Endgame Solving Competition.



David Rowe of England Wins.

Grade B-





The solutions


A. Selesniev,

White to play & WIN


FORSYTH NOTATION :8/8/8/p2K1p2/3P1Pk1/8/8/8:

1.Kc4! Kxf4 2.d5 Ke5 [2...Kg3? 3.d6 f4 4.d7 f3 5.d8Q f2+- there is no stalemate defence available because of the extra Black pawn.] 3.Kc5 f4 [3...a4 4.d6 a3 5.d7 a2 6.d8Q a1Q 7.Qh8+ and White wins by a skewer .] 4.d6 f3 [4...Ke6 5.Kc6 f3 6.d7 f2 7.d8Q f1Q but White can pick up the Black Queen. 8.Qe8+ Kf6 9.Qf8+.] 5.d7 f2 6.d8Q f1Q 7.Qe8+ Kf6 8.Qf8+ and White wins.


F. Simhovitch, 1924

White to play & DRAW


FORSYTH NOTATION: 2br4/r2pp3/8/1p1p1kN1/pP1P4/2P3R1/PP3PP1/2K5:

1.Nf7! Re8 [1...Rf8 2.Rf3+ Kg6 3.Ne5+ Kg7 4.Rg3+ Kh7 5.Rh3+ =] 2.Nd6+!! [ Chess programs Crafty 12.9 and Chess Genius 1.0 were unable to find this deep positional sacrifice but came up with 2.Nh6+ Kf6 with White evaluated as three pawns down, Valentin Albillo.] 2...exd6 [ The Knight has to be taken. If 2...Kf6? 3.Rf3+ Kg6 4.Nxe8 d6 5.Kd2 Bd7 6.Rg3+ Kf7 7.Ng7 +-The Knight escapes and Black is worse.] 3.Rf3+ Kg6 [3...Kg5 4.Rg3+ Kf6 5.Rf3+ Ke7=] 4.Rg3+ Kf7 5.Rf3+ Ke7 6.Re3+ Kd8 7.Rxe8+ Kxe8 8.a3!! Bb7 9.Kd1 Kf7 10.Ke1 Ra8 11.Kf1 Rh8 12.Kg1! White after f3 and g3 sets up a fortress position which Black cannot penetrate so the result is a positional draw !!

Conventional chess programs have a problem with fortress type positions because the usual material assessments no longer count. The Bishop is imprisoned and the Rook is useless because it has no unguarded entry points into White's position.


L Kubbel, 1924

White to play & WIN


FORSYTH NOTATION:r7/5p2/8/p6P/2kP1P2/Q7/4N1q1/1K3n2:

1.Qa2+! Kb4 [1...Kb5? 2.Nc3+ and Black loses his Queen.] 2.Qb2+ Kc4 3.Qc2+ Kb4 4.Kb2! Qd5 5.Qa4+!! [This Queen sacrifice is the most difficult move to find.] Kxa4 6.Nc3+ Kb4 7.Nxd5+ Kc4 [7...Kb5 8.Nc7+ Kb6 9.Nxa8+ Kb7 10.h6 and this pawn promotes] 8.Nb6+ and White wins.


L.Van VLiet, 1888

White to play & WIN

  FORSYTH NOTATION:K7/1P6/k1q5/8/8/8/8/1Q6:

This position was probably the easiest to solve of the five. The winning idea is White sets up a "skewer" on the b-file. This idea is "echoed" in many of the variations.

1.Qb4! Qh1! [1...Qd5 2.Qa4+ Kb6 3.Qb3+ Qxb3 4.b8Q+ Black loses his Queen; 1...Qf3 2.Qa4+ Kb6 3.Qb3+ Qxb3 4.b8Q+ again Black loses Queen; 1...Qg2 2.Qa3+ Kb5 3.Qb2+ Qxb2 4.b8Q+ ] 2.Qa3+ Kb6 [2...Kb5 3.Qb2+ Kc4 (3...Ka4 4.Qa2+ Kb4 5.Qb1+ Qxb1 6.b8Q+) 4.Ka7 Qg1+ 5.Ka6 Qg6+ 6.Qb6 and Black has no more checks.] 3.Qb2+ Ka6 [3...Kc7 4.Qh2+ Qxh2 5.b8Q+; 3...Kc5 4.Ka7 Qh7 5.Qb6+ Kc4 6.Ka6] 4.Qa2+ Kb5 5.Qb1+ Qxb1 6.b8Q+ and wins.


Fischer v Keres,

Zurich 1959

White to play & WIN

FORSYTH NOTATION:8/4kb2/B6R/6r1/4Kp2/5P1P/8/8:

This position is taken from a game of historical interest. It was Bobby's first win against a top soviet grandmaster Paul Keres and it indicated he would be a serious contender for the World Championship. It shows his superb endgame technique.

1.Bc8! [1.Kxf4? Rh5= Fischer ] 1...Rg6 [ 1...Rh5 2.Rxh5 Bxh5 3.Kxf4?(3.Bg5 Bg6+ 4.Kxf4 Kf6= Fischer ) 3...Bxf3!!=] 2.Rh7 [2.Rxg6 Bxg6+ 3.Kxf4 Kf6=] 2...Kf8 3.Bg4! [ threatening RxB+ winning;] 3...Rg7 4.Rh6 Rg6 5.Rxg6! [ now the exchange is good because the King is still on the back rank.] 5...Bxg6+ 6.Kxf4 [ White still has to be careful. The defender can try and give up his Bishop for the f-pawn and then the position will be a theoretical draw.] 6...Kg7 7.Kg5! [ Superb play, this move stops Black from forming a blockade at h6 or f6.] 7...Bd3 8.f4 Be4 9.h4 Bd3 10.h5 Be4 11.h6+ Kh8 12.Bf5 [ the Bishop has to be driven from the diagonal so that the pawn can advance.] 12...Bd5 13.Bg6 Be6 14.Kf6 Bc4 15.Kg5 Be6 16.Bh5! Kh7 17.Bg4! [ again the Bishop is forced from the diagonal. ] 17...Bc4 [17...Bxg4? 18.Kxg4 Kxh6 19.Kf5 Kg7 20.Ke6+- ] 18.f5 Bf7 19.Bh5 Bc4 20.Bg6+ Kg8 21.f6 and White wins.






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