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

9/18/19 - BCE-386a, Euwe-Bogoljubow, Zurich 1934

We complete the set of BCE positions from Bogoljubow's games with a very interesting rook ending against Max Euwe in the Zurich 1934 tournament. This tournament, played shortly after the Alekhine-Bogoljubow match saw a mix of top players along with the best Swiss players. The cream rose to the top with World Champion Alekhine a full point clear of Euwe and Flohr with Bogoljubow another half point back. Alekhine didn't fare too well against his nearest rivals, losing to Euwe and drawing with Flohr and Bogoljubow, but scored a clean sweep of the other 12 players.

I didn't find any analysis outside of BCE to compare my notes with. I don't have the tournament book with Alekhine's annotations. It would seem that the original edition should be in the public domain, but I didn't find it digitized anywhere. Other major endgame books seem to have overlooked this game, which is a pity as it is quite instructive. The players entered the rook ending after an exchange of minor pieces on e5 38...fxe5!

39.Rc6 BCE-386a starts from here 39...Ke6 40.Ra6 h5 41.a4 Rxd6 42.Rxa7 Rb6 43.Kd3 Rd6+ 44.Ke3 Rb6 45.a5 Rb3+! 46.Kf2 46.Kd2 Rg3 (in the revised edition of BCE, Benko gives a worse version for Black with 46...Rb2+ 47.Kc3 Rxg2 48.Ra8 concluding and wins, but Black is drawing here as well with 48...Kd6) 47.a6 Kd6 also gives Black sufficient counterplay to draw. For example, 48.Ra8 Rxg2+ 49.Kc3 Kc5 50.a7 Rg3+ 51.Kb2 Kb6 52.Re8 Kxa7! 53.Rxe5 Rg4 46...Rb2+? As shown in the correction link, with the king on f2, it is the optimal time for Black to play 46...Rb4! so that after 47.Ra8 Rxe4 48.a6 the rook returns to the defense with 48...Rf4+! 49.Ke3 Rf7! which also has the benefit of sheltering the f-file allowing the Black king to enter White's position 47.Kg3 Rb3+ 48.Kh2 Ra3 49.a6 Kd6 the best try. Passive defense is hopeless because of the weakness of the e5 pawn. 49...Kf6 50.Ra8 Kg7 51.a7 Kh7 52.Kg1 Ra2 53.Kf1 Kg7 54.Ke1 Kh7 55.Kd1 Kg7 56.Kc1 Kh7 57.Kb1 Ra4 58.Kb2 Kg7 59.Kb3 Ra6 60.Kb4 Ra1 61.Kb5 Rb1+ 62.Kc6 Ra1 63.Rd8 Rxa7 64.Rd7+ Rxd7 65.Kxd7 Kf7 66.Kd6 Kf6 67.Kd5 50.Rg7? Since the defense hinges on a number of only moves, it is not surprising that first distracting the king with 50.Ra8! is the route to victory 50...Kc7 51.a7 Kb7 52.Rg8 50...Kc5! 51.Rxg6 51.Rd7 Rxa6 52.Rd5+ Kc4 53.Rxe5 Kd4 54.Re8 Ra5 doesn't give White anything 51...Kd4! 52.g4 hxg4? Black must first check the White king away from the kingside beginning with 52...Ra2+ 53.h5 Kxe4 53...Rh3+ 54.Kg2 Rxh5 fails to 55.a7! Rh8 56.Ra6! Ra8 57.Ra4+! 54.h6! Kf5

55.Rb6! a very subtle winning move, White needs to cover b2 in a key line 55.Rc6? e4! 56.Kg2 Ra2+! 57.Kf1 Ra1+! 58.Ke2 g3 59.h7 g2! 60.h8Q Ra2+! here the difference is revealed, White does not have 61.Rb2 so a drawn ending is reached after 61.Rc2! Rxc2+! 62.Kd1! g1Q+ 63.Kxc2 55...e4 56.Kg2 Ra2+ 57.Kf1 Ra1+ 58.Ke2 Ra2+ 58...g3 59.h7! g2 60.h8Q! Ra2+ 61.Rb2! is the point of 55. Rb6 61...Rxb2+ 62.Qxb2! g1Q 63.Qb5+!+- 59.Ke3 Ra3+ 60.Kd2 g3 61.h7! e3+ 62.Ke2 g2 63.h8Q g1N+ 64.Kf1 e2+ 65.Ke1 1-0

10/9/19 - BCE-361, Bogoljubow-Thomas, Hastings 1922

This weeks BCE position comes from the Hastings Tournament of 1922. That year's Hastings event was an exception to the normal round robin taking place across the new year. Instead, it was played in September and featured 4 top continental players Alekhine, Rubenstein, Bogoljobow, and Tarrasch along with 2 top English players Thomas and Yates. Alekhine and Rubenstein completely dominated scoring 7.5 and 7 out of 10 respectively, leaving all other players with negative scores.

