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A 70 move endgame and a Plan

Jun 18, 2011, 8:18 AM 8

Yesterday I play another long game with a surprisingly complicated (for me) endgame. I was two pawns up, yet it still took me nearly 70 moves to win the resulting rook ending. I am not sure whether this was down to my poor play, or the ending was genuinely difficult.

However badly I played, I am going to try to analyse this endgame - in an attempt to find out. However I think will need some input from stronger players - my endgame skills are not great.

Here are the moves leading up to the endgame, what you would think would be the "hard part".


Here I was quite confident of winning, an began to play fast. I think i most probably missed a lot of good moves as a result of this. I am not sure, however, how easy the endgame was to win. I am two pawns up - but my pawn majority is crippled on the queenside.
Here is the first place where I could have perhaps tried something else. Rh4 seems interesting, but I am not convinced it leads to a win.
At the time I was sure that cxb5 was a huge error, but now I am not so convinced. There seems to be no other way to defend the a-pawn. Rc3 certainly looks possible but I think it loses.
As my opponent allows me to undouble my pawns I think a win gets closer. As the game goes on I slowly reach a winning position, but I still cannot find a significantly quicker way. Here is the rest of the game.
You can view the whole game at once by manually clicking on the first move of the game.
I have found this attempt to have a look at this endgame interesting, as I have not found a significantly quicker route to win. However if you discount my opponents playing on in the K+P ending, and my occaisional repetitions, the game would have been shorter.
Nonetheless this endgame has shown me how complicated endgames can be. I would really like people to give their input on the ending, particuarly to correct my lamentable attempts to find improvements.
My plan to improve my chess over the summer break is to attempt to finish Silman's Reassess your Chess, go over parts of Silman's endgame course again - perhaps up to the class A section, and to continue to practise tactics.

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