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Member since Aug-11-06 · Last seen Apr-20-18
Note: this absurdly over-written (in both the literary and programming sense) chunk of text has seemingly won a Caissar for Best Profile. I shall try not to burst into tears and throw my shoes at Meryl Streep.

My favourite player is Tony Miles. He is greatly missed. My 1976 simul game with him (I was black) began 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nd2 b6 ... unfortunately, I've lost the score: but it was a draw after White's Queen was exchanged for 3 pieces.

Some other favourites? OK. Viktor Korchnoi, for all the obvious reasons. Tal, Botvinnik, Petrosian and Smyslov. From the later days of the Soviet school: Romanishin, Vaganian, Lputian, Psakhis and Ehlvest. From the British new wave: Short, Speelman, Williams. From the Russian-Irish wave: Baburin.

From the Irish wave ... those who have written about the French Defence (Heidenfeld, Moles, Harding, Collins, O'Connor, Coffey), and those who played it (J.J. Walsh, J. Ryan, P. Short, S. Jessel, R. Beatty, et al).

A distinct aroma of burning prevails*. Fire and brimstone, probably, or one of the charred and singed chess sets in my possession.

Chessgames Present Hunt Clues Page

A Czech haiku, by Jan 'Honza' Cervenka:

Chceš-li remízu,
musíš hráti na výhru,
cíle tak dojdeš.

* "Why, this is Hell, nor am I out of it."
- Christopher Marlowe

"Down these mean streets ..."
- Phillip Marlowe

"This, too, was one of the dark places ..."
- Marlow (Joseph Conrad)

I am deeply suspicious of 'social media'. I don't want my computer to think it knows my 'preferences', and I don't want my personal details passed from hand to invisible hand, or soul to poison soul. But I'm sufficiently open-minded -- or innocent -- to trust in the integrity of, and the good people who run it.

Note: some folk may be more familiar with the kind of bio/profile that goes "Muh name is Peregrine Ng and ah play Bullet at and ah come to CG for thuh crab sandwiches..." ... sort of thing.

This isn't one of those. In fact, it was never really *written* at all ... more like 'left behind' after repeated moves. The fragments that remain intact have withstood years of deletions. Quite like me, really.

"A medium amputates the organ it extends".
- Marshall McLuhan

"I go without saying".
- Me, or somebody like me.

<The Game and Playe of Cheffe ...>

"Chess is a sea in which a shark can persuade a seagull to eat its skin parasites..."

"Chess is the art of cartesian coordinates with obsessive compulsive disorder..."

"Chess is the science of naughty molecules."

"Chess is sport for the disembodied."

"It is what it is."

"Except when it isn't."

<'His calmness, his authority in all circumstances! In a chess game he would win everything, merely by his nerves.' 'But he was not playing chess,' Smiley objected drily.>

(John Le Carré)

I'll say it again, though I can't recall saying it before: < Empathy is essential to any kind of intelligence worth having.> Although I seem to have some kind of attention surplus disorder.

On planet Earth (where most chess games so far are believed to have been played - Science Officer Chamitoff vs NASA Ground Control, 2008 and Soyuz 9 Cosmonauts vs Ground Control, 1970 are among the exceptions):

1. Brian Eno:

"Another green world."

2. William Burroughs:

"I don't want love - I don't want forgiveness - all I want is *outta here* --"

<A Phormer Phrontistery ... Frogspawn ... 20,000 Lashes ... A Phrontistery ... Phrogspawn ... Philoxenia ... Antarctica Starts Here ... Epigamic Ephebes ... Waxwing's Wah-wah Rabbits ... Opposition & Sister Squares ... Cosy Moments will not be Muzzled ...>

A dictionary helps. As does Modern Chess Openings or Fundamental Chess Openings (by Van der Sterren -- good on transpositions). Encyclopedias, whether wiki, text-based or fictional, have their place. But for a good knight's sleep try a bed, futon, hammock or some of my writing. Avoid Gerry McCarthy

"Brutality is out of date."
- Aron Nimzowitsch

"Keep violence in the mind where it belongs."
- B.W. Aldiss

"Combinations and chemistry are your only men."
- Er, <me>?

<"I used to be somebody else, but I traded him in."> M. Antonioni

"Chess is a marvelous piece of Cartesianism, and so imaginative that it doesn't even look Cartesian." - Marcel Duchamp

[reconstruction always in progress, please excuse noise, no refunds, no discounts, no hawkers, no spitting]

So what am I doing here? Simple: I like to play *with* chess...

<Writing, unlike chess, is a victimless crime.>

"J'ai une maladie: je vois le langage."
- Roland Barthes

<More First Person Gibberish>:

Fischer-Dylan Syndrome: <"You can always come back, but you can't come back all the way">.

Favorite Opening: The French, naturellement. After 30-odd years, I think I'm starting to understand its benthic deeps. Well, I had it for a moment ... seems to be gone again.

Basta. Enough chess, it makes my head spin. Anyone who has lingered in my forum (Frogspawn, Philoxenia, 20,000 Lashes, Antarctica Starts Here, usw) knows that much of the conversation isn't about chess at all, or even lingerie. I'm interested in *stuff* -- arts and sciences, shoos and sheeps and ceiling wicks, kibitzers and King Kong vs Gojiro in Dronning Maud Land. I like to make connections. I like people who make connections.

Bad puns, bad languages, bad breathing, bad breeding, psychological insights, literary allusions, surrealist manifestos, or the sound of one hand stentorating. I'm not going to name any of the people who make CG so much fun. You know who you are, O my droogs and Zapkinder.

One last chess snippet. I have never, in my entire life, played either side of a Spanish/Ruy Lopez in a serious game. I'm a Spanish Virgin. There, you knew I was a pervert, didn't you?

<- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

<From <Gravity's Rainbow> by Thomas Pynchon:

"Queen, Bishop and King are only splendid cripples, and pawns, even those that reach the final row, are condemned to creep in two dimensions, and no Tower will ever rise or descend -- no: flight has been given only to the Springer!">

- - - - - - - - - - - - - ->

Whatever you find in books, leave it there.
- John Cale

Know anything about chess? It can be a virtual life work, and what is it to absorb all a man's thought and energy? - William Burroughs

I am not the only one who writes in order to have no face. - Michel Foucault Statistics Page

Biographer Bistro

CG Librarian chessforum


PGN Upload Utility

Chessgames Present Hunt Clues Page

FEN reverser (courtesy of <ajile>):

OlimpBase (courtesy of Wojtek Bartelski, aka User: OlimpBase):

Some *other* databases include:

ChessBookForum chessforum

Chessgames Present Hunt Clues Page

Search Kibitzing

A statistical analysis by Jeff Sonas (thanks to <BadKnight> for bringing it to my attention):

