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Yuri Averbakh vs Gideon Stahlberg
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 12, Sep-19
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Chistyakov Defense (C07)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-11-05  DAL9000: Man, working out why White resigned here was almost like an endgame problem.

See, the basic problem for Black is that if White plays Kg6 with a view to marching over to and capturing the Knight-- which would seem at first glance to draw-- Black /can't stop White from doing so/. What he has to do, then, is sieze the opposition and force White's King into a bad position. Paradoxically, however, this cannot be done by bringing the King closer to the scene of action: 87. ♔g6 ♔d7 88. ♔f5 ♔d6 89. ♔f4 ♔e6?? is terrible, as after 90. ♔xf3 ♔e5 91. ♔e3, White has the opposition and the game is a dead draw.

So, how does Black solve the dilemma? Behold!
87. ♔g6 ♔c7!! 88. ♔f5 ♔c6 89. ♔e4 ♔c5 90. ♔xf3 ♔d4 when Black will win the g-pawn and promote.

OK, maybe the two exclams for ♔c7 were a /touch/ excessive, but you gotta admit it's a completely counterintuitive response to ♔g6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Cyphelium: <DAL9000> In your line with 87.- ♔d7, 89. ♔f4 is an illegal move. This means that white has to play 89. ♔e4 instead, but then 89.- ♘h4 wins comfortably.

87.- ♔c7 doesn't throw away the win, nor does 88. ♔f5 ♔c6?!, though it makes thing a bit more complicated (better is 88. -♔d6, transposing to the line above). The further 89. ♔e4 ♔c5?? actually does throw away the win though (black had to play 89.- ♘h4 90. ♔e5 ♔c5 which still wins). The point is that after 90. ♔xf3 ♔d4, black will indeed win the g-pawn - but white will get the opposition after 91. ♔g2!. For example 91.- ♔e4 92. ♔g3 ♔e3 93. ♔g2 ♔f4 94. ♔f2 ♔xg4 95. ♔g2 and it's a book draw. (95. -♔f4 96. ♔f2 g4 97. ♔g2 g3 98. ♔g1 ♔f3 99. ♔f1 g2+ 100. ♔g1 and stalemate or loss of the pawn.)

Oct-11-05  DAL9000: Thanks for the correction. You're dead right, of course; I have no idea what I thought White would do /instead/ of Kg2 after Black picked up the g-pawn. Now let us never speak of this again. =/

Also, I think we've just set a record for little King symbols in the space of just two comments.

Nov-18-05  Runemaster: A long win by Stahlberg against one of the endgame greats. This was a tournament in which S. finished last, but he kept grinding until he got the win in this game.

Stahlberg had a good record against Averbakh according to the database - perhaps they were similar types of players and A. had better results against more attacking players he could wear down in the endgame.

Mar-14-17  storminnorman2010: This was Stahlberg's second win of the tournament. He would not win another one until Round 27, ironically also against Averbakh.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <storminnorman2010: This was Stahlberg's second win of the tournament. He would not win another one until Round 27, ironically also against Averbakh.>

I can't believe how ironic that is.

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