PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME

*www.chessending.com*

05/12/2004

Editor: Brian Gosling

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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, Henryk Kalafut, Gerard O'Reilly, Rainer Staudte, Josep S. Blanes and Valdir Uchoa Jr.
THIS WEEK

POSITION 356

White to play and WIN

FORSYTH NOTATION:8/qb6/8/2p5/2Q5/8/8/3BKn1k w - - 0 1:

It is good training to try initially to solve the endings without the assistance of a chess playing programme.

> > Cumulative competition


LAST WEEK, POSITION 355

Jean Taubenhaus, (1850-1919).

Professional Player and Teacher. Born in Poland but moved to Paris in 1883 and became a French citizen. Never a brilliant tournament competitor but sometimes he could cause a major upset.

Burn vs Taubenhaus

American Congress, 1889

Black to play and WIN (?)

FORSYTH NOTATION:8/8/8/3N4/2p2Kp1/3b2P1/8/4k3 b - - 0 1:

This game took place in the 6th American Congress, New York in 1889. This was one of the greatest and wearisome chess events of all time. It consisted of twenty players who had to play each other twice. In the second round, draws did not count so some players found themselves playing in total nearly fifty games !! The tournament included all the strongest players of the day except Steinitz, the World Champion, who had the task of editing the tournament book. He had high praise for Taubenhaus's conduct of this ending but as we shall see later there were omissions in Steinitz's analysis for White's moves. Amos Burn was worn out trying to defend this long difficult ending but it does seem that with optimal play he could have drawn it.

1... Kd2

Black decides on the plan of giving up the g-pawn, advancing the c-pawn and corralling the Knight. We have to give credit to Taubenhaus for finding this beautiful idea after many hours of play. In practical play Black's plan works and only fails against optimal defence. It seems that Black has no winning chances if he holds on to the g-pawn: 1... Be2 2. Ke3 Bf1 3.Kf4 Bh3 4.Ke3 Bg2 5.Nf6 Bf1 6.Ne4 Kd1 7.Nf2+ Kc2 8.Nxg4 c3 9.Kd4 Kb3 10.Ne3+ and White will draw comfortably with the advance of the g-pawn.

2.Kxg4 Be4!

3.Nb6? ...

3.Nc7! prevents the advance of the c-pawn(3... c3? 4.Nb5 c2 5.Nd4 =) 3... Bc6 seems best 4.Na6 Bb7 5.Nc7 Kd3 6.Nb5 Bc6 7.Na3 c3 8.Kf4... Black cannot make progress. The White drawing plan for this position is as follows: The King advances with the g-pawn. The Knight from a3 guards the important "c2" square. If Black tries to make the manoeuvre Kd4-c5-b4 then White will control the important "d4" square. Fortunately for White the Knight's hold on"c2"cannot be broken to Black's advantage. The Knight at "a3" defends brilliantly because it cannot be removed as the Bishop is of the wrong colour. The Black King cannot attack the Knight without losing the pawn to a deadly fork. The secret of understanding this remarkable position is in the knowledge of the basic ending: KNvKBP. This kind of knowledge has become much easier to acquire with the introduction of endgame tablebases with chess computer programs.

3... c3

4.Nc4+ Kd3

5.Na3! ...

The only move to draw and extremely important, as indicated in the above note.

5... Ke3!

Steinitz, the reigning World Champion gave high praise to Black's conduct of the ending.

Black's only hope of winning is to wait for a mistake in the positioning of the enemy King and then dislodge the Knight at "a3" with his King. He has to be careful which way he goes. 5... Kd4?? 6.Nb5+ =; or 5... Kd2?? 6. Nb5 c2 7.Nd4 =;

6.Kg5? ...

This move throws away the draw. 6.Kh5! is the important move that Steinitz and Burn missed. It is logical because the King makes way for the quick advance of the g-pawn and Black no longer has the time to dislodge the Knight. 6...Bf3+ 7.Kh4! Be2 8.g4 Bd3 (8...Kf4 9.g5 Kf5 10.Kg3 Kxg5 11.Kf2 Bc4 12.Ke3 Ba6 13.Kd4 =)9.Kh5 Kf4 ( 9...Be2 10.Kh4 Kf4 11.g5 Bd3 12.g6! Bxg6 13.Nb5 c2 14.Nd4 c1Q 15.Ne2+ =) 10.g5 Kf5 11.Kh6 Ke6 12.g6! Kf6 13.g7 Kf7 14.Kg5 Kxg7 15.Kf4 Kf6 16.Ke3 Ba6 17.Kd4=;

6... Bd3!

The Bishop corrals the Knight and stays on the important b1-h7 diagonal. Taubenhaus grabs his chance to win against a player who was amongst the top players in the world.

7.Kf6 Kd4!

Black plays for the winning manoeuvre to dislodge the Knight from "a3" so that the passed pawn can advance. The advance of the g-pawn is too slow but White has no reasonable moves.

8.g4 Kc5!

9.Ke5 ...

9.g5 Kb4 10.g6 is again too slow.

9... Bh7!

9... Kb4? 10. Kd4 Bg6 11. Nb5 c2 12. Nc3 =;

10.g5 Bg6

11.Kf6 Kb4

12.Kxg6 Kxa3

13.Kf7 c2

14.g6 c1Q

15.g7 Qf4+ 16.Kg6 Qg4+ 17.Kf7 Qf5+ 18.Kg8 Kb4;

Black has an elementary win and White soon resigned. With the help of a tool of the new age, computer analysis, we see that Taubenhaus played this ending accurately but Burn was lack lustre. Steinitz with the publication of the 1889 New York Tournament book gave us an important historical record of this event. At that time he was the best player and analyst around and his theories about the game pushed forward its development. But we have discovered omissions in Steinitz's commentary and analysis of the final phase of this game. I suppose we have to ask the awkward question: How much of 19th century tournament analysis and game commentary can we really trust as being accurate ?

 Gens Una Sumus
> > Cumulative competition 

Rainer Staudte wins in November.

 

There will be a special prize for the highest placed newcomer in 2004.


The winners of the 2003 cumulative competition:  

1st

Antonio Senatore - Argentina,

Henryk Kalafut - USA,

Alexander Voyna- Ukraine

4th

Gerard O'Reilly - England

  COMPETITIONS for 2004

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.
Pre 18/04/04 Archives

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28/11/04

Position 354

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21/11/04

Position 353

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14/11/04

Position 352

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07/11/04

Position 351

Santasiere

31/10/04

Position 350

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24/10/04

Position 349

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17/10/04

Position 348

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10/10/04

Position 347

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03/10/04

Position 346

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26/09/04

Position 345

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19/09/04

Position 344

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12/09/04

Position 343

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05/09/04

Position 342

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29/08/04

Position 341

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22/08/04

Position 340

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04/07/04

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27/06/04

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20/06/04

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12/06/04

Position 336

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06/06/04

Position 335

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30/05/04

Position 334

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23/05/04

Position 333

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16/05/04

Position 332

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09/05/04

Position 331

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02/05/04

Position 330

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25/04/04

Position 329

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18/04/04

Position 328

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