Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Miguel Najdorf vs Henrique Mecking
Hoogovens (1978), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 3, Jan-22
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. King's Indian Formation (A15)  ·  1/2-1/2



Annotations by John Nunn.      [5 more games annotated by Nunn]

explore this opening
find similar games 6 more Najdorf/Mecking games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You should register a free account to activate some of's coolest and most powerful features.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  mahmoudkubba: Also to follow what the talk is abt here and there or in other places. If possible can someone guide me to other talks especially on this game and generally on the ch. community? apart from my knowledge of some of course.
Sep-03-06  CiclopeEstrabico: Iīm Brazilian and iīve already heard about this kicking stuff with Petrosian. Mecking is really an eccentric guy. He had a very serious deasease which almost lead to his death and he claims he was saved by Virgin Mary. Itīs incredible that even being a professional chess player, he canīt talk about chess, but only religion.
Sep-03-06  Tariqov: <jahhaj>Hmm, i didn't see all the variations after h5! I didn't even know about the last part, stalemate!!(when calculating)
Sep-06-06  avidfan: <euripides:> After <32.fxe4+ Kxe4 33.Ke2 f3+ 34.Kf2 Kf4 35.g5 hxg5 36.hxg5 Kxg5 37.Kxf3 Kf5 38.Ke3 Ke5 39.Kd3 Kd5 40.c4+ bxc4+ 41.Kc3> a6 42.a4 c6 43.a5 c5 44.b5 axb5 45.a6 Kc6 gets in the 'square' and wins.
Sep-06-06  euripides: <avid> thanks, that looks convincing.
Sep-06-06  LIFE Master AJ: I analyzed this ending out to a win, (after the correct 31...exf3!).
Sep-11-06  LIFE Master AJ: Anyone who wants a a copy of this analysis can e-mail me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: One possible winning line after <31...exf3> may be: 32.Kxf3 Ke5 33.h5 h6 34.a3 a6 35.Kf2 Kf6 36.Ke2 Kg5 37.Kf3 c6 38.Kf2 Kxg4 39.Kg2 f3+ 40.Kf2 Kf4 41.Ke1 Ke3 42.Kf1 f2; which is very similar to Mecking's original analysis as the pawn moves easily transpose.
Sep-18-06  LIFE Master AJ: This game was also analyzed in the Informant.
Mar-07-09  WhiteRook48: what are they Mecking me do?! :p
Mar-10-09  WhiteRook48: this is such a quiet game
Dec-03-17  leRevenant: Beyond my ken.
Dec-03-17  diagonalley: good end-game study... difficult, but not "insane"
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

White can produce a passed pawn on the king side if the black king tries to attack the pawn on c3.

The prosaic 31... e3+ seems to lose the advantage after 32.Ke2 Kc4 33.h5 Kd5 (33... Kxc3 34.g5 Kd4 35.g6 wins) and the black king ends up tied to White's g- and h-pawns but cannot attack them. Black cannot count with 33.g5 Kd5 34.Kd1 (or 34.h5 Ke5 35.g6 hxg6 36.h6 Kf6 - +) 34... Ke5 35.Ke2 Kf5 followed by Kg6 and h6 - +.

Therefore, 31... exf3 32.Kxf3 Ke5 and Black has three waiting moves (a6, c6, h6) while White only has two (a3, h5):

A) 33.g5 Kf5 34.Kf2 Kg4 - +.

B) 33.h5 h6 34.Kf2 (34.g5 hxg5 35.h6 Kf6 - +) 34... Kf6 35.Kf3 Kg5 36.a3 a6 - +.

C) 33.Kf2 Ke4

C.1) 34.g5 Kf5 35.Kf3 c6 36.a3 a6 37.Kf2 Kg4 - +.

C.2) 34.h5 Ke5

C.2.a) 35.Kf3 h6 36.Kf2 (36.g5 hxg5 37.h6 Kf6 - +) 36... Kf6 as in B.

C.2.b) 35.g5 Kf5 36.g6 hxg6 37.h6 Kf6 - +.

Dec-03-17  patzer2: Like Black in this game, in today's Sunday puzzle (31...?) position, I didn't see anything better than 31...e3+? which seems to peter out to a draw with best play.

I looked briefly at 31...exf3+! 32. Kxf3 Ke5 -+ but didn't realize it was winning. I suppose I was concerned about the possibility 31...exf3+ 32. Kxf3 Ke5 33. g5 (diagram below):

click for larger view

But here (diagram above) Black plays 33...Kf5 -+ and wins, because White will be the first to run out of moves and wind up on the losing side of a zugzwang position.

