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World Cup 2005 r6.2

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Too busy for details, will get to the topic backlog tomorrow. Finally some news as Aronian beat Bacrot to move into the final. All the other relevant matches are going to tiebreaks. Carlsen-Malakhov was the only full-bodied game of the three.

France Surrenders! Thanks so much to Bacrot for resigning and forcing us to look up and/or figure out the way to win that endgame position instead of playing it out. I know that the stronger side should win if the pawns are five files apart as they are here, but doesn't the black h-pawn change anything?

From the final position 51.Kf4 h5 is not easy to crack. The h-pawn will arrive on h4 and be a nuisance. The black king can play to d7 to stop the white king from penetrating on the queenside. If White then plays f6+ the pawn is on a dark square and can't be protected by the bishop. White can't set up a barrier with pawn on f6 and bishop on e6 because the h-pawn will deflect the bishop so the king can get to the f-pawn. Looks drawn to me, but I just woke up.

Update: Some have suggested that the score of the game is wrong, always a thought when these things happen. If the pawn is still on f4 things change, of course. 50.Kf3 looks much stronger. (But it's still probably drawn, see below.) As for the diagrammed position, other sources seem to agree it's drawn, including GM Shipov over at chesspro.ru. But we might be spending time on the wrong position. (Not) Either way, he should have played it out! [Update 2: Diagram is correct final position. Someone in Khanty-Mansiysk looking at the scoresheet confirms 50.f5 Ba7 1-0.]


According to Shipov on chesspro.ru, this is indeed drawn. Maybe white could win without playing the pawn to f5.

Furthermore... If the white king maneuvers around to g4 with the black pawn on h4 and the white bishop on e6 and pawn on f6, black king on f8, white still can't take the h-pawn. Black has two saving squares, f2 and d4 because from d4 he'll capture the f6 pawn with check, so the a-pawn has no time to run. But I hadn't seen that entire trick in my first look, so there may be various other things. Definitely trickier than it looks.

Actually you can just leave your bishop on f2 and shuffle the king, so that's not so much a trick by white as it is an unnecessary risk for black.

How embarrasing this must be for Bacrot, resigning in a drawn position, missing the chanche to be the first world cup winner in chess (new title, isn`t it?).

Can Bacrot send a Takeback 2 message to Kirsan. Kirsan seems he can do whatever he wants.

anyway. I saw this on the game board and was wondering how to win. but I figured well they are GM's so there must be an easy win. I was going to look at it later.

Now I have done some analysis using my Fritz 8 and it shows white having the advantage but no win seems to come up.

A key problem for white is that he has to keep the black bishop off e3. so the king has too many things to do. it can not go over and capture the h pawn or black simply puts the bishop on e3.

I moved some of the suggested moves and the advantage seems to become more at first and then less. and then it seems to get stuck unable to make progress.

I think it is a draw. Certainly too early to resign. make him prove it.

My guess is that Bacrot was tired from all the play. it looked bad and maybe he was almost out of time. I wonder what the clocks showed.

Still Bacrot is over 2700 and hopefully he does not make this mistake too often.

Lucky win for Aronian.


It's Kramnik-Svilder all over again. Svidler also resigned in a drawn bishops of opposite color endgame. Now Bacrot joins that dubious group!

There was some speculation amongst the observers on playchess.com that somehow the reported game score on the official site was incorrect. I couldn't really understand exactly what the claim was or why it was being made, but it had something to do with the white pawn moving to f5, I think they thought Aronian had actually played Kf3 in that position for the win, or something. Hopefully someone else can fill in the details.

Thank's for posting the game acirce!! : )

Yah, 50.Kf3 is certainly much stronger. Make sense to me. I wrote a few people on site there to see if they can confirm the score on the FIDE site.

