PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME or BRIAN'S CHESS FOLLY. 2/8/98


Welcome to this active site. Each week I am going to present to you a endgame position for you to solve or to workout the best continuation. Computer analysis will also be considered. Some of these positions will come from actual historical games. Others will be composed endgame studies, but all the solutions will be relevant to the practical game.

The new position will occur each SUNDAY and I will always be pleased to receive POSITIVE feedback about the positions and the analysis and I will try to acknowledge these where relevant.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
THIS WEEK

POSITION 49

Black to Play and Win

 

FORSYTH NOTATION:3n1k2/p1r2n1p/1p6/r3p3/PRpPPp2/2P2p2/3RKB1P/1B6:  


LAST WEEK, POSITION 48

Lazar Zalkind, (1886-1945 ) was a Russian chess editor and organiser. He was foremost a problem composer but he did produce over a hundred endgame studies. After the Revolution Lazar held a professorship in economics and was involved in the preparation of Soviet State Plans. By 1931 he was out of favour, illegally arrested and deported and died in slave labour. This is one of his last known endgame compositions.

Zalkind, 1930

White to Play and Win

 

FORSYTH NOTATION:8/4pp2/p1P2p2/8/P1P2R2/K1kr1P2/P7/8:  

[Did you see Black's threat ? After 1... a5! the King is cornered but can White save himself?]

1.c7! a5

[This move threatens 2... Kc7 mate so white has only the following move to consider.]

2.Rd4!

2...Rxf3

[The Rook cannot be taken. 2...Rxd4? 3.c8Q Rd3 4.Qb7 Kc2+ 5.Qb3+! and white wins;

2...Kxd4+? 3.Kb2 and White king escapes and soon will have a Queen for the sacrificed Rook;

2...Re3? 3.Re4! (3.Rd2? looks tempting but only leads to a draw by perpetual check. 3...Kxd2+ 4.Kb2 Rc3 5.c8Q Rc2+=) 3...Rxf3 4.Re2! White puts an end to the threatened mate and the c-pawn cannot be stopped.]

3.Rf4! Rg3

4.Rg4! Rh3!

[This move has a dual purpose; a) to threaten mate b) to get to the c-pawn via h8-c8. 4...Re3? is a big mistake because after Whites reply Rg2! black cannot get back to the queening square.]

5.Rh4! Rg3

6.Rh3!

[ This is the 5th offer of the Rook which Black can no longer refuse.]

6...Rxh3

7.c8Q e6

8.Qb7 Kc2+

9.Qb3+ Rxb3+

10.axb3 f5

[and White wins by promoting the c-pawn.]

11.c5 f4 12.c6 f3 13.c7 f2 14.c8Q+ Kd2 15.Qa6+-

It is a fine study, beautifully balanced. It leaves a lasting impression with the continued offer of the rook and the mate threat hovering over the White King. It deserves to be more widely known.

 In the early part of this century many endgame composers were firstly problemists and endings came second. It is not surprising then that many themes and ideas of the problem world were carried over into the endgame genre.

This was not a negative factor, far from it because these ideas greatly enriched endgame compositions and took the art into new lands of discovery. Zalkind was a leading light among a group of Russian composers who brought this new emphasis in composition, of taking ideas from problem chess and applying them to the relatively new art of the endgame study. In the next few months we will meet some of these ideas.

This doesn't rule out computer analysis because these ideas still have to follow the rules of chess logic. Computer analysis can become an important part of the evaluation process making sure that the composition is sound.


The Summer Endgame Solving Tournament has started !! Positions to solve on long holiday journeys or when sunbathing on the beach !!

Both for Humans and Computers.

Humans who take part are automatically entered for the Millennium Prize (see below)

Click here >> positions

CLOSING DATE 23rd August

This consists of 5 positions, Top grades only will be published on 6th September plus solutions. All other competitors will have their grades sent via email.


A SPECIAL MILLENNIUM PRIZE WORTH £100 (= 2/2000 exchange rates)

Open to humans only. The winner will have to take part in 3 or more solving competitions before Feb 2000. Start now. The usual rules apply. The competitor's 3 highest scores only will count.The winner will be announced in FEBRUARY 2000. The prize will be £100 or equivalent. Feb 2000 exchange rates will apply. In the case of a tie the prize will be shared.
 

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