PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME

*chessending.com*

Editor: Brian. G. E. Gosling

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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 now reached its 10th year.

A database of chess endings
Thanks to Antonio Senatore
THIS MONTH

POSITION 391

White to play and WIN

FEN:1r6/3k2p1/2p3p1/3pP3/pB1PbPP1/P3K3/8/6R1 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 October 2007.


LAST MONTH POSITION 390

Nikolai Dmitriyevich Grigoriev, (1895-1938).

Famous Soviet Endgame Composer, Player and Organiser. He was one of the pioneers of Soviet chess. He played in some of the earlier Soviet Tournaments. In the early 20's he was Moscow champion. He was involved with the running of the 1925, 1935 and 1936 Moscow tournaments. He was renowned for showing great artistry in his pawn studies. He died after an operation for appendicitis.

White to play and WIN

FEN:8/p2p1p2/1p3P2/k4Pp1/1p1P4/1p5P/3P2P1/3K4 w - - 0 1:

King and pawn endings may look simple but they are always full of surprises. White has to blockade the passed b-pawns with his King. But in doing so, Black has an ingenious plan based on stalemate which only just fails. The "walling in" process can often occur in K&p endings with a group of pawns near the King.

1.Kc1 ...

White's intention to create an h-pawn just fails: 1.g3 Ka4 2.Kc1 Ka3 3.Kb1 b2 4.h4 Kb3 5.h5 a5 6.h6 a4 7.h7 a3 8.h8Q a2#;

1... Ka4

1...Kb5 2.g3 Kc4 3.h4 gxh4 4.gxh4 Kxd4 5.h5 Ke5 6.h6 Kxf6 7.Kb2 a5 8.Kxb3 b5 9.d4 d5 10.Kb2 a4 11.Ka2 b3+ 12.Ka3 b4+ 13.Kb2+-;

2.Kb2 b5!

Black starts a "walling in" process hoping for a stalemate.

3.g3 a5

4.h4 gxh4

5.gxh4 d5!

The "walling in" is finished. White sees Black's cunning plan just in time.

He allows the Black King freedom to avoid the stalemate.

6.Kb1 ...

Not 6.h5?? stalemate

6... Ka3

The "walling in" process begins again.

7.h5 b2

8.h6 a4

9.h7 b3

10.h8N!! ...

The only way to deal with Black's devilish plan.

10.h8Q (R,B) b4 and stalemate cannot be avoided.

10... b4

11.Ng6!...

The move that avoids the stalemate.

11... fxg6

12.f7 gxf5!

The last trick .

12...g5 13.f8N!! g4 14.Ne6 g3 15.Nc7 g2 16.Nb5#

13.f8N!! ...

13.f8Q? f4 14.d3 f3 15.Qf4 f2 16.Qxf2 stalemate.

13...f4 14.Ne6 f3 15.Nc7 f2 16.Nb5 mate.

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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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