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Elijah Williams vs Daniel Harrwitz
Harrwitz - Williams (1846), London ENG, rd 1
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Old Variation (D20)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-24-03  erikcu: Very cool draw! I think some draws are as impressive as mates. Even though obviously, the later is preferred.
Jul-13-06  GufeldStudent: I think Williams was winning here.
Aug-21-06  Fast Gun: Williams finds an effective way to bring about a dead draw, obviously if black takes the rook on b3 it will be stalemate, and the black rook moves to another square along the a -file then white simply plays Rxc3+, once again black cannot capture because of the stalemate, while if the king does not capture then white can play Rc2 which wins the pawn on a2 with a 100% draw:
Oct-27-07  nimh: Rybka 2.4 mp, AMD X2 2.01GHz, 10 min per move, threshold 0.33.

Williams 16 mistakes:
11.Bxh6 -0.28 (11.Re1 0.46)
15.Neg5 -0.52 (15.Rae1 -0.16)
21.Bxc4 -0.13 (21.Nf5+ 0.34)
34.e7 0.68 (34.Rf3 1.50)
36.Re1 0.00 (36.Kf1 1.47)
37.Rf3 0.46 (37.Rg6 1.78)
38.g3+ -0.08 (38.Rf5 2.13)
52.Kh4 -0.77 (52.Rf2 -0.32)
57.Kf4 -4.30 (57.Kh4 0.00)
60.Rh6+ -6.05 (60.b6 -4.25)
62.Rc6 -9.67 (62.Rh3 -5.33)
72.Ka1 -24.45 (72.Rc1 -9.79)
73.Rc1 -25.30 (73.Rc1 -10.38)
75.Rc1 -21.91 (75.Rc7 -12.88)
76.Rc4 #24 (76.Rc3 -21.91)
77.Rc3+ #22 (77.Rc1 -24.80)

Harrwitz 10 mistakes:
19...Bc4 0.33 (19...Bh7 -0.54)
31...Rd2 0.21 (31...Ng4 -0.28)
33...Rxa2 1.50 (33...Nd5 0.21)
34...Re8 1.47 (34...Rc8 0.68)
36...Rc2 1.78 (36...Kh5 0.00)
37...Rc6 2.13 (37...Ng8 0.46)
40...Rc1+ 0.00 (40...Kf7 -0.39)
52...Nf3+ 0.00 (52...Rb7 -0.77)
81...Nd5 -0.72 (81...Re3 -310.00)
82...Nc3 -0.14 (82...Kb4 -0.72)

Nov-09-07  kellmano: It doesn't really matter what Rybka says when there are 6 pieces left as the tablebases are conclusive.

82......Nb4 was the only winning move for black.

Jan-05-09  WhiteRook48: I thought Black could play 84...Ra8 to avoid stalemate, but then 85. Rxc3+ Kxc3 and it's stalemate anyway
Feb-24-09  sleepyirv: Obviously playing for a draw, obviously calling for a rambling rook, BUT not the check in this case- Rb3 finishes it off cleanly.
Feb-24-09  mbuggins: I got it. I got it. My ELO has shot up from 3 to 5
Feb-24-09  Ladolcevita: GOT IT
And this shows sometimes you cant make imprudent sacrifice against a professional...
Feb-24-09  whitebeach: I like to imagine that, back in that long ago day, the two players sat down together over some refreshing beverages after the draw and laughed about how strange their game was, and how strange the game itself can be.
Feb-24-09  zooter: White is definitely trying to draw here..

84.Rb4+ is the start for this

White needs to keep giving checks in such a way that neither the knight nor the rook can capture the rook...capturing via the king leads to a stalemate

Feb-24-09  zooter: Looks like I missed it totally...84.Rb3 off course draws and I;m in a training now...shows that chess doesn't go well with multitasking :)
Feb-24-09  SuperPatzer77: <kellmano: It doesn't really matter what Rybka says when there are 6 pieces left as the tablebases are conclusive. 82......Nb4 was the only winning move for black.>

<Kellmano> You're absolutely right about 82...Nb4 - the only move for Black's win.

See this link: - It sure can help solve this after 82...Nb4.


Feb-24-09  dzechiel: White to play (84?). White is down by a knight and a pawn. "Easy."

A number of things to note here:

First, it's move 84, Harrwitz didn't know when to resign. ;D

Second, no way is white playing for a win, so we need to find the quickest draw.

Third, I really want to know how we got here.

But, as for the move? It must be

84 Rb3!

The rook is immune from capture by either 84...Rxb3 or 84...Kxb3, as those moves bring about a stalemate. So...


If black doesn't retreat the rook, then white will play 85 Rxa3 and start to entertain ideas of a win.

