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

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

4/24/19 - BCE-86, Böök-Fine, 1935 Warsaw Olympiad

This week concludes the triplet of pawn endings from Fine's own games with one from the 1935 Olympiad against the Finnish player Eero Böök.

The Warsaw Olympiad was a big success for the US team, which won their 3rd straight Olympiad powered by strong performance on the bottom boards by Kupchik (+6 -0 =8), Dake (+13 -0 =5), and Horowitz (+10 -1 =4) all of whom won individual medals, including gold by the latter two. Fine held down the top board and got off to a slow start, losing 3 times in the first 6 rounds. However, he rallied to finish with a positive score (+5 -4 =8)

In today's game, Böök held a slight advantage in the rook ending thanks to his more active rook after 29.Rxe6

26...f4 Taking away the White king's path to the center. Immediately challenging the White rook is no good 29...Rf6 30.Rxf6 gxf6 31.Kg3 Kf7 32.d5 and White wins 30.Kg1 White could still try to press with 30.Rc6. Now, Black is able to challenge the White rook 30...Rf6 31.Re8+ Doubling Black's pawns with 31.Rxf6 doesn't help now as Black uses the second f-pawn to cover e4 31...gxf6 32.Kf2 Kf7 33.Ke2 Ke6 34.Kd3 f5 It also appears that Black could play as in the line in the correction with 34...b5 35.Ke4 a5 36.Kxf4 Kd5 37.Kf5 a4 38.Kxf6 Kc4 39.f4 Kb3 40.f5 Kxb2 41.Kg7 a3 42.f6 a2 43.f7 a1Q 44.f8Q Kxc3 with a likely draw 31...Rf8 32.Rxf8+ Kxf8! 33.Kf2 The starting point of BCE-86 33...Kf7 34.Ke2 Kf6 This doesn't lose, but is a step in the wrong direction. Fine thought he had to cover the f4 pawn with his king. As the correction link shows, Black could draw by advancing on the queenside 34...Ke6 35.Kd3 b5 (he could also start with 35...a5) 36.Ke4 a5 35.Kd3 Kf5? Black could still go back with 35...Ke6 36.Kc4 c6 37.d5 cxd5+ 38.Kxd5 Kg5 39.Ke5 b5 40.b4?? As also shown on the correction link, White could have won easily by creating a passed c-pawn here or on the previous move. Now, the US could have made a clean 4-0 sweep. 40...g6? The final correction is that 40...Kh4 41.Kxf4 a6! puts White in zugzwang 41.Ke4 Kh4 42.Kxf4 h5! The difference of having the pawn on g6 instead of g7 is shown in the variation 42...a6? 43.Ke5 Kg3 44.Kf6 Kxg2 45.Kxg6 Kxh3 46.f4 and Black can't stop the f-pawn 43.Ke5 Kg3! 44.Kf6 Kxg2 45.Kxg6 Kxh3 46.f4 46.Kxh5? Kg3-+ 46...h4 Here, the Black pawn is further advanced, so both sides get queens 47.f5 Kg3 48.f6 h3! 49.f7 h2! 50.f8Q h1Q! 51.Qb8+ Kg4 52.Qc8+ 52.Qxb5 Qe4+! 53.Kg7 Qe7+ 54.Kg8 Qd8+ 55.Kf7 Qc7+ and Black picks up the c3 pawn 52...Kg3 53.Qc7+ Kg4 54.Qd7+ Kg3! 54...Kf4? 55.Qxb5! Qe4+ 56.Kf6! and Black doesn't have a good check 55.Qd6+ Kf2 56.Qd2+ Kg3! of course Black can't allow a queen exchange on h1 when White easily wins the race to the queenside in the ensuing pawn ending. 57.Qg5+ Kf2! 58.Qxb5 Qe4+ 59.Kf6 Qf3+ 60.Ke6 Qxc3 61.Qc5+ Qe3+! and the draw was agreed 1/2-1/2