Today's featured players tied for 3rd with 4.5 points each. Thomas was trying to bring home the point with an extra pawn and bishop versus knight after 60.c5

60...Ra8 In the tournament book Alekhine suggested 60...Ra7 in order to meet 61.Nd5+ with 61...Kf5 but after 62.Nb4 White will again have counterplay with his c-pawn. Best might be 60...Ke6 to stop the knight from coming to d5 61.Nd5+ Bxd5 62.Kxd5! The starting position for BCE-361 62...Ra6 62...g4 is the subject of the BCE correction 63.c6 Ke7 64.Kc5 Kd8 65.Kd6 g4 66.Rg3 a3 67.Rxg4 Ke8! 68.Re4+ Kd8 69.Rh4 Ke8! 70.Rh8+ Kf7 71.Rh7+ Ke8 72.Kc5 a2? Alekhine points out that Black draws with 72...Kd8! it might seem a little curious since on 73.Kd6 the king must go right back with 73...Ke8! effectively giving White 2 free moves. The point is that now the c-pawn is pinned, so White can't make further progress. Black probably should have found this since he had moved the king back and forth to e8 on several of the previous moves. 73.c7! Ra5+ 74.Kb6 Ra6+ 75.Kc5 Ra5+ 76.Kc6 Ra6+ 77.Kd5 Ra5+ 78.Ke6 78.Kc4 Ra4+ 79.Kb3 Ra3+ 80.Kc2 78...Ra6+ 1/2-1/2?

White wins in similar fashion to the previous variation 79.Kd5! (79.Kf5? Rc6 stops the pawn, while 79.Ke5?? lets Black queen with check) 79...Ra5+ 80.Kc4 Ra4+ 81.Kb3 Ra3+ 82.Kc2 I was a bit surprised by Alekhine's comment a win for White would have been a matter of luck, and a draw is a satisfactory conclusion.. I think White had made his own luck by continuing to put questions to Black and eventually forcing him to make several only moves. This seems to be the way Magnus Carlsen wins a lot of drawn endgames these days.

10/7/19 - Cezila-Zheng, 2019 US Masters

A recent rook ending featuring two rook pawns appeared in the third round game between Rubens Cezila Jr. and Michael Zheng at this year's US Masters. Black should be winning after 52.Rxf4

52...h3 53.Kf2 Rd2+? The path to victory is to cut off the White King from the g-file 53...Rg5 54.Rh4 Rh5! 55.Rg4+ Kh6 the king has to shelter behind his rook. Going to the f-file gives White the tempo he needs to bring his king to the defense (55...Kf5? 56.Ra4 or 55...Kf6? 56.Rf4+!) 56.Rg1 (56.Kg1 Rg5) 56...h2 57.Rh1 a4 and White is helpless against the advance of the a-pawn 54.Kg1! Ra2 55.Rh4 a4 56.Rxh3! a3 57.f4 Kf5

58.Rh5+? 58.Rb3 is a book draw by Vancura's method. White keeps the pawn under fire from the side tying the Black rook to defense in front of the pawn. If the Black king comes to the queenside White will check from the side along the f-file. If Black ever goes for Ra1+ and a2 only then does White go behind the pawn with Ra3 and now if the Black king approaches White can drive him off by checking vertically on the g and h files from the first or second rank. 58...Kg4! It appears that Black knew about the Vancura defense so he correctly avoids 58...Kxf4? When White can reestablish the defense with 59.Rh3! 59.Ra5 Kg3 60.Rg5+ Kh3 61.Rh5+ Kg4 62.Rg5+ Kxf4 63.Ra5 Ke4 64.Ra8 Kd4 65.Ra7 Kc3 66.Ra8 Ra1+ 67.Kf2 Kb2 68.Ke3 Rd1 69.Rb8+ Ka1 70.Ke2 Rb1! 71.Ra8 a2 72.Kd2 Kb2! 73.Rb8+ Ka3 74.Ra8+ Kb3 0-1

10/6/19 - Wengret-Bereolos, 1983 Illinois Junior Invitational

The blunder-filled finale of my game against Ted Wengret in the 1983 Illinois Junior Invitational could have led to a very instructive rook ending. The name of this tournament is somewhat strange as it was open to all juniors regardless of state. Unfortunately, the air conditioning at the community center where this event was held broke down, so the games were played in sweltering July heat. I'll offer that up as an excuse for the play of both players in this one. After 33.Bg4