Game Collection: The Even More Flexible French

FIN de Partie

>> Click here to see Domdaniel's game collections. Full Member

   Domdaniel has kibitzed 30421 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Apr-19-18 Navara vs R Mamedov, 2018 (replies)
Domdaniel: A draw? OK, it was pretty equal, but it was also getting interesting. I admit that I agreed a draw in a club match, in a similar position, last weekend. There are always many factors to take into account.
   Apr-14-18 Keith Henry Burton Allen
Domdaniel: Keith Allen, originally from Bangor in Northern Ireland, has lived in the Isle of Man for years - where he is involved on the organizational side of the annual tournament, one of the world's leading opens. I remember drawing with him in a Dublin event in the late 1970s. I also ...
   Apr-14-18 J M Bellon Lopez vs Robert E Byrne, 1975 (replies)
Domdaniel: In every case, the Bishop on e6 will be lost.
   Apr-14-18 D Larino Nieto vs K B Tulay, 2005
Domdaniel: A great game by Black. Who said Owen's Defence didn't have teeth?
   Apr-12-18 Vitiugov vs R Edouard, 2015
Domdaniel: but<machak> yes, Thanks, I see what you mean now. but would Black be able to survive even after a bad Bishop?
   Apr-08-18 Vitiugov vs G Meier, 2018
Domdaniel: <CountryGirl> - Yes, Vitiugov wrote a very good book on the French.
   Apr-07-18 M Vachier-Lagrave vs Caruana, 2018 (replies)
Domdaniel: Fab should draw this without much trouble. Can't see him winning it, however.
   Apr-07-18 Spassky vs Uhlmann, 1976
Domdaniel: <N0b0dy> That's a great idea for a game collection, but I think you could add many more games to "N0b0dy understands the French Winawer"...
   Apr-06-18 Vitiugov vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2018 (replies)
Domdaniel: I reached exactly the same position in a recent game in USA. I won, of course.
   Apr-05-18 GRENKE Chess Classic (2018) (replies)
Domdaniel: <AylerKupp> - < After all, there are a lot of chuckles on this site (some of them unintentional) and we all need more chuckles in life.> A very good point. I promise to keep chuckling until I stop.
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Frogspawn: Levity's Rainbow

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 804 OF 945 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-13-12  benjinathan: <Here's a video that outlines an easily-understood method:>

I have sometimes wondered at what level should one be before it is "worth" the investment in time to learn, practice and perfect how to do it.

It is an odd thing because the lower one's rating, the more likely one would be the two pieces up, but at that stage the time would probably be better invested on other skills: endgames, openings, talking to girls.

Premium Chessgames Member
  crawfb5: <I have sometimes wondered at what level should one be before it is "worth" the investment in time to learn, practice and perfect how to do it.>

It's not a bad exercise in piece coordination, but yes, it does pop up quite seldom. I liked the video because, while it might not be the only method, it seemed easy to learn and retain.

With a light-squared Bishop, you need to drive the enemy King to one of the two light-squared corners. The method breaks the task down into sub-goals. The first goal is to drive the enemy King into the "big" triangle. If the target corner is a8, the triangle will look like this:

click for larger view

The "ideal" squares for Bishop and Knight are 1) one square from the edge along the diagonal for the Bishop and 2) two squares toward the center along the rank (or file, depending on which corner is the goal). For example:

click for larger view

Note how the Bishop cuts off a4 while the Knight controls b4 and c5, preventing escape from that end of the "triangle." The King is used to help drive the enemy King back within the next "triangle" (the next diagonal closest to the target corner). Again, get the Bishop and Knight on the new "ideal" squares and then herd with the King.

I think it makes more sense if you watch the video and then practice a little against an engine. This seemed to me to be something I might be able to reconstruct OTB rather than trying to reinvent the wheel on the spot.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Ohio> Yeah, that Bd8 maneuver seems to be a recurring motif in the Qe1 'plan'. I found one line where Black's Queen gets trapped. Something like (32...Rf8) 33.Qe2 Qf6 34.Re8 g6 35.Qe1 Kg7 36.Bxd7 Nxd7 37.Bd8 Qf4 38.Re4 which should win, eventually.

But neither Qe1 nor Bd8 was really on my radar. I remember thinking that the Nf3 was doing a good job covering my weak dark squares around the King, so exchanging it for the black DSB with Nh5-f5xd6 might not be wise. But exchanging rooks and penetrating with the queen looked promising, while keeping an eye out for tactics that involve taking one or other of the black knights.

My last 5 games with black: WWLWW
My last 5 games with white: LDLLD

I think the last time I won with white was the 1st round of a tournament last July. Since then I've won 9 or 10 with Black.

I was pleased to discover a similar syndrome in games between Smyslov and Gligoric -- of 42 games in the CG database, 14 were decisive, with Black scoring 11-3. Smyslov only once beat Gligo with White, but did so seven times with Black.