P.S.: Black's losing move was apparently 30. b4? allowing 30...Kd5 -+ (-12.64 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 8). Instead, 30. h4 = to ⩱ (-0.42 @ 44 ply, Stockfish 8) appears to hold.

Dec-03-17  patzer2: Forgot that I had analyzed this back in 2003, over 14 years ago. My memory of tactical and endgame positions is selective. Some I remember and some I don't.
Dec-03-17  WorstPlayerEver: "Creating a strong protected passed pawn is so natural that is easy to understand why Black played this move. However, it actually throws the win away."

Depends. e3 or exf3. In both cases a strong supported passed pawn is created. The question is: are the pawns used for attack or defense. And if that passed pawn is better guarded by a pawn or by the King. The King is -by far- the strongest piece in this situation, so the above comment actually does state nothing in particular about the difference of the two possible Black pawn moves at move 31.

The word 'natural' may refer to a pawn which did not cross the line yet. In this case it's nonsense, though. Black simply wins a tempo after 31... exf3 32. Kf3 Ke5

The point is: in any case the Black King has to occupy the f5 square before White plays h5/g5 (or vice versa). Kingside pawn majority has to be stopped first. As patzer2 has demontrated.

Dec-03-17  mel gibson: The computer says:

(31. .. exf3 (e4xf3 ♔f2xf3 ♔d5-e5 ♔f3-g2
♔e5-e4 ♔g2-f2 f4-f3 ♔f2-f1 ♔e4-e3 g4-g5 ♔e3-f4 ♔f1-f2 ♔f4-g4 h4-h5 ♔g4xg5 ♔f2xf3 ♔g5xh5 ♔f3-f4 ♔h5-h4 ♔f4-f5 h7-h5 ♔f5-f4 ♔h4-h3 ♔f4-f3 h5-h4 ♔f3-f2 ♔h3-g4 ♔f2-g2 ♔g4-f4 ♔g2-h3 ♔f4-e4) +9.99/27 381)

score for Black +9.99 depth 27.
200 million board combinations.

Dec-03-17  njchess: I remembered Nunn's analysis of this game. Like many pawn endgames, it came down to waiting moves and the king's positon relative to the pawns. These can be tough concepts to embrace during a game at any level. I suspect time control and one's natural inclination to create a passed pawn caused Black to play e3+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: per John Nunn..."Having a reserve tempo, that is a spare pawn move which can be executed at any time, is a great advantage in any zugzwang situation."

"If you possess one reserve tempo more than your opponent, than you need not fear losing the opposition since by using your reserve tempo you can pass the move to your opponent".

Today's puzzle position below, is a perfect example of this concept.

click for larger view

The side puzzle is to analyze the position, below. It's identical to the puzzle position except that black's c pawn is on c6 instead of c7.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: The conceptual ideas in these kind of positions, opposition, reserving tempos, etc. are straight forward enough, but I find it very difficult to calculate precisely the right solution, and in an over the board, tournament game with the clock running nobody is there to tell you whether there even is a solution. Even strong GMs like Mecking do not always get it right.
Dec-03-17  Howard: Joel Benjamin came out with a book a couple years ago on king-and-pawn endings...wonder is this one made it into the book. Anyone know ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: REQUEST ANALYSIS

click for larger view

Black to move

1) -16.56 (37 ply) 31...exf3 32.Kxf3 Ke5 33.Kf2 Ke4 34.h5 Ke5 35.g5 Kf5 36.g6 hxg6 37.h6 Kf6 38.Ke2 g5 39.h7 Kg7 40.h8=R Kxh8 41.Kf3 Kg7 42.Ke4 Kh7 43.Kf3 Kh8 44.Ke4 Kg7 45.Kf3 Kh7 46.Kg4 Kg6 47.Kf3 Kh5 48.Ke4 f3 49.Kxf3 Kh4 50.Ke3 g4 51.c4 bxc4 52.Kd2 g3 53.Kc2 g2 54.a4 g1=Q 55.a5

2) -0.33 (37 ply) 31...e3+ 32.Ke2 Kc4 33.h5 Kd5 34.Ke1 Ke5 35.Ke2 Kf6 36.Kd3 Ke6 37.Ke2 c6 38.Kd3 Ke5 39.Ke2 Kd5 40.Ke1 Ke6 41.Ke2 Ke5 42.Kd1 Kd6 43.Ke2 Ke7 44.Kd3 Kf7 45.Ke2 Kf6 46.Ke1 Kg5 47.Kd1 Kh6 48.Ke2 Kg7 49.Kd3 Kf6 50.Kc2 a6 51.Kd3

