PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME or BRIAN'S CHESS FOLLY. 13/12/98
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
SPECIAL MILLENNIUM ENDGAME SOLVING COMPETITION PRIZE WORTH £100

Open to humans only. The winner will have to take part in 3 or more solving competitions before Feb 2000. 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.
Christmas Endgame Solving Tournament.

STARTS NOW: Click here >> positions Have a go !!

THIS WEEK

POSITION 68

White to Play & WIN

 

  FORSYTH NOTATION:2N1k3/4p3/3pKp2/5p2/4NB2/pp6/8/8: 


  LAST WEEK, POSITION 67 

Isaac Kashdan (1905-1985) American Grandmaster, was for a short time between 1928 -1934 one of the strongest players in the world. At the 1928 Hague Olympiad he had the highest score on board 1 to take the gold medal. In 1930 he again travelled to Europe and had a number of good tournament results against Europe's best masters, scoring 83% !!

Along with Marshall and Fine he was the mainstay of the American team in the 30's when they had that brilliant run of four successive victories in the Olympiads.

He seemed to have the measure of Alekhine. Out of half a dozen encounters in this period he only lost one game against him. The World Champion was impressed enough to think that the young American might win his crown one day. But these were recession years: Kashdan was forced to turn away from a full time chess career to find other ways to make money. With the arrival of Reshevsky and Fine on the scene his pre-eminent positon in American chess was eclipsed and so his chance at the World Championship faded. 

Alekhine v Kashdan

Bled, 1931

Black to Play & WIN

 

  FORSYTH NOTATION:8/4kp2/p7/7Q/1P4p1/3q2PP/8/2K5: 

 The tourist resort of Bled was the scene of Alekhine's great triumph.He out distanced his nearest rival by 51/2 points. But in this position Kashdan has him on the ropes and both players make a number of mistakes in this ending. I am going to follow the game continuation except for a repetition of checking moves which occurred.

1...Qf1+?

Queen endings are always difficult to play because there are so many variations to consider. Kashdan thinks he has everything under control by playing the Queen to here but the idea is a mistake. He should play 1...gxh3 and then win the b-pawn. The ending is technically very difficult with the passed a-pawn but it should be winnable. Genius3 using the computer vs computer function, won this ending in under 30 moves. The beauty of this line is the Queen remains centralised and the threat of a perpetual is lifted.

2.Kd2 gxh3??

This move throws away the win. Alekhine now has a perpetual starting with Qe5+. There is no escape from the checks so the result is a draw. You don't need a computer chess program to see this.

3.Qc5+?? ...

White chooses the wrong checking square. Mistake follows mistake. Alekhine was on a roll in this tournament. Perhaps he wanted to play on!! but White is clearly lost. It is difficult to believe that even a tired Alekhine missed the drawing sequence. Black can now escape the checks. He has an easy won game because ironically the fateful h-pawn has become a strong passer which will act as a decoy.

3. ... Ke6!

4.Qc8+ Kf6

Black can escape the checks by heading for the safety of the g-file.

5.Ke3 Qe1+

6.Kf3 Qe6

7.Qc3+ Kg6

8.g4 Qf6??

This is a decisive moment in Kashdan's career. For the last time he throws away the win. A win against Alekhine would have done wonders for his career at home but alas it was not to be."After three sessions, something like 12hrs, I had for the first time a clearly winning position against the World Champion. And then to err on a simple matter of counting which every beginner is told." The winning move is 8...Qd5+ 9.Ke3 (other moves lose quickly). 9...Kg5 10.Qg7+ Kh4 11.Qh6+ Kxg4 12.Qf4+ Kh5 and Black wins easily.

9.Qxf6+ Kxf6

10.Kg3 Ke5

11.Kxh3 Kd4

12.Kh4 Drawn

The b-and f-pawns will fall and both sides will obtain a new Queen within a move of each other.

A difficult ending but very absorbing. Who said endings were dull? I hope that after 67 years we have managed to find the truth about it. Kashdan played well to reach this position but fatigue ruined his chances of the win. He was usually a very good endgame player, in fact this was his strength. In the 1937 Olympiad at Stockholm, he won a 120 move marathon against the Polish player Frydman, again a queen ending, to help take the United States team into the lead. It was his tremendous will to win (He scored 87.5%, this included 13 wins) that so helped his team to success. It is every captains dream  to have players of his quality and commitment. Quality without commitment is useless.

Kashdan first came to the notice of the public when he won a solving contest at New York in 1924. Here now is your chance to become famous by winning the Christmas solving competition. It is free to enter. No need to feel embarrassed about a poor result. Only the names of competitors with grades B and above will be published.

I have added some new links recently, perhaps you would like to check these out on the links page. I have been told the following event is free so it might be worth having a look:

Garry Kasparov playing live from 1-30pm GMT on Dec 17th.

htttp://www.wireplay.co.uk/chess/ 


ARCHIVES

 

 

 

5/12/98 

Position 66 

Reti 

29/11/98 

Position 65 

Fischer 

22/11/98 

Position 64 

Ratner 

15/11/98 

Position 63 

Capablanca 

8/11/98 

Position 62 

Zepler 

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

BRIAN'S CHESS LINKS

mailto: brigosling@aol.com