[Event "Analysis"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.03.28"] [Round "?"] [White "SCANDINAVIAN 3.d4, 5.c4!?"] [Black "CRITICAL IMPROVEMENT"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Kotronias Vassilios"] [PlyCount "28"] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. d4 Nc6 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. c4 $5 Qa5+ 6. Bd2 (6. Nc3 O-O-O 7. d5 e6 8. Bd2 exd5 9. Nxd5 Bb4 $17) 6... Bxf3 $1 {This is the right move.} ({ I proposed in the book} 6... Qf5 $6 7. Be2 Bxf3 $6 ({Better is} 7... O-O-O 8. d5 $14 (8. O-O $14)) 8. Bxf3 Nxd4 9. Bxb7 Nc2+ {however after} 10. Kf1 $1 Qd3+ 11. Kg1 Rd8 (11... Rb8 12. Bc6+ Kd8 13. h4 $1 $16) 12. Bc6+ Rd7 13. h4 $1 Nxa1 14. Rh3 Qd6 15. Qa4 e5 16. c5 Qe6 17. Rd3 Nf6 18. Be3 $16 {I must admit I dont like the Black position at all.}) 7. Qxf3 Qb6 {With a double attack, however this is only the beginning of the story:} 8. Bc3 $1 Nxd4 9. Bxd4 Qxd4 10. Qxb7 Rd8 11. Qb5+ $1 (11. Qc6+ Qd7 $11) (11. Be2 $5 Qb6 $1 12. Qxb6 (12. Qf3 e6 13. O-O Bd6 14. Nc3 Ne7 $11) (12. Bf3 Qxb7 13. Bxb7 e6 14. Bc6+ Ke7 15. Nc3 g6 $11) 12... cxb6 13. c5 e6 $11 14. Bb5+ Ke7 15. c6 $140 $6 Kd6 16. Nc3 Kc7 17. O-O Bb4 $15) 11... Qd7 $3 (11... c6 $2 12. Qxc6+ Rd7 13. Be2 $1 Qxb2 14. O-O Qxe2 15. Nc3 Qe6 16. Qa4 $18) 12. Be2 (12. Qxd7+ Rxd7 13. Nd2 e6 14. O-O-O Bc5 $11) 12... e6 $1 (12... Qxb5 13. cxb5 g6 14. Nd2 $1 $14 (14. Nc3 $5 e6 15. Rc1 Nf6 16. Bf3 Bd6 17. Ke2 Ke7 18. Rhd1 $14)) 13. Nd2 (13. O-O c6 $1 14. Qa4 Bd6 $11) (13. Nc3 Qxb5 $1 14. cxb5 Bd6 15. Bf3 Nf6 16. Ke2 Ke7 17. Rac1 g5 18. g3 g4 19. Bg2 h5 20. Nd1 {[%cal Gd1e3,Ge3c4]} Nd7 $1 $11) 13... c6 14. Qa5 Be7 $11 { [%cal Gg8h6,Gh6f5]} * [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.03.21"] [Round "?"] [White "Analysis of John Shaw's TN"] [Black "Scandinavian 3...Qd6"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Kotronias"] [PlyCount "105"] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd6 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 c6 6. h3 Bf5 7. Ne5 Nbd7 8. Nc4 Qc7 $6 ({Correct is} 8... Qe6+ $1 {as I suggested in the "Annotated Games" section.} 9. Be2 Nb6 10. Ne5 Qc8 $1 11. g4 Be6 12. h4 {John Shaw thinks this is a slight advantage for White, however I have strong doubts. Black has at least two ways of obtaining rich counterplay:} Nbd7 $5 (12... g6 $5 {also gives Black decent counterplay} 13. h5 Nfd7) 13. Nd3 (13. Rg1 g6) (13. Bf4 h5) 13... Qc7 14. Bf4 Qb6 $13) 9. Qf3 e6 10. Bf4 Qd8 11. O-O-O Nd5 12. Kb1 Nxf4 13. Qxf4 Be7 14. g4 Bg6 15. h4 h5 16. Be2 Qb8 17. Ne5 Nxe5 18. dxe5 Bf6 19. Rd6 Be7 20. gxh5 Bxh5 21. Rg1 $3 {This is the improvement for White given in John Shaw's book, supposedly refuting the 3...Qd6 Scandinavian. It is indeed a tremendous novelty but not the last word on the position.