It makes sense. After all, White has the first opportunity to make a mistake, and often uses it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <crawf> The most painful aspect of the B+N non-mating game I saw was that the 'winning' player had clearly mastered the art of constricting the enemy king and driving it in a particular direction. He just lacked one vital bit of info which would have told him *which* direction.

I remember practicing the technique in speed games with friends in the 1970s, but I've never needed it. I suppose, in my kind of closed game, it's rare for anyone to be stripped of all their pawns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  crawfb5: In both games where I had the B+N ending, I sacrificed my remaining material for the last of my opponent's pawns to reach the "difficult in practice" ending. I did get a half point I probably would not have otherwise gathered. In today's era of sudden-death time controls, it's a calculated risk sometimes worth taking.
Feb-13-12  mworld: Funny, when I think of cheapo Kasparov brand chess engines this very old chess board I bought in the late 80’s comes to mind. I could swear it was an electronic kasparov (very fancy) with a built in engine that communicated to you its moves through a series of redlights running up and down the sides (the morse version of algebraic). I wonder if that same engine was version 1.0 to the one you may have been using?

I’ve only really ever played computers – and boy have they evolved. I don’t have much RL time for chessclubs and the few people I come into contact with that play chess like to play those never ending 4 hr games. So, I really have no idea what these tournaments are like and I can only guess how the playclock and its consequences can affect the games.

My recent transition in chess apps was driven by the realization that I always seemed to get a win in the same way against my old one – if I won; it would never castle on time and it would make poor rook moves that essentially gave me free tempi. The new stockfish one has a slider that lets you choose the ELO anywhere from 50-2750 and I figured I’d start at 1500 and work my way up from there. A few games into it I was beaten down to an ELO of 100 and then even at that level the game would look even until it would make a seriously stupid blunder, which made the game no fun. I realized that the code was bit buggy so I found a way to force it into playing ‘normal’ and that was to play 10second/move games, but make it so I could use as much time as I wanted. At 10 seconds, it would play its optimal choices at a normal ELO, but I would still have a chance to outwit it since it couldn’t reach serious depths.

You mention endgames on engines and from what I’ve gathered its true to me from the standpoint that the computer opponent always forces you to prove a win and will exploit ever little mistake you make along the way. And I have had one instance legitimately (a few on purpose for masochistic pleasure) where I had a bishop/knight/king to his king/pawn and it came down to me remembering how to mate – I managed it, but I did have to ‘reset’ a few times and then capture the pawn to not draw by 50 moves rule. The only other endgame that causes me real frustration is rook versus knight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <mworld> True, some engines have a dumbed-down version that involves playing five GM moves, then a random blunder, then five GM moves ... but others seem more 'human'.

I remember those early Kasparov-brand chess computers with flashing LCDs too -- I don't think there was any link to the later Ruffian-based software. I guess Gazza sold his name more than once.

Around 1988, I played in a fairly strong weekend swiss which was *won* by an engine -- Mephisto, I think. It beat a whole string of 2200+ players, all of whom made the mistake of going tactical and trying to mate it. In those days, the average chessplayer - even relatively strong ones - had no experience of computers.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <frogbert> innaresting endgame. I don't think you mentioned whether you were white or black?

At first glance, I thought the side a pawn and the Exchange down might be trying to 'save' the game, but then I realized how dangerous the white pawns are, and how weak the black ones. I think the rooks have some work on their hands.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <crawf> -- <In today's era of sudden-death time controls, it's a calculated risk sometimes worth taking.>

It's funny, but the tempo of chess -- and the associated calculations one makes about what's winnable or not -- has changed again in the past year or two, with the rise of increments. The standard here, in league games and most weekenders, is now 90' per game plus a 30" increment per move. It makes a huge difference. It's such a relief to be able to go into your final minute and know you still have plenty of time, relatively speaking.

My first experience of this new regime was in a tournament, where I could only draw two games that would've been certain wins under sudden-death rules: the increment let my opponents cling on. But I still have to say I vastly prefer the new system -- aparrently FIDE are pushing for its widespread adoption.

