PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME or BRIAN'S CHESS FOLLY. 9/8/98


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.

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THIS WEEK

POSITION 50

 White to Play and Win

  

  FORSYTH NOTATION:B5bB/pNp2p2/2k2N2/K2p2q1/P2p4/4P3/6PP/8: 


LAST WEEK, POSITION 49

Mikail Chigorin ( 1850-1908 ) was one of the great charismatic figures of chess. From about 1883 to the end of the 19th century he was one of the strongest players in the world and twice unsuccessfully fought matches for the World Championship against Steinitz. He was looked upon as the founding father of Soviet Chess.

Here we see him defeating the young Emanuel Lasker, the new World Champion in a tournament game at Hastings in 1895.

Lasker v Chigorin

Hastings, 1895

Black to Play and Win

 

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

White wants to improve the position of the white squared Bishop and play Ba2 but Black's attack is very strong and he isn't given the time.

1...Nc6!

[The Knight comes off the back rank to create havoc.]

2.Rb5

[White has no choice; if 2.Rxc4? Nd6! and White has lost the exchange.]

 

2...Rxa4

3.dxe5 Nfxe5

[Black has won a pawn and White has no real compensation.The white squared Bishop is not much better than a pawn.]

4.Bh4

[4.Rdd5 Ra1-+]

4...Rg7

[Black now plays a beautiful attack against the White monarch.]

5.Kf2-+

[5.Bf2 Ra1-+]

5...Rg6

6.Rdd5 Ra1!

7.Bd8 Nd3+

8.Bxd3

[8.Kf1 Ncb4! and this breaks the communication between the White Rook and Bishop.]

8...cxd3

9.Rxd3?

[This move looses quickly. White can prolong the agony by 9.Bc7 Ra2+ (9...Rag1 10.Bxf4 R6g2+ 11.Ke3±) 10.Kf1 Rgg2 11.Rxd3 Rxh2 12.Kg1 Rhe2-+]

9...Rag1!

[The Rooks combine together along the g-file. White will have to give up material to avoid the threatened mate.]

10.Rf5+ Kg8

11.Bg5

[11.Rxf4?? 11...R6g2+ 12.Ke3 Re1#]

11...R6xg5

12.Rxg5+ Rxg5

White resigns

In the latter part of the 19th century Steinitz's positional theory of chess, the accumulation of small advantages became widely accepted. Chigorin admired much of Steinitz's teaching but he reacted against the dogmatic acceptance of these theories and indicated that one could not dismiss the creative and dynamic possibilities that can exist in a chess position.

A pet theme of the positional school was the advantage that could be obtained with two Bishops against a Knight and Bishop or two Knights. Chigorin believed that knights were not inferior to Bishops and he was quite happy to uphold his views in otb play. In the above position White is positionally lost because his white squared Bishop is little more than a passenger.

I expect if we looked at a large database of these type of endngs the Steinitz theory would indeed be vindicated. In fact GM Timoshchenco in 1993 did a statistical analysis on a large database of games. " Bishop or Knight? " ICCA Journal Vol 16, No 4. He confirmed the well-known practical rule that in open positions the Knight is weaker than the Bishop and that in closed positions it is vice versa. He also found that the advantage of the Bishop pair is a fact and that a well written chess program should award a bonus to the evaluation for the presence of the two Bishops.

The above ending shows that having the two Bishops is not an advantage in itself. They must have open diagonals along which to operate.


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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