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Tadeusz Wiesniak vs Ratmir Kholmov
Warsaw Legion op (1991), rd 1
Italian Game: Giuoco Pianissimo. Normal (C50)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-19-07  psmith: By the way, I really didn't get this one, though I had a kind of intuition that g4 was the right move, and when I looked at the game I "got" it pretty much right away. Very nice play by Kholmov.
Oct-19-07  TrueBlue: Unlike yesterday (and I still have no clue how white wins in yesterday's puzzle), today is easy. Saw this line:

50 .. g4 51. a5 Ra2 52. Rd7+ Ke3
53. Re7+ Kf2 54. Re8 g3 55. Rf8+ Kg1 56. Ke1 Re2+ 57. Kd1 Rf2 58. Rg8 g2 59. a6 Ra2 60. Ke1 Rxa6

Oct-19-07  triangulation: yes i think i've got this one. the idea is simple. the pawn on the sixth is stoppable only as long the white rook can give checks from behind. black must advance the other pawn to distract the rook where white then cannot defend on both fronts. the key move is ...g4 after which the game is simple.
Oct-19-07  znprdx: I was so certain about this that I went right to the game - which made no sense to me at all. 50...Kc3 forces 51.Rc7+ (Kc1 or Ke1 ...d2+ and queens...) Kb4 and the 'a' pawn falls.Oops 'there's the rub': not without dropping the 'g' pawn. How embarrassing: now that I see it - it seems so simple. Nevertheless I am terrified of anything which might convert to a 'Lucena' position, hence I felt the necessity to keep the 'g' pawn. Ra2 winning the 'a' pawn with impunity is fantastic. Now I recall why I never quite made it to an >A< rating....rook and pawn endings :) I agree it seems that 50.Rd7+ was White's only hope - probably time pressure or fatigue.
Oct-19-07  Marmot PFL: When black's passed e pawn reaches the 6th rank and white controls the e1 sq., white can draw by checking from behind or from the side where the black king is. So by g4 and g3 black diverts the white rook to where it no longer can check and wins by moving his king to c3. Not really hard if you know the position black needs to reach and work backward from there. The only thing that could stop this is a more advanced white pawn to distract black, but pawn a4 is not yet any threat.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Nice. I wasn't aware of this theme, the crippling of the checking rook using a honeytrap, as John LeCarre would put it.
Oct-19-07  newton296: the idea here is simple. draw the rook to a square where it doesnt have any useful checks . but finding g4 requires u see the move kg3? threatning mate and of rg1 to prevent mate threat then ra2! is a killer.

I admit that I didnt see the threats and missed the strenght of g4. crap ! guess I need to work on my endgame.

pretty engame by kholmov.

Oct-19-07  SuperPatzer77: <King mega: Why g4?!> Black doesn't want the White rook to check him on the d-file (d7). Black wants to lure the White rook into the losing position on g4 and sets up the mating net when the Black king moves to c3 so, the Black g-pawn is threatening to advance into the queening square - g1. Of course, the Black g-pawn is unstoppable .
Oct-19-07  zb2cr: I did not see the needed idea. Time to brush up on my Rook endgames.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This game was great-on many levels.

First,I liked the pixieish way that both queens were captured by pawns-but that was just a brief interlude.

The ending had four stars ****. Black's recurring goal was to threaten mate with king on c3 and pawn at d3. White is forced to check the king away. The crisis comes when black puts the white rook into position that checks are impossible. Then the kill is the advance of the pawn to where to rook cannot check when black delivers the mate threat. Thus,the king must run for cover and allow the black king to penetrate to c2 and usher the pawn home.

I saw a funny way for black to blunder the game away: 50...♖a2 51 ♖xg5 ♖xa5?? 52 ♖g4+ OUCH!

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black solves today's difficult Rook and Pawn endagame puzzle with the surprise 50...g4!, advancing a threatened and unprotected passed pawn.

See the exchange of posts above between <dzechil>, <starkidaway> and <psmith> for some analysis of alternatives to the game continuation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: A very instructive puzzle! :-)

It instructed me to no dismiss moves simply because they at once give up material and put my king in check.

Oct-19-07  AD2344: Hey you go to The University of Rhode Island?? Thats where I went as well????
Oct-19-07  ConstantImprovement: I. Solution:

The correct variation is 50. g4, with the idea to play the rook to a2 against a5-a6-a7-a8 as soon as possible, the king to g2 against the checks and then after g3 play Kg1 and g2, reaching the Lucena position.

