Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

11/28/18 - BCE-486a

Position 486a is an instructive example illustrating the technique of improving one's position before cashing in. Fine's line tries the direct approach, which only leads to a draw. The better technique of pushing the opponents king away is very common in R+P vs. B+P endings.

11/26/18 - Henriquez-Laznicka, 2018 Batumi Olympiad

Martin Lorenzini presented a survey on the Scandinavian Defense in Yearbook 128 titled Laznicka'a Variation because it is a specialty of the Czech grandmaster Viktor Laznicka. There weren't any games with that line in the Olympiad, but there was a Scandinavian with Laznicka on the Black side against Cristobal Henriquez on board 2 of the third round match between Chile and Czech Republic. 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5 6.d3

Avoiding Laznicka's line, which would occur after 6.d4 e6 7.Bd2 Bb4 The text doesn't give Black much problems out of the opening. White has a small lead in development, but not much central control, so it isn't much of a surprise that this is not often seen in GM play. 6...c6 This 6...e6 are about equally popular in games in the database that have reached this position. There isn't really consensus amongst the engines here with Houdini going for the text, while Stockfish prefers 6...a6, and Fritz moves the bishop again with 6...Bg4!? 7.Bd2 Qc7 8.Qe2 Nbd7 9.Nh4 going after the bishop pair. The most popular move here has been 9.h3 9...Bg6 trying to take advantage of White's not playing h3 looks dangerous after 9...Bg4 10.f3 Bh5 11.g4 Bg6 12.f4 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.g3 e6 12.a3

This is the first move that wasn't in the database. Since he moves the knight on the next move, I'm not sure why White did not go 12.Ne4 straightaway 12...Be7 13.Ne4 Qe5 14.Bc3 Qh5 15.f4 Kf8 16.Bd2 Rd8 17.Qxh5 Rxh5 18.Ng5 Nd5 19.0-0 Bc5+ 20.Kh1 N7f6 21.Rf3 Ng4 22.h3 Ke7

Analyzing this game, it was hard to pinpoint Black's mistake. While the queens are off the board, this is still very much a middlegame and the king does not find things very comfortable on e7. Still, it is hard to make suggestions for Black. His position is solid, but somewhat passive. As the game goes, White just slowly pushes Black back. 23.Re1 Ngf6 24.Kg2 Rhh8 25.g4 Nd7 26.c3 Bd6 27.d4 Bb8 28.Bd3 Rhe8 29.c4 Nc7 30.f5

Clearly things have gone wrong for Black. His pieces are all horribly placed, so White blasts the position open. The rest is pretty much a rout. 30...gxf5 31.gxf5 e5 32.dxe5 Nc5 33.f6+ Kf8 34.Bb4 N7a6 35.e6 gxf6 36.Rxf6 Rxd3 37.exf7 Rc8 38.Ne6+ Ke7 39.Nd8+ Kd7 40.Re7+ forcing mate in 2 is even stronger than getting a new queen. 1-0

11/21/18 - BCE-273

In honor of Thanksgiving, here is a real turkey of BCE correction. Position 273 is probably the least practical example in all of BCE. I did double check in the database to see if there were any examples of two knights versus one that were not drawn, but didn't find any. There were a few where the attacker played on a few moves, even one where a Vietnamese GM captured the lone knight then made his opponent play out the full 50 moves.

Two knights beating one does crop up in the realm of studies. Here is a fairly recent example from Belgium composer Roger Missiaen, who passed away earlier this year. It was published in 2014 in the Dutch magazine Probleemblad.

From the starting position, one wouldn't expect mate with two knights. However, the main line is 1. Ng5 Bb1 2. Kg7 Ng6 3. Nf3+ Kf2 4. Nd2 Bf5 5. Kf6 Nh4 6. Kg5 Kg3 7. Nf1+ Kh3 8. Nxd5 Nf3+ 9. Kxf5 Nd4+ 10. Kg5 Nxb5 11. Nf4#

Any discussion of mate with two knights is probably incomplete without some mention of the great Russian composer Alexei Troitzky. Here is one of his studies from 1914 that features the theme.

1. Rb6+ Qg6+ 2. Rxg6+ Nxg6 3. Nf5+ Kh7 4. Nf6+ Kh8 5. Kg5 Nf4 6. Kh6 Ne6 7. Ne7 Nf4 8. Nc6 Ne6 9. Nxe5 and White mates on f7 or g6 next move.

