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Geza Maroczy vs Frank Marshall
Monte Carlo (1903), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 11, Feb-24
Van't Kruijs Opening: General (A00)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-17-12  TheaN: <SuperPatzer77>

Doh! What would happen otb if I'd really play Kf3 followed by Kh2 would be something like "why the heck am I repeating the position I just tried to avoid?". Thanks for the notice but I'd probably correct myself on time considering it is the starting position of the puzzle. Otb that is even more clear.

Jul-17-12  Stormbringer: Ironically, due to board blindness I thought that the position required Kf4 to prevent losing the pawn. In the actual board position (as compared to whatever deranged fantasy land I was living in at the time), I think Kf4 _still_ wins (due to opposition), though Kf2 is perhaps the more obvious one.
Jul-17-12  sfm: 41.-,Nxb3!! is brilliant. Did Marchall really see that far? Count one wrong, and suddenly it is Black that loses.
Jul-17-12  SuperPatzer77: <TheaN> Yeah, it is sort of tricky for the overconfident players.

Black's moves are ♔f3 or ♔h3.

1...♔f3 may lead to stalemate -diagram #1 below:

click for larger view

Stalemate when it's White's turn to move.

1...♔h3 may lead to a win - diagram #2

click for larger view

Now it is not stalemate.

So, that's why Frank Marahall chose 63...♔h3!.


Jul-17-12  David2009: Maroczy vs Marshall, 1903 Monday's problem arises from an exceptionally interesting N ending won by Marshall against Maroczy 1903. Rewind to move 39:

click for larger view

How does White save this ending? (Maroczy-Marshall 1903 39?) Crafty End Game Trainer link to defend it:

The draw is there (at least against Crafty EGT): I am pleased that I found it first time. Perhaps all this practice against the EGT is at last paying off. Finding the draw would make a good Tuesday/ Wednesday problem.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <sfm: 41.-,Nxb3!! is brilliant. Did Marchall really see that far?>

Astonishing, but I'm sure he did. What would have made it tough to play is he'd have to be sure he hasn't overlooked a neat zwischenzug or some other clever move by W some 10 moves down the line.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <David2009 .... Finding the draw would make a good Tuesday/ Wednesday problem.>

In my case we're talking Saturday or Sunday level.

Jul-17-12  master of defence: It´s easy, but black can´t advance the pawn now, and the correct is start with 61...Kf2 62.Kh1 Kg3!(only move to win) 63.Kg1 Kh3! 64. Kf1(h1) g3 65. Kg1 g2 66.Kf2 Kh2 followed by 67...g1=Q. All positions of K+p vs K with the pawn in 5º file and the king in front of pawn is winning, except when the pawn is a rook pawn. A exemple:

click for larger view

Jul-17-12  kevin86: Black must avoid the stalemate by forcing the white king from the corner.Obviously,with a rook pawn,the king can NEVER be chased from the queening square and the game would be drawn. With a bishop pawn,there is a trap:

click for larger view

hite is stalemate

Jul-17-12  Phony Benoni: <ossipossi> After <46.a4>:

click for larger view

Black will win quickly after <46...Ke2!>. The d-pawn cannot be stopped from promoting, and since it will advance with check Black wins a vital tempo in the race to promote. For instance, 47.a5 d3+ 48.Kb2 d2 49.a6 d1Q.

The idea of putting the king on the 7th rank, where it protects the last three squares in the pawn's path, is a very common one that you will find useful in pawn endings.

Another interesting point arises a bit later, but take a look at the above diagram again. I believe that many would not play for this position as Black because White has the dreaded "Outside Passed Pawn". True enough, but that's an advantage only if the opponent has to try and stop it. Here. Black's king position is so strong that he can use it to create winning counter-threats.

Now, after <50...f2>:

click for larger view

Why doesn't White promote? Because after <51.a8Q f1Q+ 52.Kc2/d2 Qg2+ 53.Qxg2+ Kxg2> Black has the outside passed pawn (or at least a pawn removed from the main theater of action) <and White must try to stop it>. Black mops up the h-pawn and then has an even easier win than the game, since he can block off White's king: <54.Kd3 Kg3 55.Kxd4 Kxh4 55.Ke3 Kg3>, followed by pushing the pawn to g4 and moving the king to the ideal h2 square.

White could try <54.h5> here, hoping to draw against the h-pawn, but again Black's active king would cut White off.

