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  1. #1
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    Did Reuben Fine get it wrong?

    In Basic Chess Endings by Fine [desc ed], pages 260/261 the ending Berger vs Tchigorin, 1907, is covered with an aim of teaching the power of 2 bishops in teh ending when against knight and bishop.

    I put all of Fine's lines onto Fritz until I came to this position 2 moves away from the end:

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    Now, with black to move Fine gives the knight taking the bishop followed by b7 with a won position for white [clearly]. BUT black does not have to take the knight. Fritz gives ...Kd6 and after white's b7 black takes the pawn with the knight. Clearly, black is left down on material. But how does white win the resulting position? Fritz gives it 0.00 drawn. Black is ahead in the race to catch white's kingside pawns. Black can distract white's bishop by pushing the passed a pawn. Together, these resources are enough for black to draw it seems to me.

    Have I missed something? Is Fine right after all? Or did Fine make a mistake about this ending which, he says, is a "won ending for white" about 30 moves earlier.

  2. #2
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Interesting. I agree that if 1...Kd6 2.b7 it looks totally drawn. So how about 2.Bc2 for white? The idea is to cover the a-pawn better and if 2...Kc6 then white can even play Ba4+, so playing Bc2 still gives White time to play b7 in a better position. So long as white blockades the a-pawn in time to take it and get the bishop back protecting one of the k-side pawns (and, if need be, hold up the f-pawn long enough to stop it queening) then I think White can still just win ... but Fritz may have other ideas.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 21-06-2006 at 05:05 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by qpawn
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    I think Fine is fine . For example:
    1...Kd6 2.b7 Nxb7 3.Kxb7 a4 4.Kb6 Ke5 5.Bb1 Kf4 6.Ka5 Kg3 7.Kxa4 Kxh3 8.Bf5 +-

    BLack can try different sequences, but I did not find how he can win an extra tempi to get rid of the pawns.

  4. #4
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    I think Fine is fine . For example:
    1...Kd6 2.b7 Nxb7 3.Kxb7 a4 4.Kb6 Ke5 5.Bb1 Kf4 6.Ka5 Kg3 7.Kxa4 Kxh3 8.Bf5 +-

    BLack can try different sequences, but I did not find how he can win an extra tempi to get rid of the pawns.
    In that line instead of 6...Kg3 Black can play 6...a3 followed by ...f5! Then ...a2 gains the tempo necessary for Black to recapture after gxf5 and white can't stop ..g4 forcing the exchange of pawns.
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  5. #5
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    hmm

    I had put the above line that Igor mentions onto Fritz. Fritz does it slightly differently, getting black to play ...f5 after the black king is near enough to support it. After ...f5 FRitz gives 0.00 again and I can't in my own messings about see any way for white to win.

    Fine could still be right; I think that KB could be on the right track. I have put Fritz away but I will get it out tomorrow and put Kevin's line onto it and see what happens.

    Even if Fine's analysis still stands it's a bit strange that these lines were not included.

  6. #6
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    agreed

    Well done to Kevin! He put in the above post with...f5 to get the tempo before I just posted!

    Anyone got John Nunn's email? He would have the answer

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    Busting Fine's "Basic Chess Endings" has been a favourite blood sport of chess players for the last 50 or 60 years. Busting Fine on any account seems to be a speciality of Edward Winter's.

    DJ
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  8. #8
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Interesting. I agree that if 1...Kd6 2.b7 it looks totally drawn. So how about 2.Bc2 for white? The idea is to cover the a-pawn better and if 2...Kc6 then white can even play Ba4+, so playing Bc2 still gives White time to play b7 in a better position.
    The Bishop was already on c2 immediately prior to the move Be4+.
    In which case Fine's idea is fine except he checks on the wrong square.
    After the immediate Ba4+ the position is winning for white.

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    Last edited by Bill Gletsos; 21-06-2006 at 08:24 PM. Reason: to add FEN diagram
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  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I wonder if it could have been a misprint.

    Ba4+ would have been written B-KR4ch as opposed to B-K4ch.
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  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I wonder if it could have been a misprint.

    Ba4+ would have been written B-KR4ch as opposed to B-K4ch.
    Not quite, Kevin. Ba4+ would simply have been written B - R4ch (and it's QR4 anyway!) so a misprint of K for R is even more likely.

    DJ

    PS descriptive notation is just about all I know about chess these days.

    PPS Attributing Fine's mistakes in BCE to misprints is akin to attributing the inconsistencies in the Sherlock Holmes canon to Dr Watson's bad handwriting. BCE has a lot of misprints.
    Last edited by Denis_Jessop; 21-06-2006 at 10:48 PM.
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  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denis_Jessop
    Not quite, Kevin. Ba4+ would simply have been written B - R4ch (and it's QR4 anyway!) so a misprint of K for R is even more likely.
    Oops!

    I quite often get dyslexic when dealing with descriptive, which is why I finally bit the bullet and gave it up (in 1995, gulp.)
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    In that line instead of 6...Kg3 Black can play 6...a3 followed by ...f5! Then ...a2 gains the tempo necessary for Black to recapture after gxf5 and white can't stop ..g4 forcing the exchange of pawns.
    I overlooked this line, leads to a draw indeed.

    As others noted, check from a4 is winning (even though there are still some pitfalls).

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