domenica 29 aprile 2018

Today or Tomorrow

Tatev Abrahamyan – Nazí Paikidze
58th U.S. Women’s Chess Championship; Saint Louis, April 28, 2018
4r1k1/R4pp1/Nr5p/4q3/Rp1pn3/1P5P/2P2PP1/4Q1K1 w - - 2 33

Position after 32. ... Rb8-e8

Nazí Paikidze kept alive her last minute chances of becoming U.S. Women’s Chess Champion thanks to a miraculous turnaround in her game against Tatev Abrahamyan. 33. Nxb4 Rg6? Paikidze didn’t need a draw after all, so she takes all risks even at the cost of losing the game. Perhaps, under other circumstances, she would have been content with 33. ... Nc5 34. Qxe5 Rxe5 35. Nd3 Nxd3 36. cxd3 Re1+ 37. Kh2 Re2 38. Rxd4 Rf6 with a draw in sight. 34. Ra8 Rxa8 35. Rxa8+ Kh7 36. Ra6 f6 37. Nd3 Qf5. The most Black has obtained is not enough. There is only one hope for Paikidze: her opponent has only one minute and thirty seconds left. 38. Ra5? And here is Abrahamyan’s drama. 38. Qe2! would have left White a clear (passed) Pawn up with a win in sight. Now there follows a spectacular coup de théâtre: 38. ... Qf3! 39. Qf1 Nd2 40. Ne1? The last move before time control is also White’s last move of the game. However, now after 40. Kh1! Qc6! 41. Qg1 Qxc2 it is Black who remains a clear (passed) Pawn up with excellent winning prospects. 40. ... Qd1 0 : 1.

Nazí Paikidze. Photo: Eric Rosen.

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