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210-move drama in Kiev

6/26/2013 – As we all know, chess can be heart-wrenching and cruel. In "one of the most depressing episodes ever in a GM game" (Malcolm Pein in The Telegraph) White defended the endgame of rook and knight vs rook and knight, a pawn down, for 124 moves. He then defended the ending of rook v rook and knight from move 172 to move 205. And then on move 206 he blundered. As we said: heart-wrenching.
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210-move drama in Kiev

Here are the actors in the drama that was played out in the fifth round of the 2013 Ukrainian Championship, that is currently in its final phase in Kiev.

Valeriy Neverov (nomen es omen?), 51, is a Ukrainian grandmaster who was his nation's Champion in 1983, 1985, 1988 and 1996. He played for Ukraine in the 35th Chess Olympiad at Bled 2002.

Stanislav Bogdanovich is a young Ukrainian IM, twenty years old, rated 2567.

[Event "Kiev UKR"] [Site "Kiev UKR"] [Date "2013.06.19"] [Round "5.6"] [White "Neverov, Valeriy"] [Black "Bogdanovich, Stanislav"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D56"] [WhiteElo "2515"] [BlackElo "2567"] [Annotator "Alex Baburin"] [PlyCount "420"] [EventDate "2013.06.15"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "UKR"] [EventCategory "17"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 Ne4 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. Qb3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 dxc4 11. Bxc4 b6 12. a4 Bb7 13. Qa3 c5 14. a5 Nd7 15. Be2 e5 16. O-O Rfd8 17. Rfd1 Kf8 18. Qb2 exd4 19. cxd4 Qf6 20. h3 Kg8 21. Qb3 cxd4 22. exd4 Nf8 23. axb6 axb6 24. Rxa8 Bxa8 25. d5 Ng6 26. g3 Rd6 27. Bc4 Bb7 28. Re1 Qf5 29. Nd4 Qxh3 30. Qf3 Qd7 31. Nb5 Bxd5 32. Qd1 Re6 33. Rf1 Re5 34. Nc3 Bc6 35. Qxd7 Bxd7 36. Rd1 Nf8 37. Nd5 b5 38. Bf1 Be6 39. Nc7 Bc4 40. Rb1 Ne6 41. Nxb5 Bxf1 42. Kxf1 {The drama begins: Black is a pawn up and determined to win.} Rd5 43. Nc3 Rd7 44. Kg2 g6 45. Rd1 Rb7 46. Nd5 Kg7 47. Ne3 Rb2 48. Rc1 h5 49. Rc2 Rb1 50. Rc4 Rb5 51. Nc2 Rd5 52. Ne3 Ra5 53. Rc2 Re5 54. Ra2 Re4 55. Ra7 Rd4 56. Ra2 h4 57. Rc2 hxg3 58. fxg3 {Now it is R, N and two pawns vs R, N and one pawn.} Rd3 59. Nf1 Ra3 60. Rb2 Nd4 61. Rd2 Nf5 62. Rf2 Rb3 63. Rf3 Rb1 64. Rf2 Rc1 65. Rf3 Re1 66. Kf2 Rb1 67. Kg2 Ra1 68. Rf2 Nd6 69. Re2 Rc1 70. Ra2 Ne4 71. Re2 Nc5 72. Ra2 Re1 73. Rb2 Ne4 74. Ra2 Kf6 75. Ra6+ Ke5 76. Ra5+ Kd4 77. Ra4+ Kd5 78. Ra5+ Kc4 79. Ra4+ Kc3 80. Ra3+ Kd4 81. Ra4+ Kd5 82. Ra5+ Nc5 83. Ra2 Nd3 84. Ra5+ Kc4 85. Ra4+ Kc5 86. Ra5+ Kb4 87. Ra7 Ne5 88. Ra2 Kc5 89. Rc2+ Kd6 90. Rd2+ Ke6 91. Ra2 Nc4 92. Kf2 Rc1 93. Ne3 Nd6 94. Kg2 f6 {A pawn push 14 moves short of the 50-move rule.