Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Exact play required

The diagrammed position came from a game played this evening at the ANU Chess Club. The time control
of G/60m+10s does not lend itself to deep endgame analysis, and so it proved here. Black had been winning the game earlier (via a nice piece sacrifice that eventually netted a rook), but short of time had popped the exchange. Leading up to the diagram Black had exchanged the last of the rooks on f3 , and was now on the move.
In fact Black has two good moves in this position, although they should lead to the same position. Either 1.a5! or 1.Kb7 (which was played) will do, as long as Black finds the correct follow up. The game went 2.Kf2 but now Black went wrong with 2. ... Ka6 (2. ... a5 still wins). 3.a4 Kb7 quickly followed, but now it was White's turn to go astray. 4.b5! draws. An example line runs 4. ... cxb 5.axb a6 6.axb+ Kxa6 7.Ke3 Kb5 8.Kd4 Kc6 9.Kc4 g6 10.Kd4 g5 11.Ke4 Kxc5 12.Kf5 Kd4
Instead White played 4.Ke3? and now 4. ... a5! wins. The game finished with 5.bxa (5.b5 loses to 5. ... cxb 6.axb and the White king cannot stop both the a and g pawns) 5. ... Ka6 6.Kf4 and after 6. ... g6! The White king is cut off and Black has just enough tempo to win the K+PvK ending.  7.Kg4 Kxa5 8.f4 Kxa4 9.f5 gxf5+ 10.Kxf5 Kb5 11.Kxf6 Kxc5 12.Ke5 Kc4 13.Ke4 Kc3 14.Ke3 c5 15.Ke2 Kc2 0-1 were the final moves

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