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Max Euwe vs Daniel Abraham Yanofsky
Groningen (1946), Groningen NED, rd 1, Aug-13
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Line (E40)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane)

Euwe vs Yanofsky, 1946 (45.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Up 2P in an endgame with Bs of opposite color. Black stops the White connected passed Ps along the a8-h1 diagonal and can burn tempi. White must either capture Pg6, to win with passers on both sides of the board, or bring Kg5 to the Q-side, preferably c7, to support the passers.

Candidates (45.): h5

45.h5 gxh5 [else, hxg6] 46.Kf5

White now plays Pb5-b6, Bf6-h4, and Kf5-e5. Black can only remain passive, because [1]…Bh6+ [2]Ke5 requires the return Bh6-g7 to prevent Pa7-a8=Q, and because [1]…Ke8 [2]Ke6 erects a barrier against the Black Kf7. Simple counting shows that White can play Ke5-d6-c7 and Pb7, before Black musters any counter-play with Ph5.

Jul-18-10  Rook e2: I think it is not very hard to spot h5. It is clear the only way to win of white is when his king goes to the queen side. Also 45. h5 holds no risk as white can't lose this game anymore.
Jul-18-10  ceebo: There is analysis of this endgame by Nunn here:

He says that with best play 34.g3 is only good enough for a draw (35...Kf5 would have allowed black to draw) and that 34.g4! should have been played instead.

Jul-18-10  darkjuva: insane?
Jul-18-10  tivrfoa: h5 is better, but I think that the idea to place the bishop at g5 also works.
Jul-18-10  C4gambit: For those who are novices like me, this game is a good opportunity to learn.

This is what i thought when i saw the puzzle - "White is 2 pawns up but cannot make queen on a or b file because of the white bishop of black. So i need to take the king to the queen's side. I don't need to worry about the black pawn cause it cannot go past my pawn on h file." And then i tried to move my bishop and king in different combinations to get to the other side of the battle field. I even got a unique idea of preventing the black king to get to my pawn duo - by blocking the h2-b8 diagonal with my bishop and since black king cannot go to any square of h1-a8 diagonal (then i would queen the a pawn), he can't stop my king going near those pawns. But unfortunately the big idea failed and the black king went to the b7 square!

This is what i should have thought - "Every time i want to move my king, i have to go backwards first, giving black king enough space to come forward and at the end my king cannot claim the queen side territories. And all these is because of that black pawn at g6. Without it, i could push my king to f5 and black king will have no passage towards the most important queen side. So i need to get rid of that black pawn. How? Well, by pushing the pawn i have on the h file."

Chess is simple, i made it complicated by thinking the wrong way.

Jul-18-10  tivrfoa: 28. Bc5! is really nice indeed
Jul-18-10  OBIT: The Kasparov analysis seems to show Black still had a draw as late as move 35, but 27...Bc2? at minimum loses a second pawn, making the defense more difficult than it has to be. Instead, Black's blockade looks airtight if he plays 27...Bc4, as the queenside pawns keep the White king out. This is one of those situations where the standard advice "trade pawns but not pieces" when down material is not so good -- those extra pawns actually simplify the defense.
Jul-18-10  David2009: Euwe vs Yanofsky, 1946 White 45?

click for larger view

Missed it completely. I saw a beautiful win beginning 45.Bd8?? Ke8?? (45...Be4! draws) 46.Kxg6 Kxd8 47.Kf5 Kc7 48.h5 Kb7 49.h6 Bf1 50.Ke4 and Black (to play) cannot stop the Pawn.

click for larger view

Unfortunately in this line the pedestrian 47.h5 wins just as easily, e.g. 47...Kc7 48.h6 Kb7 49.b6 Kxb6 50.h7 and Black's Bishop is overloaded. After 45 Bd8? Be4 draws.

Crafty on-line link to the puzzle position: You are White: enjoy exploring the variations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: A classic!
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Euwe could have won this game in several ways. For example, he could have traded off black's last two ♙s, e.g., 37. Kg5 Be4 38. a8=Q Bxa8 39. Kxg6 Bf3 40. Kg5 Bg4 41. h3 Bxh3 42. Kxh5. (This line isn't unique, but white can always force the exchanges.)

Now the position looks something like this:

click for larger view

Next, white stations both ♙s on black squares and puts his ♗ where it can guard both. Black has to use his ♗ to block the advance of one ♙ and his ♔ to block the other. The white ♔ is mobile; it can swing from one side to the other. It moves to whichever ♙ the black ♗ is blocking and escorts that ♙ forward. Black has to give up the ♗ to stop it.

At this point the material is ♔+♗+♙ vs. ♔, and the ♙ is on file b or g. Even patzers like me can win that ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I've been trying for a while to to find out if there is a draw possible with 41...Be4?!

click for larger view

The idea is for black to protect the g pawn with his bishop, freeing his king to go after white's 2 passed pawns, ultimately trading the g pawn for white's a or b pawn.

