Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,709

    Pawn ending from tournament game

    FEN Viewer


    I had this in a G60 flat time scramble in 2001 with both players very short of time (opponent was more so), got it wrong , but ended up winning in a rather odd manner.

    White has better king position and two pawn moves to burn, so should be winning this, and is. There are three candidate moves here: 1.a3, 1.h4, 1.Ke4.

    Two win overwhelmingly but the third does not (in fact, it leads to a tablebase draw). Which is the odd one out, and why?

    If you want to test your time-scramble skills, try solving this in a minute or less.

    Answers in white text please.

  2. #2
    CC Candidate Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Australia, NSW
    Posts
    203

    1. h4 wins

    1. h4 Ke6 2. Kc5 Kf5 3. Kb6 Kg4 4. Kxa6 Kxh4 5. Kxb5 Kxg5 6. Ka5 Kf5 7. b5 g5 8. b6 g4 9. b7 g3 10. b8/Q and white should win.

    And I believe 1. Ke4 Ke6 2. h4 Kd6 3. Kd4 Ke6 4. Kc5 leads to the same line as above. But there might be something better

    1. a3 draws

    1... Ke6 2. Kc5 Kf5 3. Kb6 Kxg5 4. Kxa6 Kh4 5. Kxb5 Kxh3 6. Ka5 g5 7. b5 g4 8. b6 g3 9. b7 g2 10. b8/Q g1/Q


    Tad longer than a minute

  3. #3
    CC FIDE Master Phil Bourke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Blayney
    Posts
    780
    I took longer than the 1 minute, more like 15 , I think that h4 and Ke4 are the choices. I admit that my original liking was for a3, and in the the given circumstances, probably would have played it.
    Get into chess, its a lifetime of enjoyment!
    Blayney Chess Club is online
    http://blayneychessclub.com

  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA (formerly Brisbane, and before that Wellington, NZ)
    Posts
    19,492
    Alexrules01:

    1. h4 wins

    1. h4 Ke6 2. Kc5 Kf5 3. Kb6 Kg4 4. Kxa6 Kxh4 5. Kxb5 Kxg5 6. Ka5 Kf5 7. b5 g5 8. b6 g4 9. b7 g3 10. b8/Q and white should win.
    Right conclusion, but you forgot the rook's pawns. 6. a4 is correct, queening and controlling the square of the opposing P. 6... h5 is correct with both Ps queening.
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 18-11-2009 at 04:15 AM.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4,437
    Since I only have 1 minute up my sleeve, I will say (without calculation):

    The move to win is 1.h4 ... and my reasoning (possibly dodgy) is:
    * that the pawns on the a-side are closer to Black's queening squares, so if there be any hope for Black it would be that they get into a race to queen a pawn. By holding back the a-pawn, Black would have to make one additional king move in order to capture that pawn before trying to queen his own pawns.
    * after 1.h4 Black's king must give way, allowing White to penetrate the position.

    So in answer to the question, I will propose that 1.a3 is the odd move out and allows Black to draw, given that 1.Ke4 just maintains the status quo.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,709
    I'll post the answer to this and the simplest way to explain it (as well as the peculiar finish) tomorrow night.

  7. #7
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    1,000
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I'll post the answer to this and the simplest way to explain it (as well as the peculiar finish) tomorrow night.
    I'll give it a try. The move 1.Ke4 just "passes the ball" so to say. The real choice is between 1.a3 and 1.h4. It is clear that white cannot by force go to capture g6 and h7, so if he capures a6 and b5, if the a-pawn is on a2 or a3 doesn't matter in the race. In the end it comes down to if g5,h4 or g5,h3 is the optimal pawns position on the kings side.

    It turns out that g5,h4 is optimal because of a peculiarity in the position - white a-pawn promoted can prevent black h-pawn from promoting. I guess all these intellectual obstacles makes it almost impossible to grasp why g5,h4 is optimal from a common sense perspective, you need to calculate, but the variation is clear 1.h4,Ke6 2.Kc5,Kf5 3.Kb6,Kg4 4.Kxa6,Kxh4 5.Kxb5,Kxg5 6.a4!,h5 (6...Kf5 and 7.g5 loses a tempo in the race) 7.a5,h4 8.a6,h3 9.a7,h2 10.a8=Q and curtains because of 10...h1=Q 11.Qxh1.

    On the other hand 1.h4 doesn't win a tempo as I intuitively thought because black needs an extra tempo to play Kg5-h4xh3, however, now the g-pawn has a free ride instead of the h-pawn and black draws (if 1.a3,Ke6 2.Kc5).

  8. #8
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,709
    OK, people have been getting the right answer but some of the early answers had some slightly incorrect reasoning. Jesper and Jono are both completely correct.

    The easy path to the idea that 1.h4 is right and 1.a3 is wrong is (in my view) as follows.