3) -0.33 (37 ply) 31...Ke5 32.Ke2 e3 33.h5 Kf6 34.Kd3 Ke6 35.Ke2 c6 36.Kd3 Ke5 37.Ke2 Kd5 38.Ke1 Ke6 39.Ke2 Kf6 40.Ke1 Kg5 41.Kd1 Kh6 42.Ke2 Kg7 43.Kd3 Kf6 44.Ke2 Ke5 45.Ke1 Kd6 46.Ke2 a6 47.Ke1 Ke5 48.Kf1 Kf6 49.Ke1 Kg5

25.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 8 v270317

Dec-03-17  gofer: I had three candidates; c5, e3+ and exf3. But two of them disappeared quickly.

31 ... c5
32 fxe4+ Kxe4
33 bxc5 Kd5
34 h5 Kxc5
35 h6! Kd5
36 g5 Ke5
36 g6 +-

click for larger view

The promotion is certain and the position is very famous!

31 ... e3+
32 Ke2 Kc4
33 h5

click for larger view

This looks like a draw. White doesn't care about Pc3 because Pg4 and Ph5 will promote if the black king ever tries to take it! Black has an infinite number of spare moves always timing the move into e2 perfectly - if white ever needs to protect Pf3.

<31 ... exf3!>

The only move that has any real chance of winning. The point being that is white accepts the pawn exchange that black gets into a simple winning position, where the black king can cover both Pg4 and Ph4, so black ends up winning.

32 Kxf3? Ke5 -+

click for larger view

This is a disaster for white. Black can play a6, c6 and h6 as waiting moves, whereas white only has a3 and h5. Playing g5 at any point allows Kf5 sealing white's fate because the two king side pawns will fall with the h pawn remaining for black!

So white must refuse both pawns. At which point the king must retreat because Pg4 and Ph4 must remain where they are leaving only Pa2 free to move.

32 Ke1 f2+
33 Kxf2 Ke4
34 Kg2 f3+ (h5 h6 +-)
35 Kf2 Kf4
36 g5 Kg4 -+

<32 Kf1 Ke5>

33 Ke1 f2+
34 Kf1 f3 -+

<33 Kf2 Ke4>

34 g5 Kf5
35 Kxf3 a6
36 a3 c6 -+

34 h5 Ke5!
35 Kxf3 h6
36 Ke2 Kf6!
37 Kf2 Kg5
38 Kf3 a6
39 a3 c6 -+

All seems lost for white...

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessCoachClark: There's a serious omission that I would like to fill for the other Kibitzers out there.

I noticed that LifeMasterAJ <LIFE Master AJ> offered, on 11 Sep 06: "Anyone who wants a copy of this analysis can e-mail me."

So, I did. Nearly two weeks later, I received the following quite terse e-mail response: "75.00 to my PayPal. Thanks for writing me ... or responding to my e-mail! :)"

So, the missing info is the exorbitant fee demanded for LifeMasterAJ's comments.

I don't pay that much for chess BOOKS, let alone for a few minutes of advice. Your call, of course, but at least you should know what was missing-- how much his analysis is going to cost you!!

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 3)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
a15 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense
from Kaufman Black 01 by cgrob
vikinx's favorite games
by vikinx
64idi0t's flank_&_english
by 64idi0t
Round Three, Game #16
from Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1978 by suenteus po 147
31...? (December 3, 2017)
from Sunday Puzzles, 2011-2017 by Phony Benoni
Enjoyable Endgames
by Bubo bubo
31...? (Sunday, December 3)
from Puzzle of the Day 2017 by Phony Benoni
from Zugzwang by Jaredfchess
my favourite endgames
by obrit
31...exf3!! wud hv won
from 29p_PAWN endgames by Patca63
A very instructive draw.
from Pawn Endgames by SpiritedReposte
31...? (September 3, 2006)
from Sunday Puzzles, 2004-2010 by Jaredfchess
Contradictory winning move
from King and Pawn endgames by avidfan
31...? (Sunday, September 3)
from POTD English 1 by takchess
from Zugzwang by patzer2
puzzle 3/9/2006 black to play 31..?
from puzzles from18/7/2006 by vuchamchi
from Puzzles by babywizard
by Lejgvs

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC