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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bundesliga 2012-13 Rd10,GM Rapport(HUN)

TWIC 955
GM Rapport won a long hard endgame in the Bundesliga, rd10. The endgame is of particular interest.

Rapport,R (2621) - Zaragatski,I (2460) 
4.e3 Bb4 5.Qc2 [A28]
Bundesliga 2012–13 Bremen GER (10), 24.02.2013

Position 1
Some complex middlegame play has led to the following tense and unbalanced position. White has won a pawn but then ending is not straight forward.

White to Play


A systematic assessment of the position is required to understand the needs of each side.

For white:
A simple pawn count is not enough to asses the position. Although white is a pawn ahead the problem is that there are two sets of doubled pawns. 
  • The doubled f-pawns are not weak and do a good job of protecting the king. However, the broken structure makes them immobile and the kingside will have trouble producing a passed pawn
  • The doubled c-pawns are also not weak. They are part of a group of three and can easily protect each other.
  • The bishop is a strong piece compared to the knight as play is spread out over the whole board.
For black:

  • Ra2 and Ne2 are very active and spread chaos behind the ranks. The knight attacks c3 and holds up the f-pawns.
  • Ra8 is not active
  • The pawn structure is sound and white's rooks have trouble penetrating black's position.
  • The a-pawn is potentially very useful as a source of counterplay but for now ...a5 is not possible.
What do you recommend for white?

Position 2
The position has simplified down to a complex RB-RN ending.

White to Play


Now is a good time to absorb the flavor of the position. The ending favors white because
  • The play is spread out over the whole board which favors the long-range bishop.
  • The knight is unstable on e5(the f4 advance is easy to prepare)
  • White's pawns are easy for the king to defend and the doubled f-pawns are not weak.
  • Black's passed a,c pawns are easy to defend against as black is poorly placed to support their advance.
What do you recommend for white?

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