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Could Ding win this endgame vs. Carlsen (at this point in the diagram), in the game played yesterday at Lindores Abbey? Without using engines, it seems logical to me to play 41.Re3 or 41.Rd3 (instead of 41.Kc5 as played by Ding), with the idea of leaving the f2 Pawn to its destiny, but clearing a way for the King to the g6 Pawn, and eventually winning Black's other Pawns, while the White Rook is defending the g3 Pawn.

[fen "8/1k6/6p1/3K1p1p/1P5P/5RP1/4rP2/8 w - h6 0 1"]
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This is a book draw. At our level it is difficult but at GM level this is an easy version of KR+3 v KR+4 with the extra pawn on the the queenside. The fact that Black's king is already in position to block the passer makes it much easier than the classic version of this endgame. His very active rook is another plus. White is not going to lose but he can make at best token efforts to win.

Without using engines, it seems logical to me to play 41.Re3 or 41.Rd3 (instead of 41.Kc5 as played by Ding)

These moves make no sense. Black is then going to play Rxf2 and follow up with f4. Soon the kingside pawns will be eliminated and the draw becomes much easier.

Jonathan Rowson devotes 42 pages to this endgame in his book "Amateur to IM". If you want to find out more about this endgame then his book is highly recommended.

  • So Chessbase is wrong in suggesting 41.Kd3? – A. N. Other May 27 at 17:23
  • @A.N.Other In this position Chessbase is certainly wrong. Kd3 is an illegal move! – Brian Towers May 27 at 17:55
  • Sorry, I meant 41.Rd3. From today’s Chessbase article. It is considered the only real attempt for a win by White. – A. N. Other May 27 at 18:39
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    I don't know if 41.Rd3 is so bad. 41...Rxf2 42.Ke5 f4 43.gf isn't trivial for Black to draw. It seems like Black's g-pawn will be swapped for White's h-pawn, after which both sides gain a passer on the kingside (but White's king is there to help). – Inertial Ignorance May 29 at 17:51

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