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

7/22/19 - 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

5/29/19 - BCE-385a, Schlecter-Chigorin, Hastings 1895

This week's BCE position is from another Chigorin game, this time from when he was more in his prime. Hastings 1895 was probably the strongest tournament of the 19th century. It was a tight race between Pillsbury, Chigorin, and the World Champion Lasker, with Steinitz and Tarrasch close behind. Entering the final round, Pillsbury led Chigorin by half a point with Lasker another half point behind. Lasker smashed Burn, but Pillsbury beat Gunsberg with a combination in a knight and pawn ending that is a classic example in many endgame texts including BCE. As for Chigorin, he reached a pawn up rook ending against Schlecter after 47...Ng6

48.fxg6+ Schlecter opts for the rook ending, but I think 48.Kf2 offers better drawing chances. The king comes over to defend against the h-pawn while keeping the third rank clear in preparation of 48. Rb3. In the English language tournament book, Steinitz comments that if White delays the exchange, Black has ...Nf8, but this move must be prepared as the immediate 48...Nf8 against either king move is met by 49. Nd8+. The German language tournament book gives a variation beginning 48.Kf3 which looks more dangerous but also seems to hold. Their variation continues 48...Nf8 49. Nc7 when Black gets a decisive advantage with 49...Nh7, but why not 49. Nd8+ instead? Then, after 49...Ke7 50. Nxb7 Nh7 51. Rxh4 Ng5+ 50. Kg3 it doesn't look like Black has more than perpetual check although he could try to keep the game going with 50...Rb8 51. Nxa5 Rxb2. Still, 48. Kf2 avoids all of that. 48...Kxe6 49.g7 Rg8 50.Rxh4 Rxg7 51.Ke3 Kf7 52.b4 Kg6 Steinitz comments that this move threatens ...Rh7. But I think more importantly it frees the rook in order to play ...Rd7-d4 and start harvesting the White pawns. With that in mind, I think a better execution of the idea is 52...Kg8 which stops the White rook from becoming active 53.Ke4 Rd7 (not 53...Rh7? 54.Rxh7! Kxh7 55.Kf5 Kg7 56.g5! fxg5 57.Kxg5! e4 58.Kf4 Kf6 59.Kxe4! and the opposition doesn't help Black because after 59...Ke6 60.Kf4 d5 is covered by the c4 pawn, so the Black king cannot advance.) 54.Kf5 Kg7 55.g5 fxg5 56.Kxg5 Rd4 and Black wins since White gets outflanked in the pawn ending 57.Rxd4 exd4 58.Kf4 Kg6 59.Ke4 Kg5 60.Kxd4 Kf4 53.Rh8! 53. Rh3? leads to BCE-385a. Since Fine quotes this game for the BCE example and 53. Rh3 is the move given in almost all the sources I found, why do I strongly feel that 53.Rh8 was the move actually played in the game? First, the tournament was played in England and the English tournament book, which includes "the authorised account" as part of its subtitle gives 53. Rh8 as the move. Furthermore, it just seems absurd that Schlecter would play a move like 53. Rh3, which serves no purpose. If White was going to retreat his rook, going to the open first or second rank would be much more logical when White could potentially swing his rook to the d-file or the b-file to support a b5 push. So why do so many sources give 53. Rh3 as the move? I think the 8 was misread as 3 when the German language tournament book was written and Fine may have used that as his source. Later, when ChessBase, a German company, came along, it would be natural that they used German sources to input older games, and that is how the move made it into the databases. 53...f5 Another argument in favor of 53. Rh8 is that on 53. Rh3 Black is easily winning with 53...Rh7 54.Rg3 Rd7 54.gxf5+! Kxf5 55.Rh5+ Ke6 56.Rh6+ Kd7 57.b5 Steinitz' 57.Kd3 is also sufficient to hold, but the text is more forcing 57...axb5 57...a5 58.bxc6+ bxc6 59.Ke4 leads nowhere 58.cxb5 cxb5 59.Ke4 Re7 60.Rb6 Kc7 61.Rxb5? As shown in the correction link, White draws by waiting for the b-pawn to advance before capturing it. 61.Rh6 b4 62.Rb6 b3 63.Rxb3 Kc6 64.Rc3!= 61...Kc6! 62.Ra5 Re8 63.Ra7 Re6 64.Ra5 Re7 Reaching the same position as after White's 62nd move, but Black's rook maneuvers have passed the move to White, who is now in zugzwang. 65.Ra1 King moves are met by the advance of the e-pawn. 65...Kxc5! 66.Rc1+ Kd6 67.Rd1+ Kc6 68.Rc1+ Kd7 69.Rd1+ Kc8 70.Rd5 Kc7 71.Rc5+ Kd6 72.Rb5 Kc6 73.Rb1 b5 74.Rc1+ Kb6 75.Rb1 Re8 76.Rb2 Kc5 77.Rc2+ Kb4 78.Rb2+ Kc4 0-1 So the three leaders kept their position after the final round.

