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Juri Randviir vs Paul Keres
Parnu (1947), rd 5, Jul-19
Scotch Game: Classical Variation (C45)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-25-12  notyetagm: Game Collection: OVERLOADED: TTTCIE: THE THREAT TO CAPTURE IS ENO
Mar-05-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: This is Game #3 in the recently published book, <The Greatest Ever Chess Endgames>, by Giddins, Steve, Everyman Chess ©2012, at pp. 21-23.

IM Giddins comments with respect to Keres’s <61. … Ke6> as follows: “As Keres points out, this is again simpler than <61. … g4+ 62. Kg3 Kg5 63. h6> although Black is still winning after <63. … Kxh6 64. Kxg4 Kg6 65. Kf4 f5>.” (Ibid, at p. 23)

The position just before Keres actually played <61. … Ke6> was:


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The position at the end of the hypothetical alternative (but technically inferior -- because more complicated) winning line quoted above (through <65. … f5>) is (with White to move):


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Perhaps it is too basic to require comment, but it seems to me instructive to discuss Black’s winning plan from the second diagram above.

Black cannot promote his f-pawn, so he must sacrifice it and rely on running his King to the Q-side to capture the a4-pawn. (This much is very obvious.) The point that is not immediately obvious is that <Black must sacrifice his f-pawn where it currently stands (on f5)>; if Black pushes that pawn to f4, he will throw away the win. (The reason for this will be explained below.)

The other essential detail of Black’s winning technique from the analysis position (after the hypothetical <65. … f5>) is that <the Black King must begin its run to the Q-side from the e-file (most likely from the e6-square) when the White King needs (at least) two moves to capture the f-pawn>. (Unless White’s technique is very poor, of course, he will <not> put his King on a square that would require <more> than two moves to capture the Black f-pawn, but he can be forced to move two squares away.) This means that the Black King will reach the c-file (for example, the c4 square after the two moves ... Ke6-d5 and ... Kd5-c4) by the time White captures the Black f-pawn, giving the Black King a lead of <three> files in the race to the Q-side.

The reason Black must (1) leave his f-pawn to be sacrificed on f5; and (2) get a <three>-file lead in the King race to the Q-side is that the blocked pawn pair on the Q-side are on the a-file, specifically on a4 and a5. Even after Black captures the pawn on a4, because his resulting passer is on the a-file, White can draw if his King can reach c1 or c2. For example, in this position (assume Black is to move):


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... if Black keeps the White King out of the corner by moving his own King to a2, White plays Kc1-c2, and the only way for Black to get his King off the a-file and out of the way of his passer is later to allow the White King to reach a1, securing the draw.

So the critical point is that after Black plays … Kxa4, the White King (trailing by <three> files will be able to move to the d-file. To keep White from reaching the type of drawn position discussed above, Black must be able (on the next move <after> the move pair of, first, … Kxa4 and then White King to the d-file) to take the opposition. He can do this with … Ka4-b3 <if> the White King is on d3, but <not> if the White King is on d2. Starting from <f5>, the White King can reach d3 in two moves, but cannot reach d2. On the other hand, if the White King starts from f4, f3, f2 or f1, he can reach d2 in two moves. Thus, the Black f-pawn must be sacrificed on f5 (not any further along the file towards its potential promotion square). It is also obvious that if the White King trails in the race to the Q-side by only <two> files, after Black takes the pawn on a4, the White King will reach the c-file and obtain a drawing position similar to the one in the last diagram. Q.E.D.

Aug-20-12  master of defence: What´s wrong with 51.Kb5?
Aug-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  denopac: <What´s wrong with 51.Kb5?>

51. Kb5 h5 and the white king is out of the square of the black g pawn.

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