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David Bronstein vs Jose Luis Alvarez del Monte
Mar del Plata (1960), Mar del Plata ARG, rd 8, Apr-07
Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern. Knight Defense (D51)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-20-08  Everett: 48..Bxe4 49.d7 Ke7 50.g7
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I got 47 d6 Bc6 48 Be4 Bd7 49 c5! (49 c5 looks like it's the only winning move).

click for larger view

Sep-29-10  tinchoracing: 47.d6 ♗c6 48.♗e4 now Black can take the bishop or retreat: 48...♗xe4 49.d7 and White queens a pawn
48...♗e8 49.c5 also queens
Sep-29-10  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this ending, material is even, but white has the big advantage of the protected passed pawn on g6 that effectively ties the black king down. In some similar situations, having the fixed pawns on the color of the enemy bishop might be a disadvantage to white, but not here - the supporting f5 pawn is more than adequately protected. Now white can overload and tie down the black bishop with

47.d6 Bc6 (forced) 48.Be4! and now

A) 48... Bxe4 49.d7 Ke7 50.g7 wins.
B) 48... Bd7/e8 50.c5 followed by c6 and white forces a promotion quickly.

Sep-29-10  unferth: saw d6 Bc6 but then figured that after c5, with black's king & bishop frozen in place, white could win by invading with his king ... slower, but I think it still works
Sep-29-10  zooter: I think 47.d6 wins here as 47...cxd5 48.Bxd5 covers the squares for promotion

Not your regular Wednesday cup of tea, time to check

Sep-29-10  zooter: I missed the good reply by black which forces white to find the nice 48. Be5
Sep-29-10  asiduodiego: Today, I thought "Capablanca-style". I said to myself "I won't look 20 moves ahead, I will search one move ahead, but the best one".

47. d6! it's decisive. Black just can't cope with the threat of both passed pawns on the d and g files. Perhaps guessing 48. Be4!! would have been a better puzzle, but, it was a nice one for a Wednesday. :P

Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: White to move (47?). Material even. "Medium/Easy."

One of my favorite players, David Bronstein, is playing white. Some of his combinations are just dazzling!

I have been looking at this position for some time without much luck. It feels like it should have something to do with pushing the d-pawn and the g-pawn in tandem, but it's not working out for me.

Well, white has only 13 legal moves, I'm prepared to list 'em all and try to find the one that works:

- 47 d6
- 47 g7+
- 47 c5
- 47 cxb5
- 47 Kd2
- 47 Bb1
- 47 Bc2
- 47 Bf1
- 47 Kb1
- 47 Kb2
- 47 Kc2
- 47 Be2
- 47 Be4

I have tried to list these according to my gut feel of likelihood.

47 d6

is the most promising to me as it actually seems to be making progress and is forcing. Black must reply with


or risk 48 d7 Ke7 49 g7. For instance, on 47...bxc4 white could play 48 d7 Ke7 49 Bxc4, ushering in the g-pawn (49...Bh5 50 g7 Bf7 51 d8=Q+ Kxd8 52 Bxf7).

Aha! I think writing this out has really helped! Now white can play

48 Be4 Bd7

Not 48...Bxe4 49 g7+ Kxg7 50 d7 followed by 51 d8=Q.

49 c5

Yup, now it all becomes clear. With some clever maneuvering, white has positioned his bishop on the long diagonal, and gotten in two pawn moves, while black has had to hunker down.

I'm not sure what black will do here (maybe resign). Let's say he tries


then white can continue with

50 c6 Bc8 51 d7

and the handwriting is on the wall.

I feel pretty strong about all of this. Time to check.

Sep-29-10  randomsac: Well it's been a while since I've been on here, and I'm feeling the rust from it. I saw d6 as being very forcing, but I failed to see that Bc6 was forced to keep g7 from overextending the black king. Hopefully I'll have more time to visit this site in the future.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Sometimes, just sometimes, I see hills, valleys, fences and roads on the chessboard - a hidden topography of chess.

Okay, okay, I know this sounds a little weird, even for me. But hear me out, and maybe you will see them too.

