Friday, 28 September 2012

Material wins

The book Practical Endgame Lessons by Edmar Mednis has a nice chapter on important endgame principles. Principle 2 is "Material advantage wins in the endgame. Hold on to your material". Sensible stuff, especially as I have seen players go wrong by ignoring principle 3 "Be wary of sacrificing material for development".
So I was kind of taken by the Topalov - Dominguez game from the London Grand Prix, where Topalov seemed to ignore both principles. He won a pawn in the ending, but rather than hang on to it and try and breakthrough in a blocked position, he actually gave up a piece for a couple more pawns, to restore a nominal material equality. This was the winning strategy as it turns out, so why did ignoring these two principles work in Topalov's favour. Simply because there is another principle that came into play, principle number 5. "The fewer the pieces, the more important are pawns". Despite having an extra piece, Dominguez was unable to hold back the avalanche of pawns, and once the White king joined in, the game was over.

Topalov Veselin - Dominguez Perez Leinier [D11]
London FIDE Grand Prix (6.3), 27.09.2012

No comments: