Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

Games versus GMs

Welcome to my chess page. This is mostly random thoughts and analysis in the form of a chess diary with other sections of the site slowly developing. A lot of the content will come from my own experience. There are two reasons for this. One, so I can use this site as a self-improvement tool. Two, so you the readers will have content that is not found on other chess sites. Follow the link to the left to reach my annotated games against grandmasters. Send me comments and ideas

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Corrections to Basic Chess Endings

7/21/18 - Martinovsky-Bereolos, 1995 USAT-Midwest

One of the endings that each iteration of the tablebases has shed new light on is from my game against Eugene Martinovsky in the 1995 US Amateur Team Championship, Midwest. I had gone back and forth with my assessment of this ending from draw to win for White. Now, technology has advanced to the point where we can absolutely say that the position after 54. Bxh5 is winning for White.

It's obvious that without the h-pawn, that the position is a draw because White can't force the Black pieces off of f6. Without one of the f-pawns, Black will also hold since he can sacrifice his knight for the other f-pawn leaving White with a bishop and wrong colored rook pawn. However, with the doubled f-pawns, the latter possibility is taken away. 54...Nf6 55.Bg6 Ng8 56.Kd4 Kf6 57.Bc2 Ne7 58.Bb1 Kg7 59.f5 Kf6 60.f4?

I didn't give the whole story at the beginning. Black's other way to draw is to try to set up a fortress. The text move looks logical as it takes away g5 from the Black king in preparation of h5. However, the f3 pawn was serving an important role in taking away g4 as a transition square for the Black knight. The very concrete way to win is 60.h5 Kg5 61.f4+ Kf6 (61...Kxh5 62.f6 and the Black King is cut off from the defense) 62.h6! Nc6+ (62...Kf7 63.h7 Kg7 64.f6+) 63.Kd5 Nd8 64.h7 Nf7 65.Kc6 Kg7 66.Kd7 Kf6 67.Ke8 and White crashes through to e7 or f8 60...Kg7 61.h5 Ng8! 62.Bc2 Kf6 63.Bb3 Nh6! 64.Be6 Ke7? With the White bishop now somewhat out of play, Black has the idea to win the h-pawn with Ng4-Kg7-Nf6-Nxh5 so 64...Ng4 65.Bd7 Kg7 66.Be8 Nf6

this is the fortress Black should aim for. The Nf6/d6 combination stops penetration by White's king and the White bishop is even further out of play after 67.Bg6 Kh6 Now, if White brings his king to h4 as in the game, Black can just plant his king on h6 and mark time with his knight. That only leaves the plan of trying to come around via the queenside, 68.Kd3 triangulating to wait for the Black king to be further away on h6 (68.Kc4 Kg7 69.Kb5 Nd5! 70.Kc6 Nxf4! 71.Kxd6 Kf6! followed by Nxh5 is an easier draw for Black.) 68...Kg7 69.Kc4 Kh6 70.Kb5 Nd5! 71.Kc6 Nxf4! 72.Kxd6 Kg5! 73.Ke5 Nd3+! 74.Ke4 Nf4 and White can't make progess.

For example, 75.Be8 Ng2 with the idea Nh4xf5 76.Ke5 Ne3 77.f6 Ng4+ 65.Ke4 Kf6 transferring the knight to f6 no longer works since the Black king does not control h6 65...Ng4 66.Kf3 Nf6 67.h6!+- 66.Kf3 Ke7 67.Kg3 Kf6 68.Kh4

The Black pieces are reversed from the earlier diagram so the knight has no moves and Black is forced to advance his d-pawn. 68...d5 69.Kg3! d4 69...Kg7 70.Kf3 d4 71.Ke2! Ng4 72.Bd5! Black was threatening to win the h-pawn with Nf6 72...Nf6 73.Bf3! and Black does not win one of the f-pawns. 70.Kf3 d3 71.Ke3! Ng4+ 72.Kxd3 Kg7 threatening Nf6 73.Bb3 Kf6 74.Ke4 Kg7 75.Bd1 Nf2+ 76.Kd5 Nd3 76...Nxd1 77.Ke6+- 77...Nc3 78.f6+! Kg8 (78...Kf8 79. h6) 79. f7+ Kf8 80. h6! and the f4-pawn takes away the saving Ne4-g5. 77.Bf3 Nxf4+

and the 6-piece ending is winning for White although the game ended in a draw after further misadventures as I previously analyzed.

