PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME

*chessending.com*

Editor: Brian. G. E. Gosling

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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 396

White to play and WIN

  

FEN: 2k2n2/8/3B2pK/p4r1p/1p5P/5PP1/PR6/8 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 March 2008.
LAST MONTH POSITION 395

Vlastimil Jansa, (1942- )

Czech International Grandmaster and Author. Czech Champion 1964, 1974 and 1984 (joint). Influenced by IM Emil Richter. Winner of a number of international tournaments and has represented his country in many Olympiads. Author of an important book on chess strategy (Batsford, 2003). Wrote a highly regarded book in conjunction with Vlastimal Hort called: the Best Move (RHM 1980).

Jansa vs Geller

Budapest, 1970

White to play and WIN

FEN:7K/5P2/7k/2R5/5r2/8/2p5/8 w - - 0 1:

In this rook and pawn ending Jansa was able to carry out a winning idea first put forward by Emanuel Lasker in a endgame study in 1890 known as the Lasker Manoeuvre or the Lasker Pin. The Black King is driven back a rank and the same idea or manoeuvre is repeated until the enemy King is in line with its pawn. Then by capturing the enemy pawn and offering the Rook at the same time, a tactical pin is set up. White is then able to queen his own pawn. The idea is worth remembering because it often occurs in practical play. Here Jansa uses it to defeat a top Russian Grandmaster.

1.Rc6+ Kh5

Forced, if 1...Kg5 2.Kg7 wins;

2.Kg7 Rg4+

3.Kh7 ...

The King plays an important role in forcing the enemy King to descend the "ladder"

3... Rf4

4.Rc5+ Kh4

The King is again forced to descend

5.Kg7 Rg4+

6.Kf6 ...

White threatens to queen his pawn forcing Black's answer....

6... Rf4+

7.Ke6 Re4+

8.Kf5 Re2

9.Kg6 ....

In the game Geller resigned here. It is worth playing out lost theoretical endings sometimes, especially as time is a factor in o-t-b situations.

9... Rg2+

10.Kh6 ...

The King reaches the h-file again and so is protected from checks;

10... Rf2

11.Rc4+ ...

The cycle begins again and so the enemy King is forced down another rank;

11... Kh3

12.Kg6 Rg2+

13.Kh5 Rf2

14.Rc3+ Kg2

Now White can play a diabolical tactical trick

15.Rxc2!

The enemy Rook is pinned and the White pawn will promote to a queen

 " I too learned a love for compositions from Emil Richter. Chess studies are, to my opinion, now an underappreciated tool of training and of chess in general. So often one can find there some crystaline truth about positions, strategic ideas, or strength of individual pieces. I like the studies by Kasparian, Reti, Matison, and Troitsky....."

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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