5/22/19 - BCE-353a, Chigorin-Salwe, Karlsbad 1907

I'm going to adjourn my coverage of the first Alekhine-Euwe match as that the last BCE correction I was planning seems not to be a correction as it looks like there is still a difficult draw where I thought was a win. I'm still analyzing it to be sure, and may have also found another example from that match, but I want to make sure my analysis is clean before posting it to the corrections section.

Instead, I'll start up a series of postions from games of the godfather of the Russian chess school Mikhail Chigorin. Chigorin was one of the top players in the world at the end of the 19th century (although Sonas doesn't have him quite reaching the top spot) and played two matches with Steinitz for the World Championship.

Today's postion comes from the end of his career in his last tournament. Karlsbad 1907 was the first of the great tournaments in Karlsbad with a massive 21 player field that saw Rubinstein edge Maroczy for top honors. Chigorin finished well off the pace in a tie for 16th-18th. His opponent Georg Salwe had a decent tournament finishing with +2. In their individual encounter, Chigorin reached an ending with two extra pawns after 61...Nxb3

Because both of his extra pawns are rook's pawns, White must take a little care, but with a bishop against a knight and an active king, there shouldn't62 be too many problems. 62.h4 Ra2 63.Ra7 Nc5 64.h5 Rg2+ 65.Kh6 The tournament book gives this move a question mark and presents the following winning line 65.Kf5 Rf2+ 66.Kg4 Rg2+ 67.Bg3 Ne4 68.Kf3 Rxg3+ 69.Kxe4! Rh3 70.h6 Kb6 71.Rh7! Rh4+ 72.Kf5 Rxa4 73.Rg7 Rh4 74.h7 Kc6 75.Ke6 Kc5 76.Kf7 Kd6 77.Kg8 However, White should still win after the text 65...Nd3 66.Bg7 Nf4 67.Be5 Nd3 68.Rc7+ Kd5 69.Rd7+ Kxe5 70.Rxd3! Ra2 71.Kg5 Here, the tournament book concludes that Black is holding because his king is close enough 71...Rg2+ 72.Kh6 Ra2 The starting position for BCE-353a 73.Rf3 Rxa4 74.Kg7? Instead 74.Kg5! is the winning move grabbing horizontal opposition, but more importantly, not allowing the Black rook any good checks. It is a bit surprising that Chigorin didn't play this as he had brought the king out to g5 on move 71. Now, Salwe found the route to the draw 74...Rg4+! 75.Kf7 Rh4! 76.Ra3 Rf4+! 77.Ke7 Rb4 78.Ra5+ Kf4! 79.h6 Kg4 80.Ra7 Kg5 81.h7 Rb8! 82.Kf7 Kh6! 1/2-1/2

5/21/19 - Bereolos-Shabalov, 2004 Chicago Open

I've added my 2004 game with Alexander Shabalov to the GM games section. This was a very complex game in the Botvinnik Variation. I've added to the notes from my original tournament report, particularly in the endgame. I think the theoretical result was a draw, despite White being a piece down, but it is a very difficult task in practice.

There is definately more analytical work that can be done on this game. Perhaps Alex will shed further light on this game in his upcoming book. I wouldn't normally expect this, but maybe we'll get lucky and he will follow the lead of his former compatriot Alexei Shirov, who included a chapter with all of his games in the Botvinnik Variation in the first volume of his best games collection.

