Tuesday 24 March 2020

Never ending knights

Of all the single piece chess endings, knight endings can often be the most torturous. They, along with Queen endings, are usually the longest endings to play, as the side with an advantage often needs to keep manoeuvring before creating a winning position.
The opportunity to keep 'pushing' in knight endings is also helpful, as defending when tired is often harder than converting when tired. And this was demonstrated at the 2020 Candidates last night when Giri squeezed a win out of a drawn knight ending against Alekseenko. A Queen and Knight ending was reached on move 27, but the game went for another 70 moves. The fatal mistake came on move 89, after it looks as though Alekseenko had found a clever way to draw.
The win by Giri is the first in this (or even the last) event, and brings him back to 50%. However Ian Nepomniachtchi has now jumped out to a full point lead, after a win over the fading Liren Ding.

Alekseenko,Kirill (2698) - Giri,Anish (2763) [C54]
FIDE Candidates Tournament chess24.com (6.2), 23.03.2020

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