Feb-13-12  frogbert: <innaresting endgame. I don't think you mentioned whether you were white or black?>

not here, no. it was quite clear from the posts on my player page, of course. :o)

i was black and indeed it would've been very hard to defend the position against best play from white. on the next move after sacrificing the exchange my opponent went wrong (he was very short on time, and had been so for a while already), so i never was put to the test. see my player page for more about the game. [no analysis of that end game yet, though.]

Premium Chessgames Member
  crawfb5: <Dom> Agreed in regard to increments. A minor reason I tapered off and finally quit OTB was my unhappiness with sudden-death controls. As a former director and organizer, I fully understand the desire to keep things on schedule, but I'd budget my time differently for a 30-move game than for a 60-move game. Now that digital clocks that can handle increments are the rule rather than the exception, increment-based time controls make a lot of sense for all concerned.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <crawf> Absolutely. The small weekend tournament I played in recently was the old-style 90'/game (one round Fri evening, three on Sat, two on Sun -- my habit of losing last-round games is a direct result of the exhaustion this causes ... I'm not one of those marathon-running, body-building, stamina-laden chessplayers).

But, after getting used to increments, this felt like a return to the dark ages. Even though I'm often 20 mins ahead on the clock when the game reaches its critical phase, this just means that my opponent snaps into blitz mode while I fritter away precious minutes looking for a win. It's all very random.

My final three games all went to the wire - a minute or so apiece in complex positions. I won one, lost one, and accepted a draw offer in the third, but each of them might have had any result.

I'm sticking with increments in future.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <some chess stuff> -- frogbert's endgame got me thinking of Exchange-down endings with many pawns, something I seem to have a lot of. Probably because I'm firmly of the belief that an exchange sac is no big deal, as long as the resulting minor piece is well placed and one's pawns are in good shape. I've won a few long games with a Bishop pair slowly hustling a passed pawn home against R+B.

I'm also very wary of grabbing the exchange unthinkingly, especially moves like Bg2xa8 or Bg7xa1. Asking for trouble on the long diagonal, that is.

This game, I Cheparinov vs M Vachier-Lagrave, 2011, caught my eye: White's 20.b3! is essentially an exchange sac to keep his queenside pawns together, but the White bishops are also strong.

Playing over an annotated version by Jon Speelman, I found an incredible line:

This is the game position after 25.a5:

click for larger view

Vachier-Lagrave played 25...Bxe4, and Cheparinov went on to win beautifully. One of the alternatives noted by Speelman is 25...bxa5 26.Rxa5 Qb7 27.Bg4

click for larger view

"Extremely tense" -- Speelman.

He then points out 27...Qxb4 28.Be6+ Rf7 29.Qxb4 Rxb4 30.Bh6 Bxe4 31.Rb5 Rxb5 32.cxb5 Bxg2 33.h4 -- "Black is paralyzed on the kingside and may be lost", he says.

click for larger view

An amazing position, but *lost*? Really? My first thought was that Black can just shuffle his Bishop on the long diagonal, and break with ...d5 if the White King tries to invade. But of course White simply changes direction, rounds up the d-pawn with releasing rook or king, and returns his attention to the b-pawn. Something like this ...

33...Be4 34.b6 Bb7 35.Ke3 Bc6 36.Kd4 Bb7 37.Kc4 d5+ 38.Kb5 d4 39.Kc4 Bc6 and White wins easily. For fun, I finished it like this: 40.Kxd4 Bb7 41.Kc4 Bc6 42.Kc5 Bf3 43.Kb5 Bb7 44.Ka5 Be4 45.Ka6 Bd3+ 46.Ka7 Be4 47.b7 Bxb7 48.Kxb7 Kh8 49.Bxf7 (21 moves after being pinned, the Rook is finally put out of its misery) e5 50.Kc6 e4 51.Kd7 e3 52.Ke8 e2 53.Kf8 e1Q 54.Bg7#

click for larger view

I suppose this also has some bearing on the mate-with-minor-pieces thing we were talking about. Always nice to have the enemy king in a vice-like grip, or even a grip like vice.

But it's clear that Black sells the d-pawn too cheaply in this line. It may be possible to hold it until the King can't catch it -- still winning the black bishop for the b-pawn, and the rook for bishop, but leaving white a tricky ending of bishop and pawn vs 3 or 4 black pawns. Probably still a win, and I don't see an obvious route for black anyway.

One other black try that occurred to me was an early ...Bh3, giving up a bishop to break the pin on the rook, and reaching a R-vs-BB ending, plus pawns.

White wins nicely. For instance:
33.h4 Bh3

click for larger view

34.Bxh3 Rf2+ 35.Kc1! Kf7 36.b6 Rf3 37.Kc2! Rxh3 38.Bd2 Rxh4 -- White reaches the crucial Exchange-and-3-pawns-down winning position -- 39.b7 Rc4+ 40.Kd3 ...

... and that, to put it mildly, is that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <I have sometimes wondered at what level should one be before it is "worth" the investment in time to learn, practice and perfect how to do it.>

Basically, I think *anything* to do with endgames - essential king and pawn stuff, Lucena, minor piece techniques (and mates) etc - is worth learning about at *any* stage. Say from the time you learn to move the pieces to the time you start to wonder about youngsters like Korchnoi.

Nimzowitsch actually suggested studying basic mates *before* you learned how pawns move, or played actual games. His idea was to introduce the beginner to the pieces one at a time.

Maybe this is why my young niece keeps making Knight moves.

Seriously, there's always something more to be found in endings - including the related mates. Giving up B+N to strip your opponent of pawns is a common way of trying to survive, and it sometimes works.

I regard Dvoretsky's 'Endgame Manual' as the bible in this context. (That's good, honest.)

Speelman's 'Analysing the Endgame' is another -- not a systematic manual, more a deep exploration of the endgame disease. And Capablanca's collection of his best endings is worth erecting a shrine to.

I even worked through the Smyslov/Levenfish tome on Rook Endings, as a teenager. I don't think I understood much of it, and there weren't any engines in those days to test yourself against. We had to use 'friends'.

Less efficient, maybe, but more fun. And let's face it -- we wouldn't be here if, at some level, we didn't think that playing endgames with a friend is a valid form of fun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Here is a word for ya: xoloitzcuintli

Wonder how many points I can get on Scrabble with it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <WannaBe> Lessee ... 8+1+1+1+1+1, pause, that's 13, then 10+3+1+1+1+1+1 is 18, total 31. But you only get 7 letters, so maybe, uh, 'lo' and, eh, 'cuint' are already on the board.

If you pluralize it, I reckon xoloitzcuintlis could run across three treble-word squares, and score about 1200 points.

I once worked out a way to score 2000 with 'ventriloquizing'. You just needed to have the right framework in position.

Scrabble players don't care about the meaning of words, but I do. My guess is that Xoloitzcuintli was the Aztec god of medium-sized hills with no buildings. Or something.

Unless it's Mayan for "You got wheels?"

Feb-13-12  mworld: loving this 10/sec/move stock fish. Speaking of bad opening play, pawns, gambits, and endgames, this was a fun one.

