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Georg Salwe vs Amos Burn
St. Petersburg (1909), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 9, Feb-26
Queen Pawn Game: Zukertort Variation (D02)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-10-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: This is a well played end game, but there was a very subtle slip that went unnoticed by both players:

80...Ra6+? should have lost, Burn had to play 80...Rd3 81.Ke5=

After 80...Ra6+? 81.Kd7 Ra5 82.Rc5 Ra7+ 83.Rc7 should win

Both players miss this after 81...Ra8? [81...Ra2 82.Rc7+ Ke8 83.Re7+ Kd8 84.Rd7+ Ke8 holds] when 82.Kd7 Ra5 83.Rc5 Ra7+ 84.Rc7 Ra5 85.Kd6+ would have won

Dec-10-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Good points. Lasker doesn't comment at all on the endgame. The game illustrates the state of endgame theory and knowledge even in such a fine player as Burn. For instance he plays the awkward 76...Rd3?! when any GM today would maneuver the ♖ to 6th rank (a6 or b6) to block the opposing king.
Oct-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Chessical: This is a well played end game, but there was a very subtle slip that went unnoticed by both players: 80...Ra6+? should have lost, Burn had to play 80...Rd3 81.Ke5= ***>

This endgame is analyzed at pages 16-18 of Dvoretsky’s new book, <Tragicomedy in the Endgame: Instructive Mistakes of the Masters>, by Dvoretsky, Mark, Russell Enterprises, Inc. ©2011.

Relying on Dvoretsky’s analysis, I can affirm that <Chessical> is correct that <80. … Ra6+?> should have lost and that <80. … Rd3!> is the most accurate defensive move in this position:


click for larger view

Dvoretsky’s comment (op. cit., at p. 17) on this position reads: “Flank checks from the short side are hopeless. In these types of situations, the position may only be saved by putting the rook behind the pawns [<sic>; seemingly should be singular]: <80. … Rd3 81. d5 Rd1 82. Kc6 Ke7! Or 82. Rd8 Ra1!>.”

This [especially MD’s phrase “the position may only be saved …”] implies to me that <80. … Rd3> is the only drawing move, but according to the tablebase (http://www.shredderchess.com/online...), Black has a total of 9 drawing moves in the above-diagrammed position. There is time to waste a move before getting the defensive rook to the file behind the pawn, but with the defensive king having been deflected two files away from the pawn, the third-rank [Philidor] defensive method does not work.

Considering that both players make half-point blunders (<80. … Ra6+?>, as already noted; and <81. Rc6?> [necessary was <81. Kd7!> ]) <Chessical>’s characterization of the endgame as well-played seems gracious and even generous.

Oct-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Calli: *** Lasker [in the tournament book; see http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n... doesn't comment at all on the endgame. The game illustrates <the state of endgame theory and knowledge even in such a fine player as Burn>. For instance he plays the awkward 76...Rd3?! when <any GM today> would maneuver the ♖ to 6th rank (a6 or b6) to block the opposing king.>

Absolutely correct (although the position remains theoretically drawn after the inacurate <76. ... Rd3>).

With regard to the disparity between Burn’s inaccurate play and what “any GM today” would play, Burn cannot be excused on the basis of the fact that this game was played more than a century ago. The third-rank [algebraic 6th for Black] defensive method is known as Philidor’s technique, and it wasn’t exactly unknown in 1909.

Oct-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Besides the half-point blunders (i.e., <80. ... Ra6+?> and <81. Rc6?>) noted in my previous post, <81. ... Ra8?> [Best was <81. ... Ra1>, although a rook move to the 2nd or 3rd rank also holds.] and <82. Rc7+?> [Here <82. Kd7!> is the "only" winning move.] also altered the theoretical assessment of the position by half-a-point.
Jun-05-16  RookFile: Burn made a mistake and should have lost. But I think Salwe was in too much of a hurry in the beginning part of the rook and pawn ending. He could have maneuvered more and made black suffer more than he did.

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