Continental Open 2013, Round 4, "My endgame plan looked good but was wrong"

Alekhine's Defense, which I know up to 4.c4. However, both players continued to make "book" moves until 9.d5. Black played 9...Bxb1 which looked wrong in the game, and is definitely out of book.

White's ideas are to solidify the pawn chain on the Queenside, and dominate the e-file, eventually capturing it, and penetrating with a decicive advantage, working his way up to a crushing victory. The game didn't turn out that way, but hey! we need to build a good vision and have something upon which to base plans and calculate tactics.

By 16.Rbe2, White has most of the e file, and a good pawn chain. However, having potential, and being able to execute on that potential are two very different things. By 20.Rxe7, White has completed the operation of capturing the e-file. But then didn't see 20...Nbd7... why not? White envisioned being able to scoop up pawns. Instead White is greeted with an effective block.

Following this, Black is able to exchange Rooks, and transition to a Knight and Bishop and pawns v two Knights and pawns endgame. By 34.Kf4, White is committing his King to a fight on the Kingside, when (according to Jason Specter playing in the U2100 section) White should send his King to the Queenside, and force a passed pawn there. White would get there first, and may have an advantage.

Still on the Kingside, by 42...Ke7 we reach what looks like a classic position of opposition and "coordinated squares". And by 47.Kg7, we have a position which looks very similar to classic treatises on the endgame where White should be able to force the Black King back deep into the Queenside, and gobble pawns in the process with an advantage. The reality is that a breakthrough is not possible, and by 52.b5 the position is completely drawn.

Great technique, wrong plan.


  • 3 years ago


    @Gunners, you have a point, a strong point. I forgot to add that right around that point in the post mortem review that Jason Specter was very animated and waving his hands asking me how come I didn't bring my King into the fight?? :-)

  • 3 years ago


    @Harvey apart from the plan described in your notes re white king infiltrating on the queenside I wonder is there any merit to playing Kg4 as opposed to 33 h4. After hxg5 Kxg5 and white will have a passed h pawn.

    As the black knight is restrained by the bishop on f5, the Black King will have to watch that h-pawn, possibly allowing the white king to penetrate on e7?

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