4/22/19 - Kantans-Jodorcovsky, 2018 Batumi Olympiad

When wanting to play the Sheveshnikov variation of the Sicilian, Black sometimes adopts a move order using the Four Knights variation. The purpose of this is to avoid sidelines such as the the Rossolimo variation (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5) or lines with an early Nd5 (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Nbd5 d6 7.Nd5) both of which were seen in the Caruana-Carlsen World Championship match. White still has ways to avoid the main line Sheveshnikov, one of which was featured in a survey by Iva Videnova in Yearbook 128 and was played in the Olympiad game between Toms Kantans and Paulo Jodorcovsky in the match between Latvia and Paraguay.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nxc6 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bf4 e5 8.Bg5 reaches the main line in the Sheveshnikov with an extra move by both sides. 6...bxc6 7.e5 Nd5 8.Ne4 Qc7 9.f4 Qb6 10.c4 Bb4+ 11.Ke2 f5 12.exf6 Nxf6 13.Be3 Qd8 14.Nd6+ Bxd6 15.Qxd6 Bb7

The starting point of Videnova's survey 16.Rd1 Rc8 The main move in this position, preparing ...c5. Earlier in the Olympiad, the novelty 16...Kf7 was seen in the game Bacrot-Roselli Mailhe. White eventually won a long game. 17.g4 17.Rg1 c5 18.g4 transposes 17...c5 18.Rg1 Rc6 19.Qe5 0-0 20.g5 Nh5 21.Bh3 d6 22.Qxe6+ Kh8 23.Qg4 Vindenova considered this move dubious, but did not think that Black had any problems against the main move 23.Rgf1 23...Qe8 24.f5 Vindenova continued 24.Kf2 Bc8 25.Qh4 Bxh3 26.Qxh3 Nxf4-+ The engines on ChessBase's Let's Check say the position is equal after 24.Rgf1 24...Rb6 24...g6 looks like a sensible alternative, trying to open lines. Then 25.f6 is refuted by 25...Bc8 26.Qf3 Bxh3 and White can't recapture because of the fork on f4. 25.b3 d5 26.Kd2 d4 27.Bf2 Ra6 28.a4

A critical position. Both sides have some awkwardly placed pieces. 28...g6 Now this move may be a bit mistimed as White seizes the initiative with a piece sacrifice. I found this a very difficult position to come to grips with. The engines show that it is a tactical mess recommending the cold blooded 28...Qe5 intending to capture h2. This leaves Nh5 loose, but White can't take it immediately as the attack after 29.Qxh5 Qf4+ is a bit too much to handle. Another bizarre computer line that I didn't even consider is 28...Rxa4 29.bxa4 Qxa4 with a strong attack. The engine thinks 30.Bxd4 is the only move that is not immediately losing. In the days before engines we would call this position unclear. It is a good one to try to analyze yourself before turning the beast on. 29.Bxd4+ cxd4 30.Qxd4+ Kg8 31.f6

Three pawns plus the awkward positions of the Black pieces give White great compensation 31...Qb8 32.Kc3 Qxh2 Again the engine recommendation is a very hard move for humans to play is 32...Bf3 which leaves the bishop out in midair. However, White doesn't seem to have a way to exploit the loose bishop and it prevents Bg4xh5 removing a key defender. 33.Bg4 Nxf6 White was trheatening Bxh5 followed by Qd7. Covering the seventh with 33...Qc7 34.Bxh5 gxh5 35.Rge1 also gives White a strong attack. 34.gxf6 Raxf6 35.Rd2 Qb8 36.Re1 Bf3 37.Be6+ Kh8 38.Re3 Qf4 39.Qxa7 Qh4 40.Rd7 Qh1 41.Kb4 Qh2 42.Qd4 Qf4 43.Qxf4 Rxf4

