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

8/21/19 - BCE-516, Em. Lasker-Ed. Lasker, New York 1924

As I teased last week, I'm going begin a series of BCE positions featuring the second World Champion, Emanuel Lasker. Lasker isn't particularly renowned for his endgames, but his career was so long that he played numerous instructive ones. Today's example is celebrated for its finale, a rare case where a lone knight holds off a rook and pawn. That position is covered correctly by Fine in BCE-506, but today's position comes several moves before that.

Although the starting position does not have many pieces, it is very tricky with many subtleties. One of the greatest analysts of all time, Garry Kasparov, analyzed this endgame in Part 1 of his Great Predecessors series, using a strong engine circa 2003 and still got a lot wrong. I suspect he might have been too deferential to the computer at that point in time. With today's faster, stronger engines, supplemented by tablebases, many more truths can be revealed.

Lasker reigned as World Champion from when he beat Steinitz in 1894 until he lost a one-sided match to Capablanca in 1921 (+4 =10), still a record for longevity. As Lasker was over 50 when he lost the title, it might have been thought that age had finally caught up with him. However, dominant performances in strong tournaments at Maehrisch-Ostrau in 1923 (10.5/13) and New York 1924 (16/20 a point and a half clear of Capablanca showed that he was still a force to be reckoned with. He had strong results well into his 60s, but never got another shot at the title. Today's game against his namesake, Edward Lasker, was one of the few games he didn't win in the New York supertournament. After 69...Rxh7 Black has an extra exchange, but White has compensation with his connected passed pawns.

70.Kf3 Kb7 71.g4?Analysis of this ending has focused on move 72, but it appears that this move gives away the draw. 71.f5 Kc6 72.Nf4 a5 73.bxa5! b4 74.Nd3 b3 75.Ke4 Ra7 (75...Kb5 76.a6 Kxa6 77.Nc5+) 76.g4 Rxa5 77.Kd4 and White will reach his defensive position. 71...Kc6 72.Ke4 The starting position of BCE-516. This position is also where Kasparov begins his analysis. 72...Rh8 72...Rd7 in the main BCE line 73.Ne3 Re8+ In presenting the game variation, Fine skips over this check and the one on the next move and just gives the immediate 73...a5 but this misses a critical moment 74.Kd4 Rd8+ 75.Ke4? Kasparov gives this move an exclam stating that if 75.Kc3! then 75...Rd6 is unpleasant. However, this was the road to the draw. The following variation shows some nice tricks with the knight 76.f5 Kd7 77.g5 Ke7 78.Ng4 Rd5 79.g6 Rxf5 80.g7! Rg5! 81.Nh6! Rxg7 82.Nf5+! Kf6 83.Nxg7! Kxg7! with a drawn pawn ending 84.Kd4 Kf6 85.Kc5 Ke6 86.Kb6 Kd6 87.Kxa6 Kc7 88.Kxb5 Kb7!= After the text, the position is the same as it would have been after 72...Rd7 73. Ne3 except the Black rook is on d8 instead of d7, but this isn't enough to change the assessment of the position as a Black win. 75...a5! 76.bxa5 b4 77.a6 Kc5! 78.a7 b3? 78...Ra8! is the only winning move. Kasparov's line has it right up until the last move 79.f5 Rxa7! 80.Nd1 Re7+ 81.Kf3 Rf7 82.Nb2 Kd5 83.Kf4 b3? allows White to draw (83...Rh7 is one way to win, for example 84.g5 Rh2 85.Nd1 Rh4+ 86.Kg3 Rd4 87.Nb2 Ke5 88.f6 Kf5 89.f7 Rd8 90.Kf3 Kg6 91.Ke3 Kxf7) 84.Ke3! heading towards the queenside as in the game. If Black tries to cut this off, either the White king becomes active or his pawns can advance. For example, 84...Kc5 85.Ke4! Re7+ 86.Kd3! Kb4 87.f6= 79.Nd1! Ra8 80.g5 Rxa7 81.g6! Rd7 Kasparov's line beginning with 81...Kd6 should also be a draw similar to the game 82.Kd3 (instead of Kasparov's 82.Kf5?) 82...Rc7 83.f5 Ke7 84.Nb2! Kf6 85.Na4! Kxf5 86.g7! 82.Nb2! Rd2 83.Kf3 Rd8 84.Ke4 Kasparov gives a blunder-filled line here with 84.f5? Kd6 85.Kf4 Rc8? 86.Nd1? Rc4+? 87.Kg5? (87.Ke3!=) 87...Rc1 88.Nb2 Rc2 89.Nd1 Ke5? and he stops here saying there is no obvious draw. White does have a narrow path with 90.Ne3! b2 (9090...Rc7 91.f6! b2 92.g7) 91.g7! b1Q 92.Ng4+! with a draw (but not 92.g8Q? Qg1+! 93.Ng4+ Qxg4+! 94.Kxg4 Rg2+!) ] 84...Rd2 Kasparov suggests that Black was still winning here, but his variation has a serious hole 84...Kb4 85.f5 Kc3 86.Na4+ Kc2? (Black has to repeat the position with 86...Kb4!) 87.g7! (instead of Kasparov's 87.f6?) and it is White who wins 87...Ra8 88.Ke3 and White will queen 85.Kf3 Rd8 86.Ke4 Kd6 87.Kd4 Rc8 88.g7 Ke6 89.g8Q+ Rxg8! 90.Kc4 Rg3 91.Na4 Kf5 92.Kb4 Kxf4 Reaching BCE-506, although Fine presents it with the colors reversed 93.Nb2 Ke4 94.Na4 Kd4 95.Nb2! Rf3 96.Na4! Re3 97.Nb2! Ke4 98.Na4 Kf3 99.Ka3! Ke4 100.Kb4 Kd4 101.Nb2! Rh3 102.Na4! Kd3 103.Kxb3! Kd4+ 1/2-1/2

8/19/19 - Neiksans-Paiva, 2018 Batumi Olympiad

Today's post concludes my Olympiad/Yearbook 128 series as I have worked my way through all of the surveys. I think this was an interesting way to look at a variety of opening ideas and see how they were implemented in practice. It was a mixed bag as some of the surveys did not see relavent games during the Olympiad. Still, I think the majority had theoretical impact that was demonstrated in the games. I hope readers also enjoyed the games that were only marginal to the survey.

The concluding game is between Arturs Neiksans and Donaldo Paiva from the first round match between Lativa and Mozambique. The featured survey is a new anti-Najdorf line in the Sicilian developed by Ioannis Simeonidis. He tells the story of how he came about finding this line and then having Vasilios Kotronias look it over. When Kotronias didn't find anything wrong with it, they decided that if it was as good as they thought, then it should be good enough for the World Champion to play. So they forwarded their idea to Magnus Carlsen! When Magnus used it to defeat Wojtaszek they had the final stamp of authority.

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Another anti-Najdorf system with a queenside fianchetto is the pet line of the veteran Chicago master Andrew Karklins 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Qf3 e6 7.b3 which he used to beat a young Peter Svidler 2...d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Qd2

The key move of the system. The white queen retreats to prepare a fianchetto of the queens bishop. It had only been played in a smattering of games before Carlsen played it against Wojtaszek in the 2018 Gashimov Memorial. 5.Bb5 is the primary alternative, which was often played by Gashimov. 5...Nf6 6.b3 e6 Black could also try combating the bishop along the long diagonal with 6...g6 7.Bb2 Bg7 which was also seen in the next round of the Olympiad in Nayhebaver-Turqueza 7.Bb2 Be7 8.0-0-0 a6 9.Kb1 b5 10.f3 0-0 11.g4 Bb7 In the final round of the Olympiad, Black didn't wait for the knight to be kicked and played 11...Nd7 and was ultimately successful in Sulskis-Lupulescu. 12.g5 Nd7 13.h4 Nc5 14.Nh3 b4 15.Nd5!?

