Chess Candidates 2014 – Day 8 – An Immortal Move

Chess Candidates 2014 – Day 8 – An Immortal Move


Hello everybody, it’s jrobi! Got round 8 coverage
here, and we only had one win today and it was a memorable
win! We had — basically one of the most — well probably the most beautiful endgames played
in the Candidate Tournament so far. And this will
be one that will probably be around for a long, long, long time!
In fact, I am just going to go ahead and call it an immortal move! And one of the reasons
why — I was actually fortunate enough to be watching the
stream this morning, and — I kid you not, nobody saw this move!
None of the commentators, there were various Grandmasters around the world tweeting out
as the action was taking place, and nobody saw this! Now, this
was Peter Svidler, he was playing the white pieces, and he was
playing against Karjakin. And, we got to this position here. So Mr. Svidler just put his
rook onto G7, and I kid you not, nobody in the Twitter-verse
or even on the stream itself considered the move that was about to
be played by Mr. Karjakin. And if anybody tells you different, or if you are reading
on chess blogs and they’re like “Oh yeah this move was you know
the best looking move out there!” No! No! [laughs] That is
not how it went down, and if anyone tries to tell you differently, they are full of
crap! And let’s just talk a little bit about the complexity of
this position. First and foremost, the computers … couldn’t even
see it! And when you plug the first move into your computer, it still can’t really see it.
And it kind of draws some interesting endgame things, and
I learned a few things watching the stream today. They did a
really great job covering some of the alternative moves. They actually thought that Mr. Svidler
by playing this move, leading up to this move, had achieved
a draw. So we are actually going to take a look at the draw
line they came up with first. So the draw line that they came up with was they believed
Mr. Karjakin was going to take the Rook on G7. And the line
would go as follows: Bishop recaptures Rook here on G7. And from
here now, Karjakin in their line would play pawn to G4. So we are getting ready to try
and promote this pawn. And we get a series of moves here, one
of the most important ones is King to D2, and we get into a
position I thought was super, super instructional from the people that were doing the commentary.
I can’t remember their names off the top of my head,
I should have wrote them down, but you guys can find them out on
the Candidates website. I believe one of the commentators is Magnus Carlsen’s second, and
the quality of their commentary has improved a lot. Like
in the very beginning of the Candidates Tournament, I felt that
the lady was being a little bit overpowered by the gentleman there, he kept over-talking
her and cutting into her ideas, and stuff like that. But, that
seems to have changed a lot over the last few rounds, and that’s
good. But anyway, he said a couple things that were really awesome! So anyway we get
into this structure here, so you know black they figured would
need to take care of some of these pawns. White’s response of
course would be to let one drop. And then get into a structure like this so that those
pawns are pretty much permanently there unless the black King comes
over there. And if the black king goes all the way over there,
it vacates any chance of promotion over here. And you will notice that black has a light-square
Bishop — oops — let me go back there. You will notice
black has a light-square Bishop, and the promotion square is
dark-square. And white has the dark-square Bishop. So what they were thinking of for
the drawing line is that white could create a fortress. Which
basically looks like this. So the Bishop comes down, onto G1.
The King has absolutely no way to access the position. So this king — basically — unless
it comes all the way around this way, and comes in through
here to get the Bishop, it is not going to be able to get it. If
the King peels off to try to deal with these pawns, well then white snags up the pawns
and will probably sack its own Bishop to basically secure the draw.
So, it could look something like this. And it just goes on and
on and on. So that’s the line that they thought that the game was heading for. Everybody pretty
much thought it was leading into a draw. Mr. Karjakin
played a really good game, and right before they went for
break, let’s just see if I still have this here — let me see — I am just doing this
free-form by the way — yeah we are getting pretty close — this is
just my own analysis notes here — see if I can find it — maybe
I already found it — yeah I already found it, it was back a little bit farther. Maybe
even farther than that. Okay! Right here! In this position they
thought it was a pretty drawish position too. And right
before the break, the time break, Karjakin played this move. He played pawn to F4, check!
And if we go back one move, you will notice that white has pretty
much successfully closed the position down completely. It is
defending everything it needs to defend. The Bishop here on G5 is well placed. Black’s
Bishop is kind of out of place here sitting on H5, its really
only got access along this light-square diagonal. The Rooks are
on both sides of the camp, so they can defend the base pawns. So like, really — you know
— even from this position they were already talking about a
draw. And literally seconds, you can go watch the recording of
the stream, literally seconds before the time break, BOOM! That move was played! And nobody
saw this move coming. But basically what this move did is
it sacrificed the pawn, which by the way if you did a quick
material count before the move black was already up a pawn. So it sacrificed the pawn and opened
things up to get these Rooks into the action. And this
was kind of a risky move but we have to remember Karjakin’s
placing in the standings here isn’t super great, so he’s playing to win and if it means
playing some risky chess he is going to do it and obviously he
did! Because once things opened up, we basically got to the
position here — I am just going to quickly flip through the moves here. But a series
of moves got us to the position where even the commentators you know
still thought we were in a very drawish ending here. So you
know the Rook trade didn’t happen, King goes to C3. So we are getting to that initial position
here. Rook goes to E8. Swings over now, hits the check.
Check is blocked and gets ready to take that pawn because the