The first things you see are two highways, arrow-straight roman roads. The pawn on g6 is just itching to "get your motor running, head out on the highway, looking for adventure and whatever comes our way." Given half the chance, white will write g7, g8=Q, 1-0 on his scoresheet. Get your kicks on route g6.

The black king has to stay close to g8 to stop this. And this means that the black king cannot get over to d8 without allowing the g6 pawn to promote. It is as if there is an invisible fence between the black king and the d8 square.

Our second highway runs from d5 to d8. It's a tad longer than route g6, but it stretches away to the horizon like one of those deserted roads in the midwest. You can almost picture Cary Grant in North by Northwest being buzzed by a crop-duster biplane.

But there is one square that stands tall in this position, a strategic outpost, a hill. And that is the d7 square. If you squint really hard, you might see that it is a little higher than all the surrounding squares. An army that gains control of this hill will be a long way towards winning the game.

Why is d7 such an important spot? Because this is where the battle will be fought. The black king cannot guard the d5-d8 road because he is committed to route g6. So the black bishop must do the job of guarding this square. And the only square on this road that the bishop can patrol is d7.

And that explains the finish to this game. 47. d6 and the pawn is running up the hill, trying to get to d7. If it gets there, it's downhill all the way to d8.

47...Bc6 Black races back to set up a roadblock. He cannot allow the white pawn to reach the top of the d7 hill. And he has no choice in this. His own pawns are stuck in traffic and won't be able to promote in time.

48. Be4 White doesn't let the Bc6 rest. He offers up his own bishop as a burger from a roadside choke-and-puke. But if black stops to eat, the d6 pawn zooms ahead and can't be stopped.

Black resigned here. Of course, 48...Bd7 49. c5 threatening c6 is just too grisly for words. White muscles the black bishop away from the hamburger hill on d7.

In chess, as in war, whoever controls the high ground has the advantage.

And I bet you thought the chessboard was flat...

Sep-29-10  mig55: I think after 48..../Bd7 49. c5 off course wins easy, but 49. Bd5 also wins after all, Jim. White can play c5 later on anyway ...Thus theoretically c5 is not the only winning move after Bd7:-)
Sep-29-10  VincentL: Medium/Easy"

Material equal; both sides have passed pawns, but white´s pawns are more advanced.

I have looked for a few minutes at this. I think 47. d6. and 47. Kd2 may both win, but it is not straightforward.

After 47. d6

(a) 47.....bxc4 48. d7! Ke7 49. Bxc4! and now black cannot prevent either the d pawn or g pawn queening.

(b) 47....Bc6 48. c5 a4 49. Kb2 a4 50. a3 Now black is in zugzwang. If black plays Bd7 or Be8 white continues Be4 capturing the e4 - a8 diagonal. Then white can play c6, winning

Black´s best try in this position may be 50.....Ke8. Now I think it must be 51. Bb1 ! Now 51.... Bd5 fails to 52. Ba2 (either the d pawn or g pawn will queen, whether black exchanges bishops or not) and 51....Kf8 also fails to 52, Ba2. If 52.....Kg7 53. Be6 and after d7 black will have give up his bishop, allowing white to win

If the above is the solution it is VERY tough for a Wednesday. Perhaps there is something simpler I have not seen. Let´s check

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <VincentL> After 47. d6 Ke8, try either 48. d7+ or 48 g7. The black king cannot prevent on of the white pawns from queening.
Sep-29-10  lostgalaxy: Simple yet beautiful. The sacrifice, the deflection.
Sep-29-10  scormus: To be honest I feel this is above average difficulty for Wednesday. I'm not too good at endgames and had quite a bit of difficulty seeing 47 d6 was the best move. I spent some time exploring 47 Kd2.

2 questions: i) does 48 f5 work just as well after 47 ... Bc6? After 48 ... h5 49 Be4, more or less transposing, but does B have a better 48 ... ? ii) does 47 Kd2 also win for W?

Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: Lots of choices, but I think this is all about white's two passed pawns, but specifically the one that is most advanced on g6. The king must stay where it is on guard duty or the bishop must come to the a2-g8 diagonal. Currently the bishop has no access to the a2-g8 diagonal, so now is the time to strike as the king has to stay where it is to stop Pg6!