GM Shipov gives 50.Kf3 Ke7! 51.Ke4 Kd6 52.Kf5 (52.f5 Kc7! 53.f6 Kb6 54.Bf1 Bf8 55.Kf5 Ka7 56.Kg6 Kb6) 52...Kc7! 53.Kg6 Kb6 54.Bf1 (54.Bc8 changes nothing ) 54...Bf8 55.f5 ( 55.Kf7 Bd6 56.f5 h5) 55...Ka7 56.f6 Kb6 and here if white king goes forward, Black pushes h-pawn and draws. So 50. Kf3 also seems drawn.

Aren't opposite colored bishops almost always a draw? Why didn't Bacrot force Aronian to prove the win?

Well, those endings have "strong drawish tendencies", but it's always about being concrete. It seems to be a draw here but in any case Bacrot should have played on, of course. Then again he has already qualified, and all that, but you'd still be expected to try and win the event!

It probably has to do with psychology, kind of like Kasparov resigned his drawn game vs. Deep Blue after being psyched out by the machine. If your opponent creates the impression that he knows what he's doing, or if you believe he "deserves" to win (e.g. after a well-played game by him or a poorly-played one by you), you may start believing the "script" he's feeding you, instead of looking at the position as it actually is.

I think it is a win for white, but will take a while. White's bishop can hold the pawn while the king can walk over to the q-side and force the issue.

Perhaps there is a simpler explanation: Bacrot might have lost on time. It's quite possible that he got so engrossed in the position that he failed to make a move before his bonus time elapsed. It happened to Ivanchuk against Bu, although in that instance, Ivanchuk was winning.


Aronian did win the game. Heine, who is at the site, was told by Aronian himself that Aronian won the game.

Heine was kibitzing on ICC.


there is a French site. that makes sense since Bacrot is French.

the discussion there is apparently very different. I can not read French. but apparently there are some questions about the ending position. and also there is a win for white apparently. the wins are farther down the discussion.


1. Bf1 h5+ 2. Kf4 h4 3. Bh3 Bd4 4. Kg4 Bf2 5. Kh5 Be3 6. Kxh4 Ba7 7. Kg4 Bb8 {1.62/5 } 8. Bf1 Ba7 9. Bc4 Bb8 10. Be6 Ke7 11. Kg5 Kd6 { 1.91/5} 12. Kf6 Ba7 13. Bc8 Bf2 14. Kf7 Be3 15. f6 Ke5 16. Kg7 Bc5 17. f7 Kd5 18. a7 Bxa7 19. f8=Q Bd4+ 20. Kf7 Ke5 21. Qe8+ Kf4 22. Kg6 Kf3 { 9.72/5} 23. Qc6+ Kf2 24. Qe4 Be3 25. Bg4 Kf1 26. Qxe3 Kg2 27. Qf3+ Kg1 28. Bh3 Kh2 29. Qg2# 1-0


1. Bf1 Bb6 2. Bc4 h5+ 3. Kf4 Bc5 4. Be6 h4 5. Kg4 Bf2 6. Kh3 Ke5 7. Bc8 Kf6 8. Kg4 Ke5 9. Kg5 h3 10. f6 h2 11. Bb7 Ke6 12. Kg6 Be3 13. f7 h1=Q 14. Bxh1 Ke7 15. Kg7 Bd4+ 16. Kg8 Kf6 17. f8=Q+ Ke6 18. Qf7+ Kd6 19. Qd5+ Ke7 20. Qxd4 Ke6 21. a7 Kf5 22. a8=Q Kg6 23. Qa5 Kh6 24. Qg7# 1-0

Please hopefully someone who can read French will go find out what happened and come back here and tell us. I certainly want to know what happened and I think many other people are interested also.

this problem is also being discussed on Susan Polgars Web site. that is were I picked up the French site.



I should have said.

Susan Polgars Blog Site

not her web site.

Anyway it is discussed at


The clocks at the World Cup website showed Bacrot had about 8 minutes at the end of the game. Also, it is unlikely Bacrot made the move 50.. Ba7 then resigned before Aronian's next move.

Looks like we won't know what happened until Bacrot or Aronian tell us.


It looks like Black just has to 'track' White's King with his own as White moves his toward the Q-side. The bishop will have to be available to guard f6 to keep the White f-pawn from advancing. It seems like it is a draw.

