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Simon Winawer vs Berthold Englisch
London (1883), London ENG, rd 6, May-04
Spanish Game: Exchange. Normal Variation (C69)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Amazing mating attack in an ending.
Aug-20-07  sanyas: Surely Black can draw this.
Aug-20-07  sanyas: What I mean is, b4 was White's only thrust in the position, and I am sure that with two pawns guarding that square the pieces could have been arranged to prevent it, while simultaneously guarding f6 and blockading the d-pawn. White's forces are locked into his own half and cannot easily create threats, so Black's multiple commitments could all be tended to.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: William Ewart Napier in "Paul Morphy and the Golden Age of Chess," p. 234, rather extravagantly wrote of this game, "Winawer's amazing game against Englisch is perhaps the most important single game ever played."
Aug-18-19  Granny O Doul: It changed my life. Starting right now. Watch how different things are from now on.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <sanyas: Surely Black can draw this.>

Evidently. Stockfish 9 above analyzes 49...Rbb7 50.Rb1 b3 51.R1xb3 bxa5 52.Rxa5+ Kb8 53.Rab5 = 0.00 (35 ply).

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <FSR> The interesting thing is after 49...Rbb7 50. axb6+ Rxb6 51. Rxc5 <Ra6> and surprisingly, Black gets enough counterplay for a draw.

To prevent this, what if White first transfers his king to the queenside? Consider the following position:

click for larger view

and here 1. b4 axb4 2. a5 Rb8 3. Rb3, and the 3...Rbb7 defense now fails to 4. axb6+ Rxb6 5. Rxc5 breaking up the queenside while avoiding the counterplay.

Of course Black doesn't have to sit back and wait for White to arrange the above, but it looks challenging to set up a good defense against this plan.

Mar-22-23  SymphonicKnight: Winawer in this hugely instructive Exchange Ruy Lopez game reminds me of a squirrel trying to break open a nut, or a chimpanzee trying various methods to break open a coconut. While this game should have ended in a draw, Winawer shows great persistence after opposite side castling and a very closed position meant a protracted battle. Games like this seem to have been a great inspiration for Nimzowitsch, who was clearly a fan of Winawer's openings and positional methods.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <beatgiant> As you say, Black gets to play moves too while White is shuffling his king over the queenside. In your diagram position, the prophylactic ...Re8-c8 looks good, preparing to meet b4? with cxb4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <FSR> You're right.

White also has the plan of maneuvering the knight to b3 to prepare a Nxa5 or Nxc5 breakthrough, trading the knight for two or three passers, but it's hard to make it work even if Black allows it. Black would usually be saved by some counterplay against White's kingside.

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