White is much better since the Black king is not participating. He slowly but surely brings the point home. 44.a5 g5 45.a6 g4 46.Bd5 Bxd5 47.Rxd5 R4f7 48.Rg3 Rb8+ 49.Rb5 Rg8 50.Rh5 Rg6 51.Rh4 Rxa6 52.Rhxg4 h6 53.c5 Rb7+ 54.Kc4 Kh7 55.b4 Ra1 56.Rb3 Rc1+ 57.Kd5 h5 58.Re4 Rd1+ 59.Kc6 Rdd7 60.b5 Rbc7+ 61.Kb6 Rb7+ 62.Ka5 Rd1 63.b6 Ra1+ 64.Kb5 Rg7 65.Rc4 Ra8 66.Ra4 Rb8 67.Rd3 Rg1 68.Ra7+ Kg8 69.Rc7 h4 70.b7 Rb1+ 71.Kc6 1-0

4/19/19 - Smith-Bereolos, 2018 Kings Island Open

Another one of my once per decade opponents is GM Bryan Smith. We have played over the board three times, all at the Kings Island Open. (We also played in the US Chess League in one of the few matches the Tempo won) In 1999, I beat him when he was just a National Master. He got his revenge in 2008, when he beat me as an International Master. Now, he is a Grandmaster, but I managed to keep the score even in an interesting struggle.

4/17/19 - BCE-93, Bernstein-Fine, New York 1940

In winning the 1940 Marshall Chess Club Championship, Fine gained another extra half point in a pawn ending against Sidney Bernstein, who was one of the defending co-champions. I couldn't find a full game score of this game, so I'm not sure how the transition to the pawn ending took place. However, I did find Fine's annotations starting from the same position as BCE in the April 1940 issue of The Chess Review. It is interesting that Fine's conclusion then was that Black was winning. However, by the time BCE came out in 1941 he had changed his evaluation to a draw. This isn't too surprising as he concluded his analysis in The Chess Review with the comment The variations given above are so enormously complicated that I am not at all sure that there is no flaw in the analysis! I won't repeat all of Fine's analysis here. Instead, I'll show how the game played out and just touch upon a couple of points of interest.

1...Kd4 2.Kd2 a5 3.Ke2 b5 4.Kd2? Fine was originally correct that the starting position was a draw, but for the wrong reason. As shown on the correction link 4.c4 secures the draw. White could also start with 4.c3+ 4...c4! 5.bxc4 bxc4 6.dxc4 Kxc4 7.Ke3 a4 8.Ke4 The main focus of Fine's analysis was on the line 8.f4 gxf4+ 9.Kxf4 Kd4 10.Kf3 h5 11.Ke2 Ke4 12.Kf2 Kf4 where in The Chess Review he showed the winning line against 13.Ke2 (In BCE he changed to 13.Kg2 when Black can immediately invade the queenside with 13...Ke3) 13...Kg5 14.Kf2 Kg4 15.Kg2 Kf4 16.Kf2 h4 17.Ke2 Kg4 18.Kf2 Kh3 19.Kg1 c5! 20.Kh1 c4 21.c3 Kg4 22.Kg2 h3+ 23.Kf2 Kf4! 24.Ke2 Ke4! 25.Kd2 Kf3! 26.Ke1 Ke3! Black can't win the h-pawn as his king would get trapped in the corner 27.Kd1 Kd3 28.Kc1 a3 29.bxa3 Kxc3! 30.a4 Kb4! and here Fine concludes and Black wins by one tempo. I'll play it out a few moves to demonstrate 31.Kc2 Kxa4! 32.Kc3 Kb5! 33.Kc2 Kc5 34.Kc3 Kd5 35.Kc2 Ke4 36.Kc3 Kf3 37.Kxc4 Kg2! 38.Kd3 Kxh2! and White is a move short of being able to play the drawing Kf2 8...c5! 9.f4 gxf4! 10.Kxf4 Kd4! 11.h4 c4 12.c3+ Kd3! 13.Kf5 Kc2 0-1

4/13/19 - Issa-Dube, 2018 Batumi Olympiad

Back to the Olympiad/Yearbook 128 series with a game in the queen pawn openings which the Yearbook calls The Anti-Chigorin Line in the first of a two part series by Laszlo Gonda. This one is a somewhat one-sided game between Rafat Issa of Jordan and Rene Dube of Nauru.

