Endgame study

Two things to think about today: a study by Dierdle and a game by Capa. We did each as an exercise, trying to work out the best moves for each side.

[Event "K+P vs K+P"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1921.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Annotator "Dierdle"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/6k1/8/8/p7/8/1PK5/8 w - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "12"]

*

[Event "Havana"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1913.??.??"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Capablanca, Jose"]
[Black "Kupchik, Abraham"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C49"]
[PlyCount "135"]
[EventDate "1913.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Bb4 5. O-O O-O 6. Bxc6 bxc6 7. Nxe5 7...
Qe8 {} 8. Nd3 Bxc3 9. dxc3 Qxe4 (9... Nxe4 10. Re1) 10. Re1 Qh4 11. Qf3 Ba6
12. Bf4 Rac8 13. Be5 {(idea / Nc5)} 13... Bxd3 14. cxd3 Qg4 15. Bxf6 Qxf3 16.
gxf3 16... gxf6 { Assessment: +/- better Pawns, fewer Pawn islands, more
active pieces. The weakest spot in the Black position is the isolated a-Pawn,
and it is here that an attack should be directed.} 17. Re4 {First, Capablanca
mobilises and centralises his pieces. There is never any sense of rush when
Capa plays an ending. This ease of mobilisation is a dynamic advantage to add
to the static ones just listed.} 17... Rfe8 18. Rae1 Re6 19. R1e3 Rce8 20. Kf1
Kf8 21. Ke2 21... Ke7 { Now, White can attack the a-pawn.} 22. Ra4 Ra8 23. Ra5
{restrains the Pawns} 23... d5 $5 {I can sympathise with the bid for space but
this is not forced and has the disadvantage of leaving the c-Pawns without
support.} 24. c4 $1 24... Kd6 (24... dxc4 {
leaves all Black's Pawns isolated and most of them doubled!}) (24... d4 25. Re4
Kd6 26. b4 Re5 27. Ra6 {'hopeless', said Capa}) 25. c5+ Kd7 26. d4 {
Black's pawns have become fixed, cutting off the Queen's-side.} 26... f5 {
Hoping to nip out to h6 with some play.} 27. Rxe6 $1 27... fxe6 28. f4 {
Clearing the third rank for a Rook} 28... Kc8 29. Kd2 29... Kb7 $6 { Black has
achieved a solid defence of the a-Pawn and Whiite can achieve little else
there. But White has access to both sides of the board via the third rank.} (
29... Rb8 $5 30. Kc3 (30. b3 {blocks the third rank}) (30. Kc2 Rb4 31. Kc3 Rc4+
32. Kd3 Rb4) 30... Rb7 {may have been better}) 30. Ra3 Rg8 31. Rh3 31... Rg7 {
This defence from the side keeps the Black Rook more active than moving it to
defend from h8, but I'm sure Black also considered ...Rg1!?, giving up a Pawn
to get the Rook active. It looks a bit speculative here but is the right sort
of idea to have in mind.} 32. Ke2 Ka6 33. Rh6 Re7 34. Kd3 Kb7 35. h4 Kc8 36.
Rh5 Kd7 37. Rg5 37... Rf7 { Again, Black has achieved a solid, if passive,
defence. White now returns his attention to the Queen's-side.} 38. Kc3 Kc8 39.
Kb4 Rf6 40. Ka5 Kb7 41. a4 a6 42. h5 42... Rh6 { White is poised on both
fronts but can improve the position of his pieces no further. It is time to
try and force the issue.} 43. b4 Rf6 44. b5 $5 (44. Rg7 $1 44... Rh6 {
first would have been better, according to Capa:} 45. b5 axb5 46. axb5 cxb5 (
46... Rxh5 47. b6) 47. Kxb5 {e.g.} 47... Rxh5 48. c6+ Kb8 49. Ka6) 44... axb5
45. axb5 45... Rf8 {Off to sieze the a-file!} (45... Rf7 46. h6 Re7 47. Rg7 {
is hopeless: so Black must counterattack.}) 46. Rg7 Ra8+ 47. Kb4 cxb5 48. Kxb5
48... Ra2 { Black has gained some activity. Of course, White does not
retreat and defend with Rg2.} 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 53... Rxf4 $6 {Natural, but not exact.}
(53... Rb2+ 54. Kc3 Rh2 55. Rxe6 Ka7 56. h6 56... Kb6 {
which isn't great but Black is also fighting with the King now}) (53... Rh2 $2
54. Rxe6 Rxh5 55. Re5 Ka7 56. Kc5) 54. h6 Rxd4+ 55. Kb5 Rd1 56. h7 {A Pawn on t
he seventh seems worth three in the bush! Black can only hope to harass the
King with checks, but these are soon exhausted.} 56... 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 "K+P vs K+P"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1921.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Annotator "Dierdle"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/6k1/8/8/p7/8/1PK5/8 w - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "12"]

1. Kc3?? (1. Kb1! a3 2. b3 Kf6 3. Ka2 Ke6 4. Kxa3 Kd6 5. Ka4 Kc6 6. Ka5 Kb7 7. Kb5
1-0) 1... a3 2. bxa3 Kf7 3. Kc4 Ke7 4. Kc5 Kd7 5. Kb6 Kc8 6. Ka7 Kc7 1/2-
1/2

Chess Quotes

"The scheme of a game is played on positional lines, the decision of it is, as a rule, effected by combinations. This is how Lasker's pronouncement that positional play is the preparation for combinations is to be understood."
— Richard RETI