PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME

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The Season's Greetings to you all.

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Editor: Brian Gosling

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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 eight years. An explanation of the different types of endings is given below.

A database of chess endings.
Thanks to Bill Frost and to Antonio Senatore
THIS MONTH

POSITION 370

White to play and WIN

FEN:8/1ppkn1Q1/p2p2Bp/3P1p2/4qP1P/2B3PK/1P6/8 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 JANUARY 2006.


LAST MONTH, POSITION 369

Genrikh Kasparyan, (1910-1995).

Soviet International Master and Brilliant Endgame Study Composer. He was finalist and semi-finalist in several Soviet championships. In one of these competitions he beat the young Botvinnik. He won the Armenian championship many times. One of his rivals was the young Tigran Petrosian and they had many exciting battles. Kasparyan will be chiefly remembered for his studies. He was world class in this field and won many prizes. Author of "Domination in 2545 Endgame Studies."(1980).

  G. Kasparyan

Shakhmaty v SSSR, 1932

White to play and WIN

FEN:2N5/8/b2Kp2B/8/3k4/8/8/5N2 w - - 0 1:

The ending NNBvB is usually winning for the stronger side as indicated by Tablebases. But in this position White is going to lose a Knight. Both the  Knights are threatened by the Bishop at "a6". Which Knight to save? White works out a wonderful winning manoeuvre based on the idea of surrounding the Black Bishop. Yes, the Knight at "f1" will be saved . The other Knight will be used as bait; the Black Bishop will be trapped in the top left-hand corner of the board. The ending BNvB is usually drawn but in this study Kasparyan shows an exception where the imprisoned Bishop of the weaker side is captured leading to a won ending.

1.Bg7+ Ke4

Allowing both Knights to escape will lead to a lost endgame: 1...Kd3? 2.Nb6 Ke2 3.Ng3+ Kf3 4.Be5 Bb7 5.Kxe6 Ke3 6.Nf5+ +-;

2.Nd2+ Kd3

Black keeps up his twin attack against the Knights.

3.Nb3 Bxc8

The Bishop is trapped here on the a6-c8 diagonal. If 3...Ke3 4.Nb6 Kf4 5.Nc5 Be2 6.Nxe6+ +-;

4.Kc7! Kc4!

4... Ba6? 5.Nc5+! is a winning fork; 4...e5 5.Kxc8 +-;

5.Na5+ Kb5

6.Nc6 Ba6

6...Kc5 7.Bf8+ (7.Kxc8?? Kxc6=) 7...Kb5 8.Na7+ Kc4 9.Nxc8 wins;

7.Nb8! Ka5

8.Bc3+ Kb5

9.Bd2! ...

White can still go wrong and allow the Black Bishop to escape: 9.Be1? e5 10.Bd2 e4 11.Be1 e3 12. Bc3 Kc4=;

9... e5

Black will soon run out of moves with the pawn and will have to bow to the inevitable loss of the Bishop.

10.Be1 e4

11.Bd2 e3

12.Bxe3 Ka5

The ending BNvB is usually drawn but here we have a clever exception. The Black Monarch will be forced to relinquish its protection of the Bishop.

13.Bd2+ Kb5

14.Be1 Kc4

15.Nxa6 wins. 

A wonderful example of the endgame composers art.


8X8 Basic Endings for Success

 

 

 

 

 

 

Em. Lasker vs Steinitz

WC, Moscow, 1896 

White to play and WIN

After 1.g4! was played Black resigned. Steinitz had no wish to test Lasker's superb knowledge of basic endgames. Notice how the White Rook cuts off the enemy King from the g-pawn. The Black Rook is forced to give up control of the e-file because it has to track the g-pawn. White will achieve the winning Lucena position as follows: 1...Kd4 2.g5 Rg1 3.Ke6 Ke4 4.Ra5 Kf4 5.Kf6 Ke4 6.g6 Rf1+7.Kg7 Rh1 8.Kg8 Rh2 9.g7. White will now win in Lucena style by building a bridge with his Rook so that the King can escape and the pawn can queen. 

 

 

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 17/10/04 Archives

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01/11/05

Position 368

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01/10/05

Position 367

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01/09/05

Position 366

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Position 365

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01/07/05

Position 364

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Position 363

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Position 360

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Position 359

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16/01/05

Position 358

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19/12/04

Position 357

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05/12/04

Position 355

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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

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31/10/04

Position 350

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24/10/04

Position 349

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17/10/04

Position 348

Mattison