the past. 

[One tournament in Virginia, I only won one game. But about a month or two 
later, I received a book and a certificate in the mail. Apparently, I had won the 
brilliancy prize. This happened at least 25 years ago, when I was still a 
Class "C" player and also still a teenager.].

I won the Brilliancy Prize (U2200?), one year at the U.S. Open. I won the best 
game prize at the National Open one year. I also won a prize - I don't remember 
exactly what they called it - for an upset of a Master at a "Paul Mason" Classic, 
(the wine-maker) one year. I won a $50 gift-certificate ("Brilliancy Prize") for a 
game I won in the FL State Championship. (Late 80's - I am not sure of the exact 
year.) I won a  year-long  contest for a sharp, attacking game I played in the LA 
State Champ
. I won the "Brilliancy Prize," or "The Best Game" prize at dozens 
of smaller tournaments over the years. But none of those games were better than 
this game. 

It had been at least three years since the last time I had won a brilliancy prize. 
(Prior to this game. In 1997, I had won a best-game prize at a tournament in 
 New Orleans, LA.)  

This game was played at: The  "Space City Open."  April, 2000. 
(Huntsville, AL.) 

Black seems to be better. He is ahead in development. And suddenly, without 
warning, disaster strikes. (In fact, the position just before the sacrifice is rated 
as being better for Black by several of the stronger, commercially-available, 
computer programs.)

To his credit, Black defends like Superman. He gets all the material back. 
White must then play to win based on having the better pawn structure - 
with fewer Pawn islands. 

White plays the ending perfectly, demonstrating good technique and creating 
a model Rook and Pawn ending. 

I have done my very best to hold nothing back and to seek the ultimate truth 
in the analysis of this game. 

Easily, one of my all-time, very best games!!! 
(This is also a very good R+P ending!!) 

(Click  HERE  To see an interesting discussion of this game.) 

1. e4 g6
 The Modern Defense. 

In the Modern Defense, Black first develops his KB on the long diagonal. 
This is a Hyper-Modern development of this piece. (In Classical openings, 
The center is controlled primarily with the Pawns. In Hyper-Modern Openings, 
the center is usually FIRST controlled with pieces. The pawns are held back 
until a weakness is detected, or until the best possible pawn formation can be 
achieved. In a Hyper-Modern Opening like,  "The Modern Defense,"  the 
pawns are often used in a COUNTER-ATTACK ... or a blockade.) 

Classical players see a big pawn center, especially early in the opening, as a 
large advantage. Reti saw a big pawn center - early in the game - as a weakness. 
Neither one is right or wrong, there is much truth to be found in both schools 
of thought. I look at them as ...   "two sides of the same coin."   (!!!)  Both 
schools greatly emphasize the importance of central control. They just each 
have a completely different way of implementing this process. 


2. d4 Bg73. Nc3!?
Aiming for control of d5, and part of an overall system. 

Also, now if Black wishes, he can play ...P-QB4; (...c5)  and then capture 
on d4. This will transpose to a Sicilian Pawn structure. (This is something I 
have played MANY times in over-the-board tournaments ... from  BOTH 
sides of the board!) 

     [ MCO gives: 3.Nf3 d6; 4.Bc4, eventually ending in a slight advantage 
       for White. But this system seems vulnerable to an early d5. 

       Also playable is: 3.c4!?, which is given as the Main Line by many books, 
       but I did not like it as it could   transpose  to the White side of a  'King's 
       Indian Defense.' 
(K.I.D.) (Which I prefer not to play.) ].  


OK, but I thought many books recommended that Black play ...c5; here. 
Many Robatsch/Modern players prefer 3...c6. 

     [ MCO-14 gives the line: 3...c5; 4.Nf3 cxd4; 5.Nxd4 Nc6; 6.Be3 d6
       which transposes  to a Sicilian Dragon. (!)  