11/19/18 - Bereolos-Lipking, 1983 US Class Championships

I had previously looked at the ending of my 1983 game against Lawrence Lipking in the context of the 6-piece R+2P vs R ending, where there was one moment of mutual blunders. However, it appears I missed a remarkable opportunity to hold the game earlier. I first got into trouble after 49...Rxe5

Here, I blundered with 50.Qc7? 50.Qc3 or 50. Qb4 are equal 50...Re4 51.Rf3 There isn't a good way to defend the h-pawn.
51.Kh3 Qf2 52.Qg3 Qg1-+;
51.Rh3 Rg4 52.Qxb7 Qe5+ 53.Kg1 Re4;
51.Qg3 Rg4 52.Qh3 Qe5+ 53.Rg3 Qf4;
51.Qd8 Qe5+ 52.Kg1 Re1+ 53.Kf2 Qe2+ 54.Kg3 Qg4+ 55.Kh2 Qf4+ 56.Rg3 Re4 57.Kh3 f6 51...Rxh4+ 52.Kg1 Qd4+ 53.Rf2 Qd1+ 54.Rf1 Qxb3?

It looks completely natural to grab a second pawn while defending both b7 and f7, but surprisingly, this gives White an opportunity to save himself. Instead, Black should probably centralize his queen with 54...Qd5 and slowly consolidate his extra pawn. 55.Qe5+ Kh7

56.Qf6? The right idea, but the wrong execution. White must first save his pawn with 56.a5! and even with a free move, Black does not have a way to exploit his two pawn advantage. White intends to win the f-pawn with Qf6 after which it is easy to liquidate the queenside pawns leaving a drawn ending with 2 vs. 1 on the kingside. 56...Qe6 doesn't help 57.Qxe6 fxe6 then, 58.Re1 is the most clear cut. White can likely still draw with (58.Rf7+ Kh6 59.Rxb7 but that gives Black the opportunity to keep the game going with 59...Kg5) 56...Qe3+ 57.Rf2 Qc1+ 58.Rf1 Qc5+ Very well played by Black. This move is key, covering f8 so that White won't have a check there after the sequence Qxf7+ Kh6 59.Rf2 Rxa4 60.Qxf7+ Kh6 61.Qf6 The problem here is that White can't pick up the b-pawn 61.Qxb7 Ra1+ 61...Ra8 62.g4 Qg5 63.Qxg5+ Kxg5 64.gxh5 Kxh5-+reaching the winning ending that was analyzed in the previous post on this game.

Lesson's from this ending. 1. Don't overlook the backwards moves. Lunging forward with 50. Qc7 was a huge mistake, where the retreats to c3 or b4 kept the balance. 2. Be aware of your opponents possibilities. The other problem with 50. Qc7 was that it did nothing to combat Black's 50...Re4. 3. Active defense, even at the cost of material is generally preferable. At least I found the move 51. Rf3 to try to generate counterplay. All of the defensive moves in that position lead to lost positions with to counterchances. 4. Pieces are powerful on central squares. I can't be too harsh on my opponent for not playing 54...Qd5 as the move 54...Qxb3 looks so perfect. But after that the White queen came to the center, which should have been enough to hold the game. 5. Always stay alert to the subtlties. I won't be too harsh on myself either for the move 56. Qf6. There is a natural tendency to try to make things happen when you are down in material. Like, 54...Qxb3, 56. Qf6 also looks great on the surface attacking f7 and h4. When making a move like this, you really don't expect your opponent to just give you the f7 pawn without a queen exchange since his king would be even more exposed and major pieces would still be on the board. Kudos to my opponent for finding the maneuver of the Black queen to c5, which allowed him to trade f7 for a4 without losing the b7 pawn. The White king is also exposed here, which leads to the final lesson: 6. In major piece endings, king safety can be one of the most important factors.

