Chess

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Gata Kamsky showed good technique in defending the 11th game of his match with Anatoly Karpov. At the end of the first day's play, they reached the diagram position with Kamsky, playing Black, having to seal his 59th move before the adjournment.

Despite the level material, the position is tricky for Black. He cannot defend the g-pawn with 59...Kf6?? which leads to an immediate loss after 60.Ra6+ Kf7 61.Ra7+ followed by an exchange of rooks and Kxg5.

It seems natural, therefore, to opt for 59...Rg7, then go home to analyse the endgame through the night. Such a policy, however, could easily be fatal. After 59...Rg7 60.Ra6+ Kd5 61.Rf6, Black is in trouble. The threat is Rf5 and Rxg5, and 61...e4 62.Rf5+ Kd4 63.fxe4 Kxe4 64.Rxg5 could be very difficult for Black, whose king is poorly placed to stop the g-pawn.

Kamsky solved his problems with the excellent 59...Rb7! 60.Ra6+ Ke7! 61.Kxg5 Rb3! and after 62.Kg4 Kf7 63.Rh6 Ra3 64.Rh5 Kf6 65.Rf5+ Ke6 66.Kg5 e4! a draw was agreed. 67.fxe4 Rxg3 leads to a standard draw with Black's king perfectly placed to stop the white pawn. In such endgames, an active rook is more important than defending a feeble pawn.

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