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Yuri Averbakh vs Paul Keres
USSR Championship (1950), Moscow URS, rd 17, Dec-11
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Symmetrical Variation (C49)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Nice example of R+N vs R+B ending with isolated Pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DrGridlock: Game as posted contains an incorrect move.

45 ... a6 should be
45 ... a5

Keres' book contains a long annotation on the trap set by White with move

45 g6

And how Black's reply 45 ... a5 avoids the trap.

Jun-04-15  zydeco: <DrGridlock> I assume the trap is 45....Nxd4 46.Kf4 and if 46....Nxb3 47.Bh6. 45....a5 puts white into a kind of zugzwang. The bishop can't both protect d4 and threaten Bh6 if it moves to square other than e3; and white's king loses contact with the f4 square after 46.Kh4.

Maybe 47.Kg5 keeps white in the game a little longer.

Keres had so many devastating last round losses in important tournaments throughout his career; it's nice to see him come through in pressure. Often, in these situations, he'd play for an attack. Here he plays very patiently, gets an endgame with an advantage, and brings home the point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi zydeco,

click for larger view

The trap mentioned is Black taking on d4 and White takes back

45...Nxd4 Bxd4 46. Kxd4.

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Going into what looks like a lost endgame.

The Keres analysis is pretty instructive.

47. Kf4 b5 48. axb5 cxb5 49. b4 Kc4 50. Kxf5 Kxb4 51. Ke6 a5 52. Kf7 a4 53. Kxg7 a3

and here with White to play.

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No matter where he moves his King, keeping away from f6 or h8 when Black promotes with a check or pins the g-pawn and wins easily. Black can force after the joint promotion an exchange of Queens and the b-pawn wins.

but no, Keres continues....

54. Kf7 a2 55. g7 a1=Q 56.g8=Q Qa2+ 57. Kf8 Qxg8+ 58. Kxg8 Kc4 59. f4 Kd5

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60. Kf7! b4 61. f5 b3 62. f6 b2 63. Kg7 b1=Q 64. f7

click for larger view

That is a draw.

Keres adds he as Black was unable to calculate all of this accurately but correctly judged the position was better for Black after 45...a5.

click for larger view

Now the d-pawn is under threat 45...a5 gains a tempo.

Keres does indeed take the d-pawn on the next move but calls it a mistake! Saying 46...b5 was much better as now, as in the game White has counter play.

Jun-11-15  zydeco: <Sally Simpson> Pretty deep trap! Thanks!
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