5/15/19 - BCE-87, Alekhine-Euwe, 24th match game, 1935

The numerous missed chances in game 13 did not slow Euwe's momentum as he tied the match with his third straight win with White when Alekhine blundered badly in the opening. Alekhine again pulled out to a two point lead with wins in games 16 and 19, only to have Euwe tie it again in with back-to-back wins in games 20 and 21. After two draws, Alekhine tried the Dutch Defense in game 24. Euwe didn't handle the opening well and Alekhine had a very nice position after 23.Rd1

23...Nd4? Alekhine gave 23...e5 as better, but thought that it was his next move that threw away the advantage. 24.Bxd4 cxd4 Alekhine gave the 24...Bxf3 25.Bxc5 bxc5 26.exf3 Qxf3 27.Rd2 c4 with clear advantage to Black. But modern engines agree that the position is equality with 27. Qd2 instead of 27. Rd2 25.Rxd4 Bxf3 26.Rf4 Qh5 27.Rxf8+? Alekhine gave the following drawing line 27.Rxf3! Qxg5 28.Rxf8+ Kxf8 29.hxg5 b5 30.f4 a5 31.Kf2 a4 32.Ke3 c5 33.Kd3 Ke7 34.e4 Kd6 35.g4 with the idea of f5 27...Kxf8 28.Qf4+ Qf7 29.Qxf3 Qxf3 30.exf3 The starting position for BCE-87 30...e5! 31.Kf1 b5 32.Ke2

Probably the most critical moment in the entire match. Alekhine quickly played 32...c5? expecting only 33.Kd3. The winning line was 32...a5! 33.Kd3 (trying to follow the game continuation is too slow 33.Ke3 a4 34.f4 exf4+ 35.Kxf4 b4 36.Ke3 b3 37.axb3 a3 and queens) 33...a4 34.Kc3 c5 35.g4 Ke7 36.Kd3 a) 36.g5 Ke6 (36...b4+ 37.Kd3 g6 38.Kc4 Ke6 39.Kd3 b3-+) ; b) 36.h5 Kf6 intending Kg5-f4 followed by e4 36...Kd6 37.Kc3 Kd5 38.a3 Ke6 39.Kd3 (39.Kb2 is the subject of the BCE correction) 39...Kd6 40.Kc3 Kd5 41.Kd3 b4 42.axb4 cxb4 43.Kc2 Kc4 44.Kb2 (44.h5 Kd5) 44...a3+ 45.Ka2 Kc3-+; Instead, Alekhine got a rude awakening when Euwe played 33.Ke3! with the idea of f4. The players agreed to a draw at this point 1/2-1/2 Each side's king will have to keep watch over the opposing pawns. Kasparov gives the following as a sample continuation 33...a5 34.f4! exf4+ 35.Kxf4! b4 36.Ke3 c4 37.Kd4 c3 38.Kd3 Kf7 39.f4 Ke6 40.g4! g6 41.Kc2

5/14/19 - Illingworth-Myo, 2018 Batumi Olympiad

The game from board 2 of the Australia-Myanmar match between Max Illingworth and Naing Myo is the next game in my Olympiad/Yearbook 128 series. It featured the Neo-Steinitz variation of the Ruy Lopez, which had been the subject of a survey by Luke McShane. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.0-0 Bd7 6.c3 g6 7.d4 Bg7

The starting tabiya of McShane's survey. 8.Re1 This is the most popular move. McShane calls 8.d5 the critical option. After 8...Nce7 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 with a pawn structure similar to the Kings Indian. However, the play will likely be quite different with the absence of light-squared bishops. 8...Nge7 Again, the most popular, but McShane draws attention to 8...Nf6 which has been played by both Carlsen and Caruana. 9.Be3 0-0 10.Nbd2 h6 11.Bb3 A relatively rare move. McShane played the main move 11.dxe5 against Nigel Short in the 2017 British KO championship. 11...Kh7 12.Nf1 f5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Bxe5 15.f4 Bg7 16.Ng3 fxe4 17.Nxe4 Nf5 18.Bf2 Bc6 19.Qd3 Re8 20.Bc2 Bxe4 21.Rxe4 Rxe4 22.Qxe4 d5 23.Qe6 Qd6 24.Bxf5 gxf5 25.Qxd6 White heads for a very favorable endgame. There was nothing wrong with staying in the middlegame with 25.Qxf5+ either 25...cxd6 26.Re1 d4!?