It's funny, I've been re-reading Dvoretsky's endgame manual, and he has examples where strong players have resigned in drawable positions before. It just happens sometimes.

50.Kf3 is winning....Thas's what probably Aronian played and the site is wrong... I don't believe he both players have come this far and Aronian played 50.f5 and Barcot resigned immediately. Or both players calculated many many moves and saw a win for white and Barcot dissapointed left the game...

On "Jeopardy" today there were was a question about opposite colored bishops often leading to a draw, although the word they used was "opposed", which kind of suggests the opposite situation. It aired too late to help Bacrot, in any case.

What nonsense computer lines from the French site! No credibility at all.
I looked at the whole endgame a bit this morning and here's what I think.
f5? was ridiculous no matter what. It just doesn't make sense to push the pawn which can never be taken (on f4) anyhow. Aronian must have been confident in winning and wanted to "cement" his B+p combo. His confidence must have rubbed off Bacrot in a wrong way. Neither player gave a second of thought to the black king's moves away from f6. Mutual brain lock.
Kf3 does seem stronger, but Shipov's line draws. Would Bacrot have found Ke7-d6? I doubt it. The idea of switching defensive assignments between his K and B never occured to him.
It's important to understand that White's play was also subopar. Aronian blew it with Bf1, rushing his bishop to h3. Instead he had a complicated win beginning with Ke2! to play f4 next.
Backtracking even farther I found out that Bacrot's g5? was a mistake. After Kg5 I couldn't find a win against the best defense. Black plays f5-f4 himself at the appropriate moment and survives by a tempo.
All in all, both players handled the endgame poorly, but it's much easier to give advice from the bench....

Diagram is correct final position. Someone in Khanty-Mansiysk looking at the scoresheet confirms 50.f5 Ba7 1-0

And it was not a time loss?

Carlsen is pushing Malakhov off the board in a must-win rapid game. Great fighting spirit.

No sign that Kamsky can make progress in his game. V-P has the initiative at move 25. Looks like the end for Kamsky, who must win the game if he is to qualify.

Oops. V-P just played 25. h4. Don't like the looks of that. Kamsky might take the initiative in the next couple of moves. Its the decisive moment for Kamsky.

V-P is just not there! His game is disintgrating due to a series of passive moves. This one is going to blitz games.

Has someone found a forced win for white after 50.f5 Ba7 ?? One thing is sure though, there is one pissed-off Frenchman in Siberia!!

Just for the record, someone dropped some random computer moves in the above mentioned thread on France-Échecs but this does not at all represent the conversation. It was started by "Charpentier", a quite strong player (2105 Fide, to be accurate) now mostly interested in problems and endgame studies, who says it all in his first sentence : "I can see no win in the final position". There were several tries but nothing convincing, most people agreed with him after a few messages. As you can imagine, when even a site like this one, where nobody cares about the French players except to underline their losses and make ridiculous puns, at last mentions Bacrot, there were many comments about that endgame on the French forum (the thread has reached 200 comments by now).


Whether someone can find a forced win for white or not is irrelevant. The very question is enough to merit continuation of the game, especially at these FIDE time controls. It is possible that he flagged, as I recall a relay situation similar to my possible scenario several years ago. Jenn Shahade was playing in the Olympiad and, with a perfectly good position, suddenly apparently resigned! We were all stunned, but later found out that the relay could not keep up with the time control changes and that she had flagged, even with the 30-second increment. (I can't imagine flagging with the increment; hanging mate in 2, of course, but not flagging.) It seems that the final position might indicate that just such a thing has happened: Bacrot plays ...Ba7 quickly, but is too late, and his flag is called. Otherwise, this is outlandish behavior for a world-class GM to acquiesce in such a position, knowing both how difficult such positions are to win and how exceptional technique must be to locate even a forced win.



