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 365

White to play and WIN

FEN:4kr2/5p1K/3p1Q2/1p4P1/4P3/1PP5/7b/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 AUGUST 2005.


LAST MONTH, POSITION 364

William Napier, (1881-1952).

English-born American player of GM strength. He was a member of the prestigious Brooklyn Chess Club at a time when Showalter, Marshall and Pillsbury were among its ranks. He showed much promise when as a teenager he beat Frank Marshall in a long match.  Napier was the first holder of the BCF championship title after beating Henry Atkins in a play-off at Hastings in 1904. After a short international career, he gave up competitive chess for a life in insurance. He was married to Pillsbury's niece.

W. Napier vs F. Lee

Hastings 1904

White to play and WIN

FEN:2k5/1p1b1B2/p1p1p2p/K1P1Pp2/PP6/6P1/7P/8 w - - 0 1:

Francis Lee and the watching crowd thought that this ending would be drawn but Napier showed his class as his King crept among Lee's queenside pawns. The Black Bishop lacks mobility because it is hampered by his own pawns. White applies pressure against the weak queenside, re-routing his Bishop onto the h1-a8 diagonal and making a breach against Black's defence by advancing his own queenside pawns. It is a classical "good" versus "bad" Bishop ending.

1.Kb6! ...

1.Bh5? Kc7! and Black's fortress is difficult to breakdown.

2... Kb8  

1...a5 2.bxa5! Kb8 3.Bh5 Kc8 4.Bf3 Kb8 5.a6 bxa6 6.Bxc6 Bc8 7.a5 h5 8.h4 wins;

 2.Bh5! Kc8  

2...Bc8? 3.Be8+-;  

3.Bf3! Kb8 

3...Be8 4.b5 axb5 5.axb5 cxb5 6.Bxb7+ Kd8 7.c6+-

White is ready for the pawn breakthrough. 

4.b5! axb5  

4cxb5 5.Bxb7 bxa4 6.Bxa6 a3 7.Bc4 Kc8 8.c6! +-

 5.axb5 cxb5  

5...Be8 6.bxc6 bxc6 7.Bxc6 Bh5 8.Bd7 Bf3 9.Bxe6 wins;

6.Bxb7 Bc8

6... b4 7.c6 Bxc6 8.Bxc6 b3 9.Ba4 wins;

7.Bxc8 Kxc8

8.Kxb5 WINS.

This was an important win for Napier on his way to becoming the first British Chess Federation Champion.

 Gens Una Sumus
8X8 Basic Endings for Success

 

 

 

White to play and WIN

The ending RvB is usually drawn but here the Black King finds itself in a bad corner. The winning idea is to attack the Bishop in such away that mate is threatened at the same time. Firstly the Bishop has to be forced out in the open; 1.Rf1 Bh2 2.Rf2 Bg3 3.Rg2! The Bishop cannot go to the f- or h-files because of the discovered check, winning the Bishop. 3...Bd6 4.Rd2 Be7 5.Ra2 Kf8 6.Ra8 + and the Bishop is lost.

 

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

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ARCHIVES

01/06/05

Position 363

Timman

01/05/05

Position 362

Schlechter

01/04/05

Position 361

Rinck

01/03/05

Position 360

Pillsbury

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