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Difficult tournament endgame

  • #1

    Last week I played my third tournament (first since 2009). It was the New Year's Open in Santa Clara, CA, and I was in the under 1500 section. I somehow managed to win my first two games, after which my third opponent (rated 1424) hung a queen out of the opening. So I took a fourth round bye and found myself on board 2 against an unrated Russian guy who had looked strong all tournament and finished with a 1612 rating. The game was a long grind in which I found myself in a slightly worse R+B+P endgame and ended up in a losing K+P endgame. I have never annotated before, so I just tried to list things I was thinking during the game. I would appreciate really any thoughts/constructive criticism/analysis on any part of the game.

    I have split the game into two parts to make it possible to just see the endgame alone. I considered myself slightly worse due to King position and would like to know how I could have held the draw, assuming there was a way. I seemed to just drift into a lost pawn ending without being able to figure out a defense.


    I am mainly wondering a) if my judgment in going into the ending slightly worse was correct, b) how my handling of the R+B+P and B+P endings could have been improved, and c) how I could have played better throughout the game as a whole. Thanks to everybody who takes a crack at analyzing this game

  • #2
  • #3

    Muy interesante tu aporte... congratulations...

  • #4

    Thanks for the posts and the analysis, this was an interesting game. I did feel that the position had good drawing chances when I was playing it OTB but wasn't too confident of finding them. The one question I would have for both VictorHNielsen and mashanator is whether there is anything to be feared from lines involving e3 and d4 followed by the creation of a passed center pawn. I'll add a diagram but these are just ideas off the top of my head- the center passed pawn was what I was most afraid of during the game; that's why I kept my bishop on the a7-g1 diagonal and missed the move winning my f-pawn.

    That was my main qualm about my position. ViktorHNielsen that trap/h-pawn sacrifice line was really interesting- I never would have found it in a million years OTB. Bishop endgames can be tricky to defend.

    And gracias damasoep, la primera vez que he ganado un torneo sin "tiebreaks"! Buen partido y si que fue muy interesante...

  • #5

    Actually, I too was concerned about that possibility...until it occurred to me (just now) that Black can play 9... Bxd4 followed by 10... f5 and it appears that he will be able to trade off White's remaining pawns.

    It's true though that this possibility would not work with White's bishop on c3.

    One other option for Black from the position given in the OP...if your bishop is on c5 you can try 1... h5 (after 1 h3), with the idea of 2 gh f5+ 3 Kf3 Bf8 and it's very difficult to see how White can make any real progress.  And if White doesn't capture, you've just eased your task considerably by trading off another pawn.

  • #6


  • #7

    I am the opponent, Y.Granik. Only now I read the game analysis, very thoughtful. I'd like to explain one murki detail, why I played 38. Rb5. Kristian noted that this move looked like a "misterious GM" move. In reality, of course, the move is objectively far from the best, because it lacks a clear "chess" purpose. But is a trap, in a sense.

    I tried to exchange the rooks in that position, because with rooks on the board Black has conterplay. Without rooks, it either safe draw, or win for white. But I could not find how to force the rook exhange, so I decided to put my rook into a position, where you can "attack it" and exchange.

  • #8

    Thank you for your kind words and analysis! I learned a lot from this game. I've probably played 100 tournament games in the three years since the game, and this one really sticks out because I didn't know why I lost the game at the time.

    38. Rb5 taught me a lot too- I didn't have any counterplay and you knew it. So you waited for me to create a weakness. When I played ...f6, that was the second weakness (terrible bishop and weak light squares). It's a great strategy against lower rated players and a nice example of winning with technique. I've gone over this game a few times- once I understood why I lost, I started winning a lot more endgames. Thanks for the lesson!

    And another note- 28... g5 looks ghastly in retrospect. Now I would play ...g6 and prepare ...f5 or something like that. And I certainly wouldn't trade light squared bishops with all my pawns on dark squares!


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