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Paul Keres vs Erich Eliskases
"Draw Bridge" (game of the day Nov-05-2007)
Noordwijk (1938), Noordwijk NED, rd 4, Jun-12
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Chistyakov Defense (C07)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-13-06  EmperorAtahualpa: This is Eliskases' first game with the opening that is named after him: the Eliskases variation of the French, Tarrasch. (4...Qxd5)
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Amazing save; looks more like a composed problem than an actual game.

Nonetheless--after move 26, Black has a bad Bishop, 4 pawn islands and 5 isolated pawns. There had to be a way for White to win this.

Nov-05-07  mynameisrandy: This is the most amazing drawing resource I've ever seen. Breathtaking.
Nov-05-07  whatthefat: It is quite fantastic!
Nov-05-07  sanyas: Good pun.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: About the pun: I remember a Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs sees a sign that reads "Draw Bridge Ahead" .... so he whips out a pad of paper and sketches the bridge. Classic punnery at its finest.

About the game: I agree, this is so amazing its almost like the entire game was composed just to dispaly the astounding finish. You really have to hand it to Eliskases for his Houdini-like escape. I wonder at what point Keres realized that he wasn't going to win?

Nov-05-07  Samagonka: I don't see anything spectacular about this game. Ain't it just another everyday match with that regular pawn-king-castle finale?
Nov-05-07  kellmano: Samaginka. The spectacular bit is what would be played out on the board at the end.
Nov-05-07  sallom89: awesome end game is all i can say.
Nov-05-07  D4n: Why is it a draw? Black has a clear win...Rh1 is a mate with or without a pawn promotion.
Nov-05-07  dalbertz: <D4n: Why is it a draw? Black has a clear win...Rh1 is a mate with or without a pawn promotion.>

It's white's move. He goes back to Kb1 and there's no mate on Rh1. Just a repetition.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <D4n>:
<Black threatens mate and White must forever move his King.<<>>> It's from the second comment on this page!
Nov-05-07  xrt999: At move 20, the position seems very bad for black: He has an isolated c pawn and doubled pawns on the f-file. Both players have even material and both have the light square bishop.

The game would seem to be favor white, but he draws. A good game to analyze.

My initial impression is that white played too slow and allowed black to develop: you can see the damage in allowing black to devleop after 25...Rd4. Instead, white should have began trading down rooks, beginning with 21.Ke2, and take advantage of blacks inferior pawn structure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Ordinarily,two passed pawns on the sixth or better win against a rook. Here,however, black manages to use checks and mate threats to achieve a "stalemate"- Sort of a twilight zone between a perpetual check and mating net. White must submit to a draw or get mated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <kevin86: Ordinarily,two [connected] passed pawns on the sixth or better win against a rook. *** >

Here is another example where the Rook can draw against two connected passed pawns on the 6th ... except that in the game linked below, the player with the Rook (Fridstein) failed to recognize the drawing resource available to him and resigned:

G Fridstein vs Lutikov, 1954

Nov-10-07  sanyas: If 53.b6 then 53...♔c3 54.♔d1 ♔d3 55.♔e1 ♔e3 56.push pawn ♖f8 57.push other pawn ♖h8 58.♔f1 ♔f3 59.♔g1 ♖g8+ 60.♔h2 ♖h8+ 61.♔g1 ♖g8+ 62.♔f1 ♖h8 63.♔e1 ♔e3 64.♔d1 ♔d3 65.♔c1 ♔c3 66.♔b1 ♖h1+ 67.♔a2 ♖h2+ 68.♔a3 ♖h1 69.♔a4 ♔c4 70.♔a5 ♔c5.
Jan-24-09  laskereshevsky: <May-13-06
An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Amazing save; looks more like a composed problem than an actual game.>

In fact the main idea was already showed in a study of Moravecz...

white move and draw

click for larger view

Feb-20-09  WhiteRook48: nice drawing method
Mar-25-09  WhiteRook48: 58 Kd1 Kd3 59 Ke1 Ke3 60 Kf1 Kf3 61 Kg1 wins
Sep-16-09  WhiteRook48: this is not a draw
Dec-01-09  Dr. Siggy: The final outcome of this superb battle reminds me what Dr. Tarrasch taught in his great classic "The Game of Chess", english transl., London 1935, pages 60-1:

"Two united passed pawns on the sixth rank win against a Rook unless the opposing King is in their neighbourhood [...]. If, however, the Kings are in opposition, then mating combinations and salvation are possible (No. 67).

click for larger view

"Black with the move, wins by a2 or b2. White, with the move, plays: <1. Rf1! b2.> In reply to a move by the King White wins by Kd3 and then Kc3. <2. Rg1+ Kh3.> If 2... Kh5, then White keeps on taking the opposition and threatening mate: 3. Kf5 Kh6 4. Kf6, etc. <3. Kf3 Kh4!> and draws. If 3... Kh2?, then White by 4. Rb1! a2 5. Rxb2+ wins both pawns."

Jun-13-10  nfazli: <WhiteRook48: 58 Kd1 Kd3 59 Ke1 Ke3 60 Kf1 Kf3 61 Kg1 wins> it is a draw if 61.Kg1..Rg6+
May-20-12  King Death: Like <An Englishman> said I can't believe that Keres didn't win this ending, he looks much better. Black's defense was very resourceful.
Apr-14-13  shubhamkuse: EXCITING DRAW!!!!

58.Kd1 then,
58...Kd3 1/2-1/2 keeps the threat alive and so king has to move around.

Also if,
58.Kb1 Rh1+!
(Not 58...Kb3??
and white wins from here)
59.Ka2 Rh2+
60.Ka1 (or Kb1) Rh1+ 1/2-1/2

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: This position from the above game....

click for larger view

...with Black to play is on the cover of 'The Chess Mind' by Gerald Abrahams and is analysed inside.

Also from the same book on the limits of ‘Vision in Chess’ (how far does a master see ahead.) is:

A study by C. S. Kipling White to play and mate in 50 moves.

click for larger view

Instructive, simple (once you spot the idea) and delightful.

Solution (if you are stuck)

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