       MCO gives: 3...c6; 4.Nf3 b5; 5.Bd3 d6; 6.h3 Bb7; 7.0-0 Nd7
; 9.e5 dxe5!?; 10.Nxe5 Ngf6; 11.Bf4 Nxe5!?
; 13.a4 a6; 14.Ne4, "+/" {Diagram?} White is clearly better. 
       GM Igor Glek - NM Jerry Hanken;  Philadelphia, 1990. 
       [See MCO-14; pg. # 373, column # 6, and note # (t).]

     [ Black could also play 3...c64.Nf3, d5;  (variating from the game above)  
      5.h3!?,  "+/="  This was the continuation of  GM Christiansen - Fogyel 
      from the   2002 U.S. Championships

      A game I just played in April 2002, went:  3...c6!?;  4.Bc4, d6;  5.Bb3!, Nf6;
       6.f3!?,  6...0-0;  7.Be3, Qc7;  8.g4!?, e6!?;  9.g5, Nh5!?; {Dubious?} 
       10.Nge2, a6!?; 11.Ng3!, NxN/g3;  12. PxN/g3, f6!?;  13.PxP/f6, BxP/f6; 
       14.Qe2!, d5!?; 15.e5!, BxP/e5?!;
{Deserving of a question mark, or a bad 
        move?}  (Black is already in deep trouble. Equally hopeless is: 
         15...Be7; 16.0-0-0, c5!?; 17.Nxd5!!, PxN/d5; (forced) 18.BxP/d5/+, Kg7;  
         19.RxP/h7+!!, KxR/h7; 20.Qh2+, Kg7; 21.Rh8, "+/-"  with a winning attack  
         for White.)   16.PxB/e5, QxP/e5;  17.f4!, Qf6;  18.0-0-0, Nd7;  
(This prevents ...h5; and is easily the best.)  19...Rf7;  20.Rdh1, 
       20...c5!?;  21.NxP/d5!, PxN/d5;  22.BxP/d5, Nf8; 
23.BxR/f7+, QxB/f7; 
       24.BxP/c5, Ne6;  25.Bb4!, Bd7;  26.Qe5, Rd8; 
27.Bc3, Qg7;  
       28.QxQ/g7+, NxQ/g7;  29.RxP/h7,  Black Resigns.  (1-0) 
        Just in time. If 29...Nh5; 30.g4, Ng3; 31.Rg7+, Kf8; 32.Rh8#. 
       A.J. Goldsby I - Kirk Petty; April Showers Open. 
       Learning Resources Center, University of Alabama/Birmingham, AL; 2002. 
       The strange thing about this game is no one move is a blunder. No one move 
       drastically changes the computer evaluations. But put them all together, .......
       they just don't add up to a very good game for Black.

   (The variations in the blue brackets {immediately above}, are NOT  
     re-playable on the js-board.) 


4. Bc4!? Nf65. f3!?,  
A system I have had a lot of success with. White puts his pieces on very 
aggressive squares,  [Similar to the Yugoslav Attack, of the Sicilian Dragon.]; 
and then begins an all-out assault on the Black King. 

Actually, this is the system that I normally use for  speed chess.  

I had been using the super-positional 5.Nf3, (in tournament chess) but had 
  had much success with it. 

     [  5.Nf3!?, is simple, classical development. It should also yield White a 
        slight advantage. But Nf3 is simply not as ambitious as Pawn-to-f3. ]. 


5...c66. Bb3,  
Necessary, as now I can meet 6...d5;  with the move 7. e5,  (with some 
advantage to White);  instead of being forced to  exchange  or  retreat 
the Bishop. 

6...a57. Be3 Na6!?;   
A very common deployment of this Knight in the Modern Defense

8. Qd2 b5;  {Diagram?}  Black expands on space on the Queenside, 
and threatens to snare White's light-squared Bishop on b3.  

9. a4!?
, (Maybe - '!')  Preventing the a-pawn from traveling any further 
up the board. 

     [ 9. a3!?,  may have been slightly safer. But caution was never 
        my strong-point. ].  


9...b410. Nd1!
The best square for the this Knight. The Knight may resuscitate itself on 
f2 or e3. 