Lessons from this ending. 1. Pawns can't move backwards. Careful consideration must always be given when pushing pawns in the endgame. 60. f4? looked logical on the surface controlling g5. But it also had two serious disadvantages giving the knight the g4 square and placing itself on a square that his bishop could not guard. 2. Think about how you want to arrange your pieces. There are a couple of lessons from Aagaard's books that I think are particularly applicable to the defense in this game. In Excelling at Chess he gives the theme is A Real Chess Player is someone who knows where the pieces belong. Similarly, in the Schematic Thinking section of Excelling at Technical Chess he defines good endgame technique as being able to search for specific positions or placement of the pieces in a given position, and then try to reach them by means of calculation. Applying these ideas to the present ending, I should have realized the ideal formation for Black is Kh6/Nf6. To reach that setup, it is easy to see the tactical idea of winning the h-pawn with Ng4-f6xh5 which should have led me to play 64...Ng4 and 65...Kg7 (or vice versa) rather than the losing 64...Ke7. 3. Domination is thematic when trying to win against a knight. This theme showed up several times. The pawn on f3 was key in restraining the knight, which was why f4 was a blunder at the second diagram. After Black did not construct the correct fortress, White used the Kh4/Be6 combo to dominate the knight and force d5 in the fifth diagram. Finally, in the last diagram, although Black achieved one of his goals of winning one of White's f-pawns, the Bf3/f5 combo prevents the knight from returning to the dark square blockade.

7/18/18 - BCE-79c

I've added a pawn ending by Berger to the BCE section. This is meant as an example of self stalemate, but Fine leaves out Berger's first move, which allows a winning breakthrough. This one is a bit strange since Berger's book is included in Fine's bibliography.

7/11/18 - BCE-116/Yu-Yanovsky, 2018 USAT South

The only chapter of BCE for which I haven't previously posted a correction is the one on knight endings. I'm making up for it with a 7 in 1 correction plus bonus analysis. In this position, Fine looks at knight + h-pawn versus a black passed pawn. He correctly evaluates the position with a passed a-pawn.

However, the diagram also includes a line with the squares b4-c3-d4-e3-f4-g4-h3 and a caption that White wins if the Black pawn is not beyond the heavy line. On each of the files the pawn can be further advanced than indicated and White will still win. It's hard to figure out why some of these were missed. There are 3 basic themes: the knight mates the stalemated black king while black pushes his pawn, both sides queen and White mates with Qd8+ and Qd6+, or the black pawn is near enough for White to capture it. Fine shows examples of the first two. I'm especially puzzled by the c-file case, where Fine analyzes the postion with the pawn on c3 which is an example of the mate on d6 case. He has the White knight making the maneuver c2-d4-c6-e5-f7. With the pawn instead on c2, White has to make due with one less move, but it is fairly obvious that he gets to f7 one move sooner via c1-d3-e5-f7.

This type of ending was relevant in a critical game at this year's US Amateur Team South tournament in a game between my teammate Henry Yu and Vlad Yanovsky. At this point the match was tied at 1.5, so a win by Henry would give us the full point against the highest rated team.

Henry had just won a piece by promoting on d8, but Black still has counterplay with his ability to create a passed pawn. 45...Kf5 A good move shouldering the White king. The win is pretty straightforward for White if Black tries to immediately make a passed pawn [45...h4 46.gxh4 gxh4 47.Ke4 h3 48.Kf3 b6 49.Nc6 a5 50.Na7! Ke5 51.Nc8! b5 52.Na7! and White wins] 46.Nf7 [46.Nxb7 looks risky for White, but it is Black who still has to tread carefully 46...Kg4 (46...h4? 47.Nd6+! (47.gxh4 gxh4 48.Nd6+ Kf4! holds) 47...Kg4 48.gxh4 gxh4 49.Ke4 h3 50.Ke3! h2 51.Ne4! and White wins) 47.Nd6 Kxg3 48.Ke4 h4 49.Nf5+ Kf2! (49...Kg2? 50.Ne3+!) 50.Ne3 h3! 51.Ng4+ Kg3 52.Kf5 Kf3! 53.b4 Ke2! 54.Ke4 (54.a4 Kd3 and Black catches the pawns) 54...Kd2! 55.Kd4

and Black holds with the switchback 55...Ke2!] 46...h4 [46...Kg4 47.Ke4 Kxg3 48.Nxg5 h4 and the White King and Knight coordinate well with 49.Ke3! Kg4 50.Ne4 h3 51.Nf2+ Kg3 52.Nxh3 Kxh3 53.Kd4 and White wins the race back to the queenside]