"As you can imagine, when even a site like this one, where nobody cares about the French players except to underline their losses and make ridiculous puns,"

Amen to that. It's like, when Bacrot makes it to the semi-finals, and all that Chessbase displays, is a picture of the guy he beat:

Yes, they suffer so. It must be a conspiracy. Actually, I noticed that in today's photo report at the FIDE site they have everyone but Kamsky, including his opponent. That's life with amateur journalism.

As for ChessBase, that wasn't my report but you run the photos you get. People are sending those from Siberia; we don't have our own staff there. So if you've already used the two decent shots of Bacrot you have, you run what you've got. Also, running pics of the same people every day because they are winning gets very boring.

What puns? Did I miss a pun?

Well, there was much discussion in France, not long ago, about whether we should celebrate Napoleon's victory in Austerlitz. It is a very famous historical event here, taught in primary schools, in military schools, and so on. To make it (very) short, right-wing politicians said yes while left-wing politicians and oversea French citizens said no (the latter because Napoleon made slavery legal while it had been abolished). To understand what's going on, it is also important to know that France also contributes to commemorating Trafalgar (would you imagine US soldiers going to Vietnam now ?). Your "France surrenders !" in this quite hot context was therefore not greatly appreciated. There were no flamewars either or anything of that kind, it was just noticed as bad taste from you.

Context? You mean the context of Bacrot resigning a drawn position? Or all the completely out of context stuff you just posted? The well-traveled stereotype of the French penchant for premature resignation seemed quite fitting in this case.

That exact phrase is a running joke at the popular offbeat news aggregation site fark.com, which I read. They also regularly make fun of the Duke basketball team and kittens, should you care to post some irrelevant historical facts about those, too.

Maliq you're a clown. Whaddya mean irelevant? We're talking the chess truth here which is higher than everything, your musings included.
My advice to you is study the game of chess in all its aspects, you may find it enjoyable unless you're so full of yourself that you're no longer capable of intellectual pursuit.

What's the use for Bacrot to just play some bishop moves and resign after the white king walks to b7?
If he didn't see his king defensive shift he might as well resigned right away. Which he did.
It makes no sense to blame the time control or speculate about him losing on time cause we know he didn't. He had like 8 minutes left.

Yes, I mean the completely out of context stuff. Mind you, while you make jokes about the supposed French tendency for premature resignation, there are people out there who are seriously trying to set things right. This sentence of yours was just taken for what it is, i.e. stupid. Then we moved on to something else, and it's over. That was just a minor detail in my message above, I said more at your request. I suggest to stop here since it is obviously leading nowhere.

Since everyone here is interested in the beauty of chess truth, or maybe the other way around, a more relevant question would be, given that Bacrot found a brand new way for White to play against a defense that everyone knows is a specialty of Rublevsky that he successfully used against many top GMs, why the Chessbase report turned this into "Sergei Rublevsky was outplayed tactically by France's top GM Etienne Bacrot", period. Oh well, it isn't as if this site were about chess, is it.

Also, Yermo, I assume, since you said "He had like 8 minutes left.", that you have access to more information than us, maybe you are in Khanty-Mansiysk or talked to someone out there ? Of course, like everyone, you know that information about time, and also moves and results for that matter, was wrong several times on the official server.

"The well-traveled stereotype of the French penchant for premature resignation seemed quite fitting in this case.".

Well, the stereotype comes from an historical event that is closer to resigning a Queen down. I mean when fighting an army of 3 millions (joined by Italy) which had already invaded the crucial strategic point Paris, with an ally (UK) which has already withdraw, with many of your pieces at the Maginot border, with 100000 soldiers dead (that is, already, at that time, 1/3 of the total losses of US in entire WWII), you'll need more than the official "deep sympathy" of the self-declared neutral US, if you want to start consider envisioning that you might not share the same fate as the few previoulsy invaded countries (that you failed defend), such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Albania, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, (Finland), Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. I mean, come on, France resisted nearly as long as Iraq in both Gulf Wars. Ooops.

I mean the surrender joke was hilarious the first 100,000 times; funny the next one million times; but it might start to grow older the following one billion times. I mean it's not like people joke all the time about others, like "some Americans are slightly overweight". Hmm...