     [ 10. Nce2!?,  interferes with the Knight on g1. ].  


Probably a sound idea, planning Q-side expansion. 

     [ Black could also play: 10...0-0; 11.Ne2 Rb8; 12.Nf2 Nc7
Be6; 14.h4{Diagram?} White has a powerful initiative. ].  


11. Ne2 0-0
Black chooses seemingly safe development. 

     [ Also playable was: 11...c5; 12.Bc4! cxd4; 13.Bb5+ Bd7
       14.Nxd4, "+/=" 
{Diagram?} and White has a slight edge. ].   


12. Bh6!?, (Maybe - '!') 
White decides to trade off the dark-squared Bishops. 

I teach my students that, in fianchettoed positions, that the Bishop at N2 is 
the best defender of the King. Trading it off weakens Black's King position 
and the dark-square complex on the King-side. 

13. Bxg7 Kxg714. Ne3, (Almost an exclam.) 
To guard the c4-square, and prevent the pawn at c5 from advancing. 

     [ Probably inferior was: 14.c3?! c4; 15.Bc2 b3; 16.Bb1, "~"  when 
       Black seems OK. ].  


The next few moves are forced. 
14...cxd415. Nxd4 Nc5
My opponent - and several Masters that I have shown this game to - felt this 
was the best move. 

      [ 15...Kg8!? ].  


16. Nd5! Nxd5!?
Seems logical. I do not know if this is the most accurate move, but the move 
looks OK.  (In fact, it may be forced!) 

     [ Several highly-rated players told me after the game that Black missed 
       a chance to trade down here. But Black did NOT miss an opportunity 
       to remove the dangerous White Bishop with: 16...Nxb3; ('?' - very bad) 
       The play could then proceed: 17.Nxc7 Nxd2; 18.Nxa8 Nc4; 19.b3 Bd7
Rxa8; 21.Kd2, "+/" (Close to "+/-") White has won an exchange. ].  


17. Bxd5 Bb718. Bxb7 Qxb719. h4!, (Yes!) 
With the idea of h4-h5, prying open the h-file to Black's King. 
(This is a common method of attack against a castled King - with a fianchetto.) 

19...h5; {Diagram?} 
Obviously, Black feels he cannot allow White to open the h-file. 

     [ 19...e6!?; 20.h5 Rad8!; (Bad is 20...Rh8?; 21.h6+ Kg8; 22.Qf4, "+/"
        21.hxg6 fxg6;  (Really inferior for Black is: 21...hxg6?!; 22.Qh6+ Kf6
        (Definitely not: 22...Kg8??; 23.Qh8#  23.Qf4+, "--->" White has a very 
         strong attack.).  22.Qh6+ Kg8; 23.b3 Rd7; 24.0-0-0 Rc8
, "~"
{"Unclear"}  Black's pawn structure has been split into 
         three pawn islands. But it is not 100% clear that Black is any worse. ].  


20. b3!?,  
Protecting the a-pawn. Now if Black does not take the c-file, White plays 0-0-0, 
and then goes all out for Black's King. (With the idea of g2-g4.) 

     [ Interesting is: 20.Qg5!? ]. 


20...Rac8;  {Diagram?} Who is better?
Black has completed his development. Meanwhile White has yet to castle. 
seems to be about equal. 

Almost imperceptibly however, Black's King's position has been weakened. 

  One of my best combinations. The position is White to move and play his 21st move. What move would you play?  (my-bg_2.jpg, 25 KB)
The actual game position after Black played 20...Rac8.

What follows can be called a bolt from the clear, blue sky. 
(They often used to say this about some of Mikhail Tal's combinations!) 

21.Nf5+!!(Maybe - '!!!/!!!!')  {Diagram?} 
A player sitting next to me nearly fell out of his chair when I played this. 
(He actually slipped and came partially out of his seat.). 

This is easily one of the most profound moves I have ever played. It is also 
one of the most surprising. 