A typical Sicilian sacrifice to split the board in two. There is no immediate win, but White maintains long term pressure. It reminds me very much of Tal's famous win over Larsen in the last game of their 1965 Candidates match. 15...exd5 16.exd5 Nb8 17.Qxb4 Nbd7 18.Qd4 f6 19.h5 Bc8 20.Be2 Rf7 21.g6 Rf8 22.gxh7+ Kxh7 23.Rdg1 Rf7 24.Rg6 Bf8 25.f4 Qe8 26.Bf3 Re7 27.Bc3 Nb6 28.Ng5+ fxg5 29.h6 Bh3 29...Qxg6 30.hxg7+ Kg8 31.Rh8+ Kf7 32.gxf8Q# 30.hxg7 Qxg6 31.Rxh3+ Kg8 32.Rh8+ Kf7 33.g8Q+ Qxg8 34.Bh5+ 1-0 It's mate after 34...Qg6 35.Bxg6+ Kxg6 36.Qf6#

8/14/19 - BCE-202b

I was going to start a series on the winner of New York 1924, Emanuel Lasker, this week, but didn't have time to prepare a post. Instead, I'll put that off for a week and just go with a filler position featuring an opposite colored bishop ending with two connected passed pawns against none.

8/12/19 - Bereolos-Hevia, 2017 US Masters

My loss to Carlos Hevia in the first round of the 2017 US Masters was a bad night at the office. I landed on the White side of an IQP position, which I rarely play, gave up the bishop pair to grab a pawn, got my rook trapped to a simple tactic, and pretty much went down without a fight. About the only positive was that it gave me motivation to avoid such a debacle when I faced the same opponent in the first round the following year.

8/7/19 - BCE-415a, Tartakower-Bogoljubow, New York 1924

We conclude the series of positions from the games of Tartakower with his encounter against Bogoljubow in first round of the 1924 supertournament in New York. The former world champion Emmanuel Lasker came out on top with a superb 16.5/20 outpacing the reigning world champion, Capablanca, by a point and a half despite losing one of their individual encounters. The future world champion, Alekhine was another point back in third.

Today's protagonists looked to be contenders early in the tournament. Tartakower was the clear leader after 4 rounds and Bogoljubow recovered from this loss to join a tie for first after 6 rounds. Bogoljubow had the bye in round 6 and lost 3 straight after that to fade from contention. Tartakower slowed after his fast start and completely faded down the stretch only collecting half a point in the last 6 rounds plus a bye. Both players finished with a minus score.

They reached a roughly level rook ending after 28...Kxf7

29.Re3 b5 30.Ke2 Rc6 31.Kd3 h4 32.Re2 g5 33.Rb2 Rb6 34.d5 Ke7 35.Kd4 g4 36.Kc5 Rb8 37.Kd4 In the tournament book, Alekhine considers the pawn ending drawn after 37.Rxb5 Rxb5+ 38.Kxb5 but his variation seems to give White some chances in the ensuing queen ending 38...f5?! (better is 38...Kd6) 39.Kc6 (instead of Alekhine's 39.Kc4) 39...f4 (39...Kd8 40.c4 f4 41.Kb7 f3 42.gxf3 gxf3 43.c5 f2 44.c6 f1Q 45.c7+ Ke7 46.c8Q doesn't appear to be much better as the White passed pawn is more advanced.) 40.Kc7 f3 41.gxf3 gxf3 42.d6+ Ke6 43.d7 f2 44.d8Q f1Q and White seems to have good chances with an extra pawn and the move. 37...Rb6 38.h3 38.Re2+ Kd7 39.Rf2 38...g3 39.a3 Kd7 40.Kc5 Rb8 41.Rb4 The starting position of BCE-415a a recurring theme is that Black wins the pawn ending after 41.Rxb5? Rxb5+! 42.Kxb5 f5! 43.Kc4 f4! 44.Kd3 f3! 41...f5 42.a4 Again, 42.Rxb5? Rxb5+! 43.Kxb5 f4-+ 42...a6 43.Kd4?! 43.d6 is a surer draw 43...Re8 Possibly another BCE correction is 43...a5!? 44.Rb2 (44.Rxb5 Rxb5! 45.axb5 a4-+) 44...b4 when engines strongly favor Black. 44.Kd3 44.axb5? Re4+! 45.Kd3 Rxb4! 46.cxb4 axb5! is another winning pawn ending for Black 44...bxa4 45.Rxa4 Re1 46.Rxa6 Rg1 Like Fine, Alekhine also gives this as the losing move, calling it deplorable 47.Ra2 Kd6 48.c4 Ke5 49.Re2+ Kd6 50.Rc2 Kc5 51.Rd2 Rf1? 51...Re1= is the subject of the BCE correction. Black could also hold in the variation given by Alekhine 51...Rc1 52.Ke3 Kd6 53.Rd4 Rc2 54.Rxh4 Ke5 (instead of Alekhine's 54...Rxg2?) and there doesn't seem to be a way for White to make progress since 55.Rd4? again results in a losing pawn ending 55...Rc3+! 56.Rd3 f4+! 57.Kd2 Rxd3+! 58.Kxd3 f3! 52.Ke2 Rg1 53.Ke3 Kd6 54.c5+ Kxc5 55.d6 Re1+ 56.Kf4 Re8 57.d7 Rd8 58.Kxf5 1-0

7/31/19 - BCE-373, Tartakower-Nimzowitsch, Bad Kissingen 1928

This week's BCE position comes from the 1928 tournament at Bad Kissingen. This tournament was a big triumph for Bogoljubov who finished clear first at 8 out of 11 a full point clear of Capablanca. Tartakower and Nimzowitsch finished in the middle of the pack. If Tartakower had converted today's endgame they would have both finished with even scores. Tartakower was well on his way to victory after 35...Rxd4

Black is only a pawn down, and will soon pick up the b-pawn, but he has no passed pawns and the White a-pawn is able to get far advanced while Black is collecting the b-pawn. 36.a5 Rb4 37.a6 Rxb2 38.Rb7 Ra2 39.a7 The threat of Rb8+ forces Black to abandon the f-pawn. 39...Kh7 40.Rxf7 Kg6 41.Rb7 The starting position for BCE-373 41...Kf6 42.Ke1 g6 43.Kd1 Ke5 44.Kc1 Kd5 45.Kb1 Ra6 46.Kb2 Kc6 47.Rg7 Kc5 48.h4 White can't go after the kingside pawns yet since 48.Rxg6 Rxa7 49.Rg5+ Kd4 50.Rxh5 Rf7 picks up the f-pawn and draws. 48...Ra5 49.g4? Tartakower tries to take advantage of the position of the Black king and rook to create a passed pawn on the kingside with a tactical stroke, but Nimzowitsch has a counter. The patient approach with 49.g3 is the BCE line 49...hxg4 50.h5 g3! Black creates his own passed pawn, which gives sufficient counterplay. 51.fxg3 e3! 52.Rxg6 The other choices also lead to a draw. 52.h6 e2! 53.Re7 Rxa7 54.Rxe2 Rh7 or 52.hxg6 e2 53.Re7 Rxa7 54.Rxe2 Rg7 55.Re6 Kd5 56.Ra6 Ke5 52...Rxa7 53.Kc2 Ra2+ 54.Kd1 Kd4 55.h6 e2+ 56.Ke1! Ke3 57.Re6+! Kf3! It isn't too late to go wrong with 57...Kd3? 58.Kf2! and the e-pawn is contained. 58.Rf6+ Ke3 59.Re6+! Kf3! 60.h7 Ra1+ 61.Kd2 Rd1+ 62.Kc2 Rd8 63.g4 Rh8 64.Kd2 Rxh7 65.Rxe2 Rd7+ 66.Ke1! Ra7 67.Rf2+ Kg3 68.Rf8 Kxg4 1/2-1/2

