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

9/16/18 - Colding-Bereolos, 1999 World Open

I previously posted the ending of my game with Ernest Colding at the 1999 World Open in the context of Bishop vs Pawns. While that fragment contained an interesting drawing mechanism, the critical points were in the preceding Bishop vs Knight ending after 53. Bxe4

Black should be winning, but it is much closer than I thought at the time. 53...Kf6 54.b4 Ke5 55.Bh1 c4? wasting a crucial tempo. Better is the immediate 55...Nf4! 56.bxc5 bxc5 57.a4 Ne2 58.Kb2 (58.a5 Nxc3) 58...Ng3 59.a5 Nxh1 60.a6 h2 61.a7 Nf2! 62.a8Q h1Q

63.Qe8+ Kf4! (else Qf7+) picks up the knight. 64.Qf8+ Kg3! and Black should win with his extra piece as the knight fork on d3 prevents White from winning the c-pawn. 56.a4 Nf4 in my original notes, I thought Black still had winning chances with 56...Ne7 but I don't see much after 57.a5 bxa5 58.bxa5 57.a5 bxa5 Somewhat incredibly, this natural capture makes the path to a draw much narrower. Black also draws without the capture with 57...Nd5 58.a6 Nc7 59.a7 Kf4 60.Kb2 Ke3 61.Kc2 b5!

(61...Ke2? 62.b5! and White wins in similar fashion to the next note.)

58.bxa5 Ne6 59.a6 Nc7 60.a7

The position resembles a study with the pieces shuffled off to the corners. It makes a good calculation exercise, Black to play and draw. 60...Kf4? Black can only hold the draw by going after the c-pawn from the other side 60...Kd6! 61.Kb2 Kc5! 62.Kc2 (there is no way for the White king to come up the queenside since 62.Ka3? Nb5+! and Black wins; or 62.a8Q Nxa8! 63.Bxa8! Kb5!

Black holds in a manner that is similar to the end of the game. The Black king shuffles between b5 and a5 to keep the White king at bay, while if the bishop comes to c6 to take away b5, then Kb6.) 62...Kb5! 63.Kd2 Ka4! 64.Ke3 Kb3! 61.a8Q? too impatient. White needs to first activate his King to keep the Black king from penetrating too deeply. 61.Kb2 Ke3 62.Kc2! h2 63.a8Q Nxa8 64.Bxa8 Ke2 65.Be4 Ke3 66.Bd5+-

Black is in zugzwang and must give ground.

61...Nxa8! 62.Bxa8! The position from the original post. Black has to play a bunch of only moves, but they are not at all difficult. 62...Ke3! 63.Kb2 Kd2 64.Bd5 h2 65.Bg2 Kd3! 66.Bh1 Kd2! 67.Bg2 Kd3! 68.Bd5 Kd2! 69.Be4 Ke3! 70.Bd5 1/2-1/2

Lessons from this ending: 1. Analyze your games without an engine first. After you have put your thoughts and anlysis down, then check it with an engine. That way you can discover holes in your thinking. 2. Forget the earlier parts of the game. This is always difficult. In this game I had been winning for a long time, but by the time 60.a7 was played it is obvious that Black is now playing for a draw. This was a time for strong calculation in order to hold the half point. 3. Don't forget about backwards moves. Another hard thing to learn, especially with the King in the ending. I'm pretty sure I didn't spend much time on 60...Kf4? going forward instead of 60...Kd6! going backwards. 4. Don't rush There was not going to be any way for Black to stop the White pawn, so he should have improved his worse piece with 61. Kb2 instead of promoting with 61. a8Q?

9/12/14 - BCE-226b, a curious position

In position 226b, Fine tries to generalize a blockading bishop holding versus a knight and 2 connected passed pawns. However, this example would have better served as an example of the agility of the knight when it further away from the edge of the board.

Fine quotes this game as Perenny-Lowenthal, 1851. I search of my database did not turn up the game. A position search didn't find anything either. Then, I searched for any games by Perenny and came up empty so the hunt was on.

Looking through other endgame books, I came across Pereni-Löwenthal, London 1851 in Averbakh. The different spelling of the names is not surprising since it was likely translated into and out of Russian. The bigger surprise is that the position is a mirror image of that found in BCE.

Considering the vertical mirroring, Averbakh gives the same game continuation as Fine, 1. Nb5+ Kc5 2. Nc3 Bd8 3. Ne4+ Kd4 4. Nd6 Bg5 5. Ka4 Bf4 Unlike Fine, Averbakh shows the win with 5. Nb7 like I have with 5. Ng7 on the corrections page.

