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Vera Menchik vs Fred Dewhirst Yates
"Steady As She Goes" (game of the day Sep-02-2019)
Hastings (1929/30), Hastings ENG, rd 5, Dec-31
Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern Variation. Normal Line (D55)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-02-19  OldGeez76: Not a very exciting game. It looks like Black can draw by perpetual check?
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I don't feel that this game has a clear theme.

After 37...Kxd8, Black had what looks to me like equality. If he leaves his ♔ planted on d6, all he has to do to draw is blockade the K-side ♙s.

For example, after 42. g4 he plays 42...f6. Now g5 is answered with ...f4 and h4 with ...h6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I don't understand why Menchik didn't play 23.Rxa7 or 26.Qc6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sargon: I’m no expert, but offhand, after 36. Rc8 Rd8, 37. Rxd8 Kxd8 38. Kd3, White seems to have <just enough initiative> to win the endgame with proper play—and Vera steadily eked out the win by doing precisely that...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sargon: <al wazir: [...] After 37...Kxd8, Black had what looks to me like equality. If he leaves his ♔ planted on d6, all he has to do to draw is blockade the K-side ♙s.>

...or perhaps an error by Black <was> necessary—and failing to follow what <al wazir> outlined was just what Menchik needed to grind out the win for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sargon: Another key factor - again related to <initiative> - was the fact that when Black got its Queen (first) there was no check, but on the next move White Queened <with check>, again seizing initiative.
Sep-02-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: To <agb2002>'s question, perhaps White was playing scared. She also seems to have been open to a draw by repetition at various points in the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: another member of the Vera menchik Club! Endgame 101--don't swap the last pair of rooks if you're the one left with the ugly iso pawn...
Sep-02-19  RandomVisitor: After 37...Kxd8 Stockfish cannot make any progress for white

click for larger view


<68/29 34:53 0.00 38.Kd3 Kc7 39.g4> Kd6 40.Kd4 a5 41.bxa5 bxa5 42.f3 a4 43.f4 h6 44.Kc3 Kc5 45.Kd3 Kc6 46.Kd2 Kc5 47.Kc3 f6 48.Kd3 Kc6 49.Kc2 Kc5

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <RandomVisitor: After 37...Kxd8 Stockfish cannot make any progress for white>

that presupposes that black knows the exact delaying pawn moves required to avoid being forced to move away from d6 at an inopportune moment. Most players don't have the talent to do this; it's better to just keep pieces on the board if you have an isolated center pawn.

Sep-02-19  RandomVisitor: <HeMateMe><it's better to just keep pieces on the board if you have an isolated center pawn.>That is good advice.
Sep-02-19  RandomVisitor: A final look after 37...Kxd8

click for larger view


<83/35 6:35:13 0.00 38.Kd3 Kc7 39.g4> Kd6 40.a4 a5 41.b5 Kc5 42.Kc3 f6 43.f3 Kd6 44.Kd4 Ke6 45.f4 g5 46.Kd3 Kd6 47.Kc3 Kd7 48.f5 Kc7 49.Kb2 Kd6 50.Kc2 Ke7 51.Kd3 Kd7 52.Kd2 Kd6 53.Kc2

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <Cheapo by the Dozen: To <agb2002>'s question, perhaps White was playing scared.>

Their score was 2-2 at the time of playing this game, according to CG.

<She also seems to have been open to a draw by repetition at various points in the game.>

Probably she didn't feel well.

Sep-02-19  goodevans: Well I'd have played 48.Kc4 and SF agrees.

click for larger view

If you ask SF what white should play at move 48 it recommends <48.Kc6> as in the game but if you ask it what it thinks of <48.Kc4> it agrees it's better.

It seems pretty clear to me that after 48.Kc4 white's K-side pawn majority will promote first, e.g. <48.Kc4 Ka3 49.e4 f6 50.h4 Kb2 51.e5>, etc.. That's got to be simpler than allowing two Qs on the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: I'm with agb2002: In playing through this, why not the move every patzer would play, 22 Rxa7?