7/28/19 - Svetushkin-Pantsulaia, 2018 Batumi Olympiad

We're coming down the home stretch in the Olympiad/Yearbook 128 series. Luis Rodi presented a third survey on the Advance Variation of the Caro-Kann. It had an interesting premise that even though todays engines are super strong, they still are not perfect, so positions that have an evaluation of 0.00 may not be equal if you go deep enough. Unfortunately, the position he focused on did not get any testing during the Olympiad. Instead, I picked a game from the Moldova-Georgia match between Dimitry Svetushkin and Levan Pantsulaiathat that featured a theoretical sideline.

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Nd7 5...c5 6.Be3 Qb6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.Na4 Qa5+ 9.c3 was the subject of Rodi's survey. 6.0-0 Bb4!?

An odd looking move. White often plays for a queenside bind with c3 and b4 in this variation, and the text seems to walk right into that. However, Black reckons that his bishop is better placed to help attack White's center from c7 than it would be on e7. Magnus Carlsen has even tried the idea a couple of times, although he moved the bishop to b4 on the previous move. 7.Nbd2 This move and 7.c3 have the same number of games in the database. White has scored heavily in both lines. 7...Ba5 8.Nb3 Bc7 9.Bg5 9.Ne1 was the move in the big upset by Sanan Sjugirov over Carlsen in the 2010 Olympiad. 9...Ne7 9...f6 is the main alternative, but it has scored even worse than the text 10.Nh4 Be4 11.f3 Bg6 12.f4

12...f6 12...Be4 as used successfully by Dubov against Volokitin in the 2016 World Rapid Championship might be better than starting to open the position. The arrangement of the Black pieces makes it hard for the king to exit to the queenside. 13.exf6 gxf6 14.Bh6 Qb8 15.Bd3 Kf7 16.Qe2 Re8 17.Rae1 Nf5 18.Nxf5 exf5 18...Bxf5 19.Bxf5 exf5 20.Qh5+ 19.Qf3 Nb6 20.h4 Nc4 21.h5 Nd6

22.g4 White could pick up the bishop immediately 22.hxg6+ Kxg6 23.Qg3+ Kxh6 24.Kf2 with a devestating Rh1+ coming. However, the bishop isn't going anywhere 22...Rh8 22...fxg4 23.hxg6+ hxg6 24.Bxg6+ is decisive 23.Re2 Qc8 24.g5 Ne4 25.Rg2 Qg8 26.Qh3 Qd8 27.Nc5 Bb6 28.Nxe4 fxe4 29.f5

White is hunting more than just the bishop. He is willing to give up Bd3 in order to open the f-file for his rook. 29...Bxd4+ 30.Kh1 exd3 31.fxg6+ hxg6 32.hxg6+ 1-0 It's mate after 32...Kxg6 33.gxf6+ Kf7 34.Rg7+ Kf8 35.Re7+ Rxh6 36.Qxh6+ Kg8 37.Qg7# 1-0

7/26/19 - McDaniel-Bereolos, Put the Fun Back into Chess V 1984

I discovered another pawn ending that I misplayed with the assistance of the engine. This one comes from the 5th edition of Fred Gruenberg's Put the Fun Back into Chess tournament. Many players might know Mr. Gruenberg as the organizer for many years of the National Open in Las Vegas, but his organizing career started in Chicago and Put the Fun Back into Chess was his trademark tournament. It had everything you could want in a tournament, good prizes (15 GP points plus many class prizes) with a low entry fee ($15) plus free lunch, free snacks and raffles for prizes. The 1984 version drew in 170 players including 2 GMs among the 15 masters.

In the second round I had Black against Keith McDaniel after 34...Kb6 Despite the number of White pawns fixed on light squares, White can simply shuffle his bishop back and forth between d1 and f3 (or e2 if Black brings his bishop to g2) and Black is unable to take advantage of any of those weaknesses. Even the attempted pawn break with ...a4 can just be ignored. However, without realizing the danger, White kept the bishop on the open f1-a6 diagonal.

35.Bc4?35.Bd3? and 35.Bf1? are met with the same reply. In those cases White can stay in the bishop ending, but then the bishop can get to the squares it needs to in order to start winning pawns. For example, 35.Bf1? Ba6 36.Bh3 Be2 37.Ke3 Bd1 38.Kd4 (he still needs to keep c5 covered) 38...Bf3 39.Kc4 Be4 and Black gets the a2 pawn. 35...Ba6!Black forces a winning pawn ending 36.Bxa6 Kxa6! 37.Ke3 Kb6 38.Kd3 Kc5 39.Ke4 a4 40.bxa4

40...Kc4? This seems simple enough, to save his d-pawn, White must distract Black with the a-pawn. But after Black collects the a-pawn he dissolves the queenside pawns and outflanks White to win the d-pawn after all. Indeed, that is how the game played out. The road to victory was to retreat and collect the a-pawn first 40...Kb6! 41.Kd4 Ka5 41.a5? It turns out the d5 pawn just gets in the way of White's counterplay. He could hold the draw with 41.Ke3! Kxd5 (41...Kc5 42.Kd3! Kb6? 43.Kc4 and Black doesn't collect the a-pawn) 42.a5! Kc5 43.Ke4! Kb5 44.Kd5 which leads to a queen ending that should be drawn, but White has the better practical chances. Black has to decide where his king ends up, a6 or a5. 44...Kxa5 (44...Ka6 may be slightly better so that the king is on a5 at the end of the variation 45.Kc6 Kxa5 46.Kd7 d5 47.Kxe7 d4 48.Kf7 d3 49.e7 d2 50.e8Q d1Q)

45.Kc6! Ka6 (the problem is that Black can't go forward 45...Ka4? 46.Kd7! Ka3 (46...d5 47.Kxe7! and White will queen with check) 47.Kxe7! Kxa2 48.Kxd6! b3 49.e7! b2 50.e8Q b1Q 51.Qa4+ Kb2 52.Qb4+ and White mops up the kingside after the queen exchange.) 46.Kd7 d5 47.Kxe7 d4 48.Kf7 d3 49.e7 d2 50.e8Q d1Q

with the same queen ending as the note to 44...Ka6, except the Black king is on a6 instead of a5. 41...Kb5 42.Kd4 Kxa5 43.Kc4 43.Kd3 Kb5 44.Kd4 b3 43...Ka4 44.Kd3 b3 45.axb3+ Kxb3 0-1

Lessons from this ending. 1. Like in the Newson game, don't discount backwards moves (40...Kb6! and 41. Ke3!). 2. Be alert for chances even in seemingly simplified postions. 3. As always, calculation is key!

7/24/19 - BCE-300a, NN-Tartakower, Paris 1933

This week starts a series of three positions from the games of Savielly Tartakower. Tartakower represented both Poland and France in his career. He was at his peak from about 1920 to the mid-1930s. Sonas has him at #3 in March 1921 behind Capablanca and Rubinstein, so he was no slouch, but I don't think he was ever considered World Championship caliber. In Volume 1 of his Great Predecessors series, Kasparov only gives one game fragment from Tartakower, a famous endgame loss to Capablanca.

Tartakower made a big mark as an author. 500 Master Games of Chess is a classic compendium of historical games. The Hypermodern Game of Chess is also well regarded, but not one I have in my collection. I thought the original German version from 1924 would be in the public domain, but my search came up empty.

Likewise, my search for further information on the source of this week's position was fruitless. NN is commonly used in chess literature for an unknown opponent. Tartakower did play in the Paris championship in 1933 finishing second behind Alekhine, but this position was not from that event. It might have come from a casual game, but not one that Tartakower published in his best games collection. Fine does cite some articles from the Belgian magazine L'Echiquier in the BCE bibliography, so perhaps the position came from there. However, I could not find that publication in the public domain either.

The cook at the end of BCE-300a hinges on two factors, the distance between the two remaining pawns and the active position of the White king. The pawns are far enough apart that the Black king can only block. With the pawns closer together, the opposing king has to spend time going around its own pawn as shown in the following study by Reti, which is also BCE-300b.

1.Kf2! 1.Kxg2? is premature 1...Ke4! 2.Kf2 e1Q+! to block the first rank (2...Kd3? 3.Ke1!) 3.Kxe1 (3.Rxe1+ Kd3!) 3...Kd3! 4.Ra1 Kc3! 5.Rc1 Kd3! with a draw 1...Ke4 On 1...Kf4 White wins the way he should have won in BCE-300a 2.Kxe2 Kg3 3.Ke3 Kh2 4.Kf2! 2.Kxe2! Kd4 3.Rg1 Ke4 Going to the queenside mirrors the previous note 3...Kc3 4.Re1 Kb2 5.Kd2! Kb3 6.Rc1 4.Re1 and the Black king doesn't have a good move 4...Ke5 Black's king gets cut off if he tries either side 4...Kd4 5.Kd2; 4...Kf4 5.Kf2 Now the fastest win is 5.Ke3 and Black must cede more ground 5...Ke6 6.Ke4 Ke7 7. Kd3+ and the White king has time to get back to the kingside after collecting the c-pawn 7...Kf6 8. Kxc2 Kf5 9. Kd3 Kf4 10. Ke2 Kg3 11.Rg1 Kh2 12. Kf2!

With the king further away, even widely space pawns do not help as shown in the following study by , the king will also be too far away to support its pawns. The following study by Imre Bekey from 1933 illustrates this.

1.Kb6 Kc8 2.Kc6 [2.Rxc2+? lets the Black king become too active. 2...Kd7! 3.Rc1 Ke6! 4.Kc5 Ke5 and the Black king will be able to support the h-pawn 2...Kd8 The Black king can't get to the h-pawn in time after 2...Kb8 3.Re1 Ka7 4.Kb5 Kb7 5.Kb4 Kc6 6.Kb3 a1Q 7.Rxa1 Kd5 8.Kxc2 Ke4 9.Rh1 3.Re1 forcing Black to give up a pawn 3...a1Q 3...Kc8 4.Re8#; 3...c1Q+ 4.Rxc1! Ke7 5.Kd5 Kf6 6.Ke4 Kg5 7.Kf3 Kf5 8.Ra1 is similar 4.Rxa1! Ke7 5.Kd5 Kf6 6.Ke4 Kg5 7.Kf3 Kf5 8.Rc1 8.Kg2? Ke4 would throw the win away 8...Ke5 9.Kg2 1-0

7/22/19 - Nepomniachtchi-Anand, 2018 Batumi Olympiad

The final game from the closed openings in my Olympiad/Yearbook 128 series is a heavyweight battle from Board 1 of the Russia-India match between Ian Nepomniachtchi and Viswanathan Anand. In this case, the survey by David Cummings proved to be highly topical and the players delivered a complex game. As this was one of the more prominent matches, this game got a lot of coverage by Sopiko Guramishvili and Ivan Sokolov during the live broadcast. Nepo was definitely pushing, but Vishy defended and earned the draw.

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.e5 Ne4 6.Nf3 Bf5

The starting point of Cummings survey. 7.d3 Nxc3 8.bxc3 c5 9.d4 Qa5 This move was introduced by Ding against Nakmura at 2018 Norway chess. Coincidentally, Ding was playing on the table next to this game. Anand spent a lot of time during the opening and it appeared he was trying to remember his analysis. He would stare off to his right, which made it appear like he was looking right at Ding. 10.Bd2 Nc6 11.c4 Cummings calls this the critical try. Nakamura played 11.Be2 and a complicated game ended in a draw. 11...Qd8 12.Qb3 Be6 13.Qxb7 Rc8 14.Ng5 Nxd4 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.Rb1 Be7 17.Bd3 Kf7

A surprising move. Guramishvili and Sokolov had only looked at the more natural 17...0-0 which seems reasonable for Black although like in the game, the two bishops should give White the long term chances. The king move gives the e6-pawn and e7-bishop extra support, but the king looks very exposed on f7 potentially facing danger down the f-file across the 7th rank and on the a1-g8 diagonal. Generally this is the kind of a computer move that would have been prepared at home. However, I wonder if Anand had looked at Cummings analysis, and remembered the move, but not the exact position. Cummings continued 17...Nc6 18.f4 Kf7 (again this move instead of 18...0-0 ) 19.Qa6 Nb4 with counterplay. 18.0-0 Nc6 19.Be2 Nd4 19...Nxe5 20.Bf4 opens lines and puts Black under pressure. 20.Bd3 Nc6 21.Rfd1 Rc7 again 21...Nxe5 22.Bf4 Nxd3 23.Rxd3 gives plenty of compensation 22.Qb3 Nd4 23.Qb2 Rd7 24.cxd5 Rxd5 25.Bc4 Defending the pawn with 25.f4 runs into 25...Nf3+ 25...Rxe5 26.Qb7 Qa8

27.Bf4 This might be the point where Nepo lost his advantage. 27.Qc7 keeping the queens on, seems like a better way to pursue the attack. 27...Re4 28.Bg5 Nf5 29.Bf1 29.Bd3 Qxb7 30.Rxb7 Rd8 makes it more difficult for White to regain his pawn. 29...Rb4 30.Rxb4 cxb4 31.Rd7 Qxb7 32.Rxb7 a5

A nice move from Anand, making White have to spend extra time to regain his pawn and setting up b vs. a on the queenside, which will allow Black to swap the pawns with Rb8, Nd4 and b3. White might still have a little something to play for after 32...h6 33.Bxe7 Nxe7 34.Rxb4 although I would expect Anand would be able to hold this as well. However, I think finesses like this are what separate the super GMs from the rest. 33.Ra7 33.g4 h6 is the tactical justification of Black's last move 33...Rd8 34.Bxe7 Nxe7 35.Rxa5 Rb8 36.Bb5 Nf5 37.h4?!

I'm not sure what this move is about. White is trying to distract the Black knight from the d4 square, but a pawn down, he certainly can't have further winning ambitions. 37.g4 or 37.Bc4 are both met by 37...Nd4 and Black has no problems 37...Nxh4 38.Bc4 Ng6 39.Ra7+ Kf6 39...Ne7 is equal per the engine, but Black does have an extra pawn. 40.Ra6 Nf4 40...Nf8 maintains the extra pawn, but it is hard for Black to make progress. 41.g3 Rc8 42.Bb3 Ne2+ 43.Kg2 Nd4 1/2-1/2After 44.Rb6, White will regain is pawn, but Black can trade knight for bishop leading to a drawn rook ending.