A sample line:
50. ... a5 51. Ra2! Rd7+ 52. Ke3 Re7+ 53. Kf2 Rf7+ 54. Kg2 Rf5! (After 54. ... Ra7 Black will play 55. g3 a6 56. Kf1! Rf7+ 57. Rf2 a7 58. Rf7: a8Q 59. g2 and White will win. So Rf4 protects the a-pawn and prevents Kf1.) 55. g3 Ke1 (What else? White is in zugzwang. 55. ... Rf8 56. Ra5: with a faster Lucena) 56. d2+ Kd1 57. Kh2 Rh4+ 58. Kg1 Rg4 59. g2 Rg8 60. Ra5: Kd2: 61. Kf2 Rf8+ 62. Kg3 Rg8+ 63. Kf3 Rf8+ (Ke1 64. Re4+ Kd2 65. Rf5 with Kf2 and g1Q) 64. Kg4 Rg8+ 65. Rg5 and some little bird seems to whisper Lucena in our ear.

II. Analysis leading to the solution:

50. Ra2? Rg5: 51. Ke3 (51. Ra4 Rg4+) Rg3+ 52. Ke4 Rg4+ 53. Kf3 Rd4 and no more progress.

50. Kc3? Rc7+ (necessary, since Ke1 runs into 51. d2+ Kd1 52. Rh1+ Ke2 53. Re1+, winning.) 51. Kb4 Rd7! (Ra7 52. Ra2 and g4-g3 ... with a possible rook exchange on a7 and a pawn promotion by Black.) 52. d2 Rd2: 53. Rd2:+ Kd2: 54. g4 Ke3 and a draw

50. Ke3? Re7+ (see above) 51. Kf2 (Rd7? 52. g4 a5 53. g3 a6 54. g2. winning) Rf7+ 52. Kg2 a5 53. g4 a6 54. g3 a7 55. Rh8 Kd2 with a draw, because the king will be checked on the f-file, after he goes away from the g-pawn there comes Rg7 and on the h-file there comes Rh7+!, winning. The last idea 53. Kh1 is useless: 53. ... a6 54. g4 a7 55. g3 a8Q+ 56. g2 Rf1#.

50. d2? Rd7+? Here the analogous way does not work: 51. Ke3 Re7 52. Kf3, then returning with 52. ... Rd7, and 53. g4 Rd2: 55. Rd2:+ Kd2: 56. g3 and Black will win. Better is 50. ... a5, gaining the drawing tempo or 52. ... Rf7+ 53. Kg3 Rd7 54. g4 Rd2: 55. Rd2:+ Kd2: 56. Kf2 a5 57. g3 a6 and again the pawns queen simultaneously, where it makes no difference that this time Black's pawn will be first.

By elimination one move remains:
50. g4 This must be the solution. Let us confirm this:

I. 50. ... Rg4:+? 51. Kc3! (Ke3 Rg3+ =) Rg1 (The only move; Ke1 52. d2+ Kd1 53. Rh1+ Ke2 54. Re1+, see above) 52. Ra7 wins at least the rook

II. 50. ... a5 51. g3 a6 (Rg3: 52. Kc3 with the win like at I.) 52. g2 a7 53. g1Q+ Rg1: 54. Ra2 Rg7 with a draw. Where was the mistake? Let's see, perhaps: 51. Ra2! Rd7+ (Rg4:+ 52. Kc3 again) 52. Ke3 Re7+ (the only move again, see above) 53. Kf2 Rf7+ (else after Rd7 54. d2 and after the final capture Kd2: g3 winning as above) 54. Kg2 Rf4! (Rg7 or Rd7 55. g3, winning; after 54. ... Ra7 Black will play 55. g3 a6 56. Kf1! Rf7+ 57. Rf2 a7 58. Rf7: a8Q 59. g2 and White will win. So Rf4 protects the a-pawn and prevents Kf1.) 55. g3 Ke1 56. d2+ Kd1 57. Kh2 Rh4+ 58. Kg1 Rg4 59. g2 Rg8 60. Ra5: Kd2: 61. Kf2 Rf8+ 62. Kg3 Rg8+ 63. Kf3 Rf8+ (Ke1 64. Re4+ Kd2 65. Rf5 with Kf2 and g1Q) 64. Kg4 Rg8+ 65. Rg5

Oct-19-07  ConstantImprovement: Ingenious solution played in the game! Though the Lucena plan might work, too, this is great:

Evading the checks towards the a-pawn, and then making it clear that Rg3: will also lose, like after 50. ... Rg4:.

53. ... Rg3: 54. Kc3! Rg8 55. Ra2, and White will lose the rook.

Oct-19-07  SuperPatzer77: <ConstantImprovement: Ingenious solution played in the game! Though the Lucena plan might work, too, this is great: Evading the checks towards the a-pawn, and then making it clear that Rg3: will also lose, like after 50. ... Rg4:.

53. ... Rg3: 54. Kc3! Rg8 55. Ra2, and White will lose the rook.>

You said 53. Rxg3 Kc3! 54. Rg8?? Ra2? - it is incorrect. Correct is 54...Rh1+ forcing mate 55. Rg1 Rxg1#. Instead of 54. Rg8?? 54. Rg1 (only move) Ra2 55. Ke1 Ra1+ 56. Kf2 Rxg1 57. Kxg1 d2

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: As I stated yesterday, I loved these rook and pawn endgames this week.

Monday and Tuesday were examples of how to convert lost positions into forced stalemates.

Wednesday was a lesson in how to turn a pawn advantage (by sacrifice) into a quickly won endgame.

Thursday involved turning a game that was materially even into a victory by forcing a pawn sacrifice and the creation of a passed pawn, which then takes advantage of black’s overextended king to create a winning line of attack.

Today’s puzzle was multi-pronged. First black used an ingeniously offered pawn sacrifice, which if accepted, threatens mate, forces the loss of white’s rook and allows black’s d pawn to be promoted. If the sacrifice is not accepted, white then tries unsuccessfully to perpetually check black’s king. Finally, black is able to retreat behind his g pawn, force the exchange of the a and d pawns and use his pawn advantage to win the game.

Oct-19-07  TheaN: 5/5

I find it hard to analyze what is necessary to understand in such positions, I'm still giving the point here.


51.Rxg4+? Kc3 52.Rg1 (Ke1 d2+ 53.Ke1 Rh1+) Ra2 .
51.Rd7+ and Black, with some accuracy, wins either by taking the White a-pawn or by supporting his own g-pawn. Hard to analyze, but in the initial position, the tactical idea behind g5 seems to be the key. In the end, it does advance a passed pawn for free, creates tactical winning ideas and troubles White even more. The followup is next XD.

Oct-19-07  TheaN: Oh, and one thing I analyzed is that g3 is to be played for free (after, lets say, a5, or as in game), as it still allows Kc3 with a winning idea.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Also winning is <50... Ke3 51.Re7+ Kf4 52.Rf7+ Kg3 53.a5 Ra2 54.Ra7 g4 55. a6 Kf2 56.Rf7+ Kg2 57.a7 g3 58. Kc1 Kg1 59.Kb1 Ra4 60.Kb2 g2 61.Kc3 d2> etc
Oct-19-07  Crowaholic: <starkidaway: I'm sorry but your analysis is full of hole.>

No, it isn't. <dzechiel> covered every relevant line except what happens after 53. Rb7+ Kxa4: The white rook can continue to check from the 7th rank but the black king walks over to the g file and uses the pawn as a cover. This is an easy win, e.g. 54. Ra7+ Kb4 55. Rb7+ Kc3 56. Rc7+ Kd4 57. Rd7+ Ke3 58. Re7+ Kf3 59. Rf7+ Kg2 60. Kd2 Kg1+ 61. Kxd3 g3 62. Ke3 g2 63. Rg7 Kh1 and White cannot play 64. Kf2 as in this case, g1=Q is a double check which simply drops the rook. So 64. Rg3 g1=Q 65. Rxg1 Kxg1 for instance.

<starkidaway: Firstable [sic], in your analysis, after 52 Rc7+ Kb4 white doesn't have to go to 53. Rd7 but it could also go to 53.Rg7>

<dzechiel> did cover 53. Rg7 and mentioned the correct follow-up, which is also found in the game score.

I, for one, raise my hat to <dzechiel> for finding the complete solution.

Oct-19-07  Marmot PFL: <Also winning is <50... Ke3 51.Re7+ Kf4 52.Rf7+ Kg3 etc>

Don't see a win there after 52.Rd7

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Marmot PFL: <Don't see a win there after 52.Rd7>>

It's <52...g4> and if <53. Rxd3 g3 54. Rd4+ Ke3 55. Rd8 g2> or if <53. Rf7+ Ke3 54. Re7+ King marshes to ♙a4 and return than>

Oct-19-07  Marmot PFL: <whiteshark> Looks like another winning line than. maybe they need to take a star of the rating.
Oct-19-07  zahbaz: <AD2344: Hey you go to The University of Rhode Island?? Thats where I went as well????>

You know it. Class of 09. Well '09 and a half...I'm planning on triple majoring.

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