Endgame technique Simultano vs. Randy
After a tense battle we reached the following position. The last move of white was 25.Rc1. At this point it was very important to play accurately, I realised that black had a difficult endgame ahead and that Simultano had all the asses in his hand. There was no win for black and the best I could hope for was a draw.
Analysis of the position: Black has a better pawn structure on the King's side but Simultano has a potentially passed pawn on the Queen's side giving him the advantage of the distant pawn which can be used to distract my King so that the white King can enter on the black King's side. Black has no passed pawn! Conclusion: Simultano has a huge advantage, I had no winning chances so I had to play for a draw. And I had to play all accurate moves.
At this point I had to think in terms of ideas and not concrete moves as how to steer the game forward. My first thought was that it would be easier to calculate with less pieces on the board and try to wrestle the initiative out of the hands of Simultano. The following moves were played
25...Nb4 26.Rxa5 Rxa5 27.Nxa5 Nd3 reaching the following position.
I have the initiative! Simultano must defend, his rook cannot leave the back rank otherwise I'll deliver mate. Part one of the plan is completed.
In order to reach a draw I had to exchange a couple of pawns on the kingside and reach a position in which my King would be in front of a pawn. The pawn acting as a shield against a check from behind. My Rook had to hold the White King on the king's side just long enough to allow the a-pawn to march forward and at the right moment my Rook had to seize the a-file behind the a-pawn with enough fields on the a-file to allow the rook to shuffle up and down in case the king would attack it. The idea was clear now the moves. My rook had to be on e5 at the right moment!
28.Rb1 Ra8 29.b4 Nxb4 30.Rxb4 Rxa5 31.Kf2? Re5!
So far so good. The next stage.
32.Rb5 I expected this move and I already had a response. ...Re4! 33.Ra5 reaching the following position.
White had to defend the pawn. The black Rook holds a key position, will be defended by the f-pawn and keeps the white King on the flank. But there are not enough squares (4 aim is 5)behind the a-pawn! Mission accomplished. Start of a new phase. Transferring my King.
33...f5 34.Ra7+ Kf6 35.Kf3 h6 36.Ra6+ Kg5 37.h4+ Kh5 38.Ra7 Re1! 39.a5 and now there are 5 squares behind the pawn! ...g5! to exchange a couple of pawns. 40.hxg5 Kxg5 41.Rg7+ Kf6 42.Th7 Kg6 43.Rb7 Ra1!
Another phase completed. Now I had to manoeuvre my King in front of the f-pawn.
44.Ra7 Ra3+! The g-pawns will fall soon and it's all about tempi! 45.Kf4 Ra4+ 46.Ke3 Ra3+ I'll be back (Terminator, J) 47.Kd4 Rxg3 48.Kc5 Rxg2 49.a6 Ra2!! And I'm back! 50.Ra8 forced Kg5 51.a7 Kf4!! Draw.
Simultano cannot make any progress any more. There is a perpetual. He might try to free his Rook and push the pawn to a8 but then there will be an exchange, leaving him with a rook and a King vs. 2 pawns and a black King but his King will be too far away to support the rook in a battle against the f-pawn. A very instructive endgame till the end.