As a test, I offered this position to several strong computer programs. 
I set each to search 3 nodes, set the hash tables to 25 MB, and then let them 
crank. At least five of them did not list this move in their top three move choices 
after exactly seven minutes of analysis. (Seven minutes being the limit set by 
expert programmers for the average program, running on a Pentium III, to find 
even the most astounding and amazing moves from known brilliancies.) 

{This was true  right after the game ... it may NOT be true as the over-all 
technology of computers and the associated chess programs continually 

This shows that this move can not be completely calculated, at least not by 
a human anyway. This means that a player making a move like this will have 
to lean heavily on his experience, judgment, and intuition. 

I did do a great amount of calculation over the board and I was fairly certain 
that Black could not play PxN; at any point, however. 

(I also spent around 45 minutes on this move.) 

     [ White could not play: 21.0-0-0?? e5; 22.Ne2?? Nxb3+; ("-/+") 
        {Diagram?} which wins White's Queen. ].


21...Kg8!; (Maybe - '!?')  
The best move? (I think it is.)

     [ The alternatives were: 

       Var. # 1.)  
;  This looks very dangerous, and would be easy to reject on 
        general principle. But over the board I was unable to find a clear and 
        convincing refutation. 22.Qg5+, The computer says this is the most 
        accurate move, but I am not at all sure. 

       The alternatives to 22. Qg5+ are: 
a.)  22.Rd1!? Ne6;   (Definitely not: 22...gxf5??; 23.Qg5+ Ke6; 24.Qxf5#). 
              23.Ne3 Kg7; 24.Rh3!? (Or 24.Nc4!?; or 24.Nd5!?; or 24.g4!?  
; 25.Rg3 Qc5; 26.Kf1!?, "~"  (Or 26.Nf5+!?); 

        b.)  22.Qd4+!? Ke6; 23.Ne3 Kd7; 24.e5, "--->"  ("With an attack.") 
               (Or 24.Nc4!?); 

        c.)  22.Nd4 Kg7; 23.Rh3 (Or 23.Nf5+!? Kf6; 24.Nd4 Kg7; 25.Nf5+
               with a draw by repetition.).   23...Kh7; 24.Rg3, "~" {"Unclear."} 

        Back to 21...Kf6; 22.Qg5+, and now: 
22...Ke6; 23.Rd1, "+/=" when White is probably a little better. 
        (I certainly would be at least a little uncomfortable with my King position, 
         if I were playing the Black pieces!)


       Or:  Var. # 2.) 
;  Maybe - '??'  (This move is simply too dangerous.) 
Kh7; 23.Qxh5+ Kg7; 24.Qg5+ Kh7; This looks forced. 

         Black should probably NOT play: 24...Kh8; 25.Qh6+ (25.Rh3!?
         25...Kg8; 26.Qg5+ (Maybe also playable are: 26.exf5!?; or 26.Rh3!?), 
         26...Kh8; "~" {"Unclear?"} 

        25.Qxf5+ Kg7; 26.Qg5+ Kh8; Forced again? 

         A little too risky is: 26...Kh7!?; 27.Rh3 Nxe4 ( Definitely not 27...Rg8?
          28.Qh5+ Kg7; 29.Rg3+ Kf8; 30.Qh6+ Ke8; 31.Rxg8+,  and White is 
          winning easily. ("+/-") )  28.Qh5+ Kg7; 29.Qg4+ Kh8; 30.fxe4, ("+/-") 
         and White should be winning. 

        27.Rh3 Nxe4
        Practically forced. 

          But NOT: 27...Rg8??; 28.Qh6#Or  27...f6?; ('??') 28.Qh5+ Kg7;  

        28.Qh5+ Kg7; 29.Qg4+ Kh6; 30.fxe4, "+/" (Maybe ... "+/-") 
        when White may just be winning.


       Or:  Var. # 3.) 
        Definitely NOT:  21...Kh7??; 22.Qh6+ Kg8;  and now White can 
        play ... 23.Qg7#, and Black is mated. ].  