Bishop is supporting it here. And that led us to this position here. And even here they
thought it was a draw. And we have already looked at the draw
ending, but let’s take a look at what actually happened in the
game which was even more brilliant. And once again, if anyone says that they saw this move
coming, you call them out on that! Because nobody was mentioning
it! I think on the stream, I think it came in on the
Twitter feed and the people doing the commentary were like “Yeah you know let’s take a look
at this, maybe it’s a creative idea.” or whatever and sure
enough it was the winning move! But Karjakin obviously didn’t
have any computer assistance or whatever. He had played almost six hours, maybe even
more than six hours and he found this move. And the computers couldn’t
even find this move! Unbelievable! Unbelievable! It’s just
awesome! Okay let’s take a look at the move. We have talked enough about it already [laughs].
Okay, so we have a Rook sacrifice! The Rook comes in and
takes the Bishop on D4! Nobody really saw this coming!
Because to actually calculate what you need to do to still win this game as black — you
can pause the video right now and see if you can visualize the
sequence of moves that is actually going to be required to still
win this position because it is not easy! It is quite in-depth! And to find that this
move was winning is remarkable! In fact, like I said you can throw
this into your engines and probably 99% of you will realize
even that the engines after this capture does not see a win here for black! I don’t even
think it recommends the next move but I can’t remember the computer
analysis. On these types of things I am trying not to use
too much engine analysis. So like when I am watching the stream I don’t have my engine
going. I am pretty sure that what had happened — whoever found
the move online — I am pretty sure what had happened was either
A. They have a chess mind as brilliant as Karjakin’s or they were just trying alternative
lines to see what the computer would say, 3 to 4 moves deep.
Because once you get a few moves into here, you will see the
computer wakes up and says “Oh yeah! Yeah! We can actually win this position!” but it
takes awhile. Okay, so let’s just continue on here. So, obviously
the King captures. What’s black’s next move? Well, black
pushes the pawn on B7 to b6 taking it away from the Rook immediately and also preventing
any kind of pawn push here on the C pawn right away. Black
wants to limit the mobility of these white pawns as much as
possible because we still have a pawn race to take care of here. And black is technically
you know at a slight disadvantage piece wise. It doesn’t
have its Rook anymore, right? So anyway let’s take a look here.
So King goes over to C3. If we go back a move, really that’s the only move that lets the
King have any kind of influence on the promotion square because
the Bishop is covering here and the King is covering here and
the Bishop is covering here. So really the best move here is King to C3. From here now
we gain opposition as Black. On the stream they called it shouldering
the King but basically we are creating the barrier,
gaining opposition. The king can’t penetrate into the position from either D4 or D2. So
the black king has done its job there. From here now the Rook
goes over the D7, attacking the pawn. Black is just going to let
that pawn drop, because now it’s got that move, it’s got that tempo now pushes the pawn
to G4. Rook captures pawn, pawn gets pushed again but look at the
position here. Bishop’s covering E6. Okay so the Rook can’t
come in and hit a check at all. So really the only way the Rook is going to get into
this position is on the D-file. That is the only way it is going to
get in. And all this time that white has to take to you know —
bring its pieces into the action — this pawn continues to march down! Now in this position,
you can’t even hit any Rook checks here to slow things down,
to get your pieces moving around a little bit because you know
technically white could deliver a series of checks with the Rook here to see what happens
with the King maybe get something out of there, but that’s even
taken away from Mr. Svidler because the Bishop is eyeballing D3
here! So the Rook comes down obviously to D1, got to stop that promotion. And from here
now there’s a number of ways black can win from this position.
Black can immediately start to take over the King if it
wants to, but from here now Karjakin pushes the pawn to G5. Because he has got all these
assets so he wants to bring them closer to the board. Here goes
the King to F2. And white’s trying to mobilize its pawns, get
them up there as fast as it can however it’s got that pesky pawn here on A6 it’s got to
get past that first! Obviously black is closer. Black promotes.
White has no choice, has to take that off the board. And now
the white pawns come. Well after the first capture, it’s a little bit of a pawn race
here. However, there’s one problem — we have the light-square Bishop
here still for black, so what ends up happening in the game —
these are the actual moves now — is that although white does get one square to promotion,
black gets its Queen! And even after promotion now that we
have got a Queen and a Bishop on the table, plus a King,
basically Karjakin is going to be able to maneuver this King to get it onto the B-file
and take care of that Queen. And this is how he does it. Queen check.
King goes to D4. Queen check again. King goes over now
to C4. What’s the difference between C4 and the last square that it was on? Light-square
diagonal! Queen is taking care of this square, Queen is taking
care of this square, this square, check! It’s got to go on
this file now and this is actually where the game ended because once the Queen comes in
for that check here on B3, the Queen drops here and it is game
over. So like I mean guys … it was a beautiful endgame! It was
absolutely beautiful and the computers had absolutely no clue! So that is why this video
is called “Humans>Computers!” because the creativity and ingenuity
of Karjakin today … nobody expected it! I am not saying
Karjakin is like, you know, the super god-mode of chess, for all we know another Grandmaster
might have been able to find it if they were under the same
playing conditions, but there is nobody that can take this way
from him. This one is going to last a long, long, long time in chess history! So take
care, thanks for watching the video even though it’s kind of
rough and kind of free-form, hope you enjoyed it and we will see
you for the next round!

