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Paul Keres vs Erich Eliskases
"Draw Bridge" (game of the day Nov-05-07)
Noordwijk (1938)  ·  French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Chistyakov Defense (C07)  ·  1/2-1/2
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: If 43...Rg2, then 44.Rc7 d3 45.cxd3 Kd4 46.a6 Ra2 47.a7 Kxd3 48.b4 Ke3 49.Re7+ Kf4 50.b5 and White should win.

44.a6 Rg1+ 45.Kf2 Rg2+ 46.Kf1 Rxc2 47.Rf7+ Ke3 48.Re7+ Kf4 49.a7 Ra2 50.b4 d3 51.Rf7+ Ke3 52.Re7+ should draw.

44...Rg6 45.b4 Kg3 46.Ke1 Kg2 47.Rf7 Re6+ 48.Kd2 f2 49.Rg7+ should draw.

45...Kg3 46.Rg7+ Kf2 47.Rxg1 Kxg1 48.a6 f2 49.a7 f1=Q 50.a8=Q should draw.

46...Ra1 47.a7 f2 48.Rxf2 Rxa7 49.Re2+ Kd5 50.Rh2 Rg7 51.Rh5 Ke4 52.b4 Rg2+ 53.Kc1 Rg1+ 54.Kb2 Rg7 should draw.

47...Rg1+ 48.Kb2 Ke3 49.a7 Rg8 50.Re7+ Kf4 51.Rg7 Ra8 should also draw.

If 48...Kxd3, then 49.a7 Ra2 50.Rxf3 Ke4 51.Rf7 Kd5 52.Kb1 Ra6 53.b4 Kc4 54.Rb7 should win for White.

49.a7 Ra2 50.Re7+ Kxd3 51.Kb1 Ra5 52.Rf7 f2 53.Rxf2 Rxa7 should draw.

51...Ra1+ 52.Kb2 Ra5 53.Kc3 Rxb5 54.Re7+ Kf3 should also draw. Not 51...f1=Q+ 52.Rxf1 Ra1+ 53.Kb2 Rxf1 54.a7 Rf8 55.b6 and White wins.

If 52.Kb1, then 52...Ra5 53.Rxf2 Rxb5+ 54.Rb2 Ra5 55.Ra2 Rb5+ 56.Kc2 Rb8 57.a7 Ra8 should draw.

If 53...Kc3, then 54.Kd1 Kd3 55.Ke1 Ra2 56.b6 Ke3 57.Kd1 Kd3 58.Kc1 Kc3 59.Kb1 Rb2+ 60.Ka1 wins for White.

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?
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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

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