I'm glad to see the computer agrees:

1) +1.62 (26 ply) 23.Rxa7 Bc6 24.Bxc6 Qxc6 25.Qc1 Qf6 26.Rd1 Ree8 27.g3 g6 28.Rd4 Re4 29.Qd1 Rxd4 30.Qxd4 Qxd4 31.exd4 Rc8 32.Ra6 Rc3 33.b5

2) +1.14 (25 ply) 23.Qd4 Re4 24.Qd3 d4 25.Rxa7 h6 26.h3 Qc8 27.Qc4 Qxc4 28.Bxc4 dxe3 29.Bxf7+ Kh8 30.f3 Re5 31.Re1 Bd5 32.f4 Re4 33.Bg6 Rxf4 34.Rxe3 Rf6 35.Bd3 Rf7 36.Rxf7 Bxf7 37.a4 Rd4 38.a5 Rxb4 39.a6 Ra4 40.Kf2 Ra2+ 41.Re2 Ra3

And on 26:

1) +1.64 (28 ply) 26.Qc6 Rf8 27.Rxa7 Re6 28.Qd7 Qe5 29.Rd1 Rd6 30.Qg4 Qb2 31.Qd4 Qc2 32.Qd3 Qxd3 33.Rxd3 g5 34.Rc7 Kg7 35.Kf1 Rfd8 36.Ke2 R8d7 37.Rxd7 Rxd7 38.a4 Kf6 39.h4 gxh4 40.Rd4 Ra7 41.b5 h3 42.gxh3

2) +1.34 (27 ply) 26.Rd1 Ree8 27.Qc6 Red8 28.h3 h6 29.Qb7 Qe6 30.b5 a6 31.bxa6 Rdb8 32.Qxd5 Qxd5 33.Rxd5 Rxa6 34.Rdd7 Rf8 35.Rb7 Rxa3 36.Rxb6 h5 37.Rbb7 g6 38.Kh2 h4 39.g4 Ra2 40.Kg2 Kg7 41.Kf3 g5 42.Rd5

Does white have a winning advantage at 36? Computer says no but there is a small advantage:

1) +0.54 (23 ply) 36...Rd8 37.Rc1 Rd6 38.b5 Kd7 39.Rd1 Ke6 40.h3 Rd7 41.Rc1 d4 42.e4 d3+ 43.Ke3 d2 44.Rd1 Rc7 45.Rxd2 Rc5 46.a4 Rc3+ 47.Rd3 Rc2 48.g3 Ra2 49.Rd4 Ra3+ 50.Kf4 Ra2 51.Kf3 Ra3+ 52.Kg4 g6 53.f3

Randomvisitor has the analysis for the next move.

However I find you have to run Stockfish a very long time to get accurate readings on endgames. But it thinks a bad error occurs with 42 Kc6:

1) +1.64 (27 ply) 43.Ke5 a5 44.b5+ Kc5 45.f5 h6 46.h4 Kb4 47.Kxd5 Kxa4 48.Kc6 Kb3 49.Kxb6 a4 50.Kc6 a3 51.b6 a2 52.b7 a1=Q 53.b8=Q+ Kc2 54.Qf4 Qf6+ 55.Kd7 Qxh4 56.Qc4+ Kd2 57.Qd4+ Ke2 58.Qxg7 h5 59.g5 Kxe3 60.Qxf7 Qxg5 61.Qe6+ Kf2 62.f6 h4 63.f7 Qf4 64.Qe7 Qf5+ 65.Kd8 Qd3+ 66.Ke8

Holding the game was h6:

1) =0.00 (27 ply) 42...h6 43.e4 dxe4 44.Kxe4 Ke6 45.Kd4 Kd6 46.h4 g6 47.Kc4 Ke6 48.g5 hxg5 49.fxg5 Kd6 50.a5 bxa5 51.bxa5 Kc6 52.Kd4 Kd6 53.Ke4 Ke6 54.Kd4 Kd6

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