47.Nh6+ Knights have the most trouble against rook pawns, but here White should win by converting the rook pawn into a knight pawn with [47.Nxg5! hxg3 48.Nh3! (48.Nf3? Kf4! 49.Ng1 Ke3! 50.Kd6 Kf2 51.Nh3+! Kg2 52.Ng5 Kf1 53.Kc7 Ke2 54.Kxb7 g2 55.Nh3 Kf3 56.Kxa7 Kg3 57.Ng1 Kf2) 48...Kf6 (48...Kg4 49.Ng1 g2 50.Ke4) 49.Ke4 g2 50.Kf3 Ke5 51.Kxg2 Kd4 52.Kf3 Kc3 53.Ke4 Kb2 54.Kd4 Kxa2 55.Kc3! (55.Kc4? b5+ 56.Kc3 a5 57.Nf4 b4+! 58.Kc2 Ka3)

55...a5 56.Nf4 a4 (56...b5 57.Ne2 b4+ 58.Kc4 Ka3 59.Nd4 a4 60.Nb5+) 57.b4 Kb1 58.Ne2 a3 59.Kb3 ] 47...Kg6 48.gxh4 gxh4 49.Ng4! Kg5 50.Ne5 h3 51.Ke4 Kf6!

Now White's knight gets sidelined by the h-pawn and the White king can't help since Black's King would counterattack the queenside pawns. Instead, White would win after [51...Kh4? 52.Kf4 Kh5 53.Kg3 Kg5 54.Nf7+ Kf6 55.Nd6+-] 52.Nf3 Ke7 53.a3 Kd6 54.Kd4 Kd7 55.b4 Kc6 56.a4 Kd6 57.b5 Kc7 58.Kc5 Kd7 59.a5 Kc7 60.b6+ without this move, White can't squeeze the Black king off of c7 or c8 [60.Kd5 Kd7 (Black can even get away with 60...a6 even though he loses his a-pawn after 61.bxa6 bxa6 62.Kc5 Kb7 63.Kd6 Ka7 64.Kc6 Kb8 65.Kb6 Ka8 66.Kxa6 This is the mirror image of BCE-116. The Black h-pawn is too far advanced by one square.) 61.Nh2 Ke7 (61...Kc7 62.Ke6 Kc8 63.Kd6 Kd8) 62.a6 bxa6 63.bxa6 Kd7; 60.a6 bxa6 61.bxa6 Kb8] 60...Kb8 61.Kd6 axb6 62.axb6 Kc8 63.Ke7 Kb8 64.Kd8 Ka8

If the Black pawn were one square less advanced (i.e., ph4, Nf4) then White could win with Kc8 h3 Ne5 h2 Nc7#. This is analogous to the BCE position. We can draw a similar line as Fine did in BCE where White wins if the Black pawn is no further than a3-b3-c3-d3-f4-g3-h4. 65.Kd7 Kb8 66.Ke7 1/2-1/2

Good defense by Black. After White missed his opportunity, no other chances were offered.

7/9/18 - Bereolos - Yermolinsky, 2018 Land of the Sky

I've added my game against Alex Yermolinsky from earlier this year to the GM games section. This was a decent game marred by a big losing blunder. I'm a big fan of Yermo. His What Every Russian Schoolboy Knows video series on ICC is one of the best out there. His book The Road to Chess Improvement is also highly recommended. It's the sort of chess book you can learn a lot from even reading it without a board.

For Yermo's perspective on this year's Land of the Sky see his report on Chessbase, which also includes analysis of our game. It was also interesting to see his opinion of my style. I guess I need to work more on Imagination in Chess.

7/4/18 - BCE-220

I've added position 220 to the BCE section. In this battle of bishop against knight and pawn, Black has a drawing resource by bringing his bishop to the shorter diagonal. Often this is a disadvantage, but here the White king is positioned to help the knight block the longer diagonal and the Black king stops White from switching to the other side.

older material

Stats since June 1, 2006