Editor: Brian Gosling


Welcome to this active site. Each week I am going to present to you an 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, Gerard O'Reilly, Henryk Kalafut and Alexander Voyna.

The Season's Greetings to you all.

Thanks for Your Support.

Important Notice: The last position for Cumulative 2003 will appear on Sunday 21st December. I am then taking a short break and will be back on Sunday January 4th with the first position of the 2004 Cumulative competition.

The winners of the 2003 cumulative competition will be announced early in the New Year.

I have decided to move away from cash prizes for Cumulative 2004. Instead book prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. The same rules will apply.



White to play and WIN



  :7r/kP6/P7/8/K7/8/8/1R6 w - - 0 1: 

> > Cumulative competition


Mikhail Botvinnik, (1911-1995).  

World Champion 1948-57, 1958-1960, 1961-63. The 1920s saw unparalleled growth in the interest of chess in the Soviet Union. At this time Botvinnik was still too young to dominate some of his Leningrad colleagues. Two players particularly made a big impact on the young Botvinnik and they were involved in his training. They were Sergei Kaminer (1908-38) and Ilya Rabinovich (1891-1942). Both were students of the endgame. Kaminer, besides being a strong player, was a brilliant endgame composer. Rabinovich was the first Soviet player to be allowed to represent his country abroad and this was at Baden Baden in 1925. He wrote one of the early manuals on the endgame which was later translated into the Dutch language. Soon Botvinnik was to make a big break through in chess by winning the 1931 Soviet Championship. This was the beginning of the Botvinnik era which was to last three decades but his influence would last a lot longer.


  Botvinnik vs Sozin

Novgorod, 1929

White to play and WIN



:4b3/4r3/1pp2k2/p7/2P3PP/1P3PK1/P3R3/8 w - - 0 1:  

This is a complicated ending in which Botvinnik as White failed to win. The three united passed pawns give White the advantage but is it enough to get the full point ?  The main line that follows are the moves that he played in the game until move 14...Kg6. After which he felt he made a serious mistake with 15.Ke8? which allowed his opponent to draw.

1.Rxe7 ...

White has better prospects of winning with the Rooks off the board.

1... Kxe7

2.h5?! ...

This looks natural but may not be the strongest move because it enables Black to carry out a defence which as far as I know has not been considered before. See the note to 6...Kg6 in the main line.

Instead of 2.h5?! 2.f4!! wins: 3...Kf6 3.f5 Ke5 4.h5! Bf7 5.h6! Bg8 6.a3! Bh7 7.Kf3! Bg8 8.b4 a4 9.b5! cxb5 10.cxb5 Bh7 11.Kg3 Bg8 12.Kh3! The King will now infiltrate Black's position 12...Bh7 13.Kh4 Kf6 14.Kh5 Bg8 15.g5+ Kxf5 16.g6 Kf6 17.h7 Bxh7 18.gxh7 Kg7 19.Kg5 Kxh7 20.Kf6+-;

3... Kf6

2...b5 3.cxb5 cxb5 4.Kf4 Kf6 5.g5+ etc. as in main line.

3.Kf4 b5

4.cxb5 cxb5

5.g5+ Kg7 

5...Ke6 does not save Black, 6.Kg4 Bd7 7.f4 Kd5+ 8.Kh4 Ke4 9.h6 Bf5 10.Kh5 +-;

  6.h6+ Kg6?!

6...Kh7! This move keeps the g6 square free for the Bishop so that it can harass the queenside pawn(s) and also makes it possible for the Bishop to attack the kingside pawns from behind and thus offer Black drawing chances. 7.Ke5 Bg6! 8.f4 Bb1 9.a3 b4 10.axb4 axb4 11.Kd4 Kg6 12.Kc4 Kh5 13.Kd5 Kg6 14.Kc5 Kh5 15.Kd4 Bc2 16.Ke5 Kg6 17.Kd6 Bxb3 18.f5+ Kh7 19.Kc5 Bc2 20.f6 Kg6 21.Kxb4 Kf7 22.Kc5 Bh7= a positional draw.

7.Ke5 Bf7!

8.f4 Bg8

9.Kd6 a4  

Black would like to exchange off the queenside pawns.

10.bxa4 bxa4

11.a3 Bh7?! 

11...Kf5 was better, reaching the same position as after Black's 13th move in the main line. 

12.Ke7? ... 

12.Ke6! is the simple win, 12...Bg8+ 13.Ke7 Bh7 14.Kf8! Kf5 15.Kg7 +-;

12... Bg8

13.Kd6 Kf5!

14.Ke7 Kg6  

In this position with Black to move, the win would be easy so White needs to lose a move.  

15.Kd7! ... 

This is the improvement. In the game, Botvinnik played: 15.Ke8? Be6! 16.Kf8 Bf5! 17.Ke7 Bc2 18.Kd6 Bd3 19.Ke6 Bc4+ 20.Ke7 and the game was agreed drawn. White cannot make progress.

15... Kf5 

15...Bh7? 16.Ke6! Bg8+ 17.Ke7 Bh7 18.Kf8 +-;

15...Kf7 16.f5 Bh7 17.g6+ Bxg6 18.fxg6+ Kxg6 19.Kc6 Kxh6 20.Kb5 Kg6 21.Kxa4 Kf6 22.Kb5 Ke7 23.Kc6 Kd8 24.Kb7 +-;

16.Ke8! Kg6

17.Ke7! ... 

Again the same position as after move 14...Kg6 but now Black has the move and he must give way. It is an easy win:

17...Bh7 18Kf8! +-; 17...Bc4 18.f5+ Kh7 19.f6 Kg6 20.h7 Kxh7 21.f7 Bxf7 22.Kxf7 Kh8 23.Kg6! Kg8 24.Kh6 Kh8 25.g6 wins;


 Gens Una Sumus.
Antonio Senatore, Henryk Kalafut and Alexander Voyna win in November.

> > Cumulative competition


1. Cumulative 2004 This event will run from 4/1/2004 to 19/12/2004 with a recess in the Summer. Present rules apply but note the book 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.



Position 312



Position 311

V. Petrov


Position 310



Position 309

Rosselli del Turco


Position 308

Pre 16/11/03 Archives