White's next move is a nice, but not unheard of, Rook luft. 
22. Rh3!, (Maybe - '!!') 
A very good move ... and judging from the look on my opponent's face - 
it was a complete surprise. 

     [ 22.Qg5 ].  


22...Ne6;  (Maybe - '!') {Diagram?} 
Time and time again,  my opponent plays some very good defensive moves. 

     [ Very bad is: 22...gxf5??; 23.Qg5+ Kh7;   (Maybe even worse is: 23...Kh8
         24.Qh6+ Kg8; 25.Rg3#.  24.Qxh5+ Kg7;   (Or 24...Kg8; 25.Rg3#)  
       25.Rg3+ Kf6; 26.Qxf5# ]. 


23. Rg3 Rc5!;  24.Qh6!, {Diagram?} 
Beginning what I thought was the final phase of the attack. 

     [ Also interesting was: 24.0-0-0!? Rfc8; 25.Qh6 Rxc2+
       26.Kb1, "White has Compensation for the material sacrificed."


24...Rxf5!!; (Very nice!)  {Diagram?}
I saw this sacrifice but had completely missed the reason for the follow-up. 

I honestly thought this was one of those, "last-gasp, desperation" type of 
sacrifices that a player makes just before resignation. 

     [ One alternative is: 24...Qd7!?; 25.0-0-0 Rfc8; 26.Rd2, "/\" ("Initiative.") 
        But not: 24...Rxc2?!; 25.Rxg6+!! fxg6; 26.Qxg6+ Kh8; 27.Qh6+! Kg8; 
        28.Qxe6+ Kh7; This looks forced.  (But not 28...Rf7; 29.Nh6+, "+/-" 
29.Qh6+ Kg8; 30.Qg7#, {Analysis diagram.} 
        This is one of the many lines I had actually analyzed over the board. ]. 


25. exf5 Qd5!;   
Now Black regains all his material. 

{I had seen this move also, but NOT all of the consequences. If White 
tries to play PxP/g6??, ('?'); he might lose ... or just get mated!} 

     [  25...Nc5??26.fxg6, "+/-" ].  


26. fxe6[], (Forced?)   
I thought this to be the only winning try. 

     [ Very bad  is:  26.fxg6?  (Maybe - '??')  This looks natural but it fails 
        totally and completely. 26...Qe5+; 27.Kf2 Qd4+; 28.Ke1, (Not pretty.) 

        White could also try: 
a.)  28.Kf1 Qxa1+; 29.Kf2 Qd4+; 30.Ke1 fxg6; 31.Qxg6+ Ng7, "-/+"  

        b.)  28.Ke2 Nf4+, "-/+" 

        c.)  28.Qe3 Qxa1; 29.Qh6 (29.gxf7+ Kxf7; "-/+"  29...Qd4+
Qd1+; 31.Kf2 Qxc2+; 32.Kg1 fxg6; 33.Rxg6+ Kf7
Rg8; "-/+"  

       After 28. Ke1, we have: 28...Qxa1+; 29.Ke2 Qe5+; 30.Kf1, (Hmmm.)
        (Or 30.Kf2 Qd4+; 31.Kf1 fxg6; "-/+"  is pretty much the same thing.)  
       30...fxg6; "-/+"  and Black, NOT White ... wins easily. 


       But definitely not:  26.Rd1? Qxf5; 27.Rd2 Rc8; "=/+" Black has ample 
       material compensation for the exchange. A Pawn and a Knight vs. a Rook 
       and a great deal of play. (Also, White has almost zero co-ordination between 
       his pieces.) My instincts told me this was a dead end. The computers verify 
       that my intuition was probably correct. 


       I completely rejected 26.Rc1, "~" as being too passive. ].  


26...Qe5+27. Kf2, {Diagram?} 
This is forced. 

     [ 27.Kd2 Qd4+; 28.Ke2 Qe5+; 29.Kd2 Qd4+; 30.Ke2 Qe5+, etc.
        This is, of course, a draw by repetition. ].  


27...Qd4+28. Qe3[],  {Diagram?}
This move has got to be forced. 