It turns out that a draw is possible if white gives up his b pawn for the g pawn, such as in the position below, which is a table base draw.

click for larger view

However, if white forces black to take his a pawn for the g pawn, such as in the position below, it is a table base win for white.

click for larger view

Playing these two positions through the table bases, (link below)

it finally becomes obvious that even though the beginning positions are very similar, the opposition belongs to black in the first case and to white in the other.

Jul-18-10  AuN1: my endgame must be way better than my middle game because i got this one relatively easily while missing some of the earlier ones this week.
Jul-18-10  David2009: Jim, your posts are always instructive and in Euwe vs Yanofsky, 1946 the second of the diagrams you post

click for larger view

there is a simple explanation of why this position will be drawn.

Provided that Black can reach b7 with his K in time, he can safely give up his B for White's h pawn. The White B is the wrong colour for the a Pawn to queen.

So for this example the table base is not necessary.

Jul-18-10  wals: Black started to unravel from move
27...Bc2. +1.34. (Bc4 +0.66)

29...Bxe4.+1.92. (Ke6 +1.36)

36...g6. +2.92.

37...hxg4. +4.58. and never improved. ..

Rybka 3 1-cpu: depth 26:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <David2009> <...there is a simple explanation of why this position will be drawn.>

<Provided that Black can reach b7 with his K in time, he can safely give up his B for White's h pawn. The White B is the wrong colour for the a Pawn to queen.

So for this example the table base is not necessary.>

No, not true in this case. This endgame stuff is scary complicated. (The below diagrams with white to play show this).

Here's a final 1/2- 1/2 result derived from the "drawn" diagram you and I presented.

click for larger view

Here's a 1-0 result derived from the "winning" diagram I presented.

click for larger view

Has nothing to do with which color the bishop is, but everything to do with who has the opposition.

Jul-18-10  randomsac: Nice way to gain some space for the king. Now that I see the solution it seems so simple, but I had such a hard time finding it.
Jul-18-10  waustad: It's rare for me to see a Sunday one, but this one worked.
Jul-19-10  njchess: 45. h5 is the only move for a win. This is very easy puzzle and I seriously doubt Euwe missed this one.

The key to this position is in understanding that the king closest to White's queenside pawns will dictate whether it is a win or a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Formula7: 45.h5 and here 45...gxh5 loses because after 46.Kf5 the white king marches over to the queenside to make Black give up his bishop for the a-pawn, and then White promotes his b-pawn...>

<lost in space: I think the easiest way to win for White is to bring his king quickly to the queenside of the board to suport the own 2 passed connected pawns...>

These excellent posts sum up the winning idea behind yesterday's difficult Sunday puzzle position. The solution 45. h5!, which I missed by the way, seems simple and immediately clear after having read these posts. However, that's the way brilliant ideas or difficult solutions often work (i.e.they're hard to find or understand, but seem so simple once they're clearly explained).

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: 4..d6 ts hardly ever played anymore although there is no refutation. It has some similarities to a system of the Pirc that Benjamin occasionally used with pawns on d6 and e6. 10..e4 could have been answered with 11 fxe..Bxe4 12 Rxf6!..gxf 13 Nxe4..Qxe4 14 Bf3 with a big advantage. 10..Nbd7 would have been more logical. Yanofsky's decision to give up a pawn to obtain opposite color bishops seemed reasonable and could have been enough to draw. It is hard to blame him for not seeing the pretty winning plan with 44 Bf6 and 45 h5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Jimfromprovidence>

<Here's a 1-0 result derived from the "winning" diagram I presented.

Has nothing to do with which color the bishop is, but everything to do with who has the opposition.>

Your 1-0 example is not with a rook's pawn, which is why it's not relevant to <David2009>'s comment: <The White B is the wrong colour for the <<a>> Pawn to queen.>

Hope this clarifies.

Jul-27-12  vinidivici: Poor Yanofsky.

35...Bg2 seems an error.

35...Kf5!!!!!!! will save the game to a draw.

U need your king to guard the white king to prevent him to get closer with the pawns.

36.Bf8 g6
37.Kd4 Bg2
38.Kc5 Ke6
39.Bb6 Kd7
40.b4 Ba8
41.b5 Kc8 draw.

In view 41...Bg2 black loses after
42.a=Q Bax8
43.Ka7 Bf3
44.Bb8.....b-pawn will queen and will cost the black bishop. (1-0)

Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: After the 44th move.
The logical key: the king of White MUST absolutely pass on the case f5 without losing time, in order to force the decision by the promotion on a8; so, deviating the black g6 pawn is the ONLY way to reach this goal.
Apr-26-17  andrea volponi: 41...Ae4! -Kf4 Aa8 -Ke5 Ke7 -Ac5+ Kd8 -b4 Kd7 -b5 Kc8 -b6 Af3 -Kf6 Ae4 -a8=D Axa8 - Kxg6 Ae4+ -Kh6 .
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