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Henryk Szapiel vs Paul Keres
Przepiorka Memorial (1950), Szczawno-Zdroj POL, rd 8, Jun-28
Indian Game: Anti-Nimzo-Indian (E10)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-27-13  vardeep: after black's 44.Ke3,Instead of 45.Rxa3, if white plays 45.Nc4+.. then it certainly looks like a drawn end game... can some one find a win for black with 45.Nc4+ Line?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Szapiel may well have thought Keres had blundered with 44....Ke3.
Jan-27-13  Abdel Irada: Ah, Sundays. If only they came on some other day of the week.

The problem: Saturday nights are my busiest, meaning that more often than not, I have to solve the Sunday puzzle the day after it's posted. This is no exception. And that's unfortunate, because by the time I post my solution, it's unlikely to be read.

For now, a brief glance at some plausible ideas and their probable consequences, to which I hope to return in time to offer an actual solution before everyone moves on.

(1) The most "natural" idea is to indulge our passed pawn's lust to expand with 44. ...a2, but my experience with endings like this suggests that to do so would be premature until the king can offer support.

(2) Our king position is uncomfortable. Without the knight in position to interpose on f6, we can even find ourselves in a mating net. This means that we must be somewhat cautious about knight moves to the queenside, which would otherwise seem logical in support of promoting the pawn.

(3) The most active course *appears* to be 44. ...Ke3. However, whether this works depends on the following critical line: 45. Rxa3, Rxa3 46. Nc4, Kxd4 47. Nxa3. This leaves Black with the more active king (in fact its counterpart is astoundingly passive), but since both sides are left with three pawns on the same wing, I would have to spend some time calculating whether there's a way to shepherd one of them to promotion before the enemy knight picks them off.

click for larger view

[The position after 47. Nxa3: Good enough for a win?]

A lick and a promise, but that's all I can manage for now.

Jan-27-13  morfishine: I tried to fit an insane move in here somewhere. All I got is this:

<44...Ne3> Suffice to say, this is not the 'insane' move

<45.g3+ Kf5 46.Nd3 a2 47.Nb4 Nf1+ 48.Kg2 Nxg3> 48...Nxg3 is my 'insane' move; If now 49.Kxg3, then 49...Rg1+ followed by 50...a1=Q wins

<49.Rxa2 Rxa2 50.Nxa2 Ne2 51.Kf2 Nxd4>

click for larger view

Not really convincing, but its a relief to be spared going thru numerous calculations for a change on a Sunday

PM: One of the first moves I looked at was 44...Ke3, since it looks the most natural. In doing so, I completely overlooked White's resource 45.Rax3, which in itself, is a sort of 'insane' move

Jan-27-13  czxcjx: @ Vardeep: 45. Nc4+ Kf2. Now either Rxa3 or Nxa3 (else a2 and with the knight poised to defend the pawn, the plan Rc1 a1=Q is unstoppable (at least not satisfactorily). If Rxa3 Rxa3 Nxa3 and it's exactly the same as the game continuation. Else Nxa3 gives the line: 46. Nxa3 Ne3. Black is now threatening to win the pinned knight. 47. Ra7(??), meeting Nc2 with Nb5. 47... Nf1+ 48. Kh1 Ng3+ 49. Kh2 Rh1#
Jan-27-13  vardeep: thanks <czxcjx>.... i got the solution...
Jan-27-13  Abdel Irada: <morfishine>: Actually, 44. ...Ne3 does lead to some insane complications:

<44. ...Ne3!?>

Play might continue

<45. Rf8?!, Nf5 >

Here White cannot after all win a piece with 46. g4, a2! and the rook must run back to a8 or the pawn will queen with check following a rook sac on h1.

What's bizarre is the play that ensues if Black tries to keep the knight:

<45. Rf8?!, Kg5?
46. f4, Kh4
47. g3, Kh5
48. g4 >

Here Black must give up the knight to avoid mate. Otherwise:

<48. ...Kh4??
49. Nf3# >

click for larger view

[The position after 49. Nf3#: The wrong kind of "insane"]

Jan-27-13  voyager39: Didn't see 44...Ke3!

My preference was 44...Nb4 leading to exchange of the white rook against the promoted a-pawn.

