Jim West Talks Chess: Misplaying a Rook-and Pawn Ending

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At the February 2010 quads in Hamilton, I reached this position as White in my game against NM Mark Kernighan.






Instead of moving my rook from b6 to e6, I should have advanced my pawn to a5 on move 52.  Black answered by playing 52...Rf1+. My next move 53.Kd2 was another mistake.  Better would have been 53.Kb2. After 53...e3+ 54.Ke2 (54.Rxe3+ fxe3+ 55.Kxe3 Kg4 wins for Black) Rf2+ 55.Kd3, Black missed 55...Rd2+ 56.Kc3 Kg2 with a winning position. 






For example, Black wins after 57.a5 Kf2 58.b4 f3 59.b5 Rd7 60.b6 e2 61.a6 Rd6.  The game continued 55...Kg4 56.a5 Kf5 57.Re8 Rd2+ 58.Kc3 Rd6 59.b4 Rc3+ 60.Kb3 when Black missed a draw by 60...Rf6 61.b5 f3 62.b6 f2 63.b7 f1=Q 64.b8=Q Qb1+ 65.Ka4 Qxb8 66.Rxb8 e2 67.Rb1 Ke4 68.Re1 Ke3 69.Kb5 Rf1 70.Rxe2+ Kxe2 71.a6 Rf8 72.a7 Kd2 73.Kb6 Kxc2 74.Kb7=.






In severe time trouble, Black played the losing 60...Re6 61.Rxe6 Kxe6 62.Kc3 f3 63.Kd3 f2 64.Ke2 Kd5 65.a6 Kc6 66.c4 Kc7 67.b5 Kb6 68.c5+ Kc7 69.a7 Kb7 70.b6 Ka8 71.Kf1 Kb7 72.c6+ Ka8 73.c7 and resigned.