Instead of the passive retreat 33...Nh6 I played for tactics 33..Nxh4?? There was a tactical solution with the sacrifice 33...Rc1 34.Qxc1 (34.Qf2 Nxg3 35.Qxg3 Rh1+ 36.Kg2 Rg1+-+) 34...Qxg3+ 35.Kh1 Qxh4+ when Black should have good winning chances with 3 pawns for the exchange and an exposed White king 34.Rxe7? 34.d6 cuts across Black's plans. On 34...Rc8 35.d7 looks much stronger than taking the knight (35.gxh4 Qxd6+ and 3 pawns plus White's exposed king gives Black compensation for the piece) 35...Rd8 36.Rxe7 and Black has lots of problems 34...Rc2+ 35.Kh3 Ng2? Black should bring his queen into play with 35...Qd6 since the knight is immune 36.Kxh4? Rh2+ 37.Bh3 Qf6+ 38.Kg4 h5# 36.Re8+ Kg7 37.Rxb8? 37.Qe7 should win for White 37...Qb2 (37...Qb5 38.Qf8+ Kf6 39.Qh8+ Kg5 40.Re5+ f5 41.Rxf5+ gxf5 42.Qg7#) 38.Qf8+ Kf6 39.Qh8+ Kg5 40.Re5+ f5 41.Qd8+ Kh6 42.Qf8+ Kg5 43.Qe7+ Kh6 44.Be2 a key noncheck cutting off the defense of the knight which is covering h4 44..Ne1 45.Qh4+ Kg7 46.Re7+ Kf8 47.d6 with a mating attack 37...Nxe1 38.d6 f5? The game should have finished with a draw by perpetual check with 38...Nd3 39.d7 Nf2+ 40.Kg2 (40.Kh4? Rc4) 40...Nxg4+ 41.Kf1 (41.Kf3? f5) 41...Nh2+ 42.Ke1 Nf3+ This is a slight variation on the usual perpetual with rook and knight as the rook stands on c2 instead of d2, but White can't take advantage of this since 43.Kd1? drops the d7 pawn to 43...Rd2+ 39.Bxf5? 39.d7 fxg4+ 40.Kxg4+- and the d-pawn will cost Black his rook. Now the White king gets caught in a mating net 39...gxf5 40.d7 Nf3 41.d8Q?! White can put up much more resistance with 41.g4 f4 (The engines point out 41...Ng5+ 42.Kh4 Ne4 (here 42...Nf7 43.d8Q Nxd8 44.Rxd8 is only a draw) as winning, but Black has to calculate that very accurately) 42.g5 Nxg5+ 43.Kg4 Nf7 44.d8Q Nxd8! 45.Rxd8 Rxa2 46.Rd7+ Kf6 47.Kxf4

I thought this endgame with two rook pawns would be a draw as White seems well set up to use Vancura's method. However, Black can take advantage of the fact that his pawns are not advanced to free his rook from its position in front of the a-pawn 47...Kg6 48.Kg4 Ra6 (48...h5+? 49.Kh3 would be a draw as Black will no longer be able to organize a check on the h-file) 49.Rc7 h6 50.Rd7 Ra4+ 51.Kh3 Ra5 52.Rc7 Rh5+ 53.Kg4 Rg5+! 54.Kh4 a5

The rook is free and the White king is cut off. Black just needs to walk his king over to the queenside. For example, 55.Rc6+ Kf5 56.Rxh6 a4 57.Ra6 Rg4+! 58.Kh3 Rc4-+ 59.Kg2 Ke4! 60.Kf2 Kd3! 61.Ke1 Kc2 and the White king is too far away to defend. 41...Rh2# 0-1

Lessons from this ending: 1. Try to use all your pieces in the attack. Black's attack could have been well coordinated against g3 with the queen and knight attacking the weak point at g3 while the rook defelected a defender with 33...Rc1. Likewise in the White attack in the line with 37.Qe7, the White queen and rook harrass the Black king, but the bishop plays an important role cutting off the defense of Ng2 which is guarding a key square. 2. Don't overlooked non forcing moves. The quiet move 44.Be2 would have been a key in the king hunt. 3. Material gain isn't everything. The White d-pawn is worth much more than the Black knight in the line beginning 34.d6, which is why keeping it with 35.d7 is better than taking the knight. 4. Always play for maximum resistance. White is losing at move 41, but he could have set Black much more problems with 41.g4 rather than allowing mate in one. 5. Create plans in the endgame then look for variations to support them. In the double rook pawn ending, Black has a problem in that his rook is in front of the a-pawn. If he can't defend the a-pawn from the side the win is fairly simple. Looking for a sequence to free the rook would lead to the Ra5-h5+ idea, which would be spoiled by the hasty 448...h5?

10/2/19 - BCE-488, Vidmar-Bogoljubow, Nottingham 1936

This week begins a series of BCE positions from the games of Efim Bogoljubow. Bogoljubow was Alekhine's challenger in his first two title defenses, but Alekhine won handily both times. Of course, most people would have preferred a rematch between Alekhine and Capablanca, but in those days the organization of the world championship was not an organized system like it is today.

Today's game comes from the historic tournament in Nottingham 1936. This tournament marked the first meeting between Alekhine and Capablanca since their 1927 match. Capablanca won their individual encounter en route to tying for first with Botvinnik. Alas, a rematch between the two great champions never took place and they only faced each other in one other tournament at AVRO 1938.

