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 395

White to play and WIN

FEN:7K/5P2/7k/2R5/5r2/8/2p5/8 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 February 2008.
LAST MONTH POSITION 394

Dr Siegbert Tarrasch, (1862-1934).

German Grandmaster, World Championship Challenger. A very great player who in the winter of 1890 could have played Steinitz for the World Championship but let the opportunity pass him by. After Emanuel Lasker had arrived on the scene and became the World Champion in 1894, Tarrasch was never really in contention for the title, losing the 1908 match against him easily. He compensated for not winning the crown by becoming an important chess writer and theoretician, explaining the difficult theories of Steinitz clearly. His two best books: Three Hundred Best Games and The Game of Chess showed he was a writer and teacher of a high standard. Tarrasch was a great disciple of chess and spread the gospel even in difficult times. "Chess, like music, like love, has the power to make men happy."  

Tarrasch vs Reti

Vienna, 1922

White to play and WIN

FEN:r6k/3R3p/4p1pB/1n1p1p2/3P4/2P2P1P/6PK/8 w - - 0 1:

In his early days Tarrasch passed on the revolutionary theories of Steinitz to his fellow players but now in the twilight of his career he faced a breed of younger men who had their own ideas of how the game should be played. He relished the chance to play the hypermoderns and he occasionally inflicted a devastating defeat.

1.Kg3!! ...

In many endings it is the influence of the King which makes the difference. White plans to advance and use his King in a mating attack.

1... Nxc3

Black has no satisfactory reply to White's plan. 1...g5 2.Bxg5 Rg8 3.Kf4 Rg6 4.h4! h6 5.Be7 Nxc3 6.g4 Kg8 7.h5 Rg7 8.Rd8+ Kf7 9.Bb4 Ne2+ 10.Ke3+-;

2.Kf4 Nb5

3.Ke5 Re8

3...Kg8 4.Rg7+ ( not 4.Kxe6? Nxd4+ 5.Kxd5 Nc2 and Black has drawing chances) 4...Kh8 5.Rb7 Na3 6.Kxe6 Kg8 7.Rg7+ Kh8 8.Rc7 Kg8 9.Kxd5 Nb5 10.Rg7+ Kh8 11.Kc5 Nc3 12.d5+-

4.Kf6 ...

In the game Black resigned here. The threat of King to f7 is devastating and Black has no answer. Play might have continued:

4... Kg8

5.Rg7+ Kh8

6.Rb7 Nd6

7.Rd7 Nb5

8.Kf7 Rg8

Forced because of the Bishop mate threat at g7.

9.Rd8!

Black can only put off the end for a few more moves. 9... Nd6+ (if 9...Rxd8 10.Bg7#; ) 10.Rxd6 g5 (10...e5 or 10...f4) 11.Rd8 Rxd8 12.Bg7#;

My Lil Reminder

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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).
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Position 368

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