London 1951 is famous as the first international tournament, and Lowenthal was one of the participants. However, there was no player with a name resembling Perenny or Pereni, so I kept digging.

The original source may be from 1849 issues of the French Magazine La régence: journal des échecs . In the July issue under the heading Position Curieuse(Curious Position) We have the BCE position.

This time the game is given with Loewenthal playing White (blancs) and Perenny playing Black (noirs). I wonder if at some point there was a mistranslation of blancs as Black. That wasn't the only difference. The next month they give the "solution" 1. Ng5+ Kf5 2. Nf3 Be8 3. Nd4+ Ke4 4. Nb5 instead of 4. Ne6 as per Fine and Averbakh (4. Nd6) 4...Bd7 etc. with the conclusion that I have roughly translated as The game is drawn, but Black must avoid a fork, and the Bishop should remain as much as possible on the c8-h3 diagonal. Well, this is further strangeness as 4. Nb5 places the knight en prise. Perhaps there was a typo in the notation and 4. G52(Nb5) should have been 4. G25(Ne2). That is still different from 4. Ne6, but the followup 4...Bd7 trying to blockade then makes more sense as 4...Bb5 like BCE would get forked by 5. Nc3+ and 4...Bd7 wouldn't make much sense versus 4. Ne6 because of 5. Nc5+.

That is as far as I've been able to trace back. I looked in some subsequent issues of La régence to see if there was a correction or letter, but didn't find anything. So there seem to be many mysteries around BCE-226b including who played White, where and when the game was played (Perenyi is a common Hungarian name and Loewenthal was also Hungarian, but the Wikipedia indicates that Lowenthal emigrated to America in 1949), what was White's 4th move, and how did Averbakh end up with the mirror image position?

9/7/18 - Becerra-Bereolos, 2004 Emory/Castle Grand Prix

I've added my 2004 game against Julio Becerra to the GM games section. Much like our game the following year this one was a fairly one-sided Ruy Lopez with some theoretical interest.

For the most part, I kept the analysis from my tournament report. However, I've added quite a bit with respect to the opening as the move I played (14...c6) in a topical line of the Zaitsev has arisen from the theoretical scrap heap in recent years. I think this variation is very representative of modern chess. Although Black's position looks a bit ugly to the human eye, the cold logic of the engine shows the precise path for Black. Thus, the move gets resurrected and Black has been holding his own in recent years even thoughts the overally statistics are still heavily in White's favor.

9/5/18 - BCE-356a, Thomas-Alekhine, Hastings 1922

Position 356a is a bit of a strange one. Fine cites the game Thomas-Alekhine from the 1922 Hastings tournament with colors reversed. In the introduction Fine states that he uses White for the superior side when the position does not refer to specific players. I guess the argument could be made that Position 356a does not refer to the specific game because while Fine reversed the colors, he did not change who had the move. Unfortunately for Fine, this position was zugzwang, so he effectively gave Thomas a pass which changes the evaluation from win to draw.

Hastings 1922 resembles the modern day Dortmund tournament with 2 local players (Thomas and Yates) facing highly ranked foreigners (Alekhine, Rubenstein, Bogoljobov, and Tarrasch). Alekhine and Rubenstein were a cut above the rest with 7.5 and 7 out of 10 respectively, while the others finished with minus scores

Thomas gave Alekhine a tough time in their 3rd round encounter. Alekhine shed a pawn but managed to get compensation. When Thomas blundered, Alekhine regained his pawn and the game entered a rook ending after 45. Rxe4

45...Rg1 46.Rc4 White could also consider keeping the Black king from getting active with 46.f5!? Rg5 47.Rf4 Kg8 48.b4 Kf7 49.Rc4 Rxf5 50.Rxc7+ Kf6 51.b5 Rxd5 Black has won a pawn, but White has avoided giving him connected passed pawns and should hold the draw after 52.b6 46...Kg6 47.Rxc7 Kf5 48.Rd7 Kxf4 49.Rxd6 Rg3 50.Rd8 g5+ 51.Kh5 Rxh3+ 52.Kg6 Ke5 53.d6 Ke6 54.b4 g4

55.d7? In the tournament book , Alekhine points out the draw 55.b5 g3 56.Kh7! clearing the g-file for the rook 55...g3 56.Rg8 Kxd7 57.Kf5 h5! 58.Kf4 h4! 59.b5 Kc7 60.Rg6 Rh2 61.Kf3 Kb7