} (21. Bxh5 Rxh5 22. Ne4 Qc7 23. Qg3 Bxd6 24. exd6 Qa5 25. Qxg7 O-O-O 26. Qxf7 Rxh4 27. Qxe6+ Kb8 28. Rg1 Rhh8 29. b3 Qd5 30. Qe7 Ka8 31. Re1 Qf5 32. a3 Rd7 33. Qg5 Qxg5 34. Nxg5 b6 35. Re6 Rf8 36. Ne4 Rdf7 37. Kb2 {and ½-½, Hansen-Peschke, corr. 2012, is the model game analysed extensively in the Safest Scandinavian.}) { After 21.Rg1!!, the following forced play occurs:} 21... Bxe2 22. Rxg7 $1 Bh5 23. Ne4 Kf8 24. Rg1 Bg6 25. Rxe6 Bxe4 26. Rxe7 $1 Kxe7 27. Qf6+ Ke8 28. Qxh8+ Kd7 29. Qf6 Qe8 30. Qd6+ Kc8 31. e6 $1 {So far, we have followed Shaw's analysis in his latest repertoire book on 1.e4. Here I looked at the position with Semko and we suggest a major improvement:} b5 $1 {The Black King needs as much breathing space as possible.} ({Instead,} 31... b6 $2 32. exf7 (32. e7 Kb7 33. h5 Bf5 34. h6 Qb8) 32... Qxf7 33. Re1 Bxc2+ 34. Kxc2 Qxf2+ 35. Kd1 Qf3+ 36. Kd2 Kb7 37. Qe7+ Ka6 38. Qe2+ Qxe2+ 39. Rxe2 $16 {is Shaw's analysis, with an ending where Black is suffering and will most probably lose. His King is misplaced and the pawn is still on b6 compared to our own analysis below.} ({ The following line shows why White is close to winning after 39.Rxe2:} 39. Rxe2 Rh8 40. Rh2 Kb7 (40... Rh5 41. Ke3 c5 42. Kf4 b5 43. Kg4 Rh8 44. h5 c4 45. h6 b4 46. Kf4 $1 c3 47. bxc3 bxc3 48. Ke3 Rh7 49. Kd3 $18) 41. Ke3 Kc7 42. h5 Kd6 43. Kf4 Ke6 44. h6 Kf6 45. h7 $1 (45. Rd2 Rf8 46. Rd6+ Ke7+ 47. Ke5 Rf2 48. Rxc6 Kf7 49. Rc7+ Kg8 50. Rg7+ Kh8 51. Rxa7 Rxb2 {looks close to a draw}) 45... c5 46. Ke4 Kg7 47. Rh5 $3 Re8+ 48. Re5 Rd8 (48... Ra8 $5) 49. Re7+ Kh8 50. Rxa7 {and Black looks helpless as the following lines indicate:} b5 (50... Rd2 51. b3 b5 52. Rb7 Rxa2 53. Rxb5 Rc2 54. Kd3 $18) (50... Rd4+ 51. Ke3 Rg4 (51... Rb4 52. b3 c4 53. Ra4 $18) 52. Kd3 $1 $18) 51. Rc7 $1 Rd2 52. b3 c4 53. bxc4 bxc4 54. a4 Ra2 55. Rxc4 Kxh7 56. Kd5 $18)) {Let us return to 31...b5!:} 32. e7 $1 { A really tremendous move, sacrificing the piece permanently. But Black will still hold in our view.} ({After} 32. exf7 Qxf7 33. Re1 Bxc2+ 34. Kxc2 Qxf2+ 35. Kd1 Qf3+ {we should draw as the exchange of queens is not anymore dangerous for us in most lines, and in some others it can be avoided:} 36. Kd2 ({In case of} 36. Kc1 Kb7 37. h5 (37. Qe7+ Kb6 38. Qe3+ Qxe3+ 39. Rxe3 Rh8 $11 {finds Black very active for the ending, compared top what we've seen above.}) (37. a4 Rc8 $1 38. Re7+ Kb6 39. Qd4+ c5 $11) (37. Re7+ Ka6 $11) {we have the brilliant defensive idea} 37... Rc8 $1 38. Re7+ (38. h6 Rc7 $11) 38... Ka6 39. Qc5 Qf1+ 40. Kc2 Qg2+ 41. Kc3 Rc7 $3 42. Rxc7 Qg3+ 43. Kc2 Qxc7 44. a4 Qh2+ 45. Kb3 Qh3+ 46. Ka2 Qe6+ $11) {Back to 36.Kd2:} 36... Kb7 37. h5 $5 {The most dangerous try.