GM Ray Robson vs Bartlomiej – USA vs Poland (Chess Endgames: 2 Rooks + Bishops of Opposite Color)

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2012 World Chess Olympiad, Istanbul Turkey

Round 11

USA — Poland

GM Ray Robson 2598 – GM Bartlomiej 2594

In the final round of the fantastic 2012 World Chess Olypiad, the US Men’s Team faced off against the Polish team. Already blocked out of medal contention the US team fought hard to achieve a solid 5th place finish out of 158 teams!

The three favorites Armenia, Russian Federation and Ukraine finished in that order on tie-breaks after China (4th) and the US gave a spirited chase throughout.

In our final match versus Poland, the decisive margin of victory was delivered in two endings that featured 2 rooks + bishops of opposite color. This ending is of special interest to me as in “Win Like KARPOV!” I devote a whole chapter to this “Secret Weapon” which he used to win 10 tournament games over the years including 3 in Hastings 1972 alone!

With white pieces on Board 4, America’s youngest Grandmaster and emerging superstar Ray Robson obtained a small positional advantage right from the opening. When Black offered to exchange queens, Ray willingly obliged as his positional advantage soon translated into a superior 2 rooks + bishops of opposite color where Ray had a dominant bishop on d5.

In Karpov style, Ray played skillfully on both wings and created targets on f7, h7 and b5. With 38.Rd-c6!, Ray forced the exchange of one pair of rooks and then piled on the f7 point with 40.Rf6 and 41.Bd5!

Ray continued his exquisite play on both wings with 44.Rc5! and 45.g6! which finally netted him a decisive material gain with 46.Bxf7 and 47.gxh7. With 53.Rg8 and 54.Rxh8 Ray forced the exchange of bishops leaving him with a technical Rook ending. After a bit of two stepping about, Ray’s excellent 61.h6! paved the way for the pawn sacrifice 69.Rd8 which led to the white king, rook and remaining passed h-pawn simply overpowering the lone black rook.

The companion piece to this 2R+BOOC endgame is Gata Kamsky’s Board Two win from the same round!

Congratulations to the US team for a spirited run at the gold and final round 3-1 victory over Poland. A special thanks to Rex Sinquefeld and the St. Louis Chess & Scholastic Center for their continued sponsorship of the US Men’s and Women’s Olympic Teams!

PGN:

[Event “Olympiad”]
[Site “0:01.44-0:00.02”]
[Date “2012.09.09”]
[Round “11”]
[White “Robson, Ray”]
[Black “Macieja, Bartlomiej”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]
[WhiteElo “2598”]
[WhiteCountry “USA”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[BlackElo “2594”]
[BlackCountry “POL”]
[Remark “Olympiad M 04.4”]
[PresId “1000110044”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qd2
Nf6 8. O-O-O Nxd4 9. Qxd4 Ng4 10. Qb6 Qc6 11. Bd4 e5 12. Be3 Be7 13.
h3 Nxe3 14. Qxe3 d6 15. g3 Qc5 16. Qxc5 dxc5 17. h4 Be6 18. Nd5 Rd8
19. Bc4 Bxd5 20. Bxd5 Rb8 21. c3 O-O 22. Kc2 b5 23. a4 c4 24. axb5
axb5 25. Ra1 Bc5 26. f4 exf4 27. gxf4 Rfc8 28. h5 Kf8 29. Ra6 Bb6 30.
Rh3 Rc7 31. Rh1 Ke7 32. Rd1 Be3 33. Re1 Bb6 34. e5 Rc5 35. Be4 g6 36.
Rd1 g5 37. Rd6 Bc7 38. Rdc6 Rxc6 39. Rxc6 Kd7 40. Rf6 Ke7 41. Bd5 Rf8
42. Rc6 Kd7 43. fxg5 Rg8 44. Rc5 Bxe5 45. g6 Rb8 46. Bxf7 Bh8 47. gxh7
Ke7 48. Bg6 Kd6 49. Rg5 b4 50. Bf7 bxc3 51. bxc3 Rb3 52. Rg3 Rb7 53.
Rg8 Rxf7 54. Rxh8 Rd7 55. Kd2 Ke5+ 56. Ke3 Re7 57. Kf3 Rf7+ 58. Ke3
Re7 59. Kd2 Rd7+ 60. Kc2 Kd5 61. h6 Kd6 62. Kd2 Ke5+ 63. Ke3 Re7 64.
Kf3 Rf7+ 65. Ke2 Re7 66. Ke3 Kd5+ 67. Kf4 Ke6 68. Kg5 Ke5 69. Rd8 Rxh7
70. Kg6 Ra7 71. h7 Ra6+ 72. Kg5 1-0

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