Brian's Endgame Adventures

Like many strong players Brian’s prowess is often most apparent in the endgame, and his ability both to calculate and to evaluate chances in technical positions is excellent. However, his style is far from dry, preferring direct piece play, which, when combined with a predilection for time trouble and a talent for escapism previously emulated only by Harry Houdini, means that Brian’s endgames often draw a crowd. — DR

 

Boyce,JR - Hewson,BWR, Gloucestershire vs. Devon, 1987

+-----------------+
|.+.+.+.+|
|0.+k+.+p|
|.0.+.4p+|
|).+.$.+.|
|.).+.+.+|
|+.+.+.).|
|.+.+.+K)|
|+.+.+.+.|
+-----------------+

With the time control approaching at move 42 I used up nearly all my remaining time calculating the resulting ending. 

33...Rf5 34. Rxf5?? gxf5 35. Kf3 Kc6 36. Kf4 Kb5 37. axb6 axb6 38. Kxf5

The point is that when the b-Pawn Queens it will be check. 

38...Kxb4 39. g4 Kc4 40. g5 b5 41. h4 b4 42. h5 b3 43. g6 hxg6+ 44. Kxg6

White keeps the h-Pawn hoping for a draw if it can reach the seventh. 

44...b2 45. h6 b1=Q+ 46. Kg7 Qg1+ 47. Kh8 Qd4+ 48. Kg8 Qd5+ 49. Kh8 Qf7 50. h7 Qf8# 0-1

Hewson,BWR - Barker,E, Devon vs. Dorset, 1993

+-----------------+
|.+.+.4.i|
|+.+.+p+p|
|.+.$pHp)|
|+b+.).I.|
|.).+.).+|
|+.+.+.).|
|.+.+.+.+|
|+.+.+.+.|
+-----------------+

White has just played 38. Kg5: what result?

White's King manoeuvre was aimed at avoiding a situation where Black having lost or exchanged the Bishop, Black would have a series of sacrificial checks with the Rook, threatening stalemate if the Rook were captured.  However, here White's flag fell! — but Black immediately showed great sporting spirit by offering a draw, being in virtual zugzwang. 

1/2-1/2!

 

 

Hewson,BWR - Webb,RM (203), Devon vs. Hants., 1990

+-----------------+
|.+.4.+.+|
|+.+P+k+.|
|r+.+.+p0|
|+.+.$p+.|
|.0.$.+.+|
|+P+.+.+P|
|P+.+.+P+|
|+K+.+.+.|
+-----------------+

[A fine win against a strong opponent – DR]

40...Ra7 41. Rxb4 Raxd7 42. Re2 Rd1+? [42...Rd2] 43. Kc2 Ra1 44. Kb2 Rg1 45. Rb6!

does everything: escorts Pawns, cuts off the Black King, attacks Black Pawns, frees the White King and enables mating threats in tandem with the other Rook!

45...f4 46. Rc2! Rd7 47. a4 Ra7 48. a5! Re1 [48...Rxa5 49. Rc7+ Kf8 50. Rb8#] 49. b4 h5 50. a6 Ree7 51. h4 Rad7 52. Rbc6 Rd4 53. R6c4 1-0

 

Chess Quotes

"Only a good bishop can be sacrificed, a bad bishop can only be lost."
— Yuri RAZUVAYEV. Source: Gennady Nesis, Tactical Chess Exchanges, foreword. [via Ari Makela]