1.Nf3 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.g3 Bf5 3...Bg4 is the topic for part 2 of the survey. 4.Bg2 e6 Gonda's looked at one game with the more aggressive 4...Qd7 which I have faced in both this position and the corresponding one with ...Bg4 5.0-0

5...Bd6 Gonda's survey was mainly focused on 5...Nb4 6.Na3 e6. He also mentions a novelty 5...h5!? which got its first test earlier this year in the game Vergara Anton-Curien 2019 Basel Open 6.Bf4 Gonda didn't consider this move, which does not seem to be a critical test of Black's idea 6...h4 7.Nxh4 g5 8.Nxf5 gxf4 9.Nh4 here Black did not play the consistent sacrifice 9...fxg3 10.fxg3 Rxh4!? 11.gxh4 Qxh4 with compensation 6.c4 dxc4 7.Nh4 Nf6 8.Nxf5 exf5 9.Qa4 0-0 10.Qxc4 Rb8 11.Nc3 Without the Black light-squared bishop, this position is much different than Piorun-Kryvoruchko so White could just grab a pawn here with 11.Bxc6 bxc6 12.Qxc6 and I don't think Black has a whole lot of compensation 11...a6? This move seems rather pointless 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.Qxa6 Now White has an extra pawn and Black is still left with his doubled c-pawns 13...Rb6 14.Qd3 Qd7 15.a4 f4 16.gxf4

16...Nd5 16...Qg4+ 17.Kh1 Bxf4 18.Rg1 Qh4 19.Bxf4 Qxf4 20.Qg3 Qxg3 21.hxg3 Rxb2 gets Black back to material equality, but White is still much better thanks to his superior structure and passed a-pawn 17.Qf3 Rb3 18.e4 Nxc3 19.bxc3 c5 20.d5 f6 21.Kh1 Re8 22.a5 c6 23.a6 Ra8 24.e5 fxe5 25.dxc6 Qf7 26.c7 Rc8 27.a7 Rxc3 28.a8Q

It's usually a bad sign when a second queen appears in the middlegame 28...Rxf3 One queen disappears, but the engine announces mate in 13. 29.Qxc8+ Bf8 30.Ra8 Rxf4 31.Bxf4 1-0

4/10/19 - BCE-89b, Reinfeld-Fine, New York 1940

Fine was not primarily a chess author, he was also one of the strongest players in the world. Sonas ranks him #1 in beginning late in 1940 and extending into 1941. That is a somewhat tough time period to judge as the war in Europe reduced the interaction between players. However, Sonas has him in the top 10 for long stretches before and after the war. Therefore, besides author's perogative, it is no surprise that many of Fine's own games are featured in BCE.

Fine played many events in the Americas during the war, including winning the championship of the Marshall Chess Club in 1940 and 1941. In the first of these, Fine went 14-2 to win a full point clear of Milton Hanauer, who was one of the defending co-champions, while the club founder Frank Marshall was another point further back. However, the result could have been closer as this week's and next's BCE entries will show.

This week we will look at Fine's game with Black against another noted chess author, Fred Reinfeld. The first chess book I ever owned was authored by Reinfeld, but is no longer in my collection. After 21...Ke7

The position is level as the pawn weaknesses on the queenside for each player balance each other out. Reinfeld opted to simplify to a pawn ending. 22.Rxd7+ Kxd7 23.Nb6+ Kc6 24.Nxa8 Kb7 25.Ke1 Kxa8 26.Kd2 The starting position for BCE-85b. Here or over the next couple of moves, White could consider 26.h3 to prevent ...g4 26...Kb7 27.Kc3 Kc6 28.Kc4 g4 now Black will have a spare move or two with his other g-pawn 29.f3 f5 30.f4 Kb6 31.Kd3 Kc7 32.Kc3 Kd6 33.Kc4 Kc6 34.Kd3? letting Black seize the opposition 34...Kd5! 35.Kc3 35.e3 e5 or 35.Ke3 c4! 36.bxc4+ Kxc4 37.Kd2 Kd4 are also both winning for Black 35...e5? as shown on the correction link, Black should win after 35...Ke4! 36.Kd3! e4+ This was Fine's idea, to take d3 away from the White king. However, this narrows his beachhead and the extra tempo with ...g6 should not be enough to win. 37.Kc3! Kd6 Benko adds a line that was not a part of Fine's original analysis, showing that there was one other trap Black could try to set 37...Kc6 38.Kc4! Kb6 39.Kd5? (instead 39.Kc3! keeps the draw in hand) 39...Kb5 40.Ke6 Kb4 41.Kxf5 Kxb3 42.Kg6 Kxb2 43.Kxg7 a4 44.f5 a3 45.f6 a2 46.f7 a1Q when Black should win 38.Kd2 Kc6 39.Kc2? As Fine gives in BCE, 39.e3 would hold the draw 39...Kb5! 40.Kd2 Kb4 41.Kc2 e3 0-1

4/3/19 - BCE-274b

Before starting the next BCE trilogy, position 274b stands on its own, but is a logical followup to Wagner-Bereolos. Back in 1896, the German magazine Deutsche Schachzeitung published a series of articles by Friedrich Amelung examining the ending of B+N vs. N. Mein Deutsch ist nicht perfekt, but it looks like he reaches the correct conclusion that against this configuration

with Black to play his knight needs to be on a square where he can capture one of the White pieces or give check on e5. Fine adds the square h3, but White still wins with the knight there as shown in the correction link.

I was a bit surprised that the attacking side has chances even if the defending king is not in the corner controlled by the bishop. In the following position, Black to play wins.

I chose this position from my game with Wagner if on move 61 instead of moving White could just remove all the pawns from the board. It turns out to be one of those tablebase wins that doesn't offer much to the practical player. I'll just give the longest line with the lightest of notes because I still haven't been able to come to grips with some of the Black maneuvers. 1...Bg3+ 2.Kh1 Ne6 3.Nc4 Bc7 4.Nd2+ Kf2 5.Ne4+ Ke3 6.Nf2 Kf3 7.Nd3 Nd4 8.Nb2 Nb5 9.Nc4 Ke2 10.Kg2 Nc3! 11.Nb2 Nd5 12.Nc4 Kd3 13.Nb2+ Ke3 14.Kf1 Bg3! 15.Kg2 Bb8 16.Na4 Bd6 17.Nb2 Ke2 18.Na4 Ne3+ 19.Kh3 Kd3 20.Nb6 Ke4 21.Na4 Bb4 22.Nb6 Kf5 23.Na4 Nc4 the knight is finally trapped, but Black still needs to hold the White king back in order to collect it 24.Kg3 Ke4 25.Kg4 Kd4 26.Kf5 Bf8 27.Ke6 Bg7 28.Kf7 Be5 29.Ke6 Bh8 30.Kd7 Kd5 31.Kc7 Bd4 32.Kd7 Be5 33.Ke7 Kc6 34.Ke6 Ba1 35.Kf5 Kb5 Very strange stuff. Particularly striking are the moves of the Black bishop to the two corners.

In case you are wondering, if it is White to move in the initial position, with best play it is a draw after 1. Nc4 or 1. Kg1 because it takes black over 50 moves to capture the knight. However, 1.Kh1? loses by a thread. Again I'll give the longest line, but here instead of the normal Nunn convention, !! will mean the only winning move, while ! is the only winning move because of the 50-move rule. Again, this is one that takes a much higher level in order to offer explanation. For a long time it doesn't look like Black is achieving much of anything. 1...Ne2! 2.Nc4 Be1 3.Kh2 Bg3+! 4.Kh1 Kf2 5.Ne5 Kf1! 6.Nf3 Bf4! 7.Nh2+ Kf2!! 8.Ng4+ Kg3! 9.Nf2 Be3! 10.Nd1 Bg5 11.Nb2 Bf4 12.Nd3 Bd6 13.Ne1 Kf2! 14.Nd3+ Kf1! 15.Nb2 Bf4! 16.Nc4 Kf2! 17.Nb6 Kg3 18.Nd5 Bd6! 19.Nb4 Nc3 20.Nd3 Ne4 21.Kg1 Nd2!! 22.Kh1 Kf3! 23.Nf2 Bc7 24.Nd3 Bg3 25.Nb4 Bd6! 26.Nd5 Ne4 27.Kg1 Ng3 28.Nf6 Bc5+! 29.Kh2 Nf1+ 30.Kh3 Ne3!! 31.Ng8 Ng2! 32.Nh6 Nf4+! 33.Kh2 Nd3! 34.Kh3 Be7! 35.Nf5 Nf2+! 36.Kh2 Bf6! 37.Nh6 Kf4! 38.Kg1 Ne4 39.Kg2 Kg5 40.Kf3 Nd2+!! 41.Ke2 Nc4!! 42.Ng8 Bd8!! 43.Kd3 Nd6 44.Kd4 Nf5+ 45.Kc4 Kg6! 46.Kd5 Bg5 47.Ke5 Ng7! 48.Kd4 Kh7 49.Ke4 Kxg8 and White's heart is broken one move short of the goal. I suppose Black could really rub it in with something like 49...Bh4 waiting until move 50 to capture the knight.

A rather famous B+N vs. N ending is from the game Anand-Kasparov, Linares 1999. In this case, the 7-piece tablebases shed new light on this ending. After, 31...Kxg5

Kasparov has an extra bishop and it is difficult for White to trade all the pawns. On the down side, the a-pawn queens on the wrong colored square for the Black bishop so Black cannot trade knights. 32.Nb6 Be6! 33.bxc3 Kxg4 34.Kb2 Kf4 35.Ka3 a5 36.Na4 Ne4 Kasparov believed that this was the move that threw away the win, but this is not the case. 37.Nb2 Nxc3! 38.Nd3+ Ke3! 39.Nc5 Bf5! 40.Kb2

40...Nd5? It is only here that Black finally goes astray. Kasparov dismissed 40...Nb5! because of 41.Kb3 with no further analysis. This seems like a reasonable conclusion as it looks like White will soon gobble up the a-pawn, but Black has an amazing win with 41...Nd6! 42.Ka4 Kd4! 43.Nb3+ Kc4! 44.Nxa5+ White wins the pawn with check, but it is still not sufficient. Black also wins after (44.Kxa5 Bxc2 45.Nd2+ Kc3 46.Nf3 Nf7 and the White knight is dominated, for example 47.Nh2 Bd1 48.Nf1 Kd3 49.Ng3 Nh6 50.Kb5 Bf3 51.Kc5 Ke3! 52.Nf1+ Ke2 53.Nh2 Bg2 54.Kd4 Kf2 55.Ke5 Kg3-+) 44...Kc3! 45.Ka3 Bxc2 46.Ka2 (46.Nc6 Bb3 and mate next move) 46...Ba4 47.Ka3 Bd7 48.Nb3 (48.Ka2 Kb4) 48...Nb5+ 49.Ka2 Be6 winning the knight. Even so, Anand didn't manage to reach the draw, blundering just when it was finally in reach. 41.Nb7! a4 42.c4! Nb6 43.Nd6! Bd3 44.c5! Nd5 45.Ka3 Bc2 46.Nb5 Ne7 47.Na7? The simplest way to draw was 47.Nc3 and 48.Nxa4 47...Kd4! 48.c6 Nd5! 49.Nb5+ Kc5! 50.c7 Bf5! 0-1 Black wins after 51.Kxa4 (51.Na7 Nxc7! 52.Kxa4 Kb6-+) 51...Nb6+! 52.Ka5 Nc4+! 53.Ka6 (53.Ka4 Bc2#) 53...Bc8+! 54.Ka7 Kxb5! 55.Kb8 Nd6-+

