|Sep-02-11|| ||Phony Benoni: Just another + vs. ending. Happens every day.|
|Sep-03-11|| ||FSR: This is Enequist's only game in the database. One wonders if he ever played a long game or a non-trivial ending. As for this J Fish fish, he has an 0-3 score in the database. In his other two games, he got cracked off by Blackburne six decades earlier.|
|Sep-03-11|| ||Phony Benoni: <FSR> I found this game while scrounging through Hermann Helms' column in the <Brooklyn Daily Eagle>, looking for games from the US Open and its predecessors.|
Normally I wouldn't have bothered with the game, but the ending is so rare that I figured it was worth documenting. However, I should have checked into the names a bit more carefully, since Helms and his typesetters were far from infallible. Di Felice gives the names as <L N Enequist> and <Morris Fish>, though he is also known to make mistakes.
Enequist wasn't a bad player, tying for third place with Santasiere and Tholfsen behind Reinfeld and Hanauer. And he seems to do a decent job with the ending.
|Sep-03-11|| ||Phony Benoni: Pretty certain now it's <Lars N Enequist>. Fish is a harder nut to crack.|
|Sep-03-11|| ||I Like Fish: of course ...|
|Sep-03-11|| ||FSR: <Phony Benoni: ... Enequist ... seems to do a decent job with the ending.>|
Indeed. Two knights versus pawn is an ending that has vexed grandmasters. Super-GM Andre Lilienthal supposedly had the superior side of the ending thrice, but could only draw each time. Anatoli Karpov, another chap you may have heard of, misdefended the ending and lost in Topalov vs Karpov, 2000.
Troitzky published his famous analysis of this ending in 1937, at which time he knew of only six master games with 2 Ns v. P. The first time the player with the knights had prevailed was in 1931 - just three years before this game - when Seitz beat Znosko-Borovsky. This game may well have been the second. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_kn...; Game Collection: Two Knights versus Pawn.
|Sep-05-11|| ||Phony Benoni: <FSR> It's a minor point, but I doubt Troitzky knew about this game when he did his analysis. His work was originally published in Russian in 1934 under the title <Sbornik shakhmatnykh ėtiudov : s prilozheniem kratkoi teorii ėndshpilia "Dva konia protiv peshek">. It was the English translation that came out in 1937.|
The game came from a tournament played in late 1934-early 1935; the <Brooklyn Daily Eagle> report is dated January 10, 1935.
|Sep-06-11|| ||FSR: <Phony Benoni> You're quite right. Thanks for the correction.|
Incidentally, it's funny (or maybe sad) when you think about a book like Chernev's 1000 Best Short Games of Chess. I'm sure Chernev spent thousands of hours poring over chess magazines from all over the world to find the games in his book. Nowadays you'd just start with a big database, click a few times, and voila! You'd have a set of candidate games to look through. It's a very different world.
|Sep-08-11|| ||David2009: Here's the position just after White has played 83.Nde2:
click for larger view
E Enequist vs J Fish 1934, 83...?
Black has a simple draw by moving towartds the h1 corner: the Pawn stymies all attempts to checkmate and progress is impossible.
83...Ke1? gives White winning chances. After Kd1 85.Nd4 Kc1 86.Kd3 Kb2 87.Kc4 Ka3 88.Kb5 Kb2 89.Kb4
click for larger view
when 89...Ka2! is the only move to draw: 89..Kc1 loses as in the game, whilst the natural 89....Ka3 loses to 90.Kb5 transposing into the variation continuing ...Kc1 after a few moves. 89.Ka2 holds the draw because (in this position) the N+K cannot gain a tempo. More generally, in some winning positions the N+K successfully gain a tempo by half-releasing the defending King to move towards another corner: but here this does not work because both the h1 and a8 corners are safe (the defending King can't be mated in them).
From the second diagram the game ended efficiently: 89...Kc1?
90.Kc3 Kd1 91.Nc2 Kc1 92.Ne3 Kb1 93.Nc4 Kc1 94.Nb2 Kb1 95.Nd3 Ka2 96.Kb4 Kb1 97.Kb3 Ka1 98.Ne4 g3 99.Nc3 g2 100.Ne1 g1=Q 101.Nc2#.