Rather than sit passively, Black sacrifices two pawns for some activity 27.Bxd4 Bxd4+ 28.cxd4 Rc8 29.Re7+ Kg6 30.Rxb7 Rc4 31.d5 Rc5 32.Rb6 Rxd5 33.Rxa6 Rd1+ 34.Kf2 Rd2+ 35.Ke3 Rxb2 36.Rxd6+ Kh5 37.Rd2 37.a4 Rxg2 38.Rd2 Rg6 39.Ra2 Ra6 40.a5 Kg4 and Black has counterplay against the White pawns. 37...Rb4 38.g3 This might be a bit too careful. Instead, 38.Rd5 Ra4 39.Rxf5+ Kg4 40.Rd5 and White should win

38...Kg4 Instead, 38...Ra4 preparing a frontal defense against the a-pawn advance combined with play against White's kingside seems to give Black some reasonable drawing chances 39.Kd3 Kg4 40.Kc3 Ra8 and it isn't clear how White makes progress. 39.Kd3 Again, activating the rook seems to be the way to victory 39.Rd6 h5 (39...Ra4 40.Rxh6) 40.Rg6+ Kh3 41.Rg5 39...h5 The final chance for 39...Ra4 40.Kc3 Ra8 and the path to victory for White is not clear 40.Kc3 Re4 Now Black is a bit too late with 40...Ra4 41.Kb3 Ra8 and the a-pawn can advance 42.a4 h4 43.Rd5 41.Rf2 h4 42.gxh4 Kxh4 43.Kb3! An obvious move, but White does have to hurry to push the a-pawn. The nonchalant 43.Kc2? would allow Black to draw with 43...Kg4 44.Kb3 Rxf4 since both sides would get queens after 45.Rxf4+ Kxf4 46.a4 Ke3! 43...Kg4 44.a4! Re1 44...Rxf4 45.Rxf4+ Kxf4 46.a5 and the White pawn is faster. The h-pawn saves White any worries about the Q vs. f-pawn ending 45.a5 Rb1+ 46.Kc4 Ra1 47.Kb5 Rb1+ 48.Kc6 Ra1 49.Kb6 Rb1+ 50.Ka7 Re1 51.a6 Ra1 51...Rb1 offers more resistance, but White still wins 52.Ka8 Rb6 53.a7 Rb4 54.Rg2+ Kxf4 (54...Kh3 55.Rg5 Rxf4 56.Kb7 Rb4+ 57.Ka6 Ra4+ 58.Kb6 f4 59.Ra5) 55.h4 Kf3 56.Rg5 52.Rb2 1-0

5/8/19 - BCE-359a, Alekhine-Euwe, 13th match game, 1935

The 13th game of the 1935 Alekhine-Euwe world championship match was the subject of two positions in BCE, so this week we get a bonus position. Last week left off at BCE-377b after 48...Rxa4

49.Kd2 g5 50.Kc3 h5 51.Kb3 Ra1 52.Kc4 g4 52...Kg6 was the subject of the correction to BCE-377b 53.hxg4! hxg4 54.Kd4 Kg6 reaching BCE-359a. Now, the famous double blunder occurred, although it is better than Fine's sextuple blunder 55.Ke5? 55.Ke3! draws as shown on the correction link 55...f6+? Black wins by cutting off the White king with 55...Ra4! but it is still tricky. Euwe didn't get it totally correct in his later analysis. 56.Kd5 (56.Rc4 f6+! 57.Ke6 Ra6+! 58.Kd5 Kg5) 56...f6 (56...f5? 57.Ke5! f4 58.a8Q Rxa8! 59.Kxf4!=) 57.Kc5 g3! (instead of Euwe's 57...Kg5? and Black wins when White gets back just in time 58.Kb6 g3 59.Rc8 f5 60.a8Q Rxa8! 61.Rxa8! f4 62.Rf8! Kg4 63.Kc5! f3 Normally, two pawns on the sixth rank beat a rook, but the White king is close enough here to draw 64.Kd4! g2 65.Rg8+! Kf4! 66.Rf8+! Kg3 67.Rg8+! Kf2 68.Ke4! Ke2 69.Rg7 and the game will be drawn since 69...f2 70.Rxg2! pins the pawn 70...Ke1! 71.Rxf2! Kxf2!) 56.Kf4! Ra4+ 57.Kg3! f5 57...Kg5 58.Rg7+ Kf5 59.Kh4! 58.Kh4! Kf6 59.Rb7 1/2-1/2 if 59...Ke5 60.Rb5+ and Black must go back since advancing runs into a deflection 60...Ke4? 61.Rb4+! and White would win

