Draughts analysis by Wieger Wesselink

Georgiev,A. - Schwarzman,A. 1-1 2009.06.11

The match for the world championship looks like a boxing match. Just like in games 1 and 2 Schwarzman dealt some very heavy blows to his opponent. But once again he was not able to throw the knockout punch. Judging the extreme risks that Georgiev is still taking, one starts wondering if this is all part of a deliberate plan. It is well known that Schwarzman is a phenomenal blitz player, and maybe this is an ingenious attempt by Georgiev to tire his opponent before the tie-breaks start.

1.33-29 17-22 2.39-33 11-17 3.44-39 6-11 4.50-44 1-6 5.31-26 16-21 6.32-28 19-23 7.28x19 14x23 8.35-30 10-14 9.30-24 5-10 10.37-31 20-25 11.24-20 15x24 12.29x20

diagram 1
diagram 1

22-27(!) A less known variation in the complicated Keller opening. The advantage of playing this move now instead of after 14-19 13.20-15 10-14 14.41-37 and then 22-27 15.31x22 17x28 16.33x22 18x27 17.26x17 12x21 (like in the 4th game) is that white does not have the opportunity to disturb the black center using the exchange 18.34-30 25x34 19.40x18 13x22.

13.31x22 17x28 14.26x17 12x21 15.33x22 18x27 16.41-37 8-12 17.39-33 12-18 18.44-39 2-8 19.20-15 14-19 20.37-31 8-12 21.31x22 18x27 22.46-41 10-14 23.41-37 12-18 24.37-31 3-8 25.31x22 18x27 26.42-37 8-12 27.34-29 23x34 28.40x29 19-23 29.29x18 12x23 Schwarzman has won the battle in the center, and therefore a logical continuation would now be 30.37-31 to gain some terrain back after 23-28 31.33x22 27x18 32.31-27 21x32 33.38x27.

30.45-40 7-12 31.40-35 12-18 32.39-34 11-16 33.33-29!? Georgiev starts an extremely dangerous surrounding strategy. It's like he feels that he cannot lose during this match.

14-19 34.47-42 6-11 An alternative plan was 23-28! Then white has to make a difficult choice. First of all 35.43-39? is prohibited due to 28-32 36.37x28 27-31 37.36x27 21x43 38.49x38 18-23 39.29x18 13x44 B+. And 35.35-30(?) looks very dangerous after 28-33! 36.29-24 (not 36.15-10? 33x35 37.10-5 due to 19-23 B+) 33-39 and white has no better option than 37.24-20 25x14 38.34-29 21-26 39.43x34 27-31 40.36x27 18-23 41.29x18 13x31 with good opportunities for black to force a break-through on white's left wing. Finally after 35.37-32 28x37 36.42x22 18x27 black is in total control of the position.

35.35-30 Georgiev sticks to his plan. With this move he voluntarily obstructs the development of his own right wing, which is very risky under the given circumstances.

27-32! 36.38x27 21x41 37.36x47 23-28! Schwarzman attempts to give the obstruction of the right white wing a permanent character.

38.42-37 11-17 39.48-42 17-21! It's clear that Schwarzman is determined to win this time. Both 16-21? 40.29-23! 18x40 41.49-44 40x38 42.42x11 25x34 and 18-23 40.29x18 13x22 41.43-38! would give white opportunities to escape.

40.37-31 18-23 41.29x18 13x22 42.31-26 21-27 43.43-38 16-21 44.26x17 22x11 45.49-43

diagram 2
diagram 2

11-17? After this move Georgiev will escape in a miraculous way. During the live chat Rein Halbersma noted: "On the 45th move, black could have played the almost certainly winning 9-13! After 46.43-39 11-16, the white game plan 47.38-33 is then prohibited by 19-23 48.33x31 23-29!! 49.34x23 and 25x43. So white has to play 47.42-37 13-18 48.38-33 18-22. The only way for white to prevent from grinding down is 49.37-31 27x36 50.33-29 28-32 51.47-41 36x47 52.29-24 47x20 53.15x13 with a lost endgame." However for human players it's quite hard to see why the move played by Schwarzman isn't winning too.

46.43-39! 9-13 After 19-23 white has only a narrow path leading to a draw by 47.30-24! 28-32 (and not 9-13? 48.38-33! and suddenly black is in a lot of trouble) 48.38-33! 17-22 and now the unexpected 49.47-41!! 27-31 50.42-38 32x43 51.39x48 22-27 52.33-29! 23-28 53.41-36 31-37 54.24-19 27-31 55.36x27 37-41 56.27-21 etc. And after 28-32 47.38-33! white can make a draw in a similiar way as in the game.

To illustrate how difficult it can be to win a game of draughts: Rein Halbersma found out using Kingsrow that white can even play 47.38-33! 28-32 48.33-28!! (it takes a twisted mind to consider such moves) 23-29 (also insufficient is 27-31 49.28x26 23-29 50.34x23 25x43 51.42-38 43x32 52.23-18 32-38 53.26-21 17x26 54.18-12 with a draw) 49.28x37 29x40 50.39-34 40x29 51.30-24! 29x20 52.15x24 and white has enough compensation for the lost piece to escape with a draw.

47.38-33! 28-32 And not 17-22? 48.42-37! after which all the advantage is gone.

48.33-29! 17-21 49.42-38 32x43 50.39x48 21-26 51.48-42 27-31 52.47-41 13-18 53.42-38 18-22 54.41-36 22-27 55.38-33 31-37 56.29-24 19-23 and an undoubtedly disappointed Schwarzman agreed with a draw.

© Wieger Wesselink http://10x10.org