Sunday, March 18, 2018

Three More Endgames

     Yesterday's game between Cheparinov and Firat from the European Championship rekindled memories of working on Aronian-Dubov World Cup game. Here, the position has a slight difference, both sides have f-pawns instead of g-pawns.

                           Cheparinov-Firat EU Championship 2018

This position was reached after White's 57th move Kd5.

Black continued with 57...Bc3? which is an instructive mistake. White won the game cleanly with 58.Ra7 + Kf6 59. Ra3 Bb2

60.Ra2 Bc3 61.Kc4! Be162.Ra6 1-0  with the idea 63.Kd4 next move and getting the same Zugzwang as in Aronian-Dubov game which I had analyzed earlier in the "Tale of Three Endgames".

However Black could have drawn this game if he had continued with 57...Bg7! or 57... Bh8! 
                           An Important position to remember!

The difference between this position and the one with g-pawns for both sides is that Black's Bishop has two hiding squares behind his King on f6, namely g7 and h8. White's Rook and King duo can never force a Zugzwang as Black always has the moves Bh8-g7-h8. Although this seems counter-intuitive Black should know that he should hide his Bishop in the rear to hold this game! There were 2 more games from very similar positions.

                Sarasadat-Zhukova Tehran Women Grand Prix 2016

This is the position after Black's 74th move. According to the database, the game ends abruptly here, am assuming that White lost on time rather than resigning. But as we know from the previous position White can draw with 75.Kf2 Rb3 and 76 Bg2! or 76 Bh1!

                           Goganov-Kovalenko Eu Ch 2016

This is the position after Black's 73rd move in a game between two strong Grandmasters. White went wrong once again instructively with 74.Bc6? ( as we know White can draw with 74.Bg2 or 74.Bh1) 74....Ra7? (Black returns the favor, he could have won with 74... Ra2+! It is an important technique to force opponent's king to block the safe squares of his own Bishop. 75.Kf3 Ra6 76. Bb7 Ra7 77.Bc6 Kc5! as in the Aronian Dubov game, driving the Bishop out of the key diagonal and winning the game soon 78 Be8 Ra3+ 79.Kf2 Kd5 wins)

75.Ke2?( again 75.Bg2 or 75. Bh1 draws) 75...Ra2+! 76. Kf3 Ra6 77.Bb7 Ra7 78. Bc6 Kc5! forcing the Zugzwang 79. Be8 Ra3+ 80. Kf2 Kd5 0-1

The study of these three endgames show the beautiful resources hidden in the simplest of positions!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fortress in the Endgame

" In order to improve your game, you must study endgame before anything else" - Capablanca

The Importance of studying the Endgame in Chess can never be overstated.As the Cuban World Champion has said, it is very important for every student of the game. I would like to deal with a couple of examples on the topic of fortresses in endgames. It always appeals to the spectator when a side with a material disadvantage holds his own in a seemingly lost battle. Like the attractiveness of sacrifice in chess, this too captures the imagination of players and annotators alike.

Friday, October 6, 2017

A Tale of Three Endgames

"Those who say they understand Chess, understand nothing"- Robert Huebner

The recently concluded World Cup brought a lot of joy to the spectators in the form of dramatic and captivating games. One such game was Aronian-Dubov. The endgame that arose with a Rook and Pawn versus a Bishop and Pawn looked rather simple. But as the game went on it was not at all clear whether the position was a fortress or white had a way to breach it. While discussing the game with my friends Grandmaster Vishnu Prasanna and later with International Master Konguvel, I came to understand how complex the position actually was and how little was I understood when taking a casual look at the position. My Special Thanks to Vishnu for inspiring me to take a deeper look and Blog rather than being lazy and to Konguvel for pointing out Dvoretsky's Endgame and sharing his thoughts. Here are my thoughts about Aronian's endgame.

                           Aronian-Dubov 2nd Game 4th Round World Cup

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Game of Exchanges- Part 2

"There is no such thing as an even trade"- William Lombardy

In the last part we have seen some modern games. So it is now time to take a look at two classical games!

A Game of Exchanges? Part 1

"There is no such thing as an even trade"-William Lombardy

                            A Game of Exchanges?

One of the most fundamental aspects of positional chess consists of exchanges. An exchange, just like a pawn move alters the position permanently. This means that every exchange has to be evaluated very carefully and by experience we see that every exchange tilts the equilibrium one way or another even if only microscopically. The topic of exchanges in chess is vast as an ocean! In this blog I wish to briefly touch upon exchanges of Bishop for Knight only.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Chess as an Art

                                     Chess as an Art


" Chess like love,like music, has the power to make men happy"- Siegbert Tarrasch 

       So Wesley has been the most consistent player of the last year and a half. I was able to watch some of his games at the Isle of Man tournament last year. His calm and easy looks during a game concealed the tremendous concentration and intensity happening in the background. I have attempted to put myself in his shoes and arrive out at the possible reasoning behind his thought process and moves based on his game against Granda Zuniga which made a deep impression on me, even during the tournament itself. Of course, I have to make certain guesses and the annotations themselves can never be equal to a player expressing his own thoughts. Nevertheless, it was quite an experience for me to put myself in his thinking hat and in the process trying to unravel the beauty hidden behind the veil of seemingly unnatural moves.