} (37. Qe7+ {should be a draw after both King moves, but of course} Ka6 38. Re3 Qf4 {is preferable.}) (37. Re7+ Kb6 $1 38. Qd4+ (38. Qc7+ Ka6 39. Qb7+ Ka5 40. Qxa8 Qd5+ 41. Ke1 Qh1+ $11) 38... c5 39. Qd6+ (39. Re6+ Ka5 $11) 39... Qc6 40. Qxc6+ Kxc6 41. h5 Rh8 42. Re5 Rd8+ $1 43. Ke3 (43. Ke2 Rd4) 43... Rd1 {is a complete draw as our rook gets behind the dangerous pawn.} ) {After 37.h5!?, the following accurate method coordinates our pieces perfectly:} 37... Qg2+ $1 38. Re2 Qg5+ 39. Kc2 Kb6 $1 40. Qe5 (40. Qd4+ Kb7 41. Re5 Qg2+ 42. Kc3 Rd8 $5 43. Qxd8 Qg3+ $11) 40... Qg4 $1 {[%cal Ga8d8]} 41. Rd2 Qc4+ 42. Qc3 Qe6 $11 {We have improved our King and the enemy -h- pawn is under control. Draw.}) 32... Kb7 33. h5 Bf5 {Now White has two dangerous moves that deserve deep analysis:} 34. h6 $3 {This is really very close to winning. But Black seems to hold with perfect endgame play.} ({Rather pointless is} 34. Re1 Be6 $1 35. h6 (35. Rd1 Rc8 36. h6 Rc7 37. Rh1 Rxe7 38. h7 Bd5 $1 39. b3 Bxh1 40. Qf6 Re1+ 41. Kb2 Be4 42. h8=Q Qxh8 43. Qxh8 Re2 $11) 35... Qb8 $1 36. Qxb8+ Rxb8 37. h7 Rh8 38. Rg1 f6 39. Rg7 Kb6 $1 {and it is clear that White has lost time compared to our main line.} {For example,} 40. Kc1 (40. b4 Bd7 41. Kc1 a5 42. a3 axb4 43. axb4 c5 44. Rf7 f5 $11) 40... Bd7 41. Kd2 b4 42. c4 bxc3+ 43. Kxc3 Kc5 44. Kd3 a5 45. Ke4 Kd6 $11) (34. Rd1 $5 {is sub-optimal, too, yet presents some practical problems. The correct defence is} f6 35. a4 $1 Qxh5 36. axb5 Rc8 37. Re1 Qe8 $1 38. Qxf6 (38. Re3 Bg6 39. Ra3 (39. Rc3 cxb5 40. Qd5+ Kb8 41. Qd6+ Kb7 $11) 39... cxb5 40. Qa6+ Kc7 41. Qxa7+ (41. f4 Bxc2+ $1 42. Kxc2 Kb8+ 43. Kb1 Qxe7 44. Qxb5+ Ka8 45. Qd5+ Qb7 $11) 41... Kd6 42. Qb6+ Rc6 43. Qd8+ Ke6 {is safe for Black}) 38... Bd7 39. bxc6+ Bxc6 {and Black will hold as the following lines illustrate:} 40. Qg7 {Preparing a march of the -f- pawn.} ({Misguided is} 40. Re3 Ba4 $1 41. b3 Qd7 {and Black is out of danger.}) ({The immediate} 40. f4 Qd7 $1 41. Qe5 (41. Qg7 Re8 {transposes to 40.Qg7}) {fails to} 41... Qd2 $1 42. f5 Bd5 43. Qe2 Qxe2 44. Rxe2 Bf7 45. b3 Re8 46. f6 Kc7 47. Rd2 a5 48. Rd4 Rb8 49. Kb2 Rh8 $11 {with a fortress that cannot be breached, Black simply oscllates his rook on his own first rank.}) 40... Qd7 41. f4 Re8 42. Qe5 (42. Qc3 Qd6 $1 {is even easier for Black.}) 42... Qd5 $1 {Again, Black should exchange Queens, angling for the above presented fortress. White should not be allowed to carry out f4-f5 with Queens on the board, as we would be lost then.