PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME

*www.chessending.com*

Editor: Brian Gosling

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


I have decided to add further endings to the site on a monthly basis. The new position will appear at the beginning of each new month. You are invited to solve it. I will be pleased to receive feedback about the positions and the analysis. The solution will be published the following month with the new position. Some of these positions will come from actual historical games. Others will be composed endgame studies, but they will be relevant to the practical game. The site has over 400 chess endings and endgame studies and and has been running for over seven years. An explanation of the different types of endings is given below. Thanks for your support.

A database of chess endings.
Thanks to Antonio Senatore and Fernando Rossetti.
THIS MONTH

POSITION 361

White to play and WIN

 

FEN:8/5N2/pp6/5pP1/2k2r2/K1P5/3P1P2/8 w - - 0 1: 

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

Solution for the above plus new position: 1st April 2005.
THIS MONTH, POSITION 360

Harry Pillsbury, (1872-1906).

American Grandmaster. One of the great charismatic figures of chess. He was in the top four from 1895 to 1903. His victory at Hastings (1895) when he had no previous international experience was a remarkable achievement.  Not since the time of Morphy had an American made such an impact on Europe. He was a sponsor's dream; always outgoing and entertaining. For a number of years he operated AJEEB, the chessplaying automation and he was an outstanding blindfold player. He would often play a number of chess and draught games blindfolded whilst playing whist. These displays made Pillsbury very famous. 

 

Pillsbury vs Em Lasker

St. Petersburg 1895/6

White to play and WIN

FEN:8/5p2/1Np3p1/8/P2Kbk1p/1P5P/6P1/8 w - - 0 1:

This is a wonderful ending which seems to have been overlooked by many commentators. Pillsbury had a keen understanding of the strategy of the endgame, and with his great calculating ability, was a match even for the then World Champion.

White plays his trump card . The passed a-pawn has to be advanced quickly for victory.

1.a5! ...

Blocking the c-pawn is a waste of time because the Bishop arrives on the f1-c6 diagonal holding up the advance of the a-pawn: 1.Kc5? Bxg2 2.a5 Bf1 3.b4 (3.Nc4 Bxh3 4.a6 Bc8 -+) 3...g5 4.Nc4 g4 5.hxg4 h3 6.a6 h2 7.a7 h1Q 8.a8Q Qd5+ 9.Kb6 Qxc4-+;

1... c5+  

1...Bxg2 2.a6! c5+ 3.Kxc5 and as in main line;  

2.Kxc5 Bxg2

3.a6 g5  

4.Nd5+ Ke5

5.Ne3 Bf3  

5...Ba8 6.b4 Ke4 (if 6...f5 7.b5 f4 8.b6 fxe3 9.b7 Bxb7 10.axb7 Ke4 11.b8Q e2 12.Qb1++-) 7.b5 Kxe3 8.b6 g4 9.b7 Bxb7 10.axb7 g3 11.b8Q g2 12.Qb4+-;

6.b4 ...

The winning strategy is to bring up support for the a-pawn by advancing the b-pawn and then one of the pawns is bound to queen. White has to take care that the advanced pawns cannot be blockaded.

6... Ke6  

6...f5 7.b5 g4 8.Nxg4+ fxg4 9.b6 g3 10.b7 g2 11.b8Q+ +-; 

7.b5 ...

Black's task is hopeless. If the King goes forward to try and blockade the pawns then the White Knight comes to d5 and the Bishop is shut out.

7... Be2

8.Nd5 Resigned.

If 8... Bf3 then 9.b6 Bxd5 10.b7! +-;  

Gens Una Sumus
8X8 Basic Endings for Success

Tarrasch, 1906

 White to move:

1.Rg1+ Kh7 (1...Kf6 2.Kf8 wins) 2.Re1! (2.Rg4 also wins i.e., building the bridge Lucena style) 2...Rd2 3.Kf7 Rf2+ 4.Ke6 White Wins easily.

Black to move:

King is on the short side and his Rook has the required checking distance of three squares to draw the ending: 1...Ra8+ 2.Kd7 Ra7+ 3.Kd6 Ra6+ 4.Kd5 Ra5+ 5.Kc6 Ra6+ 6.Kb7 Re6 Black Draws.

 

 


I would like to briefly summarise the type of endings found on the site. These are; (a) Basic endings. (b) Practical chess endings. (c) The Endgame study.

All these are interrelated and important and you cannot understand (b) or (c) without a knowledge of (a).

(a) Basic Endings. These are theoretical positions in which we know the correct result with optimum play by both sides. They may consist of three pawns or less and also include all the non-pawn and five piece endings which have now been extensively analysed by computer and of which we have tablebases. In the days when we had adjournments some of these endings could be looked up in text books to give us some idea how to play the position. As we no longer can do this, knowledge and memory of these endings has become important in practical play. Fundamental Chess Endings (2001) by Muller and Lamprecht and Basic Endings (1992) by Balashov and Prandstetter and the earlier A Pocket Guide to Chess Endgames (1970) by David Hooper are good introductions to these endings.

(b) Practical Endings. These occur in over-the-board play where usually more pawns are present. The above ending is an example of this type. Some of these endings are in the process of being transformed to basic endings but often they finish before this stage is reached. Endgame strategy is very different from the middlegame and has its own set of rules and exceptions. Fine's book Basic Chess Endings (1941,2003) recently revised by Pal Benko and Batsford Chess Endings (1993) by Speelman, Tisdall and Wade are about basic and practical endings and both can be recommended.

(c) Endgame Studies. These are positions which have been composed and will contain elements of one or both of the above types of endings. But there are important differences between these types and the study, such as artistic form and economy of construction. An endgame study has to follow strict rules of composition, especially if it is entered into a composing competition. One of these rules states there should only be one solution. If there is an unintended second solution then the study is unsound and said to be "cooked".

Endgame studies are important to the practical player because they enhance his imagination and help him learn and enjoy areas of theory without too much effort.

John Nunn's Endgame Challenge (2002) is an excellent introduction to using endgame studies as a training tool. Walter Korn's American Chess Art (1995) is a basic introduction to the endgame study and a more comprehensive work is John Roycroft's Test Tube Chess (1972).
Pre 18/04/04 Archives

mailto: brigosling@aol.com

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ARCHIVES

01/02/05

Position 359

Horwitz & Kling

16/01/05

Position 358

Przepiorka

19/12/04

Position 357

Keres

12/12/04

Position 356

Matous

05/12/04

Position 355

Taubenhaus

28/11/04

Position 354

Kazantev

21/11/04

Position 353

Geller

14/11/04

Position 352

Somov-Nasimovich

07/11/04

Position 351

Santasiere

31/10/04

Position 350

Kubbel

24/10/04

Position 349

Botvinnik

17/10/04

Position 348

Mattison

10/10/04

Position 347

Marshall

03/10/04

Position 346

Vandecasteele

26/09/04

Position 345

Levenfish

19/09/04

Position 344

L. Pachman

12/09/04

Position 343

Makhatadze

05/09/04

Position 342

Capablanca

29/08/04

Position 341

Herbstman

22/08/04

Position 340

Yates

04/07/04

Position 339

Kasparyan

27/06/04

Position 338

Petrosian

20/06/04

Position 337

Chekhover

12/06/04

Position 336

Mecking

06/06/04

Position 335

Tattersall

30/05/04

Position 334

Tartakower

23/05/04

Position 333

Sochniev

16/05/04

Position 332

Polugayevsky

09/05/04

Position 331

Koltanowski

02/05/04

Position 330

Euwe

25/04/04

Position 329

Troizky

18/04/04

Position 328

Em Lasker