Jan-27-13  King Sacrificer: The insane move was <46...Kf2> indeed.
Jan-27-13  morfishine: <Abdel Irada> You sure made this fun!
Jan-27-13  goldenbear: Ok, that was hard. I didn't find anything.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: This look a dead in duck ender yet dig in e3 at get good e3 king card juice-ogle am d4 one incline c4 ko it double jingle nine bell pawn snub 44...Ke3 probing headed for fence in light king when 44...Ke3 45.Rxa3+ what a suprise lay in store seeking white in capture it mis-chief maker dip banded together am d4 is c4 jockey it rook swaps 45...Rxa3 46.nc4+ now ledge the culmination of black's plan king goes too f2 from inwhere white is loosing back g2 keyed together on racing a maneovre such as tender it taken in some foresight again manage now white dies a quick death inceed the point in success having rooks off it ko in us see eaking along black knight in either grab g2 or in g4 the case windmill around and er take glib in f3 or f4 either edict at fair dinctum it ok in give suffixed 48.f4 then king engage it he ring bindings 48...Nxg2 note white knight in a3 courting little, king play stuck in the corner deem elevation 49.f5 looks to seal estimates 49.exf5 black knight king plus 3 kingside in passer delineate am in camp rooks often find counter-play aim knight has the height to catch 5d 6d sonambulist in lust it a xray it is him in climbing black a 51...g5 mates first it cold in elevate!
Jan-27-13  JimNorCal: Keres makes it look straightforward, the moves are surprising yet logical and there is drama up to the end. What beauty!
Jan-27-13  Patriot: Material is even. Black has an advanced passer on the a-file and would like to promote it but the white rook is properly placed behind it. In positions like this, candidate ideas are more important than candidate moves. The problem is that white has to be careful to not get mated or outright drop the a-pawn.

For example, 44...Nc3 -- an idea I had to play 45...a2 and move the rook to promote the pawn. 45.g3+ Ke3 46.Nc4+ Kf2 47.Rxa3 but instead perhaps black should try 46...Kd3 47.Nxa3? Nb1 winning a piece. Black gets mated if 45...Kg5 46.Rf8 h5 47.f4+ Kh6 48.Rh8# or 46...a2 47.f4+ Kh5 48.g4+ Kh4 49.Ng6#.

I'll go with 44...Nc3. Also possible is 45.Nd3+ Ke3 46.Nb4 a2 47.Ra6 which looks like it could draw since 47...Rb1 48.Nxa2 Ra1 49.Nb4. I think black just needs to bring the king over to the queenside but I'm not completely clear on how to bring home the point.

Jan-27-13  Patriot: I really botched this one!
Jan-27-13  snakebyt: I selected 44 ...Ke3 45 Nc4 looking for the blk Rook on the 'a' file and Night to e2 to squeeze King into the corner.
Jan-27-13  scormus: I wouldn't have dreamed the play was for B to give up the a-pawn and exchange Rs. I'm in awe.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

The black king doesn't look very safe. For example, 44... a2 (with the intention of playing Ke3 without losing the passed pawn after Rxa3+ Rxa3 Nc4+) 45.Ra3 (cutting the king) 45... Nb4 46.g3+ Kf5 47.Ra7 and only White seems to make progress.

This suggests 44... Ke3, to threaten the pawn on d4 and support the passed pawn or provoke a liquidation of material which would turn the black king into attacker, instead of prey:

A) 45.Rxa3+ Rxa3 46.Nc4+ Kf2 (the pawn on d4 is lost anyway) 47.Nxa3 (the white knight wanders on the other side) 47... Ne3

A.1) 48.g4 Kxf3 followed by Nc2 or Ke4.

A.2) 48.Nb5 Nxg2 49.Nc7 Nf4 followed by Kxf3.

A.3) 48.f4 Nxg2 49.f5 exf5 50.d5 Nf4 51.d6 g5 52.Nc4 g4 53.hxg4 fxg4 and the white king looks very bad.

B) 45.Nc4+ Kf2

B.1) 46.Rxa3 transposes to A.

B.2) 46.Nxa3 Ne3

B.2.a) 47.Ra5(7) (to let the knight escape defending the rook) 47... Nf1+ 48.Kh1 Ng3+ 49.Kh2 Rh1#.

B.2.b) 47.h4 Rg1 and the white king seems to be in another mate net.