     [ 28.Ke2!? Qe5+; 29.Kf2 Qd4+; only repeats the position.].  


28...Qxa129. Qe4!,  (Nice.) 
Threatening PxP/f7+, followed by QxP/g6+, winning. 

29...Qf6!?;  {Diagram?} 
Time and time again, Black plays the best defense. 

     [ Over the board, I thought I saw a win for White after: 
; (Maybe - '!' Hmmm.)  30.Qc4, I guess this is the best. 

       Some of the alternatives for White are: 
a.)  Not: 30.Rxg6+?? Kh7; 31.Qf4 Kxg6; 32.Qg5+ Kh7; 33.Qxh5+ Kg8;  
             34.Qg6+ Qg7; "-/+"  Black gets back to defend, and wins easily. 

       b.)  or 30.Qd5!? Rf6; 31.f4, "~" {Probably "unclear"} 

       c.)  But not: 30.Qf4? Rf6; 31.Qh6 Qd4+; 32.Kf1 Qd1+; 33.Kf2 Qxc2+
f4; "=/+"  ... when maybe Black is a little better here.

       Returning to the main analysis line of, 29...f5!?; 30. Qc4, we have: 
       30...Qf6; 31.Rg5!?, "~"  but could not find it at home. 
       (This position might be, "+/=", or even equal.) 


       Also interesting is: 31.Rh3!?, "~"  A fascinating position. Five different 
       strong  programs gave five different evaluations of this position! 

       Also probably playable is: 31.Kg1!?  {Unclear?} 


       Definitely not: 29...Qb2?; (??) 30.exf7+ Rxf7; 31.Qxg6+ Rg7
        (31...Qg7??; 32.Qxh5, "+/-"  32.Qe8+ Kh7; 33.Qxh5+ Kg8
Kh7; 35.Rxg7+ Qxg7; 36.Qh5+ Kg8; 37.Qg5, "+/-"  When 
       White should win the King & Pawn ending without too much trouble.].  


30. exf7+ Kxf731.Rg5! e5[]; {Diagram?} 
I was threatening to take Black's a-pawn. 

     [ Not: 31...Qe6?; 32.Qxe6+ Kxe6; 33.Ke2!, "+/" 
       and White will win a pawn. (Maybe more.) ].  


Now comes a sequence which must be calculated very, very accurately. 
Common sense would say with a Queen and a Rook on the board for each 
side, that one mis-step could be fatal. 
32. Qd5+! Kg733. Qxa5 Qf434. Qc7+ Rf735. Qxd6 Qxh4+
36. Rg3 Qd4+; {Diagram?} 
Pretty much forced. White's Queen was threatening b4, e5, and g6; 
all at the same time. 

     [ Not: 36...Qf6?!; 37.Qxb4, "+/"  (or "+/-")  Or ... 
       Another bad line is:  36...Rf6?; 37.Qe7+ Kh6; 38.Qxe5, "+/-" ].


37. Qxd4 exd438. Ke2!, {Diagram?} 
The only move.  

I have to guard c2. 

     [ 38.Rg5?!, (Maybe - '?')  38...Rc7; 39.Rb5, "+/=" ].  


38...Rc739. Kd2 Kf6; {Diagram?} 
Keeping the King active seems like the best bet. 

     [ Interesting is: 39...Rc3!?; but White comes out on top after - 40.Rh3!
(40.a5? d3; 41.cxd3 Rxb3; "~"  is less clear.)   and now 40...d3
; 42.Rxc3 bxc3+; 43.Kxc2, "+/-"
and White should win ... 
        the K + P ending relatively easily. ]. 


40. f4!, {Diagram?} 
The most accurate. 

This move is a violation of principle, as White exchanges pawns and breaks 
up his own pawn formation. But in the process, he activates his Rook! 

     [ Not as good is: 40.Rh3!? Rc3; 41.Rh1 d3; 42.cxd3 Rxb3
       43.Rh4, "+/"
{Diagram?}  White should be better, but it is 
       not 100% clear that he is winning. ].  


40...Kf541. Rg5+!, {Diagram?} 
Keeping the Rook active. 

     [ Horrible is: 41.Rf3?,  making the most important piece in this ending, 
        a bored bystander. ].  


41...Kxf442. Rxg6, "+/-"  {decisive} 
White is winning now. 

42...h4!; {Diagram?} 
Stubborn defense.

43. Rg8!, (correct)
White puts Black in Zugzwang. 

     [ A line I calculated over the board was: 43.Rb6? Ke4; 44.Rxb4 Rg7
Rxg2+; 46.Kc1 h3, "/+" Black is probably much better! ].  

43...Rc544. Rd8! Ke4; {Diagram?} ("Never say die!") 
Black puts a lot resistance into this ending, even offering me a draw right 
around here. 

     [ 44...Ke5; 45.Rh8 Rc3; 46.Rh5+ Ke6; 47.Rxh4, "+/-" ].  


45. Rh8!, {Diagram?}
The most accurate. 

     [ Not 45.Rb8 Rg5; 46.Rxb4?? (46.Re8+!?).   46...Rxg2+; 47.Kc1 h3
h2; 49.Rh8 Rg1+; 50.Kb2 h1Q; 51.Rxh1 Rxh1; "-/+" 
       as Black should win. ].  


45...Rg546. Rxh4+ Kd5;  
White's Rook is now forced into total passivity. 

47. Rh2
My Rook is forced to a very poor square.  

Black continues to defend this ending very staunchly. 

48. a5!
A nice decoy sacrifice. 

Black gets his King closer to the dangerous a-Pawn. 


          [ Definitely NOT :  48...Rxa5??; 49.Rh4+ Kf5; 50.Rh5+
                           (White wins the Black Rook.)  

  White just made use of a nice tactic to win material.  (my-bg_3-1.gif, 25 KB)
Analysis Position after, 50...Rh5+.

            "+/-" (The "Skewer," or "X-Ray" Attack.) ].  


49. a6,  (Maybe - '!') 
"White's got a runner." (street-corner chess) 

White's a-pawn can actually be attacked and won by Black. But this would 
be a decoy action, as the time consumed in this effort would lose the game 
for Black. 

     [ Poor is: 49.Kd3? Rg3+; 50.Kd2 Rg6; 51.Kd3?? Rg3+
Rg6; "=" {Diagram?} which is a draw by repetition. ]. 


Black is almost in Zugzwang. 

     [ Winning the a-pawn costs too much time. I.e., 49...Rg6; 50.a7 Ra6
Rxa7; 52.Rh5+ Ke6; 53.Kxd4, "+/-" ].  


50. Rh5+ Ke451. Rh4+ Kd552. g4, {Diagram?}
A very important advance, giving White some much-needed space. 

Black slowly runs out of good moves. 

[Black is being forced back by Zugzwang, or the lack of good moves.] 

     [ 52...Kc6; - '?!/?'  53.Kd3, "+/-"  Or  52...Ke4; 53.g5+ Kd5;  {Box?} 
        (Probably bad is: 53...Ke5; 54.Kd3 Rxg5; 55.a7 Rg3+; 56.Kc4 Rg8
Ke4; 58.Ra5, "+/-"   54.Kd3 Rxg5; 55.Rxd4+ Kc5
, ("+/-") This wins for White. ].  


53. Kd3 Rd754. g5! Kf555. Rxd4 Ra756. Rd5+;  and ... 
Black [finally] Resigns.  (1-0) 

     [ 56.Rxb4!?


I will play 57. Ra5, and then march my King up and win Black's b-Pawn. 

The reason I was relieved when Black finally resigned is that he seemed very determined not to lose. He used almost all of his time in both time controls. At one point Black's resolve could almost be felt, like a tangible force. It took a nearly super-human effort for me to overcome it. (And some good technique!) 

A game both players can be proud of. 

  Copyright (c) {LM} A.J. Goldsby I 

  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 1995-2008. 
  Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2009. All rights reserved.  

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