So, in the second diagram, Maroczy's <51.Ke2> was quite a good move. Marshall couldn't play 51...Kg2?? 52.a8Q+, so was "forced" to find the brilliant <51...d3+>. White in turn couldn't capture on d3, so played <52.Kd2> and both sides promoted and the queens got traded and Marshall won on the kingside. But by luring Black's d-pawn forward White saved a couple of tempi capturing it, meaning he was able to get his king in front of the pawn and set the stalemate trap.

Maroczy was not easy to beat.

Jul-17-12  JohnBoy: Sunday's GotD - Short vs I Cheparinov, 2008 - required this ending. Anyone who examined the mechanism by which Short would have polished off Chep would be primed for this puzzle.
Jul-17-12  BOSTER: <Phony Benoni> < "king on the sixth in front of pawn "wins">.

<dumbgal> <Note that when the king is directly in front of his pawn, the position is winning>.

A pawn on the rook-file is an exception to the general rule. Even, rook pawn can't be promoted if the enemy king is excluded from the corner, when the white king can reach f1 or f2 before this pawn reached its 7 rank.

click for larger view

black to play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Looking good for backward <g4> queens it off in a kit swop and a why in means alone king in h2 for g1 maybe wall it ok in carriage g3 going g1 line kingh3 and job g4 after g3 me think again fat chance in h1 or devious have good game in peg it is h2 in kingh1 at kingf2 could gang for g1 river try it double in gfile answer kingf2 wide berth?
Jul-17-12  The Last Straw: took me some time and ended up getting 61...♔f2 62.♔h1 ♔g3 63.♔g1 ♔h3!
Jul-17-12  Clodhopper: This is a textbook set-piece, not a Tuesday problem. Finally my rote book-learning stood me in good stead.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: There is a lot of good teaching here and once you know what you are doing, then it becomes clear. But I would still hold that if we look through the comments and examples, this is not 'easy', except in the rather trivial sense that an answer you know is always easy. I think most average chess players would have trouble with this... unless, like <Clodhopper> you have learned how. Not complaining, but just noting.
Jul-17-12  agb2002: A technical win: 61... Kf2 62.Kh1 Kg3 63.Kg1 Kh3

A) 64.Kh1 g3 65.Kg1 g2 66.Kf2 Kh2, etc.

B) 64.Kf1(2) Kh2 controls the promotion square and wins.

Jul-17-12  MountainMatt: Holy cow. Well, I haven't studied a lot of these sorts of "set pieces", so I had to rely on my own pitiful calculating abilities. It took a LONG time to realize the key (I think?) - deny white the corner (h1) square. Once out of the corner, the white king has space to move, and must therefore do so.

61. ...Kf2 62. Kh1 Kg3 63. Kg1 Kh3 and now the pawn can advance without stalemating. I'm sure this really isn't so tough, but it was for me!

Jul-17-12  shishio71: Wow, that actually took me a minute... Good practice though
Jul-17-12  zb2cr: Hi <Oxspawn>,

In attempting to teach a friend's teenage son how to play K&P endgames, I suggested the following: Consider American football. Think of the King as the fullback, the lead blocker coming through the hole to clear the path for the runner (the Pawn). This kind of general rule mnemonic stood him in good stead in remembering how to play K&P endgames. Until you have completely assimilated all of the endgame rules, this kind of general mnemonic can be quite useful.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: 61...Kf2! wins.
(The idea is a bit of triangulation, ...Kg3; and then ...Kh3. Then all Black does is push his Pawn to g2, play ...Kh2; and then promote his Pawn.)

The pawn push of 61...g3+; is tempting ... but dead wrong. ('?') (62.Kh1! and now its a draw. 62...Kf2; is a stalemate, as is 62...g2+; 63.Kg1, Kg3.)

Jul-18-12  ossipossi: Yep, 46.a4 is also losing. Realized.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: Oxspawn: Hi <zb2cr> - I am sure this is helpful, but now I have to learn American football as well! Got any cricket metaphors? I do take your the point - however in this case it is is the backstepping Kg3 that is the tricky move to spot.
Aug-14-12  mitchnowak: ka8,bb8,♔c8
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 41.Nd2 loses by force after 41...Nxb3! 42.Nxb3 c4+ as Marshall has demonstrated in the text, and also 41.b4 looks quite bad for 41...c4+. But what about 41.Kc2 Ke4 42.Ne1? Here 42...Nb7 43.Nd3 Kf3 44.Ne5+ Kxg3 45.Nxg6 f4 46.Ne5 f3 47.Nxf3! Kxf3 48.Kd3 seems to hold the game equal.
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