This Is It: How to Draw a Completely Won Ending

This Is It: How to Draw a Completely Won Ending

Dec 12, 2009, 7:40 AM |

As the title suggests, I'm eliminated from a tournament, and I'm not happy today. I managed to draw a completely won ending that was gained with sweat and blood after a hard fought & well played middle game. As a tribute to Monk, (which has unfortunately come to an end), here's what happened:

I needed to win with black against Kushan Tyagi, a strong opponent, to keep my chances of advancing to the next round in the Michael Jackson Memorial tournament (which I'm taking very seriously). In fact I had to win all 5 of my remaining games, and I had 4 them going at the moment, every single one of them on the right track. I'm up pawns in some, I'm getting into a complicated position in another where it'll probably be a decisive result, so I had very decent chances of getting the no.1 spot in the table (which is required to advance) if I had won this game too.

With all this background, I tried to put up an aggressive fight, not refraining at all from tactical complications. I made a few blunders in the middlegame, but still managed to get up an exchange for a pawn, and especially while converting this advantage to a won ending, I made some excellent moves and deep calculations, even "earning" my first "!!" move.

When I got into the VERY end, however, where I just needed to make only 1 or 2 more accurate moves, well, you'll see the rest...


Black has only one way of claiming any advantage here. Try to find it, remember, you want a bloody combat, needing a win. What would you do here?  


OK. Now you're a clean exchange up, but your c5 pawn is hanging, and your knight on h5 will be trapped by g4 if you let it.
Remember, the very fact that I'm presenting this as a puzzle is a hint that you should look for a surprising and forcing continuation. What would you do here?


and now we've reached a very interesting position. obviously black is doing much better, but white is threatening a rook penetration to the 7th rank with check, and gobble up some pawns. In the meantime, black wants to put his other rook into the play. What should black do, can he ignore white's rook move and play 30...Rhc8, or does he have to play the prophylactic Kf7? Try to go deep here and find out for yourself.

And at this point of the game, the damndest thing happened. During a friday night after-workout beer session, I began to grow too eager to finally share a well played game in my blog, you know, winning with black against a strong opponent in a must-win situation, making some good moves along the way, playing aggressive from the beginning to the end, oh it would be such a glory. And "why doesn't he just resign and get it over with?" I kept saying to myself. This is already over, what is there to even think about?

So I blitzed some moves. And I blitzed some more. And then such a position occured on the board that I just couldn't blitz anymore. OK I said, now I have to think. Well, I thought. And I thought. OK this is probably a little tricky I said. Then I thought some more, and finally, to my horror, after noticing the draw offer my opponent had made, I came to an agonizing realization: I had just decided to use my brain too late!

So there you go, I'm still presenting the result to your mocking pleasure. However, if you want to make the most out of this post, you'll need to find out exactly where I have gone wrong, and what should have been played instead:

Here the draw offer came and I humbly accepted it. So now, even if I win all of my remaining games in the round, I've lost my chances of advancing, and I'm really sorry about that, especially because it was such a meaningful tournament for me.I hope I've been able to give a good and entertaining analysis of the game and my thoughts. I would appreciate any feedback.

Lastly, in honour of Michael: It's all for love.