Asian Nations Cup 2018: A pawn endgame that Sasikiran could not solve
It was a mouth watering clash between the Indian team and the Iranian youngsters (Iran Green) in the fourth round of the Asian Nations Cup 2018. The match was evenly balanced with three games ending in a draw. It all depended now on Sasikiran's game against Tabatabaei. The Iranian player had liquidated the position into a pawn endgame which looked favourable for him. But in pawn endgame there is nothing like slight edge or a better position. It's either winning/losing or a draw! Sasikiran had a narrow path towards equality, but he missed it and in this article we show you this beautiful defence. The women team made short work of Syria with a score of 4-0 and moved to third position on the leaderboard. Thumbnail Image: David Llada.
After two solid wins over Iran Red and Kazakhstan, India faced a stiff challenge against the young Iran Green team. The Iran Green team consisting of Maghsoodloo, Idani, Tabatabaei and Firouzja are all young and extremely talented. In fact the oldest of them is Pouya Idani, who is just 22.
The Indian team had to tread carefully because the Iranians had just beaten China in the previous round. But even though we had a higher rated player than our opponent on every board, we couldn't overcome Iran.
We bring our attention to one of the key positions in the game Sasikiran versus Tabatabaei:
It is obvious that White is better here. His king is more active and this gives him the right to play for a win. But Black king is just one tempo behind and it is his move. So a draw should be feasible. But how exactly to get it? Sasikiran missed it. We recommend that you take around 20 minutes on your clock and think about this position. When you are done, just have a look at the analysis given below in both video and replayable format.
Rank after round 4:
Ranking after round 4