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Jan Timman vs Jonathan Speelman
Linares (1992), Linares ESP, rd 10, Mar-08
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange. Saemisch Variation (D35)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-28-07  Resignation Trap: Two Bishops vs. One Knight (no pawns): the bishops win!
Jan-23-14  fishcat: Black resigned in a drawn position. It's been 50 half moves since the last capture, and with 91...Ng4 he can hold for more than 50 more with best play.

Or maybe he ran out of time.. or one of the modifications to the 50 move rule was in place.

Mar-12-16  Exploding: No, white can win in 23 moves because black can no longer set up a semi-fortress in the h8-corner.
Oct-31-17  Retireborn: I don't think they had tablebases then, but both players did get computer help during the adjournment. Timman annotated the game extensively in NiC. He thought Black should build a fortress with Ng7 and recommended 70...Ke4 with that in mind, and that 79.Be5 which prevents Ng7 was a winning move.

I am not sure that the 50 move rule would not intervene in that case, but I believe in 1992 the move limit was higher for this endgame.

Oct-31-17  Howard: Yes, around that time FIDE decided to up the limit to 75 moves, but only for specific endgames---such as BB vs N.
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: The game was adjourned on move 60, Speelman noting that 60..Kf3! was a forced draw. Jan van dear Herik provided Timman with computer analysis. Speelman tried the same tactic but his analysis never arrived!

Points to note
a) The 75 move rule was in force.
b) 67 Bf8? allowed 67..Kf4! when would be harder to break down Black’s ‘fortress’. c) 69 Kd3? was also a mistake since Black’s King could ‘go on the run’ with 69..Nf4+ 70 Kd2 Ke4 71 Bg7 Kd5 72 Bb2 Kc5 73 Bf1 Ne6 74 Ke3 Kd5 76 Bf6 Nc5 with a setup similar to the previous note.

BB vs N is a difficult ending to hold for 50 moves but this game indicates the following should be remembered.

Kling & Horwitz ‘fortress’ eg

click for larger view

It’s not a fortress but Black can usually hold out for some time unless the attacker is well placed.

Pseudo-fortresses eg

click for larger view

click for larger view

All of the ‘fortresses’ in this ending are pseudo in that they can be broken. These positions require more than 50 moves with correct play and are certainly worth heading for given the opportunity. Speelman acknowledged that in this game he was too wedded to Kling & Horwitz as the only option..

Illustrative play from the last position above: 1 Bc6 Na6 2 Ke4 Nc5+ 3 Ke5 Nd3+ 4 Kd6 Nb4 (not best but the human move) 5 Be4 Nd3 6 Bd5+ Kb5 7 Bf3 (unlikely to be played?) 7..Nc5 8 Kd5 Na4! (much better than 8..Nb7 9 Be5) 9 Be5 Nb6+ 10 Kd4 Na4 11 Bg3 Nb6 12 Be2+ Kc6

White has made some progress but in practice it may not feel like it for the attacker. Note that while in general Knights on the rim are dim, in this ending a Knight often moves to the edge where it is relatively safe.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

"Speelman tried the same tactic [get computer analysis] but his analysis never arrived!"

I remember that. They could not get though to Jon or his seconds. I was on holiday in a nearby hotel and was sent the analysis in a fax.

Then came a phone call: "Get this to the Speelman right away." was the instructions.

Don't be silly, I thought, Spielmann died in the 1940's, so threw it in the bin. (OOPS!)


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