- REBEL vs GM Rohde Analysis -

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by REBEL's author Ed Schröder

It's my understanding this game against GM Rohde was a classical example of seeing a pawn gain for a king attack that was underestimated.

After having taken the time to have a close look at the game I see 3 key fragments.

[Event "Monthly GM Challenge"]
[Site "Internet (Rebel Home Page)"]
[Date "1999.05.22"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Rebel 10.5"]
[Black "GM M. Rohde"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[ECO "E00"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 c5 5. Bxb4 cxb4 6. Bg2 O-O 7. Nf3
d6 8. O-O a5 9. a3 Na6 10. Nbd2 Re8 11. Ne1 e5 12. Nc2 bxa3 13. Rxa3 Rb8
14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Bxe4 Bh3 16. Re1 Qb6 17. e3 f5 18. Bd5+ Kh8 19. Qa1 Nb4
20. Nxb4 axb4 21. Ra5 exd4 22. Rb5 Qd8 23. exd4 Ra8 24. Rxe8+ Qxe8 25.
Qc1 Qe2 26. f4 Qd3 27. Rxb7 Re8 28. Kh1 Qc2 29. Qe3 Qb1+ 30. Qg1 Qxb2 31.
Rb6 h6 32. Ra6 Qc2 33. c5 dxc5 34. dxc5 Qc3 35. Ra1 b3 36. Rc1 Qd3 37.
Rd1 Qe2 38. Rb1 b2 39. Qd1 Qxd1+ 40. Rxd1 Rd8 41. Rb1 0-1

17. e3?!
Blocking its pieces to go the king-side. After this move Ne3, Rg3 (h3) are no longer possible. 17.e3 was a last minute decision of Rebel10.5 it had 17.Qd3 all the time. Black answers with 17..f5 and now black is the boss on the king- side.

21.Ra5 exd4 22.Rb5
Going for the pawn, nice manoeuvre but definitely wrong. Rebel's score dropped from 0.7 to 0.3 (or so) when it saw the danger of Qe2 but that was to few to give up the hunt for the pawn.

I don't now why Rebel10.5 played this move. It's just a matter of search depth to see this move is losing material on short term. Rebel10.5 needs 12 plies to see the loss and then changes to 26.Bg2 (the good move). I tested the current REBEL-CP on this position and nowhere in the log I see the ugly f4?, see:

00:00:00 01.00 0.82 Bd5xb7
00:00:00 01.02 1.03 Rb5xb7
00:00:00 02.00 1.09 Rb5xb7 Ra8-e8
00:00:00 03.00 1.52 Rb5xb7 Ra8-e8 Rb7xb4
00:00:00 04.00 1.18 Rb5xb7 Ra8-e8 f2-f4 Bh3-g4 Rb7xb4
00:00:01 05.00 1.07 Rb5xb7 Ra8-e8 f2-f4 Qe2-d3 Rb7xb4 Qd3xd4+ Kg1-h1
00:00:01 06.00 1.07 Rb5xb7 Ra8-e8 f2-f4 Qe2-d3 Rb7xb4 Qd3xd4+ Kg1-h1
00:00:01 07.00 1.07 Rb5xb7 Ra8-e8 f2-f4 Qe2-d3 Rb7xb4 Qd3xd4+ Kg1-h1
00:00:02 08.00 0.00 Rb5xb7 Ra8-e8 f2-f4 h7-h6 Rb7-f7 Re8-e4 Rf7-f8+
00:00:06 08.04 0.09 Bd5-g2 Qe2-d2 Qc1-f1 Qd2xb2 Rb5xb7 Bh3xg2 Kg1xg2
00:00:10 09.00 -0.05 Bd5-g2 Qe2-d2 Qc1-f1 Qd2xb2 Rb5xb7 Bh3xg2 Kg1xg2
00:00:11 09.01 0.00 Rb5xb7 Ra8-e8 f2-f4 h7-h6 Rb7-f7 Re8-e4 Rf7-f8+
00:00:38 10.00 -1.92 Rb5xb7 Ra8-e8 f2-f4 h7-h5 Rb7-b5 Re8-e4 Bd5xe4
00:00:47 10.01 -0.12 Bd5-g2 Qe2-c2 Qc1-f1 Bh3xg2 Kg1xg2 b4-b3 Rb5-b6
00:01:13 11.00 -0.01 Bd5-g2 Qe2-c2 Qc1-f1 Bh3xg2 Kg1xg2 Qc2xb2 Rb5-d5
00:02:28 12.00 -0.04 Bd5-g2 Qe2-c2 Qc1-f1 Bh3xg2 Kg1xg2 Qc2xb2 Rb5xb7
00:06:50 13.00 -0.07 Bd5-g2 Qe2-c2 Qc1-e1 Qc2xc4 Bg2-f1 Bh3xf1 Rb5xb4

I guess I have some home work to do.

It's not clear to me how black will win after 26.Bg2 (I will ask GM Rohde) but it is clear to me there should be an easy winning plan for black as his position is overwhelming.

All in all a very valuable game for me showing me several weaknesses in Rebel which I wasn't aware of and I now have the possibility to improve them.

Like at AEGON games against such strong players have been of more importance to me then a 1000 autoplayer games where it often is allowed to make minor (or even big) positional mistakes without losing immediately.

Against a GM you simply can't. After 24.Rxe8? the game was over as a GM won't let you escape.

I am impressed how GM Rohde handled his won position, definitely not going for the shortest win but move by move carefully avoiding all kind of tactical stings till there was a clear won position on the board.

My warm congratulations goes to GM Michael Rohde for this fine and well played game!

Ed Schroder