This is the BCE position with colors reversed, except it is White to play and he is in zugzwang. Alekhine finished it off cleanly 62.b6 Ka6 63.b7+ Kxb7 64.Rg7+ Kc6 65.Rg6+ Kd5 66.Rg8 Ke6 67.Rg5 Kf7 68.Rg4 Kf6 69.Rg8 Kf5 70.Rf8+ Kg5 71.Rg8+ Kf6 72.Rg4 Kf5 73.Rg8 Ke5 74.Re8+ Kd4 75.Rg8 Kd3 76.Rd8+ Kc3 77.Rg8 Kd2 78.Ra8 Rf2+ 79.Kg4 g2 80.Ra1 Ke3 81.Kh3 Re2 82.Rg1 Kf3 83.Kh2 h3 0-1

9/3/18 - Men-Bereolos, 1993 Columbus Open

I was on the defending side of N+2 vs. B+1 against Boris Men in the 1994 Columbus Open. I had sacrificed a pawn in the opening a la the Marshall Gambit and had missed a drawing combination in the middlegame and a way to equalize eariler in the endgame letting him finally consolidate his pawn advantage. The position after 44.Nxf5+ is much worse for the defending bishop than in the Friedman-Bereolos game since here White has two passed pawns.

44...Ke6 45.Ke4 Ba4 46.Kf4 Kf7 47.h4 Kg6 48.c4 Kh5 49.Kg3! Bd7 50.Nd4 f5 51.Nf3? Winning is 51.Ne2! bringing the knight to the perfect square f4.

51...Bc6? Black needs to keep the bishop on the c8-h3 diagonal in order to meet knight moves with f4+ winning the h-pawn 51...Be6 52.c5 (52.Ne5 f4+!) 52...Bd7 53.Ne5 (53. Kf4 Bc6 tethering the White king to the knight 54. Ne5 Bb5 is similar, but not 54...Be4 55. Kg3! winning because 55...f4+ 56. Kxf4! hits the bishop and 55...Bd5 allows 56. Nd3! and the knight comes to f4) 53...Bb5! dominating the knight 54.c6 f4+ 55.Kh3 Ba6 returning to the diagonal via c8 52.Nd4 Bd7 53.Ne2! Correcting the mistake from move 51. 53...Kg6 54.Nf4+ Kf6 55.h5 Be8 56.h6?

There is no need for this push. The Black king is already tied to the pawn, so White should just walk his king to the queenside to push the c-pawn and collect the bishop. 56.c5 Bc6 57.Kf2 and there is nothing Black can do 56...Bf7 57.c5 Be8! 58.Nd5+ It's too late to come to the queenside now, but Black does need to take a little bit of care 58.Kf3 Kf7 59.Ke3 Bc6 and Black is ready for K-g8-h7xh6 but not the immediate 59...Kg8? which loses to some beautiful knight maneuvers. 60.Nd5! Kf7 61.Ne7!

61...Bd7 else Nxf5 62.h7 Kg7 63.Ng6! Kxh7 64.Nf8+! 58...Kg6! 59.h7 Kg7 59...Kxh7? 60.Nf6+! 60.Nf6

Knight + rook pawn on the seventh is a draw, so Black can sacrifice his bishop for the c-pawn. 60...Bc6 61.Kf4 Bb7 62.Kxf5 Bc6 63.Ke6 Bb7 64.Kd6 Ba8 65.Kc7 Bf3 66.Kd6 Ba8 67.Kc7 Bf3 68.Kb6 Ba8 69.Ka7 Bf3 70.Kb8 Bc6 71.Kc7 71...Bf3 results in 3 time repetition 1/2-1/2

Lessons from this ending: 1. Know your fortresses. Without knowledge of the N+RP on seventh Black might even resign since he is losing his bishop. 2. Be aware of tactics even in simple positions. You need to spot tricks like 61. Ne7! and 63. Ng6! from afar. 3. Look for ways to stop your opponent from making progress. The variations after Black's 51st move really illustrate this. When I had previously analyzed this game, I did not find the idea with ...f4+ which keeps the knight tied to the h-pawn. This theme also presents itself with the bishop tying the king to the knight after 53. Kf4 Bc6 and the domination of the White knight on e5 with Bb5 in several variations.

older material

Stats since June 1, 2006