I played this game against Stockfish level 4. I am not a good player. I reached a complex midgame and blundered with 34. Qf3, swiftly losing thereafter.

Depicted below is the position just prior to the blunder, which Stockfish rates as exactly even. However, every line I try from here, including Stockfish's suggestions, inevitably leads to a black win. Can white survive from this position and if so, how?

[fen ""]
[StartPly "66"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. c3 c5 6. Bb5+ Nc6 7. Qa4 Qc8 8. b3 h5 9. Bf4 h4 10. h3 Ne7 11. g4 Bg6 12. Bg5 Ng8 13. Nxh4 Bh7 14. Nd2 f6 15. Bf4 g5 16. Bxg5 fxg5 17. Nhf3 Be7 18. c4 Kf8 19. cxd5 exd5 20. Rc1 Kg7 21. dxc5 a5 22. h4 Nf6 23. hxg5 Nxg4 24. Rh4 Ncxe5 25. Nxe5 Nxe5 26. Qd4 Qe6 27. Be2 Bxg5 28. Rh5 Qf6 29. Qxd5 Rad8 30. Qxb7+ Rd7 31. Qg2 Nd3+ 32. Bxd3 Bxd3 33. Rxg5+ Kf7 34. Qf3??? Re7+ 35. Kd1 Be2+ 36. Qxe2 Rh1+ 37. Kc2 Rxc1+ 38. Kxc1 Qa1+ 39. Nb1 Rxe2 40. c6 Qb2+ 41. Kd1 Qc2#
  • FEN: 7r/3r1k2/5q2/p1P3R1/8/1P1b4/P2N1PQ1/2R1K3 w - - 0 1
    – Allure
    Jul 21, 2022 at 4:57
  • 3
    How did you reach this conclusion? every line I try from here, including Stockfish's suggestions, inevitably leads to a black win It'd be unusual for Stockfish to win against itself from this position, given the 0.0 eval (with two drawing lines too).
    – Allure
    Jul 21, 2022 at 4:58
  • 0.0 can mean a) a perpetual b) the win is even behind the horizon of Stockfish. But the 1.Rg3 line is a forcing one, White gives back material to save the king's butt, ending in an endgame RNPP/RRP that seems holdable (0.0). Note black king's butt is on fire too, bK->a7 goes straight to hell for White. Jul 21, 2022 at 7:29

1 Answer 1


The reason why Stockfish gives this as 0.0 is because of the following engine line that ends in a perpetual.

[Title ""]
[FEN "7r/3r1k2/5q2/p1P3R1/8/1P1b4/P2N1PQ1/2R1K3 w - - 0 1"]

1. Rg3 Bb5 2. c6 Rxd2 3. Rg7+ Kf8 4. Kxd2 Qd4+ 5. Ke1 Qb4+ 6. Kd1 Qd4+ 7. Ke1 Qd3 8. Re7 Kxe7 9. Qg7+ Ke6 10. Qg4+ Ke5 11. Qg7+ Ke6 12. Qg4+ Kf6 13. Qf4+ Ke7 14. Qe5+ Kf7 15. Qf4+ Ke8 16. Qb8+ Kf7 17. Qf4+

This is quite difficult to find for a human, I think, because of the moves 3.Rg7+ and 8.Re7, seemingly hanging the rook on both occasions. Nevertheless, these moves seem to draw the game according to the engine due to the vulnerability of the black king to checks. Note that black cannot play a move like 10...Qf5 to stop the perpetual because in that line white takes the queen followed by Rc5+, picking up the bishop, and white actually wins.

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