The Wrong Rook?

When the Gorm sat down to defend the Black pieces in the seventh round at Hastings he was tied for first place, having won four games and drawn two. His opponent, was Jakhongir VAKHIDOV (UZB) (2500).

Jahongir Vakhidov (UZB) vs Daniel W Gormally (ENG)

Hastings Masters 2017 round 07

d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 d6 6. Nf3 c6 7. O-O Bf5 8. Ng5 h6 9. e4 Bg4 10. f3 Bd7 11. Nh3 e5 12. Be3 Na6 13. Qd2 Kh7 14. Nf2 Qe7 15. Rad1 Rfd8 16. Rfe1 Nc7 17. d5 cxd5 18. cxd5 Nb5 19. Nxb5 Bxb5 20. Rc1 b6 21. Nd3 Qb7 22. Bf1 Rdc8 23. Qb4 Qa6 24. Qb3 Qa5 25. Nb4 Bxf1 26. Rxf1 Qb5 27. a4 Qd7 28. Rc6 Ng8 29. Rfc1 Ne7 30. Qc4 Nxc6 31. dxc6 Qe6 32. Nd5 f5 33. b4 Qf7 34. b5 Rf8 35. Kg2 f4 36. gxf4 exf4 37. Bxb6 axb6 38. Nxb6 d5 39. Qxd5 Qf6 40. Rd1

Back in the day one could assume making the fortieth move meant making the time control. The time control for Hastings this year was: TC: 100:50:15+30spm. I will admit to not understanding what it means. For example, ‘spm’ is something with which I am unfamiliar.

Rad8 41. Nd7 Rxd7 42. cxd7 Qd8 43. b6 1-0

Let us go back to the diagram position after move forty. What is Black plays the move given at the ChessBomb, 40…Rfd8? Stockfish 8-CB 64 POPCNT, 3 sec, depth 16, shows that if the Gorm had played this move White would have been up about a quarter of a pawn. Yet when ones looks at the full line, (40… Rfd8 41. Nd7 Qc3 42. Qd3 Qxd3 43. Rxd3 Rxa4 44. c7 Rc8 45. b6 Rb4 46. e5 Rb2+ 47. Kh3 h5 48. Rd6 Kg8 49. Nc5 Bxe5 50. Rd8+ Kf7 51. Rxc8), it sure looks good for White, like ten times as good, if not more. The first move I questioned in the SF analysis is trading Queens on move 42. How about Black playing 42…Qb4?! If it is true Rooks are not good at defending, then why trade the Queens? OK, the machine is only using three seconds to do whatever it is that it does, but still, how can it show White with a small advantage but give a winning line? Upon what is White having only a very small edge based? Can Black hold the position after 42…Qb4?

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