Endgame Technique: Some Practical Lessons

Endgame Technique: Some Practical Lessons

EOGuel
EOGuel
Oct 7, 2018, 10:46 AM |
5

It's a nice relaxing Saturday afternoon. I log on live chess to play a couple of blitz games. A user with a somewhat cool profile picture accepts takes me down in the first game, and I look forward to a rematch with the Black pieces. I thought that the result was cemented after a simple tactic below.

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It turns out I was far from right. In the game, White played 22. fxe6, and after 22... Nxb1 (Nxf1 was more accurate, probably because the f-file could be critical in this variation), 23. exf7+, Rxf7 24. Rxb1, there still was some work to do.

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We fast forward a few moves. In the position above, I am really better off waiting around with a move like 36... Re6. It is worth pointing out that 37. Rxb7(??) fails to 37... h5(!), trapping the Knight. I rushed the position with 36... h5(??). My opponent responded with 37. Ne5(!), and a fork on d7 is inevitable! However, it's not all that simple had I played 37... Kh6, instead of 37... Kf5(?). Let's look at some variations I studied:

As we see in the game, my opponent strangely does not go for the fork variation. We reach the next critical moment after 38... Re6 39. Rxb7, g4(?!) 40. hxg4+, hxg4 41. Rg7
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I displayed haste with a mistake in 41... Rh8+(?), which allowed him to play 42. Kg3 with activity. The best move for me was 41... Kf4, which, simply put, marks territory on the g3-square. I'm not crushing or anything, though I actually found a few interesting variations that could have happened if White went wrong (certainly possible in a blitz game):
Whew... lot's of variations to calculate!  Unfortunately (for me), I did not get to enjoy the pleasures of the mating net, and after 42. Kg3, Rg6(?), 43. Rxg6, Kxg6 44. Kxg4, the position is extremely difficult for me to defend in a blitz game.  I did have one more practical try which I show in the diagram below:
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I had one last try with 47... Rf8+, in which White will have to surrender one of the critical squares highlighted (f4 and e4). And after I pounce on one of them, White can struggle on. However, I played 47... Kd4(?), and though the computer may be able to defend, it was simply over from there. 
I lost in case anyone wonders.  Here is a link to the full game: https://www.chess.com/live/game/3124730659. Feel free to share any possible defenses from move 47 onward.
I hope you enjoyed this post as well as the analysis. I certainly did! And a special thanks to @chessnow01 for a fabulous game and some instructive lessons.
I'll see you soon. Have a great day!
P.S. Feel free to check out one of my previous endgame posts!
Also, check out blogger @Michel2426 for some more instructive endgame lessons!
Oh, and one more... feel free to support this for blog of the month by tweeting this post with the tag #chesscommunity. Thanks!