} 43. f5 ({After} 43. b3 Qxe5 44. Rxe5 Kc7 45. f5 Rg8 46. f6 Be8 47. Rd5 Bf7 48. Rd4 a5 {we are once more in time.}) 43... Qxe5 44. Rxe5 Rh8 $1 45. b3 (45. f6 Be8 46. Rd5 Bf7 {A major point is that White cannot play Rd5-d8 due to mate, so the fortress has once more been reached, e.g} 47. Rd1 Kc7 48. b3 (48. b4 Rb8) 48... a5 $11) 45... Be8 46. Rd5 Bf7 47. Rd7+ (47. Rd8 Re8 {Now that we have no mate, this comes to the rescue.} 48. f6 Kc7 $11) 47... Kc6 $1 48. Rxa7 Kd6 $11 {White has temporarily 4 pawns for the piece, but we will soon start riping the harvest of our defence, with a clear draw in sight.}) {The time has come to examine the dreaded 34.h6!!:} 34... Qd7 $8 (34... Qb8 $2 {would be a good defence had the pawn been on b6, but here it fails to the brilliant} 35. Qc5 $3 Qh2 36. Rd1 Bg4 37. f3 $1 Qe2 38. Rc1 Qxf3 39. Qd4 $3 Bf5 40. h7 $1 Bxh7 41. Qd7+ Ka6 42. e8=Q Rxe8 43. Qxe8 Qd5 44. Qe2 Be4 45. Rd1 Bf3 46. Rxd5 Bxe2 47. Rf5 $16) 35. Qxd7+ Bxd7 36. h7 Rh8 37. Rg7 {In this ending, the principal point is to secure counterchances on the queenside by pushing our pawns there, as we are soon going to lose our extra piece due to the Rg7-g8 idea. However, the pawn push has to be done in the right fashion, securing space and avoiding creating accessible targets to the white pieces.} c5 $1 {We conside this best, avoiding any b2-b4 fixing ideas.} 38. Rxf7 ({The pawn sacrifice} 38. c4 $5 {, seeking to bring the King quickly into the game is interesting. The correct defence is as follows:} bxc4 $1 39. Kc2 {An immediate advance of the -f- pawn up to f5 does not pay any dividends:} ({For example,} 39. f4 Kc6 40. Rxf7 Kd6 41. f5 Ba4 42. Kc1 Ke5 43. Kd2 Bb5 44. Kc3 Kd6 45. a3 (45. Rg7 Ke5 46. Rg8 Rxh7 47. e8=Q+ Bxe8 48. Rxe8+ Kxf5 49. Rc8 Rb7 $5 50. Rxc5+ Ke6 51. Rxc4 Kd6 52. b3 Rb5 53. Kb2 Ra5 $11) 45... Kd5 (45... a5 46. f6 Ke6 47. Rf8 Rxh7 48. e8=Q+ Bxe8 49. Rxe8+ Kxf6 50. Kxc4 Rh2 51. b3 Rc2+ 52. Kd3 Rc1 {is similar}) 46. f6 Ke6 47. Rf8 Rxh7 48. e8=Q+ Bxe8 49. Rxe8+ Kxf6 50. Kxc4 Rh2 51. b3 Rc2+ 52. Kd3 Rc1 53. Ra8 (53. Kd2 Ra1) (53. a4 Rb1 54. Kc2 Rh1 55. Kc3 Rc1+ 56. Kb2 Rh1 57. Rc8 Rh5 58. Rc6+ Ke7 59. Ra6 Kd7 60. Rxa7+ Kc6 61. Ra6+ Kb7) 53... Ke5 54. Rxa7 Kd6 55. Ra6+ Kd5 56. Rh6 Rd1+ 57. Kc2 Rg1 58. a4 Rg2+ 59. Kc3 Rg3+ 60. Kb2 Rg2+ 61. Ka3 Rg3 62. Rh5+ Kc6 63. Rh4 Kb6 {and Black will draw in spite of the minus pawn.}) 39... Kc6 40. Rxf7 Kd6 41. Kc3 Ke6 42. Rg7 Bb5 43. f4 ({No improvement is} 43. f3 Ke5 44. Rg8 (44. a3 a5) 44... Rxh7 45. e8=Q+ Bxe8 46. Rxe8+ Kd5 47. Rd8+ Kc6 48. Kxc4 Rh2 49. Kc3 Rf2 50. Rf8 (50. Rd3 a5 51. a4 c4 $11) 50... a5 51. a4 Kd5 52. b3 ( 52. Rf5+ Kc6 53. b3 Rf1) 52... Rf1 53. Kd3 Rd1+ 54. Ke2 Ra1 55. Rd8+ Ke5 56. Ke3 Re1+ 57. Kd2 Rf1 $11) {After 43.f4 Black draws actively with} 43... Kf5 $1 44. e8=Q Bxe8 45. Rg8 Rxh7 46. Rxe8 Kxf4 47. Re2 Rh4 $3 48. Re7 Rh3+ 49. Kxc4 Rh2 50. Kxc5 (50. Rb7 Ke5 $1) 50... Rxb2 $11) 38... Kc6 39. Kc1 {White will need the services of his King sooner or later.} (39. f4 Kd6 40. f5 (40. Rg7 Ke6 41. Kc1 Kf5 42. Rf7+ Ke6 43. Rf8 Rxh7 44. e8=Q+ Bxe8 45. Rxe8+ Kd6 46. Kd2 Rh4 {is quite drawish}) {is answered strongly with} 40... Be8 $1 41. Rg7 Bh5 $1 42. b3 Ke5 43. Rg8 Rxh7 44. e8=Q+ Bxe8 45. Rxe8+ Kxf5 46. Rb8 a6 47. Rc8 {and here} {but we somehow prefer} c4 $5 {leading to split white pawns:} 48. bxc4 bxc4 ( 48... b4) 49. Rxc4 Ke5 50. Rc6 Ra7 51. Kb2 Kd5 52. Rc8 Rb7+ $5 53. Ka3 Rb1 54. Ka4 Rb2 55. a3 Rb6 56. Ka5 Rd6 {Here it is impossible for White to progress as} 57. c4+ (57. a4 Rf6 58. Ra8 Kc4 59. Rxa6 Rf5+ 60. Kb6 Rf6+ 61. Kb7 Rf7+ 62. Kc8 Kb4 $11) 57... Kd4 58. c5 Re6 59. c6 Kc5 60. c7 Rc6 {leads to nothing for him.} ) 39... Kd5 40. Kd2 Ke6 41. Rg7 (41. Rf8 Rxh7 42. e8=Q+ Bxe8 43. Rxe8+ Kd5 { is an ending where Black's considerable activity should lead to an easy draw. For example,} 44. Ke3 (44. Rd8+ Kc6 {does not strike as an improvement}) 44... a5 $1 45. b3 a4 (45... c4 $5) 46. Rd8+ Kc6 47. f4 (47. Re8 a3 $132) (47. bxa4 bxa4 48. f4 Rh3+ 49. Ke4 Rh2 $11) 47... Rh3+ 48. Ke4 Rh2 49. Rc8+ Kd6 50. bxa4 bxa4 51. Ra8 c4 52. Rxa4 Rxc2 $11) 41... a5 {A few years ago we would find hard to believe that an analysis of an opening variation could depend on a critical position arising at move 41, but times have changed. With this comment we dont necessarily mean that Black has no way to deviate earlier on in the line starting with 6.h3, but well, his play seemed principled in the correspondence game we recommended in the Safest Scandinavian, so we thought we should try and find out if he can be rewarded by earning a draw after all. Here are our findings:} 42. b3 {This looks like the most principled continuation, preventing the space-gaining ...a5-a4.} ({The immediate} 42. Rg8 Rxh7 43. e8=Q+ Bxe8 44. Rxe8+ Kd5 {is typically ok for Black.}) (42. c3 { waits for us to put the King on f6 before playing Rg7-g8, but we can simply wait:} a4 $1 (42... Kf6 $2 43. Rg8 Rxh7 44. e8=Q Bxe8 45. Rxe8 $16 {is problematic for us as our King is cut off from the defence of the queenside pawns.}) {Now the computer gives} 43. Kd3 {but after} Ke5 44. a3 Ke6 45. Ke3 Ke5 46. Ke2 Ke6 47. Kd3 Ke5 48. Ke3 Ke6 {I just cannot see what all these triangulations accomplish, as} 49. Kf4 Kf6 $1 {(only now this is good, as the King on f4 presents us with tactical chances)} 50. e8=Q Bxe8 51. Rg8 Rxh7 52. Rxe8 b4 $1 {guarantees the counterplay we need:} 53. cxb4 cxb4 54. Re4 b3 $1 55. Ke3 Rc7 $1 56. Kd3 Rc2 57. Re2 Rc5 $11 {The b3 pawn is a powerhouse.}) ({ After the slightly weird} 42. Kc3 {we should continue our strategy of gaining queenside space with} a4 {and here} 43. b4 $5 {is a tricky idea the we should meet as follows:} axb3 (43... Kf6 $2 44. e8=Q Bxe8 45. Rg8 Rxh7 46. Rxe8 Rh4 47. bxc5 Rc4+ 48. Kd3 Rxc5 49. a3 $18 {should win for White as we are without counterplay}) 44. axb3 $1 (44. cxb3 Ke5 45. b4 Kf6 46. e8=Q Bxe8 47. Rg8 Rxh7 48. Rxe8 Rh4 $1 49. bxc5 Rc4+ 50. Kb3 Rxc5 $11) 44... b4+ 45. Kd3 Bb5+ 46. Kd2 {Now the position becomes very tangled for Black.} Kd5 47. c4+ $5 ({After} 47. f3 Ke6 48. Ke3 Bd7 49. e8=R+ Bxe8 50. Rg8 Rxh7 51. Rxe8+ Kd6 52. Rg8 Rh2 53. Rd8+ Ke5 54. Rd2 Rh4 55. Rf2 Ke6 {the ending looks like a draw as White does not have enough space to manoeuvre. One possible idea is} 56. Rg2 Kd5 57. Rg5+ Kd6 58. Rg6+ Kd5 59. Rg2 Rh3 60. Rg5+ Kd6 61. Rg6+ Kd5 62. Rg4 Ke5 63. Rc4 Kd5 64. Kf2 Rh7 65. Kg3 Rg7+ 66. Kh4 (66. Kf4 Rf7+) {but even so White achieves nothing:} 66... Rg6 67. f4 Rg8 68. Kh5 Rg1 69. Kh6 Rg8 70. f5 Rg1 71. Kh5 (71. Rf4 Ke5 72. f6 Kxf4 73. f7 Rh1+ 74. Kg7 Rg1+ $11) 71... Rg8 72. Kh4 Rg2 73. f6 Ke6 74. Rxc5 Kxf6 75. Kh3 Rg8 76. Rc4 Rb8 77. Kg2 Ke6 78. Kf3 Kd5 $11) { Back to 47.c4+!?:} 47... bxc3+ 48. Kxc3 Ke5 49. f3 $1 {Trying to save a move on the set-up that will soon arise.} (49. Rg8 Rxh7 50. e8=Q+ Bxe8 51. Rxe8+ Kd5 $11 {is easier for Black.}) (49. Rf7 Ke6 50. Rf8 Rxh7 51. e8=Q+ Bxe8 52. Rxe8+ Kd5 {is same.}) 49... Ke6 50. f4 $1 {The best try.} (50. e8=Q+ Bxe8 51. Rg8 Rxh7 52. Rxe8+ Kd7 53. Rf8 (53. Re3 Rh4) 53... Rh1 {is an easy draw.}) 50... Kf5 51. Rf7+ $1 (51. e8=Q Bxe8 52. Rg8 Rxh7 53. Rxe8 Kxf4 $11) 51... Kg6 52. Rf8 Kg7 53. Kc2 $3 {The idea is to zugzwang Black. But there is a narrow escape.} ({Instead,} 53. f5 $6 Rxh7 54. f6+ Kg6 {leads to an inevitable draw.}) 53... Rxh7 54. e8=Q Rh2+ $3 {An important intermediate check, forcing the white King away.} 55. Kc3 Rh3+ $1 56. Kb2 Rh2+ 57. Ka3 Bxe8 58. Rxe8 Kf7 59. Re5 (59. Re4 Rh8 {is less critical.}) 59... Rc2 60. Re4 {What to do now?} Rc1 $3 {This move is in itself a masteclass in endings.} (60... Rh2 $2 61. Rc4 Rh5 62. Ka4 Ke7 63. Rc2 Kd6 64. Kb5 Rd5 65. Rc3 Rf5 66. Rd3+ Kc7 67. Rf3 Kb7 (67... Kd6 68. Kb6 $18) 68. Kc4 Kc6 69. Kd3 Kd5 70. Ke3 Kd6 71. Ke4 Rh5 72. Rd3+ Ke6 73. Rg3 Kd6 74. Rf3 {allows White to achieve an optimal formation, winning.}) 61. Ka4 ({After} 61. Rc4 Ra1+ 62. Kb2 Ra5 $3 63. Kc3 Rb5 {the rook is capable of defending the c5 pawn all by himself and our King safely blocks the -f- pawn.