PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME or BRIAN'S CHESS FOLLY. 8/11/98
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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SPECIAL MILLENNIUM ENDGAME SOLVING COMPETITION 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 with the Christmas event; details below. 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.
THIS WEEK

POSITION 63

White to Play & WIN

FORSYTH NOTATION:r5rk/pp3n1p/4P3/1q3pp1/3P4/PP3N1P/1B5K/4RR2:


LAST WEEK, POSITION 62

Erich Zepler (1898-1980) was a German Jew who came to England in 1935. He was really a problemist but he did compose a number of fine endgame studies. In 1957 he was awarded the title of International Judge of Composition by FIDE and in 1973 became an International Master of Chess Composition. He was an expert in the field of Electronics and in 1949 he became professor of this new emerging science at Southhampton University.

Zepler, 1928

White to Play & DRAW 

 

FORSYTH NOTATION:k7/1K6/2p3p1/2rp1P2/pp6/7p/5K1P/4R3: 

The choice is taking on g6 or pushing the pawn to f6. Does it really matter? White has a "lost" game. Black can sacrifice his Rook for Whites passed pawn and then he will win with his own pawns against the enemy Rook. He has one last hope and that is playing for stalemate. He seeks to have no legal move available to play. In this situation the normal rules of common sense chess are reversed. White's moves can only be understood in the light of this new strategy.

1.f6! ...

It is important that the pawn stays on the f-file as he seeks to reduce the mobility of his pieces. 1.fxg6? is a serious error because then White cannot set up the stalemate nest.

1... d4

Black seeks to free his Rook.

2.Rh1!! ...

White seeks to immobilise his Rook. A memorable move.

2...Rf5+

2...Rd5? 3.f7 Rd8 4.Re1 Kb7 5.Re8 Rd5 6.Rb8+ Kc7 7.f8Q Rf5+ 8.Qxf5 gxf5 9.Rxb4+- 3.Kg1 ...

The nest is nearly completed.

3...Rd5

3...Rxf6 stalemate. 3...Rg5+ and now; A) 4.Kf1? this would now lose to 4...Rb5 5.f7! B) 4.Kf2! Rb5 5.f7 and Black has to accept the stalemate because 5...Rb8 Loses to 6.Re1!

4.f7 Rd8

5.f8Q Rxf8

Stalemate

 Stalemate is an important defensive device when trying to save a "lost" position. A player should never resign an ending until he has considered the possibility of this defence. It is a popular theme in many endgame compositions. Iuri Akobia, a television engineer from Georgia, has produced the multi-volume World Anthology of Chess Studies, and his Volume I contains over 4232 Studies with Stalemate!! Despite this, it is still rare in OTB encounters. As one would expect, the way a stalemate arises in a game is often quite different to that in a study. Here, it is a device for saving a "lost" game with perfect play for both colours but in OTB play the defending player encourages his opponent to make a number of inaccurate moves which lead him unsuspectingly into the stalemate trap.

Some of the best players in the world have fallen for this insidious ploy: Smyslov in a won Rook and pawn ending against Bernstein in 1946 walked into a stalemate trap and so did Schlechter against Wolf at Nurenburg in 1906. Reshevsky seemed to have made a habit of it!! There is that famous example in the Zurich Candidates tournament in 1953 when he was playing Geller; (8/8/5R2/5p1k/5P1P/r5P1/5K2/8) Black's King has no moves after 53... Rf3+ 54 Kxf3=, and if 54.Kg2 the g-pawn will fall and the game is drawn.

The stalemate trap seems to happen in endings where the player with the advantage becomes over confident and loses his concentration. So the moral is to stay alert to the very end; looking for the stalemate if defending, and being especially vigilant when your opponent plays on in a "lost" position.


Christmas Endgame Solving Tournament.

Starting Sunday 6th December.

Closing Date January 10th 1999.

Rules will be the same as for the Summer Competition.

Click here >> see Rules and have a go at this recent event.
Summer Endgame Solving Tournament.

Solutions and name of the Winner.

Click here >> SUMMER 98
ARCHIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/11/98 

Position 61 

Szabo  

26/10/98 

Position 60

Liburkin 

18/10/98

Position 59

Janowski

11/10/98

Position 58

Selesniev

04/10/98

Position 57

Keres

27/9/98

Position 56

Kubbel

20/9/98

Position 55

Bronstein

13/9/98

Position 54

M. Platov

06/9/98

Position 53

Marshall

30/8/98

Position 52

Troitzky

23/8/98

Position 51

Sir. G. Thomas

16/8/98

Position 50

Mackenzie

09/8/98

Position 49

Chigorin

02/8/98

Position 48

Zalkind

26/7/98

Position 47

Alekhine

19/7/98

Position 46

Bahr

04/7/98

Position 45

Fine

28/6/98

Position 44

Checkover

21/6/98

Position 43

Dus-Chotimirsky

14/6/98

Position 42

Kasparyan

07/6/98

Position 41

Reshevsky

01/6/98

Position 40

Korn

24/5/98

Position 39

Rubinstein

17/5/98

Position 38

Hooper

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