As i know RHP players, including myself, are pretty lazy; I repost my previous analysis on the position...
A few remarks
- First, I think after 1. ... Ne3, 2. Kb2 is better: I may gain one tempo, and also protect a2, enables further Kb3 threatening our rook (which can be pretty annoying actually!); and in the many cases it does not bring anything, it just leads to transpositions with further c3… So I very much believe Pawn riot will play Kb2, and lines with c3 first, enabling Rxa2 are not very likely to happen I would say.
So I follow with Kb2.
==== 35. ... Ne3 36. Kb2 36. … Nf5
Now various options are available to White.
I checked 37. Nc6 a few weeks ago, it was not very good.
37. Nxf5. apparently leading to good positions for Black.
Especially after 37. Nxf5 gxf5 38. Rxe7.
Nevertheless, after 36. c3 instead of Kb2, there is also 38. Rd4, which we did not consider so much… I just mention it to confirm what we previously said though, cause I think it’s bad after 38. … Rxd4 39. cxd4 f4 (preventing white playing f4, and therefore enabling the attack of white g pawn.
So I would say the main line effectively is
- Here RS considers 37. … Nxh4 is bad, because of further Re4.
for instance: 37. ... Nxh4 38. Rxe7
if 38. ... Kg7 39. Re4 threatens the Nh4, while at the same time threatening Ne6+ taking the Rook a4.
I tried to go a bit further, to check if there was not something like an interesting quality sacrifice to make but no.
For instance 39. Re4 Rxd4 40. cxd4 Nxf3 and black will struggle for draw.
and by the way, instead of Re4, there is Ne6+, which leads even more clearly to bad positions.
And yes, if 38. Kg8 leads at least to draw after Re8, but probably worse given the situation.
[If not, if we have nothing better, it should still be considered then!]
Another possible thing was 37. ... Nxh4 38. Rxe7 38. Nf5
this line is not absolutely bad, but I am not sure we can get more than a draw...
after the most logical:
38. .... Nf5 39. Rxf7+ Kg8 40. Rd7
We have a good h5 pawn, but by now the Rook can play on g and h ranks, and if the black king comes to the rook, the rook goes to the h file.
h4 41. Kb3 Rxd4 42. cxd4 h3
and even, I am not sure I am playing best moves for White. So it is at least draw, probably loss.
So 37. ... Nxh4 is pretty much refuted. It’s too early for Rxd4 sacrifices (with the hope for black to take f3 and g5 with his knight); they imply the real weakening of our king side, and our king; and our pawns will be caught by the rook.
and this is pretty bad news I would say…
I think the big decision we have to do is not now (we can vote Ne3 pretty clearly), but in a few moves, at 37. Nxh4 which was previously overestimated.
Until now, I did nothing but confirming or criticizing Rs ideas… let me try to propose further possibilities for that 37th move… I think this is now the difficulty to be overcome!
Let’s make the diagnosis first.
- We have a potentially good h5 pawn. This is our plan.
- We have a pretty weak 7th rank, with the potential coming of the white Knight to attack our King with the rook. The situation of our king is not comfortable.
- Without our h pawn threat, White is slowly but very comfortably developing his position… towards easy win! Kb3 soon becomes problematic! And then c pawn will be quick to promote… this due to the fact that our rook is somewhat weak now. And can be trapped or attacked by white who will get tempi from it…
- Our e7 pawn is hanging.
To tell it more clearly, we apparently have a pretty bad situation!
- we also have many candidate moves on 37th move.
let’s check them systematically:
- a5 is refuted after Kb3.
- a6 is very passive, I would say. For instance 37. … a6 38. Kb3 Ra5 forced 39. f4 (threatening further Kb4, and the black rook is trapped) So Rc5 is necessary, and after Kb4, we just waste a looooot of time.
- Rc4 doesn’t really make any sense.
- e5 is pretty bad, after 37. … e5 38. Nxf5 gxf5 39. Rxf7+ Kg8 40. Rxf5.
- f6 only sucks, after gxf6.
- Kg7 and Kg8 enable Kb3, and once more, our rook becomes pretty bad. For instance: 37. … Kg7 38. Kb3 Ra6 and now he can just take the knight, since we definitely won’t come back on the fourth rank to attack his h pawn. 39. Nxf5 gxf5 40. Rxe7 and the whole 4th rank is defended; we struggle for nothing but a draw. And we have to struggle a lot. Everything sucks in our position.
If we follow our variation, the only serious possibility at move 37 is therefore Nxd4, I would say. This simplifies, to avoid all Nd6 threats.
37. … nxd4. White has to take back, so two possibilities.
Taking back with the rook makes the endgame pretty ok for us. After 38. Rxd4 Rxd4 39. cxd4 our pawn majority on the king side is superior to his c pawn, I would say, especially as his king is at the complete opposite. (our king can stop the c pawn.
38. cxd4 is therefore much more likely.
And then we have the quiet Kg7.
38. cxd4 Kg7 39. Kb3 Ra5 40. Rxe7
And we can reasonably struggle for a draw (candidate moves Rf5; a6).
Black to play.
Actually, I think this is still the best line we have by now ; and it is also the most tricky for Pawn riot (even if “tricks” probably don’t worth much with that guy, Nxf5 might be expected, and that would be good for us).
we may back one move earlier (36) to find better; but it’s not obvious!
One big problem is the possibility of Nd6, after there is no more e7 pawn.
- a5 is just bad because of Kb3 again
- a6 too passive.
- e5 leads to Nd6 and this is at best a draw for us: 36. … e5 37. Nd6 Kg8 38. Re8+ Kh7 39. Re7 etc. but white can certainly improve his situation from there.
- and we come back to Kg7 or Kg8. might be reasonable, not extremely convincing.
If someone can check this…
By the way, I just found a matting pattern for white:
after several mostly necessary moves, white can have his Knight on f6 and rook on 8th rank (arab mate in French).
There is the necessary line 1. Rxe7 Kg7 2. Nd6+ Kg8 3. Re8+ Kh7 4. Nf8+ Kg7 5. Nd7
and whatever black plays, Nf6 and Rg8 are coming…
So finally, the line I prefer would be
35 . … Ne3 36. Kb2 Nf5 37. c3 Nxd4 38. cxd4 Kg7 39. Kb3 Ra5 40. Rxe7
Black to play.
Damn, and now that I have given my evening to RHP, I am just going to atone in my bed.