So now you'll get repetitive, free, tedious incorrect, boring, long, spamming, history lessons by pissed Bacrot's fans (Bacrot, who might have ruined the greatest recent achievement from French chess player). And it's not pride, it's just basically that France is the greatest country in the Universe, really, seriously, no kidding at all. (well except *maybe* for US, I would concede).

Also: "Yes, they suffer so. It must be a conspiracy."

Ah no. But some times, Bacrot seems to get little less than: 'footnote: on a related news, Bacrot won a game'. Most players in this list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_prodigy seem to get more attention.
It sucks to be a Bacrot fan.

At least we know ozhegan can't be French. No true Frenchman would parody arrogance. "I call you stupid, now we move on." I call you a pretentious, humorless git. NOW it's over. What fun.

The phrase "everyone knows" is usually a synonym for "I'm a jackass." Look it up in a good bilingual phrase book. We have the information we have, such as the final position and the clock times. We can fantasize about incorrect scores and clock times too, but assumptions should be made on available information. Of course in such dire circumstances it behooves Bacrot's fans to hope for an exception. You should wait to get the clock times from Bacrot himself, of course. The rest of us will carry on with our lives.

I adore France and am well aware of the occasionally correct factoids posted above. So? Humor is about stereotypes and when reality fits one it is conveniently humorous. I'm sure I joke about fat Americans more than most as well. Big deal. If individuals want to take these devices personally there is nothing anyone can do to stop them except for an appropriately bitter death.

Bacrot got plenty of attention back when he broke the record. But by the time you're 18 you're not going to get much more attention than anyone else if you're not also 2700 (Ponomariov, Leko, Radjabov) or the winner of a big event or two. So he dropped off the map for a while. I wrote about his resurfacing several times, actually. He had by far the longest quiet period of any of the people on that list before hitting the elite. We still don't know if Bu will make it, but we don't hear about him at all either.

Karjakin and Carlsen are still very young and are also winning (Carlsen not as much until this week), so they are flavor of the month. If Carlsen isn't 2700 by the end of 2008 he'll be off the radar too. And we'll have a new sensation by then I'm sure. Maybe French!

ozheghan, zargev et. al.,

Whether you like it or not, parodying the French and making jokes about the French is the bread and butter of modern comedy. French accent and surrender/frog/baguette references are the stone pillars on which 20th century humour stands.

From Monty Python in UK to Eli Yatzpan in Israel, everyone knows that. This is your cross to bear, guys, so might as well accept it. Really, it's a small price to pay for being zee greatest country in zee world.

Au Revoire, mon amis!

Bacrot had a fantastic tournament, and his game with Rublevsky stands out as totally brilliant.
I never said Bacrot was a bad player, but he did play that ending poorly (and so did Aronian).
As Tarrasch said, it's not enough to be a good player, you also have to play well.

Well, actually I am indeed not a "true Frenchman". I just happen to live in France and have French as a mothertongue, unlike English, as Mig so subtly noticed. Also, I did not call *you* stupid, but the sentence you used is utterly stupid.

I am not hoping for an exception, or anything like that. I perfectly well know that Bacrot lost, and probably in a drawn position. Since the fact that this position is drawn is clear for players who are far below his level, like me, I find it very surprising and I am trying to understand what happened to a player who demonstrated such a great technical level in previous games. You know, I know, ev... er, many people know that there were errors on the server, and that there are errors in game scores every so often in all tournaments. It is therefore normal to wonder if this was the case. As for technical explanations, if I need more, maybe I can ask 15-year-old GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, or 11-year-old FM Jules Moussard.

To clarify something, I do not define myself as a Bacrot fan. I was pleased to see him make it to this level, and I find it impressive that, even though he was in by rating, he also made it by playing. He is the only one to do that. I was glad, too, when he replied to Grischuk's doubts regarding his level in the best possible way, i.e. by beating him. This does not make me a fan, and he is not even among the players whose styles I like best. Ironically enough, I would be inclined to include Grischuk among those. I am expecting two interesting games in the next days.