As for Bogoljubow, he was still one of the top players in the world at this time, but finished in a tie for 10th with only 5.5 out of 14. His opponent in this game, Milan Vidmar was just above him in the crosstable with 6. Their positions could have been reversed had Bogoljubow managed to hold the endgame after 31.Rg2

Things don't look great for Black, as the doubled pawns make him effectively two pawns down. However, Bogoljubow found a try that almost gained him a draw. 31...Rf3!? 32.Bxf3 exf3 33.Rf2? a terribly passive square for the rook. White shouldn't have much trouble converting the point after 33.Rd2! Kh5 34.Rd4 Bc6 35.Kc1 e5 36.Rd6 33...Kh5! 34.Kc2 White could try to avoid a bishop check on e4 with 34.Kc1!? but then Black has a different path to the draw 34...Kxh4! (34...Be4? allows White to activate his rook 35.Rd2! and Black can't capture the h-pawn 35...Kxh4 36.Rd4!) 35.e4 Bxb3! 36.Rxf3 (36.axb3 Kg3!) 36...Bxa2!= 34...Kxh4? 34...Be4+! 35.Kd2 Kxh4!= 35.Kd2? The starting position of BCE-488. Instead, White had a chance to win with the clearance sacrifice 35.e4! Bxe4+ (The bishop sacrifice doesn't work here since the White king is more actively placed 35...Bxb3+ 36.axb3 Kg3 37.Rf1 Kg2 38.Rb1 f2 39.Kd3 f1Q+ 40.Rxf1 Kxf1 41.Kd4+- 36.Kd2 Kg3 (36...Bd5 37.Ke3) 37.Ke3 and White can activate his rook and/or get his queenside pawn majority moving. 35...Kg3 36.Ke1 Be4 The easier draw is Fine's main line with 36...b5 which was pointed out by Alekhine in the tournament book. 37.a4 Bc6 38.Rb2 e5 39.Rd2 Be8? Black squanders two tempi giving White time activate his rook. As shown in the correction link, Black can stop White from freeing his rook by continuing to challenge the f1-a6 diagonal begining with 39...b6 planning Bc6-b7-a6. 40.Kf1 Bc6 meekly returning, but going the other direction didn't help either 40...Bh5 41.Rd6 Bg4 42.Rg6; 40...Bg6 41.Rd7 Bf5 42.Rg7+; or 40...Bf7 41.Rd7 Bxb3 42.Rg7+! Kh3 43.a5 which is similar to the game 41.Rd6! the rook is now active and the rest is fairly easy 41...Be4 42.Rf6! keeping f2 under control 42...Bd3+ 43.Ke1 Bc2 44.a5 Bxb3 45.Rg6+ Kh4 46.Kf2 now the f-pawn is firmly blockaded and the rook is free to mop things up. 46...e4 47.Rd6 Bc4 48.Rd4 Bb5 49.Rxe4+ Kh3 50.Re7 Bc6 51.Rg7 Kh4 52.Rg3 Kh5 53.Rxf3 Kg5 54.Rf4 Bh1 55.Ke2 1-0

9/30/19-Wojtkiewicz-Bereolos, 1996 Kings Island Open

My first attempt against Aleks Wojtkiewicz's fianchetto variation against the Kings Indian was 10 years before the debacle at the Chicago Open. This one did not make it into Wojo's Weapons Volume 2, but very well could have. The first chapter is on the classical variation, which the authors call The Zurich 1953 Defense since the variation was played often in that famous Candidates Tournament. The first subsection is Black's Pawn on d6 Falls. That is what happened in this game and after that it was just a mop up.

9/28/19 - Matlin-Bereolos, Hammond 1983

Since I've been looking at N vs. P endings as part of the recent BCE posts, I had a look through my own history of these endings for interesting or instructive examples. Here is one of the earlier ones I found, versus Harry Matlin at a one-day tournament at the Hammond Chess Club. It looks like they named their tournaments after World Champions that year. I played tournaments named Mikhail Tal Saturday Sacrifices, Boris Spassky Fall Fishery, and this one was Anatoly Karpov Winter Winners. After 31.Rxd6

I swallowed the poisoned g-pawn 34...Nxg2? 35.Rxe6 White can't immediately take the knight 35.Rxg2?? Rxg2 36.Rxe6 Rg1+ 37.Kh2 R7g2# 35...Rxe6 36.Bc4 taking the knight is still bad 36.Rxg2? Rxg2 37.Bc4 (37.Kxg2 Rxe2+) 37...Rgg6 Now the pin costs Black a piece 36...Rgg6 37.Rxg2 Kh7 38.Rxg6 Rxg6 39.Bd3 c4 40.Bxg6+ Kxg6

Black could safely resign here. He can't even make a passed pawn because of the doubled b-pawns. White should just bring his king into the game to stop any penetration by the Black king. Instead, he goes pawn hunting with his knight. 41.Nd2 41.Kg2 Kf5 42.Kf2 Ke5 43.Ke2 Kd4 44.Kd2 and Black will have to give ground as White has infinite waiting moves with Nf1-h2-f1 41...b5 42.Ne4 Kf5 43.Nd6+ Ke6 44.Nxb5 Kd5 45.Kg2 Kc5 46.Nc3 Kd4 47.Kf2 Kd3 48.Nd5 Kc2 49.Nxf4 Kxb2

White is still winning, but Black has a small bit of hope. 50.a4 Kb3 51.Ke3 Kxa4 52.Nd5 b5 53.Kd4 53.f4 b4 54.f5 c3 55.f6 c2 56.Kd2 Kb3 (56...b3 57.f7) 57.Nxb4 53...Kb3 54.f4 b4 55.f5 c3 What should have been a trivial win has now become an calculation exercise.

56.Ne3? taking aim at the wrong square. He should be targetting c1 instead of c2 making Black spend an extra tempo with his king 56.Nf4! Kb2 (56...Ka2 57.Nd3 b3 58.Kxc3) 57.f6 c2 58.Nd3+ Kb1 59.f7 b3 60.f8Q b2 61.Qb4 +- 56...c2! 57.Nxc2! Kxc2! 58.f6 b3! 59.f7 b2! 60.f8Q b1Q! 61.Qf5+ Black makes perpetual check rather easily after 61.Qxh6 because of the offsides postion of the White queen, but that was the only remaining chance. 61...Kb2 62.Qxb1+ Kxb1! Perhaps White had evaluated the pawn ending as winning, but with a rook pawn, Black doesn't need to get his king in front of the pawn if he can trap the White king in front of it 63.Ke4 Kc2 64.h4 h5 65.Kf4 Kd3! 66.Kf5 Ke3 67.Kg5 Ke4! 68.Kxh5 Kf5! 69.Kh6 Kf6! 70.Kh7 Kf7 71.h5 Kf6 72.h6 Kf7! 73.Kh8 Kg6 74.h7 Kf7! 1/2-1/2

The main lesson from this ending is that the simplest way to victory can often be just eliminating any possible counterplay from your opponent.

9/25/19 - BCE-119b, Kieseritzky, 1842

Completing the trio of knight endings is a study by one of the top players of the 19th century, Lionel Kieseritzky. While data is sparce for that era, Sonas ranks him #1 for a 2 year stretch in the middle of the century. Despite his successes, he is probably best known for losing The Immortal Game to Adolf Anderssen.

Today's study first appeared in one of the first, if not the first, chess magazines, Le Palamède, revue mensuelle des échecs et autres jeux (Monthly chess and other games). Notation has come a long way since that time. Today, we write the key move of the study as 1. Kd3!. Back then, it was 1. Le R à la 3 c. de la D. Nevertheless, the analysis was almost spot on. The only flaw I found was in the variation 1.Ne4? Ke6! 2.Nxc5+ Ke5 3.Nd7+ Ke6! 4.Nf8+

Here, Black must continue attacking the knight with 4...Kf7! Instead Keiseritzky's 4...Kf6? gives White the tempo he needs to activate his king with 5.Kd3 Kf7(5...b5 6.Ke4) 6.Nd7 Ke6 7.Nc5+ Ke5 8.Ke3 b5 9.Ne4 b4 10.Nxg5 b3 11.Ne4 b2 12.Nc3

The improvement 4...Kf7 had already been published in Berger, which was Fine's primary source. After 1. Ne4? the move 1...c5? did not appear in either Le Palamède, nor in Berger, so Fine may have been the original source for this error. The Encyclopedia of Chess Endings does not mention 1...c5 either, but does give 1...Ke6! an exclamation point. I did not research it further.

9/24/19 - Korbov-Le, 2019 World Cup

Since we have been on the subject of knight endings for the weekly BCE posts, I shouldn't let the knightmare endgame that arose in the World Cup game between Anton Korobov and Le Quang Liem pass unnoticed. In the double knight ending, Black was approaching victory, when the following occurred after 59. d7

The players were down to a few minutes each plus the increment and Le played 59...Kd6? 59...Ne6+! 60.Kf7 Nd8+! 61.Ke8 Nb7 62.d8Q (62.Na5 Ned6+! 63.Kf8 (63.Ke7 Nxa5) 63...a3) 62...Nxd8 63.Kxd8 Kd4 and the pawns should roll 60.d8N+ 60. d8Q? Ne6+ was Black's point. Now we have an endgame with 3 knights versus 2 which may be unique in the history of tournament chess. I found no other examples in the database 60...Kc5 61.Nb7+ Kb4 62.Nba5

This strange picket line of knights seems to hold the draw. 62...Kc5 63.Kf7 Nd5 64.Nxd5 Kxd5 65.Nb6+! Kc5 66.Nxa4+ Kb5 67.Nb2 Kxa5 68.Nc4+ Kb4 69.Nxe5 fxe5 70.Ke6! Nd6 71.Kxe5! 1/2-1/2

As I said, I was unable to find any further examples. However, I did find a few games where one player had only 3 knights plus pawns. The one I found the most strange was the high level game between Gabriel Sargissian and Levan Pantsulaia at the at the 2004 Aeroflot Open. After 44...Ng7

According to the game score in ChessBase and elsewhere, Sargissian opted for the underpromotion 45.f8N!? Threatening Nf7#, but 45.f8Q is more forcing and better. Now, the game score concludes 45...Ne8??either 45...Nxe6 or 45...Nd6 looks much better for Black. 46.Ne4?? I am sure that if a player of Sargissian's strength underpromoted on move 45, he would not have missed 46.Nf7#! 46...d3? 47. Ke3? 47.g5+ Kh5 48. Nf6+ Kh4 49. Nxg6+ picking up the rook is simple. 47...g5 1/2-1/2

So what really happened here? I suspect that Black actually played 45...Rxf8+ However, after White recaptures 46.Nxf8, if we continue along the moves of the database, then after47...d3 47. Ke3 g5 it seems like White would still have good chances to push for a win with his extra pawn after 46.Kxd3. I guess this will remain a chess mystery for now.

I wanted to share one fantastic variation I found trying to puzzle this all out. After 45...Rxf8 46.Nxf8If Black defends the mate threat with 46...Nd8 and we follow the database moves with 47.Ne4 d3 48.Ke3 g5 White would have the incredible shot 49.Nd6!!

Black is completely paralyzed. If Nd8 moves then White has Nf7#, while if Ng7 moves, White has Nf5#. Black can only make a few pawn moves until the zugzwang is complete. 49...a5 50.Kxd3 a4 51.bxa4 and mate next move.

9/18/19 - BCE-105a, Fine 1941

This week's BCE correction appears to be an original composition of Fine's. Generally, a knight can hold against two connected passed pawns unless the defending king is not participating. The correction is a good illustration of constructing a barrier as the improvement keeps the black king from penetrating.

Even when the king is far away, the agility of the knight can cause technical difficulties. At normal time controls, I would not expect the great players in the following example to misplay such an ending, but in blitz anything can happen. In Ivanchuk-Leko from the 2008 Tal Memorial Blitz tournament after 46. b5

Leko decided to try to hold the knight versus pawns ending 46...Qxc3? 47.Qxc3! Nxc3 48.b6! Distracting the Black king. 48...Kd7 49.h4 Ne4 50.g4 Kc6 51.g5? It is well known that knights have the most problems with rook pawns. So White should push the h-pawn first. 51.h5! Kxb6 52.h6! Ng5 53.Kg3! Kc6 54.Kh4! Nf3+ 55.Kh5 Ne5 56.h7 Nf7 57.g5 and the pawns roll through51...Kxb6! 52.g6 Nf6 53.Kg3 Kc6 54.Kf4 Kd6 The Black king has gotten back into play and Black holds the draw 55.Kg5 Ke7 56.h5 Ne4+ 57.Kf5 Ng3+ 58.Kg4 Ne4 59.Kf5 Ng3+ 60.Kg5 Ne4+ 61.Kh6 Kf8 62.g7+ Kf7 63.Kh7 Nf6+! 64.Kh8 Ng8! 1/2-1/2

9/15/19-Wojtkiewicz-Bereolos, 2006 Chicago Open

I've added my game versus Aleks Wojtkiewicz from the 2006 Chicago Open to the GM games section. I played a dubious opening variation in this one and while I fought for a long time, I never managed to overcome this bad start.

9/11/19 - BCE-111a, Troitsky 1906

I don't have many knight endings in the BCE corrections section, so I thought I'd remedy that. This week's example is fairly esoteric, with 2 knight battling 3 connected passed pawns. The winning idea for the side with the knights is to blockade the pawns, capture 2 of them, then win the ending of 2 knights versus a pawn. While this can theoretically be done, in practice it is difficult and can often run up against the 50-move rule.

Today's BCE position is drawn only because of the 50-move rule, which may cause some to question if it is really a correction. However, if we ignore the 50-move rule, then on the 2nd move both sides go wrong from an objective evaluation, so the position does merit inclusion. We saw this conflict between the tablebase evaluation and the 50-move rule in the game Fawzy-Chaparinov which was the very first post of my Olympiad/Yearbook 128 series. Things are a bit less clear in this ending because of the multiple pawns which reset the 50 move count every time one moves or is captured. However, I think I demonstrate in the correction link that it applies here too.

Of course, it doesn't take long for the name Troitsky to appear when the topic is 2 knights versus pawns. Fine doesn't give a citation for this position, but Troitsky analyzed it in an article in the June 1906 edition of Deutsch Schachzeitung. Fine follows Troitsky's analysis for quite a few moves before going his own way.

Of course Troitsky was not worried about the constraints of the 50 move rule, but he predated Fine on getting the objective analysis wrong on move two. 1.Kf4 e5+ Troitsky also looks at 1...c5 2.Ne4+ Ke7! 3.Kg5 which Black would hold with the 50-move rule and 1...d5? 2.Ne5! Ke7 when 3.Nxc6+ is a win for White, instead Troitsky continued (3.Na4? when Kd6! is again drawn with the 50-move rule) ] 2.Kg4?! Ke6?! Troitsky also considers 2...d5! 3.Ng5 e4 4.Kf4 Ke7?! (4...e3! is the only move that is objectively drawing, but the text is still a draw in 50-move rule space) 5.Ke5 e3? Strangely enough, this push, which was the saving move on the previous move when it could be captured is a losing move here. 6.Ne6 e2 7.Nxe2 c5 8.Kxd5! (Troitsky also indicates 8.Nxc5?! which allows 8...d4! 9.Nd3 (!) which is mate in 58, so the 50-move rule would again come into play) 8...c4 and although the pawn has crossed the Troitsky line, White has mate in 49. One must remember that the Troitsky line indicates the line for any king position. There are many cases where the pawn is over the line, but the defender is still lost as is the case here beginning with 9.Nc3!] 3.Ng5+ Kf6! 4.Nce4+ Ke7! 5.Kf5 Kd7? Fine's 5...d5! is the only move to hold (using the 50-move rule) It is a bit odd that Troitsky did not consider that move especially since he looked at it on earlier moves. The only alternative he gives here is 5...c5? 6.Nf6 c4 7.Nge4 +-6.Nf7 d5 7.Nc5+ Black loses his e-pawn and will be left with a pawn on c6 or d5 in the subsequent 2 knight versus pawn ending, both of which are behind the Troitsky line and the second Troitsky line, so White wins.

This ending is very rare in practice. I only found a dozen examples of 2 knights versus 3 connected passed pawns in the database. In two of those, the pawns were far advanced and beat the knights. In another, one of the knights was immediately captured. Of the other 9, the side with the knights won twice, once when the defending king was already in a mating net when the ending started and once using the technique described earlier of blockading the pawns and eventually winning the 2N vs. P ending. Even in that game the defender had multiple chances to draw both objectively and by reaching the 50 move rule. Since I ran through variations like that in the BCE link, I'll skip repeating that kind of tedious analysis here.

9/7/19 - Youssef-Bereolos, 1983 Region V Junior Invitational

Back in my junior days, the USCF was divided into regions. I don't really find much evidence that these regions still exist for the modern US Chess. Region V consisted of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky. Every year the top 2 juniors from each of these states was invited to a Scheveningen style round robin where each player would face all the players outside of his state. The 1983 edition in Ann Arbor, Michigan was a big success for Indiana as Billy Colias and I each defeated future GM Ben Finegold and all of our other opponents for a shared first with 6-0 scores.

In the second round, I had Black against Michigan's Issa Youssef. Here is another pawn ending where the engines reveal flaws. I had found the saving draw for White, but my analysis did not uncover the fact that the ending was a win for Black. After 33...Kg8

White has an extra exchange, but is lost because of the passed e-pawn and ideas of ...Nf3+ or ...Nd3. 34.Qf4 probably the best practical chance, 34.Qd8+ (34.Qe6+ Kg7 35.Qe7+ Kh6 36.Qf8+ Kh5 just activates the Black king) 34...Kg7 35.Qxa5 leaves the White king too exposed 35...Qe3+ 36.Kg2 (36.Kh1 Nd3 37.Qc3+ Kh6 and White can't do anything about the threat of ...Qf3+ followed by ...Qf2+) 36...Nd3 37.Qc3+ Kh6 38.Kh3 trying to sidestep ...Qf2+ 38...Qe6+ 39.Kg2 Qe4+ 40.Kg1 (40.Kh3 Nf2#) 40...Qe3+ 41.Kg2 Qf2+ 34...Nf3+ 35.Kf2 Qxf4! 36.gxf4 Nxe1! 37.Kxe1

37...Kf7? Black needs to fix the White queenside pawn structure giving himself two spare tempi in the form of b6 and b5 37...a4! 38.Kxe2 Kf7 39.Kd3 Ke6 40.Ke4 (Running to the queenside is too slow 40.Kc4 Kf5 41.Kb4 Kxf4 42.Kxa4 g5 43.b4 g4 44.Kb3 h5 45.a4 h4 46.a5 g3 47.hxg3+ hxg3 48.b5 g2 49.a6 bxa6 50.bxa6 g1Q) 40...Kf6 41.Ke3 Kf5 42.Kf3 h6 43.h3 (43.Kg3 Ke4 44.Kg4 Ke3 45.Kg3 h5 and White gets outflanked) 43...g5 44.fxg5 Kxg5 45.Kg3 b6! 46.Kf3 Kf5 47.Ke3 Ke5 White has to pick a direction, but he loses the race no matter which side he goes to 48.Kf3 (48.Kd3 Kf4) 48...Kd4 49.Kg4 (White has only lost further ground after 49.Ke2 Ke4) 49...Kc4 50.Kh5 Kb3! 51.Kxh6 Kxb2! 52.h4 Kxa3! 53.h5 Kb3 the point. Black will queen first and control h8. 38.Kxe2? White needs to stop ...a4 with 38.b3 or 38.a4 38...Ke6? 39.Ke3? Kd5? missing the last chance for 39...a4! 40.b3! a4 41.bxa4! Kc4 42.a5! 42.Ke4? Kb3! and Black wins in similar fashion to the game lines. 42...Kb5 42...Kb3 43.Kd4! Kxa3 44.Kc5! Ka4 45.Kb6! Kb4 46.Kxb7 Kxa5! is a worse version of the next note from Black's perspective, but still a draw.

