Thursday, 11 November 2010

Finding creative ways to draw

The so called 'Sofia' or 'Corsica' rules concerning draw offers have become so widespread in top level tournaments that it is more of a surprise when they are not in effect (eg at the 2010 Olympiad). However one thing I have noticed is that the enforcement of the rules tend not to be black and white, with 'entertaining' repetitions, and shortish games late in a tournament tending to slip by.
When I saw the results from the last couple of rounds of the Tal memorial (9 draws in 10 games), I figured that the organisers had had their pound of flesh and were showing some mercy to the players. Of course this wasn't the case, as most of the games were played to 'exhaustion' or in the case of the game below, ending with a creative perpetual.
If you do take the time to play through this game, the fun stuff starts on move 21, although the computer evaluation quickly hits zero, as the best lines are indeed drawing ones.

Kramnik,V (2791) - Wang Hao (2727) [E10]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (5), 10.11.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.e3 Be7 5.b3 0-0 6.Bb2 Nbd7 7.Nc3 c5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 exd5 10.Be2 Qa5+ 11.Qd2 Qxd2+ 12.Kxd2 Nf6 13.Bd3 b6 14.Rac1 Be6 15.Ng5 Bd7 16.Rc2 a5 17.dxc5 bxc5 18.Ba3 h6 19.Nf3 Ne4+ 20.Bxe4 dxe4 21.Ne5 a4 (D)
22.Bxc5 Bxc5 23.Rxc5 axb3 24.Nxd7 Rfd8 25.Rd5 Rdc8 26.Rb1 Rc2+ 27.Ke1 Raxa2 28.Rxb3 Re2+ 29.Kd1 Rxf2 30.Rb8+ Kh7 31.Nf8+ Kg8 32.Ng6+ Kh7 33.Nf8+ Kg8 34.Ng6+ Kh7 ½-½

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