7/17/19 - BCE-376a, Marshall-Capablanca 1909

The trilogy of Marshall positions is wrapped up with a very subtle and instructive rook ending from his match against Capablanca in 1909. This match was the explosive introduction of the Cuban maestro on the international chess scene. Marshall was one of the top players in the world at that point, while Capablanca very little known. This match changed all that. Capablanca won 7 of the first 13 games with only 1 loss. Marshall. After a series of 9 draws, Capablanca won the final game. On Sonas' rankings, Marshall was #9 on the April 1909 list and Capablanca did not appear. One month later he has Capablanca as equal 2nd with Rubinstein, trailing only the World Champion, Lasker.

Today's BCE position is from the 9th game. This may have been the last critical point in the match. Marshall trailed by 3 points at the start of this game, so maybe things would have been different if he had converted one of the several opportunities he had. Fine gave the game continuation as one variation, but didn't point out many errors, so the comments are all in the correction link this week.

7/10/19 - BCE-573, Marshall-Tarrasch, Ostend 1907

A few months after his disasterous World Championship match against Lasker, Marshall was back in action at the 6-player quadruple round robin Ostend tournament, which effectively was a candidates tournament for the next World Championship match. Tarrasch won a tight race, half a point clear of Schlecter, with Marshall and Janowski tied for 3rd another half point back. We previously saw a BCE example between Schlecter and Janowski. Today, features the other two players from the leading group. Tarrasch seemed well on his way to victory with Black after 59.Nf3

However, here he inexplicably played 59...Qxd5? In the tournament book, Tarrasch did not award this move a question mark, but mentioned that Black wins without difficulty with 59...Rxd5. Perhaps he thought he could just walk his king forward and pick up the pinned knight. 60.Qf8+ Kh7 61.Qe7+ Kg6 62.Qe8+ Kf5 62...Kf6 63.Qf8+ 63.Qh5+ Ke4 this breaks the pin on the knight so White regains the exchange. 64.Nxd2+ Qxd2 The starting position for BCE-573. The more active king and advanced e-pawn give Black winning chances, but objectively, the position is a draw. 65.Qg6+ Kd5 65...Kf3 66.Qf5+ picks up the e-pawn 66.Qxa6 e4 67.Qb5+ Kd4 68.Qb6+ Kd3 69.Qa6+ Ke3 70.Qxh6+! Ke2 71.Qh5+ Ke1 72.g4? f5 and b1 are key squares for White to deliver perpetual check. He would draw with 72.Qf5 as shown in the correction link 72...e3 73.Qc5 Kd1 In his annotations, Tarrasch gave 73...Kf1? as a faster win. He had calculated as far as 74.Qf5+! Qf2 75.Qb1+ Qe1 76.Qf5+! Ke2+ 77.Kg2 Qf2+ 78.Kh3! and abandoned the line as drawn since both sides would get new queens after a trade on f5. In his notes, he continued the variation with 78...Qf3+ 79.Kh4? Kf2 with an eventual win. In this line 79...Qxf5 is much easier as now Black queens first with check. But instead of walking onto the e1-h4 diagonal, White would draw with 79.Kh2! Kf2 80.Qc2+! e2 81.Qc5+! Qe3! else Black gets mated 82.Qf5+! Ke1 83.Qb1+! with perpetual check) 74.Qf5 Qf2? Tarrasch correctly identified this as the final mistake giving the winning line 74...e2 75.Qb1+ Qc1 76.Qd3+ Ke1 77.Kg2 Qc6+ which Fine extended a few more moves 78.Kg1 Qc5+ 79.Kg2 Qf2+ 80.Kh3 Kf1 81.g5 Kg1 and Black queens 75.Qb1+ Ke2 76.Qb5+ Kf3 77.Qd5+ Kg3 78.Qe5+ Kxg4 79.Qe4+ Kh3 80.Qe6+ Kg3 81.Qe5+ Kf3 82.Qd5+ Ke2 83.Qb5+ Kd1 84.Qb1+ Kd2 85.Qb2+ Ke1 86.Qb1+ Ke2 87.Qb5+ 1/2-1/2

7/3/19 - BCE-400, Nimzowitsch-Marshall, New York 1927

This week starts a series of three positions from the games of the legenday American Frank Marshall. Marshall was one of the first players given the title of "Grandmaster". His move 23...Qg3 against Levitsky is one of the most famous moves in chess history with legend having it that the spectators showered the board with gold pieces in appreciation of its brilliance. Among his many contributions to opening theory, his gambit idea in the Ruy Lopez is still one of the absolute main lines of opening theory, despite its unsuccessful debut.

Marshall came close to the ultimate chess summit, playing a match with Lasker for the World Championship in 1907. However, this turned out to be an total rout with Lasker winning the first three, the last four, and one game in between for an undefeated 11.5-3.5 drubbing.

Today's game against Aron Nimzowitsch comes from the super strong quadruple round robin contested at New York 1927. Capablanca was at the height of his powers and dominated with an undefeated +8, 2.5 points clear of Alekhine, with Nimzowitsch a further point behind. Marshall was past his prime at this point and finished last with only one win.

Fine seems to have used Alekhine's notes from the tournament book for this position. However, Alekhine was uncharacteristically sloppy in his annotations of this game. After 29.Rdg2

29...Bxe4 Alekhine gives 29...g5? as simpler, but 30.fxg5 hxg5 31.Rf2 (Instead of Alekhine's 31.Rxg5?) and the pin will cause Black to lose the exchange. 30.dxe4 Rd3 31.Rxg7 Rxe3 32.Rg8+ Allowing Black to activate his king. I think better winning chances were offered by 32.Re7 32...Kd7 33.R1g7+ Kc6 34.Rg6 As Alekhine shows, Black has sufficient counterplay after 34.Rc8 Rxf4 35.Rcxc7+ Kd6 36.Rxb7 Rf2 34...Rd6 35.e5 Re1+ 36.Kb2 Re2+ 37.Ka3 Rxg6! 38.Rxg6+! Kd5 39.Rxh6 The starting position for BCE-400 39...a5 40.Rh7 Rc2 Alekhine was critical of this winning attempt instead of the solid 40...Kc6 , but nothing is spoiled41.Re7 Fine's line beginning 41.Ka4 is the subject of the first correction. 41...b5 42.b4 The second correction occurs after 42.f5? where Alekhine also gives 42...b4+? instead of the winning 42...c6! 42...a4 This move was criticized as losing by both Alekhine and Fine. Instead, 42...axb4+ 43.Kxb4 Rc4+ 44.Kxb5 c6+ 45.Kb6 Rxf4 is a simpler draw. 43.f5 c5? The real loser, Black can still hang on after 43...Rf2 44.f6 Rf3+ 45.Kb2 Rf2+ 46.Kb1 Rf1+ 47.Kc2 Rf2+ 48.Kd3 Rxa2 49.Ke3 (49.f7 Rf2 50.e6 a3) 49...Ra1 50.Kf2 Ra2+ 51.Ke3 Ra1 52.Ke2 Ra2+ 53.Kf3 Ra1 54.Kg2 Ra2+ 55.Kg3 Ra1 44.f6? Both Alekhine and Fine point out that 44.e6! wins 44...Rc3+ 45.Kb2 cxb4 46.Rd7+ Kc6 47.Rd8 a3+ 48.Kb1 Re3 49.f6 b3 50.axb3 Re1+ 51.Ka2! (51.Kc2 a2!=) 51...b4 52.e7 Re2+ 53.Kb1 Re1+ 54.Kc2 a2 55.Ra8 Kd7 56.f7 44...Rc3+ 45.Kb2 cxb4 1/2-1/2 Everything is coming off after 46.f7 a3+ 47.Kb1 Rf3 48.e6 Rf1+ 49.Kc2 Rf2+ 50.Kd3 b3 51.axb3 a2 52.Ra7 Kxe6 53.Rxa2 Rxf7

6/26/19 - BCE-215, Kling and Horwitz 1851

The final BCE position for this set that Fine labelled Horwitz 1880 is an opposite colored bishop ending with 2 pawns versus 1, none of which are passed. Given that description, it is not surprising that the position turns out to be a draw instead of a win.

However, BCE-215 was one of three similar position Kling and Horwitz published in their periodical The Chess Player in 1851 and 1852. I guess it was Fine's bad luck to use the one that wasn't a win. In 1851, there was also this version.

1.Bc4+! b5 1...Kb6 2.a5+ Kc6 3.b5+ Kc5 4.Kxb7 Kxc4 5.Kxa7 Kxb5 6.a6! 2.Bxb5+! Kb6 3.Be2 Kc6 4.Bf3+ Kb6 5.Be4 Ka6 6.Bd3+ Kb6 7.Bb5 Bb8 8.a5+ 8.Kxb8? is stalemate 8...Ka7 9.Bd3 Be5 10.b5! Bd4 11.Kc7 Be5+ 12.Kc6 Bd4 13.b6+ Kb8 14.a6 -- White is ready to mate with 15.a7+ Ka8 16.Be4 followed by a king move 1-0

The following year, there was another version of the theme

1.Bf3+! Kg5 2.Be4 Kh5 3.Bxg6+ Kg5 4.Bd3 Kh5 5.Be2+ Kg5 6.h4+ The idea from the previous study does not work here because the White bishop is of the opposite color of the one the h-pawn promotes on. 6.Bg4? Bg7! 7.h4+ Kh6! 8.Bf3 Bd4 9.g4 Be3 10.Kf6 Bd4+ 11.Kf5 Bf2 12.g5+ Kg7 13.h5 Be3 14.h6+ Kh8 and 15...BxP 6...Kf5 7.g4+ Kf4 8.Bd1 1-0

6/25/19 - Palatnik-Bereolos, 1996 Fairfield Glade

My first outing against GM Sam Palatnik was a fairly miserable effort on my part. An off-the-cuff novelty with a bad followup left me with a totally passive position and I was slowly squeezed off the board.

6/19/19 - BCE-166, Horwitz 1880

This week's BCE entry is another Horwitz study with a bishop battling 3 connected passed pawns. This time White has some pawns of his own, so no complaints about needing to switch the colors. It is a bit strange that Fine missed the stalemate trick in the first main line as he uses it in the second main line.

This particular position seems to have been first published in Volume 1 of The Chess-Monthly. The trapped position of the White king in the starting position is a bit strange. However, an earlier study in 1860 in The Chess Player's Chronicle shows how it might have gotten there.

This problem is Black to play and draw and is attributed to Mr. Horwitz, so I guess no credit to Kling on this one. The solution here is 1...Ke6! 2. Kxa1 Kf7! and draws, which is BCE-166 except here the Black pawn is on a5 instead of a6. The starting position of the Black a-pawn doesn't seem to matter, but perhaps Horwitz thought he found something which led to the 1880 version. I don't understand why he didn't leave the two introductory moves, although the position is still fairly artificial. I tried to add to it, but only came up with one additional move.

I've followed modern color conventions here, so the task is White to play and draw with the solution 1.Ra1! Kb2 2.Kd3! Kxa1 3.Kc2! etc. This still isn't really satisfactory since I can't figure out what a logical previous move for Black might have been to reach the last diagram.

6/12/19 - BCE-143, Kling and Horwitz 1851

Back in February and March, I had a series of BCE corrections from the work of Kling and Horwitz. This week begins a new trilogy of positions from the Bishop and Pawn Endings section of BCE that Fine attributes to Horwitz 1880. Researching the history of these positions, it looks like they all predate 1880 and should also give Kling some credit. Fine seems to be following the citations in Berger, which Fine gives as his primary source. Berger cites Volume 1 of The Chess-Monthly. The Chess-Monthly was a periodical that began in 1879 edited by Hoffer and Zukertort. Each issue had a section titled End-Games by B. Horwitz, but there is no accompanying text to give the reader a clue if these were original or from previous work.

BCE-143 is a battle of a lone White bishop against 3 connected passed pawns. In another one of BCE's inconsistencies Black is clearly the only one playing for a win, despite Fine's saying in the introduction that he uses White to denote the superior side and even has examples where he has switched the colors of actual game positions to that end. I bring it up here because unlike BCE-143 and Berger, the position in The Chess-Monthly has the colors reversed.

I think Berger switched the colors because all of his examples of piece versus pawns have White with the piece. Fine seems to have just copied this position and forgotten about what he said in the introduction.

The history of this position goes back further. Kling and Horwitz edited their own periodical The Chess Player from 1851 to 1853 and this position appears in the September 27, 1851 issue attributed to The authors, so I think the correction citation is Kling and Horwitz 1851 as I have put in this post's title. This postion is seems to have come from an actual game as the authors state This beautiful strategem happened in a game played at the Philidorian Chess Rooms, Strand.

That seems to mostly solve the origin story, but the analysis of the position also has some history behind it. The original solution given in The Chess Player as well as in The Chess-Monthly and Berger (with colors reversed) begins 1. f6?, which leads to a draw as shown by Fine in BCE. The van der Heijden study database credits the discovery of the winning cook 1.Kf4! to Max Karstedt in Deutsches Wochenschach 1906. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a copy of that volume on the web, so I don't know if he just gave the line shown in the database, which corresponds with Fine's main line, or if he included other variations. Since the BCE correction is in a side variation, it isn't clear if Fine originated this error or if he just passed it down from Karstedt.

As a contemporary example of this ending, I'd like to look at the game Nakamura-Hillarp Persson from the 2005 Sigeman tournament. Before Norway Chess came along, the Sigeman was probably the top tournament in Scandanavia. It is usually held in Malmo, Sweden, but the 13th edition in 2005 was split between Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmo. Timman and Sasikiran topped the table in 2005, with Nakamura a half-point back. It was not a good tournament for Hillarp Persson who was dead last with 1.5/9. Against Nakamura, he abandoned his favorite Modern Defense for the French. The endgame was one that all French Defense players dread with a knight against the light-squared bishop in a fixed pawn structure after 40...Kxa5

The position is so closed that Black should objectively hold, but White can play for the win with no risk, so Nakamura makes the effort. Step 1 is to open in roads for the king on the queenside. 41.Kb3 Kb6 42.Nc3 a5 43.Ka4 Bd7+ 44.Ka3 Bc6 45.Na4+ Kb5 46.Kb3 Bb7 47.Nc3+ Kb6 48.Ka3 Bc6 49.b4 Ka6 49...axb4+? 50.Kxb4 Bb7 51.Na4+ and Black has to give ground 50.Kb3 Kb6 51.Na4+ Kb5 52.bxa5 White could win a pawn with 52.Nc3+ Ka6 53.b5+ Bxb5 54.Nxd5 but the passed a-pawn should allow Black to hold. It is somewhat similar to the famous Karpov-Kasparov ending where White should not rush to capture the d-pawn since it gives the bishop more scope. 52...Kxa5 53.Nc5 Be8 54.Ne6 Bf7 55.Nd8 Be8 56.Nb7+ Kb6 57.Nd6 Bd7 58.Kb4 Kc6 59.Nb5 Kb6 60.Nc3 Bc6 61.Nb1 61.Na4+ Bxa4 62.Kxa4 Ka6 Black has the opposition, so it is a draw. The sacrifice 61.g4 to clear g3 for the knight doesn't work either 61...fxg4 62.Ne2 Be8 and the Black bishop can't be driven off the e8-h5 diagonal. 61...Bd7 62.Nd2 Bb5 63.Nb3 Bd7 64.Nc5 After a bit of maneuvering, Nakamura targets the one pawn that the bishop can't protect, on f6. 64...Be8 64...Bc8? 65.Na4+ forces the Black king to give ground, but now the knight can get at f6. 65.Ne6 Bf7 66.Nf8 Kc6 67.Nh7 Kd6 68.Nxf6

White has won a pawn, but his knight is trapped. However, to collect it Black must allow the White king to penetrate. 68...Bg6 69.Ng8 Bf7 70.Nf6 Bg6 71.Ng8 Bf7 72.Nh6 Be6 73.Kb5 Bd7+ 74.Ka5 Be6! 75.Kb6! Kd7 76.Kc5 Kc7! Now, to make further in roads, Nakamura sacrifices the knight. 77.Nxf5 Bxf5! 78.Kxd5! Kd7 79.Ke5! Bg4 80.Kf6

80...Kd6? after this, the king is out of position for the ensuing ending against the 3 connected passed pawns. Instead, Black holds the draw with 80...Bf3 81.f5 Ke8 82.Kg6 Kf8 83.d5 Bxd5! 84.Kxh5 81.f5! Kd7 82.Kg6 Bf3 83.d5 Bxd5 84.Kxh5! Ke7 85.Kg5? White needs to use his king to force the Black king into a weaker defensive position on the back rank. 85.Kg6! Be4 (85...Kf8 86.g4 Bf7+ 87.Kf6) 86.h5 Kf8 87.h6 Kg8 88.g4 and wins 85...Kf7! 86.g4 Bf3 87.h5 Kg7!

This is the model defensive setup shown by Fine in the previous BCE position (#142). The bishop is in an active position where it can target the White pawns from behind ("pawns in the crosshairs" is Dvoretsky's term for this technique.) to stop them from advancing. 88.Kh4 8On 8.h6+ Kh7! 89.Kh5 Black can make an immediate draw with 89...Bxg4+ 88..Bd1? 88...Be4! was necessary to prevent g5 89.g5! Bc2 90.h6+ Kh7 91.Kg4! The pawns are now too far advanced for Black to hold. Nakamura first improves his king then advances the pawns. 91...Bb1 92.Kf4! Bc2 93.Ke5 Bd3 94.Ke6 Bc4+ 94...Bc2 95.f6 Kg6 96.Ke7 Bb3 reaches the same end 95.Ke7 Bb3 96.f6 Kg6 97.f7 White can also reverse the order with 97.h7 Kxh7 98.f7! Bxf7 99.Kxf7! 97...Bxf7 98.h7! Kxh7 99.Kxf7! Kh8 100.Kg6 Of course not 100.g6? stalemate 1-0

6/11/19 - Martinez-Smith, 2018 Batumi Olympiad

Like the other Yearbook 128 survey on the Sicilian Taimanov, the main line of one by Pavel Skatchkov and Dimitry Frolyanov was not reached in any Olympiad games. The ones that did reach it were not too interesting, so I picked one that deviated a couple of moves earlier. The line chosen in the game between Jose Martinez Alcantara and Shreyas Smith from the Peru-Jamaica match looks like one that needs to be put to rest.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qf3 d6 7...Nf6 8.0-0-0 Ne5 9.Qg3 b5 was the subject of the survey 8.0-0-0 Bd7 9.Qg3 b5?! Black probably has to stick with the main move here 9...Nf6. Since it will take some time to castle kingside and once the king gets there it is staring into the face of Qg3, I'll toss out the untested novelty 9.0-0-0 for those looking for an original path. 10.Bxb5!

10...Nf6 Black probably has to accept the sacrifice, to at least have some material for his trouble. 10...axb5 11.Ndxb5 Qb8 (11...Qb7 was brutally dealt with in Ragger-Maiwald, 2017 Bundesliga 12.Qxd6 Rc8 13.Bc5 Nce7 14.Qd3 1-0) 12.Nxd6+ Bxd6 13.Rxd6 and Black suffers from the same problems as in the game trying to figure out how to get his pieces out of the kingside. White scored another fast win from here in Lentjes-Jancke, Lueneburg 2015. 13...Nf6 14.e5 Nh5 15.Qg5 g6 16.Rhd1 h6 17.Qh4 0-0 18.g4 Rc8 19.gxh5 Nxe5 20.hxg6 Rxc3 21.gxf7+ Nxf7 22.Rxd7 Rxa2 23.Rg1+ Ng5 24.Rxg5+ hxg5 25.Qh7+ Kf8 26.Qh8# 1-0 11.Bxc6 Bxc6 12.f3 One high level game got this far. In Alekseev-Potkin 2017 Russian championship White removed the bishop pair with 12.Nxc6 and Black's compensation is again questionable. 12...Bb7 Maybe 12...Bd7 keeping the b-file open, and supporting a future advance of the a-pawn is better, but Black's big problem is how to develop the kingside. 13.Kb1 Rc8 14.Nb3 Be7 Now the king is a permanent resident of the center, but a fianchetto didn't look feasible because of the weakness of the d-pawn. 15.Qxg7 Rg8 16.Qh6 Rxg2 17.Rhg1 Rxg1 18.Rxg1 d5 19.Bg5 Qb6 20.Rd1 Qd8 21.Qg7 h5 22.h4 Ba8 23.Nd4 Bb7 24.e5 Rxc3 25.exf6 Bf8 26.Nxe6

A small bit of tactics to finish things off. 26...fxe6 27.f7+ Kd7 28.Qxc3 Be7 29.Bxe7 Qxe7 30.Qg7 1-0

6/5/19 - BCE-594, Chigorin-Janowski, Karlsbad 1907

This week's BCE correction comes full circle to complete the trio of positions from the games of Mikhail Chigorin as we return to his final tournament at Karlsbad in 1907. In the second round Chigorin had White versus David Janowski and they reached a two rook versus queen position after 49.cxd4

