Different Twins In Chess

Different Twins In Chess

| 17 | Strategy

Some time ago we discussed in this article the identical positions that can happen in endgames. I concluded the article with the statement "Deja vu is good for your chess!"

Which of course means that the knowledge of certain positions, techniques or tricks should make your task of finding the best move in an endgame easier.

Believe me or not, but sometimes avoiding the worst possible move is much more difficult than finding the best move. Look at the following game.

Despite almost 400 rating points difference, White played very confidently and now it is impossible to imagine how a master can lose such a position. Yet White found the only losing move in the position!

Do you think White would have made his mistake had he seen the next game played more than 100 years earlier?

As you could see, it is much easier to play your game if you are aware of the possible twin.

Except... Well, do you remember the famous dialogue:

Julius Benedict: My name is Julius and I am your twin brother.
Vincent Benedict: Oh, obviously! The moment I sat down I thought I was looking into a mirror.

Of course you remember this moment from the "Twins" movie where two brothers met each other the first time. Well, if the chess positions in question are twins, but more like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito twins, you better be careful!

Our reader brabo_hf correctly pointed out that "we humans often make wrong connections" and as the proof he pointed at an interesting article by IM Sagar Shah. In that article Mr. Shah posts two back-to-back positions.  The first one he calls "Dvoretsky position" and the second position is called "Aagaard position."

It is difficult to say who was really the first chess player who analyzed these positions, but the famous endgame expert GM Yuri Averbakh gives both positions in his famous endgame manual without crediting any player, so I assume it was his original analysis.

I have only the second edition of this monumental work which was published in 1983, way before either Dvoretsky or Aagaard published any of his books. I guess the first edition of the book published about 20 years earlier has the same positions.  

So, without further ado, here is the position #251 from the Averbakh's book:

And here is the position #254:

As you can see, the positions might look identical, but the kings changed their places in the second position and it makes all the difference.

This is exactly the reason I said in the very beginning of my original article : "I mean the exactly same position!" 

Look at the following two positions:

They might look identical, but in one of them White wins some material thanks to a typical combination and in another one White has nothing! We discussed these positions and the whole concept in this old article.

As they say half knowledge is a dangerous thing! If you spot chess twins, make sure there are more like "Parent Trap" kind of twins rather than "Twins"! 

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