43.Ke4? White miscalculates the ensuing race. Instead, he should have drawn by counterattacking the queenside 43.Kd4! Kxa5 44.Kc5! Ka4 45.Kb6! Kxa3 46.Kxb7! Kb4 47.Kc6 Kc4 48.Kd6 Kd4 49.Ke6 Ke4 50.Kf6! Kxf4 51.Kg7! h5 52.Kxg6! h4 53.Kh5! h3 54.Kh4! 43...Kxa5! 44.f5 It is too late for 44.Kd5 as White has to spend an extra move to capture the b-pawn. 44...Ka4! 45.Kc5 Kxa3! 46.Kb6 Kb4 47.Kxb7 Kc5 48.Kc7 Kd5 49.Kd7 Ke4! 50.Ke6 Kxf4! 51.Kf6 g5 52.Kg7 h5! 53.Kg6 h4 54.Kh5 h3 55.Kg6 g4 56.Kf6 g3 44...gxf5+! 45.Kxf5 Ka4 46.Kg5 Kxa3 47.Kh6 b5! 48.Kxh7 b4! 49.h4 b3! 50.h5 b2! 51.h6 b1Q+! 52.Kh8 Qb8+ 53.Kg7 Qc7+ 54.Kg8 Qd8+ 55.Kh7 Qf6 0-1

Lessons from this ending: 1. Be alert for chances to gain extra tempi in a pawn ending (37...a4!). 2. Capturing is not mandatory (38. Kxe2?) 3. All variations in a pawn ending must be calculated (43. Kd4!).

9/4/19 - BCE-70, Lasker and Reichhelm, 1901

Lasker also made an impression in the world of chess studies. This week's BCE position is a classic example of corresponding squares. There seem to be multiple versions of this study. The van der Heijden database gives 3 variants. That was the starting point of my research into the postion, where I found some discrepancies. The original appears to come from Lasker's column in the Manchester Evening News where the April 10, 1901 edition gives the following position Composed by E. Lasker

Later that same year, Lasker toured the US. This seems to be the point where Gustav Reichhelm enters the picture. The position in BCE-70 is widely referenced as Lasker and Reichhelm from the Chicago Tribune. The Encylopedia of Chess Endings even attributes it entirely to Reichhelm. However, in the May 26, 1901 edition of the Tribune, it is the following position that appears.

This is the BCE position except the f-pawns are on f5 and f6 instead of f4 and f5. The text accompanying the position states During the champion's half hour visit at the Chicago Chess and Checker club last Tuesday he showed the following ending, his own composition, with a little alteration by G. Reichhelm to increase the difficulty, consisting of placing white's K at [a1] instead of [a3] and black's K at [a7] instead of [a8].

So where does the BCE position come from? It appears with the title Lasker's Great End-Game in the June 22, 1901 edition of The Literary Digest. As the name implies that is a compendium of information from different sources. However, they don't cite exactly where they pulled the study from, so maybe there is yet another source with this variant.

Finally, the HvdHDB gives one more version attributed only to The Literary Digest 1901 with no date given. Here, the kings are back in the position of the original study, but the f-pawns have shifted. However, I was unable to locate this position in The Literary Digest or elsewhere.

Amazingly, none of these subtle changes of king and pawn positions ends up impacting the assessment. They are all White to play and win.

8/28/19 - BCE-590, Shipley-Lasker, Philadelphia 1902

This week's BCE example is another Lasker example, this time from an exhibition game against Walter Penn Shipley. Looking at the comments on, it seems that this may have been a one-on-one encounter although ChessBase notes it as a simultaneous game. It is hard to gauge Shipley's strength. In my database I see wins over Steinitz, Gunsberg, Lasker and Janowski, as well as a draw versus Capablaca. However, most of these are marked as from simuls, exhibitions, or casual games. Probably Sonas' ranking on Shipley at #12 in the world in 1901 is optimistic, but he was clearly no pushover. After 35.Qg8 Lasker was a pawn up, but his king was a bit open. Here, he walked into a tactical shot

35...Ke5?Better was 35...Qf7 offering to trade queens, protecting c4, and increasing the pressure on f2 36.Bf4+! Rxf4 the only move, 36...Kxf4? 37.Qg3# while 36...Kf6 37.Rh2 planning Rh6+ should be a winning attack37.Rg5+ Qxg5 38.Qxg5+ Rf5 Black has close to level material compensation with a rook, bishop, and pawn for the queen. He also has pressure on f2 as well as a compact formation where he can protect all of his pawns. Based on all of that, I think it is very Laskeresque that he would have declined a draw offer here or on the following moves as White begins to play aimlessly. 39.Qg7+ Kd5 40.Qg8+ Kc5 41.b3 cxb3 42.axb3 d5 43.Qa8 a5 44.c4 Kd4 45.cxd5 Rxd5 46.Qc6 Rc5 47.Qa4+ Kd3 48.Qa1 The starting position of BCE-590, Black has made enormous progress, but White should still be able to make a draw. 48...Rc2 49.Qb1 Kc3 50.Qa1+ Rb2 51.Qc1+ Kxb3 52.Qd1+ Kb4 53.Qg4 Bxf2+ 54.Kd1 Bd4 55.Qxe4 c5 56.Qe1+ Ka4 57.Kc1 Rf2 58.Qd1+ Ka3 59.Qd3+ Kb4 60.Qa6 a4 61.Qb6+ Ka3 62.Qb5 Rb2 63.Qa6 Be3+ 64.Kd1 Rd2+ 65.Ke1! Rd4 66.Qe6? 66.Qb5 is the subject of the BCE correction, now the Black king gets free while the White king is kept at bay. 66...Bd2+! 67.Kd1 Kb2! 68.Qb6+ Bb4+! 69.Ke2 a3 0-1

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

older material

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