At first glance it would seem that Black should have a relatively easy win with soon to be connected passed pawns against White's split pawns. The tournament book takes this point of view basically saying that it is a matter of technique. However, the Black rooks are somewhat uncoordinated and after analyzing this ending extensively with assistance from the engine and tablebases, I think the position is objectively drawn. 49...Rxg4 50.Kc4? It is better to play 50.Qa7 to protect both pawns and to stop the rooks from getting organized 50...h5? It looks like Janowski missed an opportunity here. In the Queen vs. Two Rooks section of his Endgame Manual, Dvoretsky emphasizes A standard method is doubling the rooks to gain, or at least stop an enemy's pawn. Janowski had a chance to that here with 50...Rc1+ 51.Kd5 Rc7 threatening to win the d-pawn with Rd7+ and a sample variation is 52.Qe8 Rg5+ 53.Kd6 Ra7 54.d5 Rg6+ 55.Ke5 Ra5 56.Qd7 Rg5+ 57.Ke6 h5 and White is in zugzwang and must lose one of his pawns. 51.Qe8 Rg6 52.Qb5 White could even advance his pawn here as 52.d5 Rxa4+ 53.Qxa4 Rg4+ 54.Kb5 Rxa4 55.Kxa4 is a drawn ending 52...Kh6 53.a5 Rc1+ 54.Kd3 Rcc6 Black's rooks stop White's passed pawns, but they are otherwise passively placed 55.Qb8 The starting position of BCE-594 55...Rcd6 56.Kc4 h4 57.Kc5 Kg5 58.d5 h3 59.Qe8 Kf4 60.Qe1 Rh6 61.Qf2+ Kg4 62.Qg1+ Kf5 63.Qf2+? The BCE correction is that after 63.Qf1+ Black can't escape the checks. The point is that h1 is covered by the White queen, so trying to follow the game continuation would lose 63...Kg6? 64.Kxd6! h2 65.Qh1! 63...Kg6! 64.Qc2+ now 64.Kxd6 h2 and Black will queen 64...Kf7 65.Qh2 Rdf6 66.Qc7+ Kg8 67.a6 Rxa6 Rook and two versus queen and one pawn is almost always winning for the rooks, and Janowski has no problems converting. 68.Qb8+ Kh7 69.Qb1+ Rag6 70.d6 Rh5+ 71.Kc4 h2 72.d7 h1Q 73.Qxh1 Rxh1 74.d8Q Rg4+ 75.Kb5 Rh5+ 76.Kb6 Rg6+ 77.Ka7 Rf5 78.Qd3 Rgf6 79.Kb7 g6 80.Kc7 Kg7 81.Qd4 Rf4 82.Qc3 Re4 83.Kd7 Ra4 84.Ke7 Ra7+ 85.Ke8 Ra8+ 86.Ke7 Raa6 87.Qb2 g5 88.Qc3 g4 89.Ke8 Rac6 90.Qg3 Rce6+ 91.Kd7 Re4 92.Qh4 Kg6 93.Qh8 Kf5 94.Qh5+ Kf4 95.Qh2+ Kg5 96.Qd2+ Rff4 97.Qg2 Rd4+ 98.Kc6 Rf3 99.Qe2 Rdf4 0-1

6/4/19 - Newsom-Bereolos, 2010 South Carolina Open

I was checking some of my analysis with an engine when I found a big error in my game against Gary Newsom at the 2010 South Carolina Open. After 44.d7

I went for the pawn ending. 44...Nxd7? The path to the draw was 44...Ke7! 45.Ke3 Kd8 and neither side can make progress (Black also has the tactical solution 45...g4 46.hxg4 Nxg4+ 47.Kxe4 h3 48.gxh3 Nf2+ and the Black knight will eventually return to take the d7 pawn after taking h3.) 45.Nxd7! Kxd7 46.Ke3 Kd6 47.Kxe4 Ke6 48.b3 The only alternative I looked at in my original notes was 48.b4 Kf6! 49.Kd5 Kf5! 50.Kc5 Kf4! 51.Kb6 Kg3! 52.Kxb7 Kxg2! 53.b5 g4 54.bxa6 gxh3! 55.a7 h2! 56.a8Q h1Q! with a draw, but White does have a win 48.g4 hxg3 49.Kf3! Kf7 50.Kxg3 Kg7 51.Kg4 Kg6 52.b3 Kf6 53.Kh5 Kf5 54.Kh6 g4 (54...Kf6 55.b4 Kf5 56.Kg7 Kf4 57.Kf6) 55.hxg4+! Kxg4 56.Kg6!

and although Black will capture a b-pawn first, White will win both of Black's queenside pawns. 48...Kf6! 49.b4 It's too late for 49.g4 since in the above variation, White needed both of his tempo moves with the b-pawn 49...hxg3! 50.Kf3! Kf5 51.Kxg3 Kf6! 52.Kg4 Kg6! 53.b4 Kf6 holds. White would actually lose here if he tried to win 54.Kh5? Kf5! 55.Kh6 g4! and it will be Black who wins both pawns on the queenside 49...Ke6! 50.Kf3 Kf5 51.Ke3 Ke5 52.Kf3 1/2-1/2

Lessons from this ending: 1. Don't automatically discard backwards moves. The key move to win was a king retreat Ke4-f3. This can be particularly hard to find when the king has just moved forward on the previous move. 2. As always, king endings can be boiled down to pure calculation.

6/1/19 - Diermair-Matsuo, 2018 Batumi Olympiad

I'm reaching the home stretch of my Olympiad/Yearbook 128 series. The only remaining surveys on the closed openings are on the English Opening. The first of these was a gambit line reviewed by Carsten Hansen, which didn't find any takers in the Olympiad. I picked the game that came closest to that line, a somewhat one-sided win by Andreas Diermair over Tomohiko Matsuo in the Austria-Japan match.

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.d4 Hansen's survey was focused on the gambit 5.e3 e6 6.Nxd5 exd5 7.b4!? 5...e6 6.e3 Nc6 7.Bd3 cxd4 8.exd4 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Re1

A very common IQP tabiya that can arise from a wide variety of openings. 10...Ncb4 Putting a piece on f6 with 10...Bf6 or 10...Nf6 is much more common with thousands of games with each 11.Bb1 Bd7 This move is pretty rare. The most played move is 11...Nf6 so that Black can maintain the blockade of the d-pawn using the b4 knight after 12.a3 Nbd5. However, the engines suggest some other ideas. Fire suggests the similar idea 11...Nc7. This reserves f6 for the bishop, and the knight can support the ...b5 push. The drawback is that there is one less piece to defend the kingside and the c-file is blocked. Houdini doesn't fool around with preparation and pushes 11...b5!? immediately looking for fast development for a pawn after 12.Nxb5 Ba6 13.Nc3 Rc8. Stockfish wants to bring the queen out with 11...Qb6, but White has to be happy after 12.a3 Nc6 (12...Nxc3 13.bxc3 Nd5 is a worse version of the game after 14.Qd3) 12.a3 The database shows White with a nice +7 -2 from here. 12...Nxc3 Relieving White of the isolated pawn, but 12...Nc6 just looks like two tempi down on normal positions. 13.bxc3 Nd5 14.Qd3 g6 The only top level game that got here was Portisch-Bagirov Beverwijk 1965 which continued 14...Nf6 but the great Hungarian champion scored a quick victory in only 24 moves. Portisch tied for first in that tournament, the first of four times he finished on top of the tournament that is today known as Tata Steel Chess and now played in Wijk aan Zee 15.Bh6 Re8 16.c4 Nf6 17.Ne5 Rc8 18.Ba2

18...Nh5? Black is under a lot of pressure here and commits a tactical mistake. Perhaps the point of the text was to play ...Bg5 to trade bishops or maybe ...Bf8-g7. The immediate 18...Bf8 19.Bg5 Bg7 doesn't bring much relief after 20.Ng4 when Black will likely have to make further weaknesses around his king with ...h5 in order to deal with the pin. Maybe Black's best is something like 18...Bc6 trying to hold up d5, but I don't really see a plan for Black if White continues the buildup with 19.Rad1 19.Qf3 attacking both f7 and b7 19...Bf6 19...f6 20.Nxd7 Qxd7 21.Rxe6 Qxd4 22.Rae1 is no better 20.Qxb7 Bxe5 21.Rxe5 Rb8 22.Qf3 Ng7 23.g4 dominating the knight on g7 23...Qb6?? Black doesn't have any compensation for the pawn, but this move ends the game immediately. 24.Qf6

White will soon mate on g7 1-0

older material

Stats since June 1, 2006