4/2/19 - Wagner-Bereolos, Louisville 2019

Only a few days after posting BCE-274, which involved B+N vs. B, I was involved in an ending with an unusual distribution of minor pieces against Mark Wagner in the final round of a tournament at Michael Johnson's 3 Tables Chess Club. After 39...Bxa1 Black has an extra piece, but there are many practical difficulties. With all the pawns on the same side, White should have good chances to trade them off when the ensuing KBNN vs. KNN or KBN vs. KN are most likely drawn. If Black trades his Bishop for a knight, White should have no troubles and at worse bail out to a 2N vs. P ending. There are also problems for Black in that if he ends up with an h-pawn (if White plays g4 and h4), his bishop is the wrong color as the queening square. On the plus side, the White king is somewhat confined to the corner, which gives some chances in the pawnless endings. We each had a little over 30 minutes here with a 10 second increment.

40.Nxf7 Kg6 41.Nfd6 Bd4 42.Kf3 threatening to fork all 3 of Black's pieces with Ke4 42...Nf6 43.Nd2 Ne5+ 44.Kg2 Nd5 45.N6c4 I was surprised he didn't play the other knight here to keep the knight on d6 to stop the Black king from advancing. However, White has a concrete idea to exchange the last Black pawn with Nf3, g4, h4, and for that purpose he keeps the knight on d2. The one thing White can be criticized for though is that he had spent about half of his remaining time to get to this point. 45...Nd3 Black can trade both sets of knights with 45...Nxc4 46.Nxc4 Ne3+ 47.Nxe3 Bxe3 but then White draws with 48.g4 and 49.h4 Black could just trade one set of knights, but I didn't want to make that trade if I didn't have a clear winning plan. I figured I could always do that as a last resort. Instead, I wanted to keep improving the postion of my pieces, possibly attacking g3 three times to provoke the move g4. 46.Kf3 Nf6 47.Kg2 Bc5 48.Nf3 Now he was down to 10 minutes 48...Kf5?! somewhat double edged as White will now have the possibility of playing g4 with a gain of tempo. The plan that works later, doesn't quite work here with 48...Bb4 49.g4 Ne1+ 50.Nxe1 Bxe1 51.Ne5+ Kg7 52.Nf3 Bh4 since White can eliminate the last Black pawn with 53.Nxh4 gxh4 54.g5 and the king walks up and captures h4. Although the assessment of the engine is not very useful in this ending, its suggestion here of 48...Be7 actually makes some sense as it gets the bishop out of harms way and keeps on eye on the h4 square.

49.Ncd2 Already here White could go for 49.g4+ Kf4 50.h4 gxh4 51.Nxh4 Kxg4 52.Ng6! and the tablebase says it is a draw despite the scattered position of White's pieces 49...Nd5? Probably 49...Bf2 was best at this point 50.Nf1? With the clocks ticking down, both players overlooked the basic tactic 50.Nxg5 50...Nc3 51.N1h2 Ne2 52.g4+?