B.3) 46.Nd2 Ne3 47.Ne4+ Kf1 48.Nd2+ Ke1 49.Ne4 Ra2 looks bad for White.

C) 45.Kg3 a2 followed by Nb4 or Nc3 and Rd1 (say) looks winning.

Jan-27-13  James D Flynn: Material is equal but Black has a passed pawn on the Q-side far from the Ks. The black K is advanced and poses a threat to the white K. The white K is apparently protected by its pawn cover but with opposing K,N,and R buzzing around it that cover could become a tomb eg if the black N can be placed on g3 and protected Rh1 mates. 44..Ne3(threat 45.Nf1+ 45 Kg1 Ng3+ 46.Kf2 Rf1# or 46.Kh2 Rh1#) 45.Ng6+(if Rf8+ Nf5(Kg5 )46.(g4 Ra2+ 47.Kg1 Kg3 38.Kf1 Rf2+ 39.Ke1 a2 40.Ra8 Ne3 and the White K cannot move from e1 so there is no answer to the threat of 41a1+ 42.Rxa1 Nc2+ 43. Kd1 Nxa1 and the R advantage gives Black an easy win) Kg5 47.Ne7 h5. I took out about 3 hours today for the australian open final so this is all I have time for.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I like the way black discarded the intuitive but problematic 43...a2 (which allows 44 Ra3, preventing black from penetrating the third rank) in favor of the simplifying 43...Kf4.

After 47...Ne3 here is the position.

click for larger view

In defending, white is always one tempo short. For example, if his knight were on b5 he could play Nc7, but if he does that here with 48 Nb5, black responds with 48...Nxg2. If 49 Nc7 then 49...Nf4 protects the crucial e pawn.

click for larger view

Jan-27-13  vinidivici: <I took out about 3 hours today for the australian open final so this is all I have time for.>

I bet now Murray is in agony. But at least Djoker dominated the match surely.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: That Keres fellow was a pretty good chess player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Sunday solution, Kere's 44. Ke3!! gives up a Queenside passed pawn and exchanges Rooks for a winning Knight and pawn ending.

In the process, Kere's allows a Knight Fork which puts the sole surviving White piece (i.e. the Knight) out of play, while giving Black's King and Knight just enough tempo to invade the Kingside, snatch a pawn and simplify to a won ending.

The timing's so close Black must allow White to promote to a Queen before checking and mating the White King.

Here's some analysis with Fritz 12:

<43. f3 Kf4>

(43... a2 44. Ra8 Ne3 45. Rf8+ Kg5
46. f4+ Kh5 47. g4+ Kh4 48. Ng6#)

<44. Ra8 Ke3!!> Today's Sunday's solution.

<45. Rxa3+ Rxa3 46. Nc4+ Kf2
47. Nxa3 Ne3 48. f4>

(48. g4 Nf1+ 49. Kh1 Ng3+ 50. Kh2 Ne2 51. Nc2 g5 52. h4 Kxf3 53. hxg5 hxg5 54. Kh3 Nf4+ 55. Kh2 Kxg4 56. Ne1 Ne2 57. Nc2 Kf3 58. Ne1+ Kf2)

<48... Nxg2 49. f5 exf5 50. d5 Nf4 51. d6 g5 52. Nc2 g4 53. hxg4 fxg4 54. Ne1>

(54. d7 g3+ 55. Kh1 g2+ 56. Kh2 g1=Q#)

<54... g3+ 55. Kh1 Kxe1> 0-1

White resigned in lieu of 56. d7 (56.Kg1 Ke2! 57. d7 57...Kf3 58. d8=Q Ne2+ 59. Kf1 g2+ 60. Ke1 g1=Q+ 61. Kd2 Qc1+ 62. Kd3Qc3#) 56... Kf1! 57. d8=Q g2+ 58. Kh2 g1=Q#

Jan-27-13  LIFE Master AJ: My first try was 44...Ke3, although I did not calculate it all the way to the end ... which you might need to do, seeing as Black promotes first.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Most of the tailenders in this tournament rolled over and played dead for Keres. Szapiel, one of the exceptions, seems to have been a pretty talented player (at least he puts up a very good fight in this game). The whole idea with 44....Ke3!! is incredibly resourceful.
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