A draw need not be a dull affair

But a draw is not always dull and short and some games fought in the best of spirits might also result in a draw.

The game which follows has both players playing actively though they miss a couple of chances. However an interesting position is reached at the ending with both players having a pawn pushed to the sixth rank and queen in each other’s territory. Here they seek a technical draw by giving perpetual checks and give a feeling that draws can also be just results.

White: Emil Sutovsky (2575) – Black: John Nunn (2600)
Oxford Grandmasters, 1998
Four Knights Game

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6
The Four knights game
4.Bb5 Nd4 5.0–0
The popular continuation is 5.Ba4
5...Nxb5 6.Nxb5 c6 7.Nc3 d6 8.d4 Qc7 9.Bg5
White is slightly ahead in development
9...Be7 10.h3
If 10.Qd3 0–0 11.Rfd1
11.Qd2
Also worth a try is 11.Qd3, 11...Be6
If 11...Re8 12.Rad1 Nd7 13.Rfe1 a6 14.Bxe7 Rxe7 15.Re3 Nf8 16.dxe5 dxe5 17.Rd3 Be6 18.Rd6 f6 19.b3 Rae8 20.g4 Ng6 with more or less an equal game
12.a4 Rfd8
If 12...a5 13.d5 cxd5 14.exd5 (14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Nxd5 Bxd5 16.Qxd5 Qxc2 17.Rfc1 Qxb2 18.Rab1 Qa3 19.Rc7 Rac8 20.Rxc8 Rxc8 21.Rxb7 Qc1+ 22.Kh2 Qf4+ 23.Kh1 Rf8 24.Rc7)
13.a5. This one looks interesting!
13. .. h6. If 13...a6 14.Be3 with a very slight edge for White
14.Bxf6 Bxf6.
15.d5 Bd7. Now this bishop is badly placed
16.a6. Marching right in to the enemy territory. White is better now!
16...c5 17.axb7 Qxb7 18.Ra5 Rdc8
If 18...Qxb2 19.Rb1 works well for White
19.Rfa1 a6 20.Nd1 Bd8 21.R5a2 f5
Black is trying to play aggressively to get out of this cramped position
22.Qe2. Also worth a try is 22.Nc3
22...c4
If 22...fxe4 23.Qxe4 Bb6 24.Ne3 Rf8 25.Nd2 Bc7 26.Qd3
23.Nd2 Bb5
If 23...fxe4 24.Ne3 Bb5 25.Qg4
24.Nc3 f4
If 24...fxe4 25.Ndxe4 Be7 26.Qg4
25. Nxb5 axb5 26.Qg4
26...Be7. If 26...Rxa2 27.Rxa2 gives White advantage
27.Nf3 b4 28.Kh2
28...Rxa2. If 28...b3 29.Ra7 Rxa7 30.Rxa7 Qxa7 31.Qxc8+ Kh7 32.Qxc4 ,
29.Rxa2 Ra8 30.Rxa8+ Qxa8 31.Qd7
31...Kf8 32.Nd2
White had a better option in 32.Qc7
32...Qa6. 33.Qc7
White would have had advantage if he had initiated the exchange of queens with 33.Qc6 Qc6 Qxc6 34.dxc6 Bd8 35.Nxc4 Ke7 36.c3 bxc3 37.bxc3 Ke6 38.Na3
33...c3 34.bxc3 Qe2 35.Nc4
If 35.Qc8+ Kf7 36.Nc4
35...Qxf2 36.Qc8+ Kf7 37.Qe6+ Kf8 38.Qc8+ Kf7 39.Nxd6+ Bxd6 40.Qe6+ Kf8
Black has lost a pawn in the skirmish. White queen is roaming free.
41.Qxd6+ Kg8 42.Qg6 bxc3 43.d6 Qxc2
Both now have a passed pawn pushed to the sixth rank and both queens are in each other’s territory
Diagram 1
44.Qe6+ If 44.d7 Qd3 45.Qe8+ Kh7 46.d8Q Qg3 and draw by perpetual checks
44...Kh7 45.Qf5+ Kh8 46.Qf8+ Kh7 and draw with perpetual checks
Diagram 2
White to play and win
1.Bxh6+ Kxh6 2.Qh3+ Kg7 3.Rf7+ Kxf7 4.Qh7+ Kf6 5.Rf1+ Kg5 6.h4+ Kg4 7.Qxg6+ Kxh4 8.Rf4 checkmate.

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