PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME 11/03/2001

Editor: Brian Gosling

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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.

Thanks to Antonio Senatore, Alexander Vojna, Allan Bennett, Graham White, Oliver Scalbert and Henrk Kalafut.
THIS WEEK

POSITION 182

White to play & WIN

FORSYTH NOTATION:R7/1r3p2/4pk2/5p1p/3P1K2/4P1PP/5P2/8:


LAST WEEK, POSITION 181

Markovich Simkhovich, (1896-1945).

Soviet composer of chess problems and endgame studies. Simkhovich made an original contribution to the endgame study by bringing a number of ideas from the problem world and reworking them in an endgame setting. He formulated and categorised the theme of the "positional draw" which was looked upon as an outstanding achievement by his fellow endgame composers.

Simkhovich, 1926

White to play & DRAW

FORSYTH NOTATION:4K3/2k1Bp1N/6p1/5PP1/8/7p/b7/8:

Can White stop the h-pawn from queening? The position looks lost for White but he does have a defence which seems to defy the rules of logic. White will calmly construct a "fortress" which will hide his pieces from attack. The only weakness in White's "fortress" is the g-pawn. This pawn has to be defended by the Bishop and the only square where this can be done safely is from h6.

White seeks to close off the a8-h1 diagonal. The reason for this becomes obvious later.

1.Bf6! ...

White threatens to stop the advance of the h-pawn with ....Be5+;

Building the fortress immediately does not work: 1.f6? h2 2.Kf8 h1Q 3.Kg7 (3.Kg8 Qg2 4.Bf8 Qa8 5.Kg7 Kd7 6.Kg8 Ke6 7.Kg7 Kf5 8.Kg8 Bb3 9.Kg7 Qh1--+) 3...Kd7 4.Bb4 Ke6 5.Bd2 Kf5 6.Be3 Qf3 7.Bd2 Qe2 8.Bc1 Qd1 9.Be3 Qd3 10.Bc1 Qc3--+;

1...Kd6

2.Be7+ ...

2.fxg6? This move destroys the fortress 2...fxg6 3.Be7+ Kc6 --+ Crafty18.3 Chess computer programs have difficulty assessing "fortress" positions because the normal values for the pieces do not apply.

2...Ke5

3.Bd8! ...

White can draw in another way without the need of a "fortress": 3.fxg6 fxg6 4.Bd8 Kd6 5.Nf6! h2 6.Ne4+ Ke6 7.Nf2 Bd5 8.Bf6 h1Q 9.Nxh1 Bxh1=;

3...Kd6

The threat was ...Bc7+

4.Be7+ Kc6

White has achieved the closing of the long diagonal a8-h1. The only way to avoid this would be for Black to repeat moves. Now White can build his "fortress" without the worry of the Queen getting to the back rank via the long diagonal.

5.f6! h2

6.Bf8! h1Q

7.Bh6!...

with the idea of 8.Kf8 and 9.Kg7. White will be safe behind the barrier of pawns. It is a positional draw.

In 1928, Simkhovitch wrote his important article on the "positional draw". He mentioned about studies where a draw is obtained by the creation of an impenetrable position: a fortress. He used the above study as one of his examples. Harrie Grondijs has written an enjoyable book on this brilliant composer: "Works of Simkhovich" (1996?) 

 

* www.chessending.com *

 

Allan Bennett wins the Cumulative in February.

Click here for the weekly >> CUMULATIVE COMPETITION   

A Book Prize will be Awarded to the Highest Placed Newcomer.


  COMPETITIONS for 2001

1. Cumulative 2001 Prizes: 1st £100 or equivalent, 2nd £50, 3rd £30; 4th £20. (Total Prize Money=£200) Entries limited to 20 solvers. This event will run from 7/1/2001 to 30/12/2001. Present CUMULATIVE COMPETITION rules apply but note the prizes will go to those participants who climb the ladder the greatest number of times during the year. The relative position of the solver's name on the ladder will decide the allocation of prizes.

2. Endgame Solving Tournaments 2001. The nature of these events are changing. They will be directed at mainly new or intermediate solvers and will not be too difficult. No money prizes but a book prize for the highest placed newcomer. Events will take place at Easter, Summer and Christmas each consisting of 5 positions to solve. Present strict rules will apply; no computer analysis.


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