}) 61... Ra1+ 62. Kb5 Rb1 63. Re3 Rc1 $11 {There is nothing White can do to win the c5 pawn without dropping b3. Draw.}) ({Finally,} 42. Ke3 a4 43. a3 Ke5 44. c3 {should once more be answered with the accurate} Ke6 $1 45. Kf4 $140 Kf6 $1 46. e8=Q Bxe8 47. Rg8 Rxh7 48. Rxe8 b4 $1) 42... a4 $1 {We follow our strategy anyway.} 43. bxa4 b4 $1 44. Rg8 $1 (44. a5 Kf6 45. Rg8 Rxh7 46. e8=Q Bxe8 47. Rxe8 Ra7 {is an easy draw for Black.}) 44... Rxh7 45. e8=Q+ Bxe8 46. Rxe8+ Kd6 $3 {The only move.} (46... Kd5 $2 {loses to} 47. a3 $3 Ra7 (47... Rf7 48. axb4 Rxf2+ 49. Ke3 Rxc2 50. b5 Rc3+ 51. Kd2 Ra3 {does not work due to} 52. Rd8+ $18 {which explains why we need the King on d6.}) 48. Rd8+ $3 (48. axb4 $2 cxb4 49. Kd3 Rxa4 50. Rd8+ Kc5 $11) 48... Kc4 (48... Ke4 49. axb4 cxb4 50. Rb8 Rxa4 51. Rb5 $3 {prevents the Black King from retreating and wins beautifully due to} Kf3 52. Kc1 $1 Ke4 53. Kb2 $18) 49. axb4 cxb4 50. Ke3 Rxa4 51. Ke4 $3 { and once more the King is cut off, this time from trying to reach back to the front of the -f- pawn:} Kc5 52. Ke5 Ra1 53. Rc8+ Kb5 54. f4 Re1+ 55. Kd5 Rd1+ 56. Ke4 $3 Re1+ 57. Kd3 Rf1 58. Ke3 {Black is helpless against the idea Rc8-f8 if he moves his King to a6, and if} Re1+ 59. Kf2 Rd1 {then} 60. Ke2 Rh1 61. f5 $18) 47. Rd8+ (47. a3 {does not work at once due to} Rf7 $1 48. axb4 Rxf2+ 49. Ke3 Rxc2 50. b5 Rc3+ 51. Kd2 Ra3 {and with our King on d6 we are safe.}) 47... Kc6 48. a3 $1 ({After} 48. f4 Ra7 49. Ke3 Rxa4 50. f5 Ra7 $1 {its a dead draw: For example,} 51. Ke4 Re7+ 52. Kf4 (52. Kf3 Re5 $1) 52... Re2 53. f6 Rf2+ 54. Ke5 Re2+ 55. Kf5 Rf2+ 56. Kg6 Rg2+ 57. Kh7 Rh2+ 58. Kg8 Rg2+ 59. Kf8 Rxc2 $11) 48... Rf7 $1 (48... bxa3 49. Rd3 Rd7 50. Kc1 a2 51. Kb2 Rf7 52. f3 Kb6 53. Kxa2 Ka5 {is possible but we are not sure this is a 100% draw.}) 49. axb4 Rxf2+ 50. Kc3 ({An easy draw arises after} 50. Ke3 Rxc2 51. b5+ Kb7 52. a5 Rb2 $11) 50... cxb4+ 51. Kb3 Rf4 52. Rb8 (52. Rc8+ Kb6 53. Rc4 Rf3+ 54. Kxb4 {does not change something.}) 52... Rf3+ 53. Kxb4 $11 {A theoretical draw according to major endgame manuals as well as the Nalimov databases, however it requires tremendous knowledge to defend this in over the board play. Our conclusion is that John Shaw's novelty does not refute our suggested line against 6.h3, on the other hand Black should be a great endgame specialist to hold the ensuing position. We published this analysis merely for reasons of theoretical value and its endgame beauty and ideas. We hope it will be appreciated by Scandinavian fans even if playing the specific line against 6.h3 looks impractical after all this, but we are sure (at least) that it will be appreciated by endgame lovers all over the world.} * ρ98455