Saturday, 26 April 2008


When I saw this chess game yesterday I felt really sorry for Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

The chess board shows the finishing position from a game between Mamedyarov and Peter Svidler from the first round of the FIDE Grand Prix currently being played in Baku.

When I first saw it, I thought that Svidler must have resigned. Mamedyarov is a bishop and a knight ahead for a start and at grand master level a single pawn is enough to tip the odds.

Added to which Mamedyarov has some nasty little threats he can unleash.

For a start there is Bh6 trapping the black king in the corner. Black can't move his f pawn forward to release his king because of white's pawn on e5. And after moving his bishop white can bring his a rook across to d1 and force the exchange of rooks.

Mamedyarov's other lovely move is Nf6 forking the black king and bishop but, more importantly, revealing an attack on black's a rook by the white bishop on f3. That's just a killer!

But then I looked at white's king all the way up the board on a6 and I thought "wtf"! The last few moves of the game were 21... Bc8+ 22.Kb5 Bd7+ 23.Ka6 Bc8+ 24.Kb5 Bd7+ 25.Ka6 draw. In other words Svidler escaped with a draw by perpetual check. Mamedyarov's only way to avoid the perpetual check would be to move his king to b4 but then he would be checkmated by a5.

Two pieces ahead with all those lovely threats just waiting and to have to draw the game. As the title says "Gutted!"

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