probably the losing move. He thought he was going to trade the pawns with 53. h4 but there is a tactical flaw. It is still up to Black to demonstrate progress after 52.Ng4 52...Kf6 52...Kf4 53.h4 and White trades off the last Black pawn. 53...gxh4 54.Nxh4 Nd4 55.g5 Kxg5

and the only drawinng move 56.N4f3+! The seemingly equivalent 56.N2f3+? loses to 56...Kg4! 57.Nxd4 Bxd4! 58.Ng6 (58.Nf3 Nf4+!) 58...Bf6 59.Nf8 Nc5 60.Nh7 Be7 and the knight is trapped. 53.Nf1 Here 53.h4 loses a pawn after 53...Ndf4+ 54.Kf1 (54.Kh1 Ng3#) 54...Ng3+ 55.Ke1 Ng2+ 53...Nef4+ 54.Kg3 Bf2+ Now White will be unable to trade the last Black pawn and his king is stuck in a box, so Black is winning. 55.Kh2 Ne1 56.N1d2 it is very straightforward for Black after this but Black should still win in similar fashion after 56.N3d2 Ke5 56...Nxf3+ 57.Nxf3 Bh4 58.Nd4 Ke5 59.Nf5 Ke4 60.Nd6+ Kf3 61.Nf7 Bg3+ 62.Kh1 Nxh3 63.Ne5+ Kf2 64.Nf3 Bh4 65.Nd2 Kg3 66.Ne4+ Kxg4 67.Nxg5

We were both around 3 minutes here. Eventually the g-pawn is going to cost White his knight, but maybe he should try to postpone this for as long as possible to leave Black with less time to mate with B+N. My opponent had stopped recording several moves ago when he went under 5 minutes. I asked about it at this point because I thought it was required when playing with the increment. The TD said the USCF rule about not having to record when either player was under 5 minutes was in effect. It isn't totally clear to me how this rule should be applied when playing with an increment. What if a player makes several fast moves and builds back above 5 minutes? Anyway, I stopped recording here as well, but I think I managed to accurately reconstruct the rest. This was the 3rd time I have had to demonstrate mate with B and N over the board, but the first time that I had to do it with limited time. 67...Kxg5 68.Kg2 Kg4 69.Kh1 69.Kf1 sets the stalemate trap 69...Kf3? 69...Nf2+ Here, Black is less likely to fall into 69...Kg3? 70.Kg2 Bg3 71.Kf1 Kf3 72.Kg1 Bf4 73.Kf1 Bh2 74.Ke1 Ne4 75.Kd1 Ke3 76.Kc2 Nd2 77.Kc3 Bd6 Having recently analyzed the game Jakovenko-Dragun provided a good refresher on this efficient move, which reduces the time to mate by 10 moves. 78.Kc2 Be5 79.Kd1 Kd3 80.Kc1 Nc4 81.Kb1 Bf4 82.Ka2 Kc2 83.Ka1 Bc1 I knew the winning method of confining the king ito the squares a1 and a2, so that Black just needs to maneuver his knight to a square where he can deliver check when the king is on b1. If I had more time, I probably would have found the faster mate with 83...Kb3 84.Kb1 Na3+ 85.Ka1 Be5# 84.Ka2 Nd2 85.Ka1 Bb2+ One small hiccup at the end. Black needs to reposition the knight before giving this check 86.Ka2 Bc1 87.Ka1 Ne4 88.Ka2 Nc3+ 89.Ka1 Bb2# 0-1

Lessons from this ending: 1. Always be alert for tactics (50. Nxg5) even if there are not many pieces on the board. 2. Time management is critical with sudden death time controls. Either attacking or defending, there isn't much time for several long thinks, so sometimes you just have to put your opponent back on move. On the attacking side if there isn't'a clear plan you can just try to slowly improve your pieces. On the defending side, you should pick a setup and stick with it. 3. Know the concepts of the basic endings. Even though 83...Kb3 was a faster win, 83...Bc1 let me pretty much play out the rest on autopilot.

4/1/19 - Bereolos-Ehlvest, 2010 Southern Class Championships

I've posted my titanic struggle with Jaan Ehlvest from the final round of the 2010 Southern Class in the GM games section. All kidding aside, I should have just played a normal game instead of worrying about the tournament result. Getting to play a tournament game against a grandmaster is a precious opportunity that shouldn't be wasted.

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Stats since June 1, 2006