    If black just shuffles his king between d6 and e6, then white can only win by gaining the opposition then going via c5 to grab the black a and b pawns.

    So white moves a pawn, and black plays Ke6. Now white queens in nine moves no matter which pawn he moved:
    Kc5, Kb6, Kxa6, Kxb5, a4, a5, a6, a7, a8.

    Black also queens in nine moves no matter which pawn white moved. If white moved the a-pawn then Kf5, Kxg5, Kh4, Kxh3, g5, g4, g3, g2, g1

    If white moved the h-pawn then Kf5, Kg4, Kxh4, Kxg5, h5, h4, h3, h2, h1

    But in the first case the black queen lives. In the second case it immediately perishes to Qxh1.

    Therefore 1.h4 wins (1.Ke4 followed by h4 also wins) but 1.a3?? leads to KQP vs KQP which is drawn. The issue is not speed of queening but control of the black queening square.

    This is how the game actually finished.

    PGN Viewer
     

    Black could have reasonably claimed 10.2 in the last few moves but he did not do so.

    As Black played 17...h1=Q his flag fell. I noticed this immediately but he didn't.

    Under the 1997 Laws, at least as we interpreted them, G60 flats were covered by the Rapidplay rules. (The 1997 Rapidplay laws called a rapid "between 15 to 60 minutes", and clearly G15 flat was a rapid since blitz was "less than 15 minutes", so it seemed logical that the "between" was inclusive at the other end too.)

    So although my opponent had flagged the game wasn't over unless I claimed it, which with KQ vs KQ on the board would be mean. On the other hand, agreeing a draw when my opponent could have claimed 10.2 and had instead kept playing and flagged didn't much appeal to me either.

    I made a snap decision to postpone the dilemma and played 18.Qg8+. After ...Kf3?? (anything non-losing here and I would have felt obliged to concede the draw) 19.Qa8+ black resigned.

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    on the skin of the pale blue dot
    Posts
    12,476
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I made a snap decision to postpone the dilemma and played 18.Qg8+. After ...Kf3?? (anything non-losing here and I would have felt obliged to concede the draw) 19.Qa8+ black resigned.
    Something to be said here for the player who makes the second last mistake. That's the stuff of nightmares.
    meep meep

  10. #10
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,709
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    Something to be said here for the player who makes the second last mistake. That's the stuff of nightmares.
    The whole game was atrocious. I was totally winning out of the opening (pawn up with huge attack on move 12) and my play after that was one bungle after another against a lower-rated player who I would normally have put away in <25 moves from such a position.

    He actually played really well to get back into it, albeit with a lot of help from me. The only reason for the blunder at the end is he was moving instantaneously thinking his flag was teetering and unaware that it had actually already fallen.

  11. #11
    CC FIDE Master Phil Bourke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Blayney
    Posts
    780
    Pinched it Going to use it as a lesson for the school students, lots of good little things in it, hope it sticks in their heads for their own games.
    Get into chess, its a lifetime of enjoyment!
    Blayney Chess Club is online
    http://blayneychessclub.com

  12. #12
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,709
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Bourke
    Pinched it Going to use it as a lesson for the school students, lots of good little things in it, hope it sticks in their heads for their own games.
    I think it's quite a good one for this sort of purpose.

    The most important lesson from one of these is that when you get into a pure pawn ending (or are even thinking about swapping into one) with lots of time on your clock, be willing to spend a lot of time calculating to make sure you get it right. Of course, in this case I didn't have that option, which is why I made the mistake.

    So many games are won or lost by players playing too fast in pure pawn endings.

  13. #13
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    1,000
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    So many games are won or lost by players playing too fast in pure pawn endings.
    Gustavo Falcon - Jesper Norgaard 1994. Actually this is an example of how tenacious pressing on can sometimes give bonus even if it should have been a draw. Black is a pawn up but 3 pawns vs. 2 on the same flank and rook ending should be a draw. I continue to set problems for him though:

    PGN Viewer
     

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    on the skin of the pale blue dot
    Posts
    12,476
    Nice win
    meep meep

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Burnie Shines Weekender 24-25 Oct
    By Kevin Bonham in forum Completed Tournaments
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 30-10-2009, 10:28 PM
  2. Melbourne Chess Club Championships 2008
    By Bereaved in forum Completed Tournaments
    Replies: 80
    Last Post: 27-04-2008, 06:29 PM
  3. Melbourne Chess Club Under 2000 and Under 1600, 2007
    By Bereaved in forum Completed Tournaments
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 14-08-2007, 03:37 AM
  4. Kramnik - Deep Fritz
    By Kevin Bonham in forum Overseas Tournament News and Results
    Replies: 67
    Last Post: 04-12-2006, 03:41 AM
  5. Lidums Checkmate Open
    By Oepty in forum Completed Tournaments
    Replies: 53
    Last Post: 25-07-2006, 10:34 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •