Endgame Ahoy!

A couple of members were struck by Simon's discussion of the Ruy">http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/ruy-lopez-exchange-variation-white... Lopez Exchange Variation during his talk about King">http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/exchanging-king-endings]King and Pawn endgames.  That's the best example of endgame thinking arising in the opening, but it's not the only one. 

There are endgame">http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/middlegame-endings-and-endgame-ope... openings, where the queens come off early and the players forget about mating attacks, as recommended by Edmar Mednis. There is one more opening where we see an early queen swap: Lasker's Petroff exchange variation of the Petroff.  Far from choosing a drawing variation, Lasker played it to win against selected opponents, like Frank Marshall who might be expected to over-egg it.  One simple win from him was:

Example Game: Emanuel Lasker - Richard Teichmann 1-0 [C42]

Much more commonly, we see endgame thinking arise in games where there is a pawn">http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/pawn-formations]pawn structure which will definitely get better and better for one side as we approach the endgame -- a familiar example is the Isolated">http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/queens-gambit-acceptedisolated-que... Queen's Pawn. 

"Before the endgame, the gods have placed the middlegame." -- Tarrasch. 
Couldn't agree more, but accepting a pawn weakness for attacking chances immediately gives your opponent a winning plan, namely, survive, swap and win the endgame ...

Example Game: Emanuel Lasker - Siegbert Tarrasch 1-0 [D34]

I've found a comparable example from the French Defence ...

Example Game: Hartman - Yanofsky 1-0 [C09]

,  and was immediately reminded of the same sort of issue with the Backward Pawn you get in the same opening ...

Example Game: Hunt Harriet - Song Yi 1-0 [C03]

The http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/whos-afraid-big-bad-minority-attack">minority attack in the Queen's Gambit Declined Exchange Varation is all about saddling Black with a weakness that will persist into the endgame:

Example Game: Evans - Opsahl 1-0 [D36]

In the games of Rubinstein and Capablanca we often see opponents lured into losing endgames, lost because of weaknesses acquired, if not in the opening, then certainly long ago; I gave a couple of examples...

Example Game: Jose Capablanca - Abraham Kupchik 1-0 [C49]

Example Game: Jose Capablanca - Milan Vidmar sr [New York] 1-0 [C98]

...a couple of sessions ago, and offer today another from Rubinstein ...

Example Game: E. Cohn - A. Rubinstein 0-1 [D29]

Click on [...] to see games list.

[Event "rook ending: various themes"]
[Site "rook ending: various themes"]
[Date "1913.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Capablanca, Jose"]
[Black "Kupchik, Abraham (Havana m7)"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C49"]
[PlyCount "135"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Bb4 5. O-O O-O 6. Bxc6 bxc6 7. Nxe5 Qe8
8. Nd3 Bxc3 9. dxc3 Qxe4 10. Re1 Qh4 11. Qf3 Ba6 12. Bf4 Rac8 13. Be5 Bxd3 14.
cxd3 Qg4 15. Bxf6 Qxf3 16. gxf3 16... gxf6 {# An early Rook ending: White is
better not just because of the neater pawns but because he can immediately
activate the Rook.} 17. Re4 Rfe8 18. Rae1 Re6 19. R1e3 Rce8 20. Kf1 Kf8 21. Ke2
Ke7 22. Ra4 Ra8 23. Ra5 d5 24. c4 Kd6 25. c5+ Kd7 26. d4 f5 27. Rxe6 fxe6 28.
f4 {Clearing the third rank for the Rook.} 28... Kc8 29. Kd2 Kb7 30. Ra3 Rg8
31. Rh3 Rg7 32. Ke2 Ka6 33. Rh6 Re7 34. Kd3 Kb7 35. h4 Kc8 36. Rh5 Kd7 37. Rg5
Rf7 38. Kc3 Kc8 39. Kb4 Rf6 40. Ka5 Kb7 41. a4 a6 42. h5 Rh6 43. b4 43... Rf6 {
# White is poised on both fronts.} 44. b5 {
The only break, which also allows Black to become active.} 44... axb5 45. axb5
{# Defend or counterattack?} 45... Rf8 (45... Rf7 46. h6 Re7 47. Rg7 {
is hopeless: so Black must counterattack.}) 46. Rg7 Ra8+ 47. Kb4 cxb5 48. Kxb5
Ra2 49. c6+ Kb8 50. Rxh7 {
White has an h-pawn. Can the lone Black Rook do enough to compensate?} 50...
Rb2+ 51. Ka5 Ra2+ 52. Kb4 Rxf2 53. Re7 Rxf4 54. h6 Rxd4+ 55. Kb5 Rd1 56. h7
Rb1+ 57. Kc5 Rc1+ 58. Kd4 Rd1+ 59. Ke5 Re1+ 60. Kf6 Rh1 61. Re8+ Ka7 62. h8=Q
Rxh8 63. Rxh8 Kb6 64. Kxe6 Kxc6 65. Kxf5 Kc5 66. Ke5 c6 67. Rh6 Kb5 68. Kd4 1-0

[Event "a Capablanca ending"]
[Site "a Capablanca ending"]
[Date "1927.??.??"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Capablanca, Jose"]
[Black "Vidmar, Milan sr [New York"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C98"]
[PlyCount "73"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3
Na5 9. Bc2 c5 10. d4 Qc7 11. Nbd2 O-O 12. h3 {
# These days played before d2-d4, otherwise a fairly typical Lopez position.}
12... Nc6 13. d5 Nd8 14. a4 {a typical undermining thrust in the Ruy Lopez;
Black's Pawns offer a target for White and counterplay for Black!} 14... b4 15.
Nc4 15... a5 {#} 16. Nfxe5 $1 16... Ba6 17. Bb3 dxe5 18. d6 Bxd6 19. Qxd6 Qxd6
20. Nxd6 Nb7 21. Nxb7 21... Bxb7 {# White has the two Bishops and pressure
against Black's advanced but rather immobile Queen's-side Pawns. "Whether this
advantage is decisive or not does not interest Capablanca. He simply wins the
ending! That's why he is Capablanca!" -- EUWE} 22. cxb4 cxb4 23. f3 Rfd8 24.
Be3 h6 25. Red1 Bc6 26. Rac1 Be8 27. Kf2 {KUFTE - "King Up For The Ending"!}
27... Rxd1 28. Rxd1 28... Rc8 {# Poor Black's Rook has no entry point, as the
unmoved White Pawn on b2 secures the c3 square. This is a concrete example of
Tarrasch's statement that every Pawn move loosens the position.} 29. g4 Bd7 30.
Bb6 {Decisive. Now there are a couple of exchanges, which leave only White's
best piece (Bb6) and Black's worst piece (Nf6) on the board!} 30... Be6 (30...
Ra8 31. Bc7 {snookering the Rook} (31. Rc1 {& Rc5})) 31. Bxe6 fxe6 32. Rd8+
Rxd8 33. Bxd8 Nd7 34. Bxa5 34... Nc5 {#} 35. b3 Nxb3 36. Bxb4 Nd4 37. a5 1-0

P.S. The famous Flohr-Capablanca game is here:

Example Game: flohr - moscow capablanca 1/2 [D62]

Flohr did everything right - but couldn't win!



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