} 95. Re2 Kf7 96. Ra2 Rb1 97. Nf1 Rb3 98. Re2 Nf5 99. Ra2 Kg7 100. Ra7+ Kh6 101. Ra2 Kg5 102. Rd2 Rc3 103. Ra2 Rd3 104. Ra5 Rb3 105. Ra2 Kh6 106. Rd2 Ra3 107. Rb2 Nd6 108. Rd2 Nc4 109. Rc2 Ne5 110. Rf2 Kg7 111. Rb2 Rc3 112. Rb7+ Kh6 113. Rb2 Rd3 114. Ra2 Rb3 115. Kg1 Rb6 116. Kg2 Rd6 117. Kg1 Rc6 118. Kg2 Rc1 119. Ne3 Re1 120. Kf2 Nd3+ 121. Kf3 Rb1 122. Kg2 Rb5 123. Ng4+ Kg5 124. Ne3 Ne5 125. Nf1 Rb3 126. Nd2 Re3 127. Nf1 Rd3 128. Nh2 Nc4 129. Nf1 Rc3 130. Re2 Kh6 131. Ra2 Nd6 132. Rd2 Ne4 133. Re2 Nc5 134. Ra2 Kg5 135. Re2 Ra3 136. Rc2 Ne4 137. Re2 f5 {Next pawn push, seven moves before the fifty that would give White a draw.} 138. Rb2 Ra1 139. Rc2 Kf6 140. Rc6+ Kf7 141. Rc7+ Ke6 142. Rc6+ Nd6 143. Rc2 Kd5 144. Rd2+ Ke5 145. Rb2 Ne4 146. Nd2 Nd6 147. Nf3+ Kf6 148. Nd2 Rd1 149. Ra2 Ke6 150. Nf1 Ne4 151. Ra6+ Kf7 152. Ra7+ Kf6 153. Ra6+ Kg5 154. Ra2 Re1 155. Nh2 Kf6 156. Nf1 Ke5 157. Ra5+ Kd4 158. Ra4+ Kc5 159. Ra2 Kb4 160. Rc2 Kb3 161. Rc6 Re2+ 162. Kg1 g5 163. Rc8 Kb4 164. Rf8 Nd6 165. Rg8 g4 166. Nh2 Nc4 167. Nxg4 { Chess engines like Deep Fritz and Houdini advocate giving up the knight for two pawns} fxg4 168. Rxg4 Kc3 169. Rf4 Ne3 170. Rf8 Kd3 171. Rf7 Rg2+ 172. Kh1 Rxg3 {The endgame R+N vs. R isn't nearly that dangerous for the defender as the endgame R+B vs. R. Even though the white king is badly placed, the endgame is still drawn.} 173. Kh2 Rg5 174. Kh3 Nf5 175. Ra7 Ke4 176. Ra4+ Kf3 177. Ra3+ Ne3 178. Kh4 Rb5 179. Rc3 Kf4 180. Ra3 Re5 181. Ra4+ Kf3 182. Ra3 Rb5 183. Rc3 Kf4 184. Ra3 Nf5+ 185. Kh3 Rb4 186. Kg2 Ne3+ 187. Kh3 Kf3 188. Ra8 Rf4 189. Ra3 Re4 190. Ra8 Nd5 191. Ra3+ Ne3 192. Ra8 Re5 193. Rf8+ Nf5 194. Ra8 Re3 195. Rf8 Ke4+ 196. Kh2 Kf4 197. Rf7 Kg4 198. Kg1 Rf3 199. Rf8 Rf4 200. Rg8+ Kh3 201. Rh8+ Nh4 202. Ra8 Kg3 203. Rg8+ Kf3 204. Ra8 Nf5 205. Rf8 Ke2 {[#]Neverov was probably tired after a very long game. Almost any rook move would hold the draw, but not} 206. Kh2 $4 Kf2 {Whoops!} 207. Rh8 {Only move to stop mate but now there is no escape for the king} Rg4 208. Rh7 Rg2+ 209. Kh3 Rg3+ 210. Kh2 Nd4 ({White resigned because of} 210... Nd4 211. Rf7+ Nf3+ 212. Rxf3+ Rxf3 213. Kh1 Rh3#) 0-1

With one round left to play here are the current standings in the 2013 Ukrainian Championship:

Full information can be found on the official web site.

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