11/18/18 - Fridman-Hamitevici, 2018 Batumi Olympiad

The next selection in my Olympiad/NIC Yearbook 129 series comes from the fifth round match between Germany and Moldova. Alexandr Predke presented a survey in the yearbook on a somewhat modern interpretation of the Classical Queens Indian where both sides make waiting moves. White refrains from Nc3 to avoid Black's simplifying ...Ne4 maneuver, while Black refrains from setting the central pawn structure with ...d5. In our feature game, Daniel Fridman scores a convincing win over Vladimir Hamitevici, so it looks like the ball is in Black's court to find an improvement.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Re1 After the spectacular games by AlphaZero, I expected the Polugaevsky's gambit 7.d5 to experience a resurgence. It was tried 4 times in the Olympiad with a balanced +2 -2 score. 7...Na6 8.a3

The jumping off point for Predke's survey 8...Qc8 Predke considers 8...d5 to be the strongest, but he played the text himself against Alekseev. 9.Bg5 the first new move Alekseev played 9.Nc3, Predke considers 9.b4 to be strongest. The engines are split. Stockfish agrees with Predke and gives White a significant edge, at 0.85. Fritz goes with Alekseev's Nc3, while Houdini and Komodo like the text. Those 3 all rate White slightly better, mostly in the 0.3 range. I think the lack of consensus by the engines shows that it is a rich position with many ideas. 9...h6 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.e4 d6 12.Nc3 g6 13.Rc1 Bg7 14.b4 Qe8 15.e5 dxe5 16.Nxe5 Bxg2 17.Kxg2

17...f6 17...c6 18.Qa4 is unpleasant. Perhaps Black should try 17...Rd8 followed by regrouping his knight to b8 instead of weakening the kingside with the text. 18.Nd3 c6 19.Nf4 e5 20.dxe5 fxe5 21.Qg4 g5 22.Nh5 Qf7 23.Ne4 Rad8 24.Nxg7 White could also start with 24.h4 24...Kxg7 24...Qxg7 25.Qe6+ 25.h4 Qf5 26.Qxf5 Rxf5 27.hxg5 hxg5 28.Rcd1 Rxd1 29.Rxd1 g4 30.Rd8 Rf8 31.Rxf8 Kxf8 32.Nf6 Ke7 33.Nxg4 e4 34.f4 exf3+ 35.Kxf3 Nc7 36.Ke4 a5 37.Ne5 axb4

A bid for activity 37...c5 38.bxc5 bxc5 39.Nc6+ is also hopeless 38.Nxc6+ Kd6 39.Nxb4 Kc5 40.Nd5 Ne8 41.Ke5 Nd6 42.Nxb6 Nf7+ 43.Ke6 Ng5+ 44.Kf5! Nf7 45.Nd7+ the c-pawn is poisoned because of 46. Ne5+ so Black is just 3-pawns down. 1-0

11/17/18 - Bereolos-Ivanov, 2018 Land of the Sky

I've added my exciting draw with Alexander Ivanov from the Land of the Sky tournament earlier this year. While I missed a win, I'm not too disappointed with the effort. The variations were very complex, and I only discovered them later with assistance from the engine. This was the 4th time I played Alex at Land of Sky with the White pieces, but I hadn't scored before this one, so I guess that is some progress.

11/16/18 - Jakovenko-Dragun, 2018 Batumi Olympiad

The next Olympiad game I'm going to look at also comes from the Russia-Poland match. Besides the draw on board one, Nepomniachtchi beat Wojtaszek to give the Russians the lead. However, Tomczak sensationally mated Kramnik, so it all came down to the board 4 match-up between Dmitry Jakovenko and Kamil Dragun.

The topical opening survey from NIC Yearbook 128 was the first of three on the Advanced Caro-Kann. Adhiban Baskaran looked at 3...c5 as a winning attempt for Black. This approach was fairly popular at the Olympiad with Black employing it 13 times versus 17 games with the more standard 3...Bf5. While White came out on top +5 =5 -3, two of the Black losses featured lopsided rating differences, so all in all it was pretty successful for Black.

After annotating the game, I found Chessbase India's interview with Dragun, which shed some more light on the game, and then ran it through the engine where a much earlier win for Black was found.

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 e6 5.Nf3 Bxc5 6.a3 Ne7 7.Bd3 Adibhan considers the move order 7.b4 Bb6 8.Bd3 to be inaccurate on account of 8...a5 9.b5 Nd7 but both Shankland and Leko have recently won from this position as White. 7...Ng6 so far there haven't been any examples of Black playing on auto pilot and allowing the classic bishop sacrifice after 7...0-0? 8.Bxh7+ 8.0-0 0-0

Adibhan considers 8...Nc6 9.b4 Bb6 10.Bb2 to be the main tabiya of the variation 9.Re1 Adibhan gives the variation 9.Ng5 Qc7 10.Qh5 h6 11.Nxf7 Qxf7 12.Be3 Nf4 13.Qxf7+ Rxf7 14.Bxc5 Nxd3 15.cxd3 Nc6 with compensation 9...Nd7 10.c3 a5 11.Qc2 b6 12.h4!? considerably sharpening the play 12...Nxh4 13.Bxh7+ Kh8 14.Ng5 g6 15.Qd1 trying to bring the queen to the h-file. I thought 15.Qa4 gaining a tempo on the knight might be an improvement. In his post-game interview Dragun said he considered 15...d4 but then 16.Qd1 looks like a much improved version of the game for White, so instead Black likely should go 15...Nf5 16.Qg4 Kg7 when there are a lot of fireworks with 17.Nxf7 Nxe5 18.Rxe5 (18.Nxe5 Bxf2+!) 18...Qf6 19.Qxg6+ Qxg6 20.Bxg6 Kxg6 21.Ng5 with a difficult position to evaluate. As compensation for his pawn, Black has the two bishops and White's queenside is undeveloped. The engines give Black a slight pull. Dragun also mentioned 15.Qd3 Be7 with a nice position for Black. 15...Nxe5!?

This sacrifice frees Black's position while the White pieces are all awkwardly placed or undeveloped. 16.Rxe5 Qf6 17.Qe1 Kg7 17...Bxf2+? 18.Qxf2 Qxe5 19.Qxh4 with 3 pieces for a rook plus an attack is not what Black is looking for 18.b4?! trying to bring the dark squared bishop to the long diagonal as fast as possible, but there turns out to be a serious tactical problem 18...axb4 19.Bb2 bxa3 20.Nxa3

20...Nf5 20...Qf4! seems to win on the spot. Black threatens ...f6 as well as just ...Qg3 and ...Qxg2 21.c4 Bxa3 22.Bxa3 22.Rxa3 Rxa3 23.Bxa3 Qxg5 24.Bxf8+ Kxf8 will likely lead to a similar ending as in the game. 22...Rxa3 23.Rxa3 Qxg5 24.Bxg6 fxg6 25.cxd5 exd5 26.Rxd5 Qf6 27.Rc3 Dragun was critical of this move as it allowed him to coordinate his pieces. 27...Be6 28.Rb5 Bf7 29.Qe5 Qxe5 30.Rxe5 Re8 31.Rxe8

This ending is very difficult for White, but he could not avoid a rook exchange because 31.Rb5? is met by 31...Nd4 as pointed out by Dragun 31...Bxe8 32.Rc8 Kf7 33.f4 b5 34.Kf2 Bd7 35.Rb8 Ke7 36.Ke2 Kd6 37.Kd3 Kc5 38.Rd8 Be6 39.g4 Nd6 40.f5 gxf5 41.gxf5 Bxf5+ 42.Kc3 b4+ 43.Kb2 Be6 44.Rh8 Nc4+ 45.Kc2 Nb6 46.Rb8 Bd5 47.Kb2 Na4+ 48.Kc2 Kc4 49.Rc8+ Nc5 50.Kb2 Be6 51.Rc7 Kd4 52.Kc2 Bb3+ 53.Kb2 Bd5 54.Ra7 Nd3+ 55.Kb1 Kc3 56.Rc7+ Bc4 57.Rc8 b3 58.Rc7 Ne5 59.Rc8 Nf3 60.Rb8 Nd4 61.Rxb3+ Bxb3 62.Ka1 Nc2+ 63.Kb1 Bc4 64.Kc1 Ba2 65.Kd1 Nd4 66.Ke1 if White tries heading back the other way, Black mates with the so-called W maneuver, named for the way the black minor pieces draw each draw out the letter W. 66.Kc1 Ne2+ 67.Kd1 Kd3 68.Ke1 Ke3 69.Kd1 Bb3+ 70.Ke1 Bc2 71.Kf1 Nf4 72.Ke1 Ng2+ 73.Kf1 Kf3 74.Kg1 Kg3 75.Kf1 Bd3+ 76.Kg1 Nh4 77.Kh1 Bf1 78.Kg1 Bh3 79.Kh1 Bg2+ 80.Kg1 Nf3# 66...Kd3 67.Kf2 Ne2 68.Kf3 Be6

the most accurate move. Black has set up a barrier h3-g3-g4-f4-e3 that White can't cross. 0-1 White resigned. He gets pushed back into the previous variation after 69.Kf2 Bd5 70.Ke1 Ke3 71.Kd1 Bb3+ 72.Ke1 Bc2

11/14/18 - BCE-41

I was cleaning up the archives I noticed that there were some positions from my original review of the Benko edition of BCE that I had not added on the BCE page. One of these is the pawn ending, Position #41, where Black has an active king and can either seize the opposition or engineer a pawn trade to a drawn ending.