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "Feb 13, 2012"]
[Round "?"]
[White "M"]
[Black "Stockfish"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. O-O Bc5 5. c3 Nxe4 6. d4 d5 7. Bd3 exd4 8. Bxe4 dxe4 9. Nxd4 Nxd4 10. Be3 g5 11. cxd4 Bf8 12. Nc3 Bf5 13. d5 Bg7 14. Rb1 Qd7 15. Qb3 Rc8 16. Qxb7 O-O 17. Qxa7 Rfe8 18. Bd4 Ra8 19. Qc5 e3 20. fxe3 Bxd4 21. Qxd4 Bxb1 22. Rxb1 Qd6 23. b4 Ra6 24. e4 Rb6 25. a4 Rb7 26. Nb5 Qd7 27. Rc1 Qd8 28. Rc6 Qe7 29. d6 cxd6 30. h3 Qxe4 31. Qxd6 Ra8 32. Qc5 f5 33. Nd6 Qe1+ 34. Kh2 Rba7 35. Qd5+ Kf8 36. Ra6 Qf1 37. Rxa7 Qf4+ 38. g3 Qf2+ 39. Qg2 Qxg2+ 40. Kxg2 Rxa7 41. a5 Rd7 42. Nxf5 Kf7 43. a6 Ke6 44. b5 Kxf5 45. b6 Rd2+ 46. Kf1 Rd1+ 47. Ke2 Rd8 48. b7 Re8+ 49. Kd3 Rd8+ 50. Kc4 Ke4 51. a7 Rd4+ 52. Kc5 Rd5+ 53. Kc6 Ra5 54. a8=Q Rxa8 55. bxa8=Q Kf3

Feb-14-12  frogbert: the thing about studying "basic" end games is that, if done correctly with a focus on understanding instead of memorizing, it teaches a lot about fundamental piece coordination. hence, even if you very seldom get to demo your skills at mating with B+N, learning how the pieces can cooperate to cut off a king is useful in lots of practical, non-theoretical endings.

for a recent example, consider the end of carlsen-kramnik in wijk and how white's minors stop the black king from supporting the h-pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  hms123: <Dom> Speaking of exchange sacrifices, I used to play this line back in the 1970's: Opening Explorer

click for larger view

This is the game that got me interested in the line: Bronstein vs Boleslavsky, 1950

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Speaking of mates, I trust we all know this one:

click for larger view

One method: 1.Nef7 Kc8 2.Kc6 Kb8 3.Nd6 Ka7 4.Kb5 Kb8 5.Kb6 Ka8 6.Nhf5 h5 7.Ne7 h4 8.Nc6 [which would be stalemate if not for the pawn] h3 9.Nb5 h2 10.Nc7#

Sometimes you can even let the pawn promote. And, for anyone who cares about such things, there's the <Troitzky Line> which indicates when the mate is viable.

BTW, I just had a go at the B+N mate vs Fritz, and succeeded in 19 moves. It used to take me about 30. That video with triangles must have had some effect.

Feb-14-12  frogbert: dom, now i've posted a lot of analysis on that ending i showed you, trying to convince shams that it was holdable for black. have a look if you like - numerous interesting themes and material imbalances there, including:

R+B vs 2R (the "original")
B+p vs pawns for white
Q+R vs B for black (draw!)
Q+R+B vs 2R for white (draw)
R+B+N vs 2R (under-promotion, draw)
R+B+p vs R+pawns for white (still draw)
Q+p vs R+pawns for black (also draw)

plus a stalemate for good measure. :o)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: "I was better prepared than Kramnik. I learned practically all his games by heart. I knew everything about him. I knew at what point he would sacrifice material, and which moves he preferred in particular positions. For two long months I prepared myself to meet Vladimir alone."

- Boris Gelfand, on his 1994 match victory against Kramnik.

This guy is going to beat Anand. Destiny, innit? And deep preparation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <This guy is going to beat Anand.>

Uh, no.

Feb-15-12  frogbert: maybe not, but i do think gelfand will be incredibly well prepared to face anand. however, unless gelfand was misplaying middle and end games on purpose in his two latest events, his recent form indicates issues that preparation can't fully alleviate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I'll rephrase it, then. Rather than the bald statement "this guy is going to beat Anand" - which is answerable by the equally hairless "uh, no" - I suggest: if this guy is still anything like the guy he used to be, he'll have a much better chance than many people think, against a champion who isn't quite the guy he used to be either.

Maybe it's 20 years too late for Gelfand. But I've been going through his greatest hits book - 'My Most Memorable Games' - and am deeply impressed by his preparation and play in sharp variations.

The shadow version in recent tournaments was just marking time while playing his 'D' repertoire.

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