5/4/19 - Watson-Bereolos, Chattanooga 1998

I had previously looked at the ending of my 1998 game against Brad Watson in the context of the 7-piece position. However, there were many critical moments leading up to that position, so I'd like to present the entire rook ending after 45. Kxd1

Black has the better chances because the White king is cut off, but with proper play the game should be drawn. The Black king can't presently advance, so Black has a choice of 3 pawns to attack while maintaining his rook on the 7th rank 45...Rf2 45...Rh2 might have offered the best chances. 46.Rxf7 Rxh4 47.Rf6 Kd5 48.Rxg6 Rxf4 49.Rh6 Kxe5 50.g6 Rg4 51.Rxh5+ Ke4 52.Rxa5 Kd3 and White's path to the draw is very narrow 53.Ke1! Kxc3 54.Ra6 Rxg6 55.a5! Rg5 56.Ra7! (56.Ra8? Rg2! 57.a6 Ra2 58.a7 e5! 59.Kd1 e4 60.Ke1 e3

This is a position of mutual zugzwang 61.Re8 Rxa7 is an easy win, but king moves allow Black to reposition his rook (61.Kf1 Rf2+! 62.Ke1 Rf7 63.Ke2 Re7! 64.Kd1 e2+ 65.Ke1 Kc2 66.Rc8 Rxa7! 67.Rxc4+ Kd3! and wins) 56...Rg2 57.a6 Ra2 58.Ra8 e5 59.a7 e4 60.Kf1! e3 61.Ke1 now it is Black to move in the mutual zugzwang position 61...Kc2 (61...e2 62.Kf2 and there is no way to make progress) 62.Ke2 c3 63.Kxe3 Kc1 64.Kd3 c2 65.Rc8 Ra3+ 66.Rc3! with a draw; If Black instead goes after the a-pawn from the first diagram 45...Ra2 46.Rxf7 Rxa4 47.Rf6 Ra1+ 48.Ke2 Kd5 49.Rxg6 a4 50.f5 exf5 51.e6 Kd6 52.e7+ Kxe7 53.Ra6 a3 54.Kf2 a2 55.Kg2 f4 56.Ra7+! holds since the Black king must be able to keep in front of the g-pawn 46.Rxf7 Kd5 47.Rf6 Ke4 48.Rxg6 48.Rxe6 Rxf4 49.Rxg6 Kxe5 50.Ra6 Rxh4 51.Rxa5+ should be a draw. 48...Kd3 49.Ke1 Rxf4! 50.Rf6 Again 50.Rxe6= Kxc3 51.g6 50...Rxh4 51.Rf3+ Forgoing the final chance for 51.Rxe6= 51...Ke4 coming back to collect the e-pawn. The other choice is 51...Kc2 but then White can offer a rook exchange since the Black king is out of play for a pawn ending 52.Kf2! (White loses if he procedes as in the game with 52.Rg3? Rf4! 53.g6 Rf8 and Black will trade h for g and pick up the c3 pawn 52...Rg4 53.Rg3 Rf4+ 54.Rf3 52.Rg3! Rf4 53.g6 Rf8! 54.Ke2 Rg8 55.Rg5 Kf4 56.Rxh5 Rxg6 57.Rh4+ Rg4 57...Kxe5 58.Rxc4

58.Rh6 The pawn ending is drawn after 58.Rxg4+ Kxg4! 59.Ke3! Kf5 60.Kd4! Kf4! 61.Kxc4 Kxe5! 62.Kb5 Kd6 63.c4 e5! 64.Kb6 e4! 65.c5+! Kd7 66.Kb7! e3 67.c6+! Kd6 68.c7 e2! 69.c8Q e1Q!= 58...Kxe5 59.Rh5+? rushing to restore material equality, but White should prevent the Black king from advancing with 59.Kf3 Rg5 60.Rh4 Kd5 61.Rd4+ Kc5 62.Rd8 and Black doesn't have a good way to make progress 59...Ke4! 60.Rxa5 60.Rh2 e5 and White must give further ground 60...Rg2+! 61.Ke1 Ra2? Black should advance the king 61...Kd3