85 Rxc3+!

The draw likely takes place at this point. If black does want to play on, he will have to play something like


If 85...Kb4 then simply 86 Rb3+.

86 Rh6

and there's no way for black to use the king to protect the pawn, and any move of the rook off of the a-file allows Kxa2.

Not too hard to find, about right for a Tuesday.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: White is so far behind on material that we have to be looking for a draw. If we could get rid of black's rook and pawn we would have a material draw as king and knight can't mate. But there seems no way (just yet) to get rid of the doubly protected a pawn.

So we must be looking for a stalemate. Our king is already out of moves, so we need to replace our rook with a black piece that covers b2.

84. Rb3 does the trick. Now either 84...Kxb3 or 84...Rxb3 is an instant draw because both cover b2. Stalemate.

But what do we do if black moves the rook away? He threatens Ra8-Rh8-Rh1+

Then we need to find the second pseudo rook sac. On 84...Ra8 85. Rxc3+! guarantees the draw. 85...Kxc3 again covers b2 for a draw. Any other king move allows us to play Rc2 and grab the a pawn for an easy K+R vs K+R draw.

<dzechiel> Rc3-h6? Wow, that's some wonderful rook you've got there!

An unplugged seems a little superfluous in these stripped down positions, but here is one of the stalemate draws anyway.

click for larger view

Feb-24-09  SamAtoms1980: Looks like Harrwitz got a little sloppy in this one. With 84 Rb3, White secures the draw: 84 ... Rxb3, 84 ... Kxb3 and 84 ... Ra4 85 Rxc3+ Kxc3 are all stalemates.

Here are some studies presented in a Dutch solving competition in 2003. When I discovered this page, I managed to get the solution for number 7.

Feb-24-09  BlackWaive: Easier than yesterday. White is obviously playing to draw, so we look for forcing moves that will stalemate the White King.

84. Rb3 does just that - if Rxb3 or Kxb3, it's stalemate! So to prevent capture, the Black Rook must move back.

Then, 85. Rxc3! saves the draw, as the King still cannot capture the Rook. White will ultimately capture the a-pawn, resulting in a drawn Rook vs. Rook endgame.

Feb-24-09  DarthStapler: I didn't get it
Feb-24-09  Prudov: Could we please have more of these endgame puzzles?
Feb-24-09  jeeky1996: Too easy. Easier than Monday. I immediately spotted the stalemate in a few seconds.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <84.Rb3!=> was indeed easy to find.
Feb-24-09  Samagonka: 84 moves to a draw. This was definately easier than yesterday's.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The only possibility for White is to provoke the stalemate. The most forcing move 84.Rb4+ is a blunder because after 84... Kxb4 the square b2 is still available to the king. Therefore, 84.Rb3:

A) 84... K(R)xb3 stalemate.
B) 84... Nb5(8) 85.Rxa3 Nxa3 86.Kxa2, draw.
C) 84... Ra(4-8) 85.Rxc3+
C.1) 85... Kxc3 stalemate.
C.2) 85... Kb4 86.Rb3+ Kc4 87.Rc3+ repeats moves.
C.3) 85... Kd4 86.Rc2 Kd3 87.Rxa2 Rb(4-8) 88.Rb2, draw.

I don't see any mating trick for Black, like Saavedra's final position with changed colors (White to move):

click for larger view

Feb-24-09  zb2cr: White to move, in this position, means the solution must be to find the drawing move.

84. Rb4+ does NOT work; after 84. ... Kxb4 White has one move available, 85. Kb2. Then Black winds up with 85. ... a1=Q+; 86. Kc2, Qd1+; 87. Kb2, Ra2#.

So the key move must be one which, after a Black capture, leaves b2 covered. The move is 84. Rb3. Either available capture--King or Rook--leaves a stalemate.

Black can probably then play 84. ... Ra8, when White continues the theme by 85. Rxc3+! Again, capturing with the King leave White stalemated. 85. ... Kb4 is met by 86. Rb3+. Now, obviously, Black can't make progress by shuffling his King back and forth between c4 and b4, so that would lead to a draw by perpetual check.

So, what if Black tries 85. ... Kd4? Then the move is 86. Rh3! Now, Black can't approach with his King, either to support the Pawn or threaten mate with the Rook. A Rook move on the a-file such as 86. ... Ra7 is met by White shuffling his Rook along the third rank, say by 87. Rg3. Or, White could play 87. Rh2 and win the Pawn, again leaving a drawn position.

Feb-24-09  outplayer: I was still sleeping when I saw this and thought Rb4+ would draw. I failed to see the white still has a square to go and is not stalemate after Kxb4. Maybe I took that too fast.
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