47 d6 Bc6 (forced as Ke8 48 d7+ Kxd7 g7 winning )

48 Be4! Bd7 (forced as Bxe4 48 d7 Ke7 49 g7 winning )

49 c5

and black can resign c6 is coming and the bishop is dead!

Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: Bronstein makes this look so simple.

By 37 g4 ... he is already planning for his king march Kd2/Kc1/Kb2/Ka3/Kb4/Kb5 and it is all so clear, exact and great to watch. Moves like Bf3 in the vain attempt to capture Ph5 just show how little black has in the way of counter-attack and that this game was lost well before we get to our position at move 47!

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is even.

Black threatens to push his a- and h-pawns when appropriate.

White's d- and g-pawns are already advanced enough as to suggest 47.d6:

A) 47... bxc4 48.Bxc4 Bc6 49.Be6 and Black can't stop the threat 50.d7 (49... Ke8 50.g7 + -).

B) 47... Bc6 48.Be4

B.1) 48... Bxe4 49.g7+ (or 49.d7 Ke7 50.g7 Bd5 51.cxd5 + -) Kxg7 50.d7 + -.

B.2) 48... Bd7(e8) 49.c5 followed by 50.c6 winning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Hump day!
Sep-29-10  zb2cr: I saw this one. I appreciate the good commentary by <Jimfromprovidence>, <CHESSTTCAMPS>, <asiduolego>, <dzechiel>, <VincentL>, <Once>, <scormus>, <gofer>,and <agb2002>.
Sep-29-10  El Trueno: White to play 47.?

47.d6 Bc6 48.Be4 Be8 49.c5 and 50.c6 etc. should win because black's king has to be in kingside to prevent white's pawn to move g8=Q.

So black's bishop must defend against 2 pawns and a bishop. He will fail in this.. so it is win for white

Time to check

Sep-29-10  Patriot: One of the first things I looked at was 47.Be2 Bxe2?? 48.d6 and one of the pawns will promote. But black doesn't have to play that game. He can play 47...Be4 for example.

I also saw that 47.d6 Bc6 48.Be4 is possible and good, but didn't look at pushing the other passer. After a move like 48...Bd7 I seemed bent on 49.cxb5?.

Needless to say, I failed to come up with a winning idea in this "medium/easy" problem. It seemed that the c4-c5 push presented a blindspot because that move is simply crushing.

Sep-29-10  Everett: I wonder what the adjournment was like, when it happened, etc. I'm glad those are gone.

This would be a nice game for a collection on Bronstein's endgame know-how, like his '53 win over Reshevsky.

Sep-29-10  Touchmove: My thought process was the opposite of yours Dzechiel. I also went with my gut and tried d6 first ("passed pawns must be pushed!") but I did not think about the g6 pawn till much later.

For me, the magic is seeing the two connected passed pawns, currently in so much danger, and wondering what can be done to keep them intact or clean house with a sole survivor. I looked at d6, c5 and cxb5.

After my 2nd or 3rd look at d6, I noticed the g6 pawn would keep the king away from the d file and that was when I realized white had the potential to deflect the black bishop.

I still flirted with cxb5, or even 47. d6 Bc6 48. cxb5, but the capture ultimately looks like a loser. 47. cxb5 axb5 48. Bxb5 Bxd5 and black has traded weaker pawns for stronger white ones.

Likewise 47. cxb5 axb5 48. d6 Bc6 and there is no c pawn to deflect the bishop.

So 47. d6 makes sense to me, but what I do not know, is why nobody here is suggesting 48. c5! It seems to me that after any black move, white can still play 49. Be4! and the final position is the same. Do we have a dual solution today?

Also, its worth mentioning that there is a clue to today's solution in black's previous move. After 46. d5, black was concerned about 47. d6+ which would force the black king to choose between losing the race with the g pawn or slowing down its bishop from reaching d7 because of check. So black played 46. ... Kf8, avoiding check and seemingly giving his bishop time to stop the d pawn. Alas, after the Be4 and c5 combination, black is still out of time, but the initial d6 is still a bit more obvious (to me at least) when seen in context.

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