62.Ra6? The only drawing move is 62.Rh5!= preparing checks from the side. This is a hard move to find psychologically since it surrenders the a-pawn. 62...Rxa4 63.Kd2 (not the immediate 63.Rh4+? Kd3! 64.Rh3+ Kc2! and Black will win the c-pawn while keeping the White king on the long side of the pawn.) 63...Ra2+ 64.Kd1! (64.Kc1? Re2! and Black can shield the side checks by ...Re3) 62...e5 63.a5 Ke3 64.Kd1 Kd3 65.Rd6+ Kxc3! This is the 7-piece position I analyzed previously. See that post for detailed analysis of the rest of the game. The remaining moves were 66.a6 Ra1+? 67.Ke2 Kc2 68.Ke3 c3 69.Ke4 Ra5 70.Rc6 Kd2 71.Rd6+! Kc1 72.Kd3 c2 73.Rc6? Ra3+? 74.Ke4? Kb2 75.Rb6+ Rb3 76.Rxb3+ Kxb3! 77.a7 c1Q! 78.a8Q Qh1+! 0-1

Lessons from this ending: 1. Pawn endings must be accurately calculated (58.Rxg4=) 2. In rook endings activity is more important than material (59.Kf3= and 62.Rh5!=)

5/1/19 - BCE-377b, Alekhine-Euwe, 13th match game, 1935

The two World Championship matches prior to the publication of BCE were contested between Alexander Alekhine and Max Euwe. Euwe took the title in 1935 and Alekhine regained it in 1937. Many of the endings from those matches are featured in BCE and this week I'll begin a trio from the first match.

Alekhine got off to a fast start. He won the first game and after Euwe struck back in game 2, Alekhine opened up a 3-point lead by winning games 3, 4, and 7. However, Euwe slowly clawed back to a 1-point deficit before game 13.

Game 13 was a big struggle. After only scoring 0.5/4 with the Winawer French, Euwe switched to the Open Spanish. Alekhine sacrificed a pawn early, but Euwe defended well and had several opportunities to secure a large advantage. Euwe took his extra pawn to the ending after 35. Rg4

35...Re3? Euwe suggested the consolidating 35...Rc5 as an improvement 35...h5 taking care of any back rank problems also looks strong 36.Rxc4 (the rook has no squares after 36. Rg3 f6) 36...Rg5 36.Kg1 Euwe awarded this move an exclam, but in the variation 36.Rxc4 Rxh3+ 37.Kg1 Rg3 it looks like White can hold by taking advantage of the weak back rank with 38.Ne4 (instead of Euwe's 38.Rc7) 38...Rg6 39.Rc7 36...Rd3 37.Rxc4 Rd2 38.b4 Euwe called this the saving move but again it looks like White could hold with 38.Ne4 Rxb2 39.Nd6 38...Rxg2+ 39.Kf1 Rb2 40.Rd4 40...g6 41.bxa5 Rc2 Euwe gives the line 41...Bg2+ 42.Ke1 Bxh3 43.Rd8+ Kg7 44.a6 and Black loses a piece. However, he is still probably able to hold the ending with 3 connected passers after 44...Bg2 45.a7 Bc6 46.a8Q Bxa8 47.Rxa8 h5 48.Re8 h4 49.Re2 Rb3 42.Nb5 Kg7 43.Ke1 Rc5 44.Rd6?! Bc6 45.a6 Euwe suggested 45.Rd4 as better with no further analysis. The point seems to be that after 45...Bxb5 46.axb5! Rxb5 47.Ra4 Rb7 48.a6 Ra7 the relative position of the two rooks is more favorable to White than occurred in the game. 45...Bxb5 46.a7 Bc6 47.Rxc6 Ra5 48.Rc7 Rxa4 and the starting position of BCE-377b has been reached

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Stats since June 1, 2006