Alex, I actually have the Monty Python's Holy Grail, complete with the ridiculous French knights and all, in my DVD collection, and it is one of the most hilarious movies I know. But the Monty Pythons, who were English, worked to make good jokes and good shows, and they had a lot of talent, if not money, at that time. I watched American shows, I read American sites, and they are nowhere like that. As someone would say, it is not enough to know good jokes, you also have to be funny. Actually, if you know really good ones, I am interested. Even if there are jokes about surrendering frogs in them, provided they are funny.

Two baguettes are baking in the oven of a Parisian bakery.
One says "Is it really hot in here, or is it just me?"
The other says "Wow, a talking baguette!"

Sorry. I had to. It was bad of me. I won't do it again.

Alex, maybe your posts in this thread are the result of $MS AI Humor v1.0 ? (or did I miss some optional setting of our german friend ?) Then, but only then, you are excused...

-poisoned pawn (non-french if that helps...)

About Bacrot, it's true that he had a long plateau,
. I hope he can recover (and Grichuk too, from his semi-rapid losses), so both can prove their strength.

In Dortmund, after starting with 2 losses, Bacrot managed to finish 2nd (along with about half players) - likewise if he manage to finish 3rd in FIDE Cup, it will be a great achievement. Well, ok, if, in addition, he shaves and stops looking like a homeless. Bonus points if he dates a Chess Beauty(tm) or the like -- he could make it to front pages.

As for humor about French, I would say that the only vaguely offensive joke is the "surrender joke" [and then only done by someone from US], which is why, I guess, it is funny. And British humor with its small touch of non-sense and aristocratic subtlety, is automatically pardoned


Well, Yermo, being that I am in grad school and intend to be a professor eventually, I hopefully have not exhausted all interest in intellectual pursuits! What I was referring to with my comment about the forced win is that it is irrelevant whether or not a technical win could eventually be found. One does not resign a position like this based upon some far-off technical win that is not at all evident, and being that people have been unable to find such a technical win even in the extra time and use of computers, resignation is certainly odd. I am not talking about the ultimate truth of the position, because ultimate truth is not always what decides a game in the competitive arena, as you yourself discussed in your book. There is such a thing as a proper time to resign, and Bacrot had clearly not hit such a time yet when he threw in the towel.




To me it appears you have just repeated the same point you have made. I didn't see any new arguments.

Maybe you didn't understand what Yermo said. Let me rephrase it:

Bacrot thought White had a forced win and so he (appropriately in this situation) resigned. Aronian thought he was winning as well. They were both wrong. Position is a dead draw. That's all there is to it.

Good luck in your grad school studies. You appear to be quite dedicated to them (judging from what you mentioned here), therefore I am sure you will succeed.

Zarghev does make an apt point. When France surrendered, further resistance was pointless. The Germans had won the war, and the only question was how much devastation would be rained upon the French. The stereotype of the "quick to surrender" French seems to stem from a conflation of facts. The French did indeed succumb quickly once the real fighting started. Moreover, given the balance of forces, France acquitted herself quite poorly. The French military ended up willingly collaborating with the Germans.

Most of the deficiencies of the French can be attributed to the General Staff officer corps, not to the cowardice of the foot soldier on the ground. The "Poilu" generally fought with courage, and did not surrender until ordered to do so.

The whole point of the Blitzkrieg was to gain a decisive victory with a minimum of prolonged combat. Communincation lines were severed, and the Command and Control of the French military forces was disrupted. This led to unit being thrown into the fray in a piecemeal fashion, whereupon the Germans did have an overwhelming tactical advantage. Once French units were surrounded in a German "Kessel", the only real alternative was whether to surrender or get blown to bits.

If the French have now acquired the reputation as being a people who are inept in the military arts, the blame for the ineptitude should be fairly attributed. Make fun of the French Generals, if you will--but stop maligning the poor Poilu...

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 13, 2005 8:21 AM.

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