Like BCE-69, the analysis seems to have been handed down from van der Lasa to Berger to Fine (although in van der Lasa it is the mirror image position on the queenside. In this case, Muller and Lamprecht cite Georgiev as correcting the analysis in 1925. News travelled slower in those days, but you would think that it would have been known by 1941 when BCE was published. Certainly, there was no excuse for this one to have been missed in the Benko edition.

11/7/18 - BCE-69

This week's BCE post is another pawn ending. BCE-69 is another position where the historical research was more interesting than the moves on the board. In this basic 4 vs. 3 king and pawn ending White should slowly push the Black king back, then create a passed pawn and win. Fine gives several variations to show that Black can't defend, but in one of them, he plays a tempo move too early allowing Black an opportunity to draw.

Fine references Berger as the source of the position. Position 523 in Berger is the BCE position except that it is White to play and the king is on c1 instead of d2. Fine seems to have copied Berger's variation with the exception that on Black's incorrect 6th move, he corrects Berger's typo ..Kd5-e5, which is impossible since the king is already on e5.

The origin of the position goes even further back since Berger cites van der Lasa as his source. Looking at that analysis we see a different variation.

1.Kd2 this is the BCE starting position 1...c5 2. dxc5 bxc5 3. b3 Here Berger and Fine both continue 3...a6, where van der Lasa's line goes 3...Ke5 4. Ke3 Kd5 5. Kd3 a6 6. a3 a5 7. a4by transposition all three references have reached this position, but only van der Lasa's move order avoids the drawing possibility present in Berger/Fine. It is curious that Berger changed the move order.

11/5/18 - Gregorz-Bereolos, 2016 Kings Island Open

One variation in the endgame I played against Ralph Gregorz in the 2016 Kings Island Open bears some resemblance to the Flohr-Ragozin ending. After letting a big advantage slip away in a major piece ending, I had a long thought in the position after 42.a5 and decided to go for the pawn ending.

42...Rd6 43.Rxd6 Kxd6 44.b5 the other try is 44.Kd3 when a) 44...g5? 45.g4! cripples Black's kingside; b) 44...h6? 45.b5! (45.Kd4? Kc6 46.Kc4 f4) 45...Kc5 46.a6! bxa6 47.bxa6! Kb6 48.f4! Kxa6 49.Kd4! also wins for White; c) 44...Kd5? 45.f4! h6 46.b5! g5 47.a6 bxa6 48.bxa6! Kc6 49.g4 is a decisive breakthrough; only 44...Kc6! holds the draw 45.Kc4 f4 46.g4 h5! 47.gxh5 gxh5! 48.b5+ Kd6! 49.Kd3 h4! 50.Ke2 Kc5! 51.a6! bxa6 52.bxa6! Kb6! 53.Kf2 Kxa6! 54.Kg2! Kb5 55.Kh3! Kc4 56.Kxh4! Kd4 57.Kg5 Ke5! 58.Kg4 Ke6! 59.Kxf4 Kf6! with the opposition 44...Kc5 45.a6! bxa6 46.bxa6! Kb6! 47.Ke3 Kxa6 47...g5 48.g4 (48.f4? g4 49.Kd4 h5-+; 48.Kd4? h5-+) 48...fxg4 49.fxg4 Kxa6 50.Ke4 Kb5 51.Kf5 Kc5 52.Kxg5 Kd5 53.Kh6 Ke5= 48.Kf4 Kb5 49.Kg5 Kc5 50.Kh6 f4!

51.Kxh7? he grabbed the pawn, immediately realized what he had done, and resigned 51.gxf4 Kd4 52.Kxh7 Ke3! is the position that is similar to Flohr-Ragozin 53.Kxg6 Kxf4! 54.Kf6 Kxf3= 0-1

Lessons from this ending: 1. Trust your calculations. 2. It ain't over 'til it's over.