15 thoughts on “Chess Candidates 2014 – Day 8 – An Immortal Move

  1. Beautiful exchange sac. Did Karjakin calculate everything all the way to the end or was it completely intuitive?

  2. I set this position up in chess pro app on my iPhone 5S and it immediately suggested Rxd4 (in less than a second).

    Depth 25 -4.92.

    Interestingly, this was the only move the engine suggested even though I have it set to display the 4 best possible moves.

    It considered the rook exchange for a split second as the second preferred move but Immediately revoked it in favor of the exchange sac.

    Your point is very well taken tough! Extremely difficult move to find and almost impossible for someone like me to comprehend.

    One thing we can all unanimously agree upon, you make great chess videos 🙂

  3. my engine woke on 65… b6 When I first saw the position uncovering I said 64… Rxd4, I was alerted by your commentary to an unusual move, but I couldn't give the continuation.

  4. It looks like a Sherlock Holmes quote :
    'How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?' :
    When all logical moves seem to lead to draw ,whatever remains can lead to victory 🙂

  5. Wow, I hate to say it but I actually did think to take the bishop and sacrifice the rook. The bishop was a much bigger problem for black than the rook was, despite the difference in value between the two pieces. Their positioning is what was important here and black figured out that the rook didn't have the time to stop a promotion thanks to where it was stuck, it's funny how much value people place on material in a game when the most important art of chess is actually positioning. 

  6. Stockfish finds it, only after 30 plies.

    1. 33 [-5.21]  1…. Rxd4 2.Kxd4 b6 3.Kc3 Ke3 4.Re7+ Be4 5.Rd7 g4 6.Rd1 g3 7.Re1+ Kf3 8.Kd2 g2 9.a4 Kf2 10.Re2+ Kg3 11.Re1 Kh2 12.Ke3 Bf5 13.Kf2 g5 14.Rg1 Be4 15.Ra1 g4 16.Ke3 Bc6 17.Kf4 

  7. But in my humble opinion the Rook sac is not the brilliant move by itself,it´s all the concept that comes with it.Playing b6!! after that is what makes this game so brilliant.Maybe b6 deserves !!!

  8. Perfect realization for Karjakin. Calculating through out the promotion. Hmmmm what happened to Kramnik 🙁

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