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Laszlo Szabo vs Geza Fuster
Budapest (1937)
Bogo-Indian Defense: Grünfeld Variation (E11)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Szabo's <45.Kxf5?> is careless for a player of his class, he should have played <45.h4>!

Fuster reciprocates with 45...Kf8??
<45...h4> is a draw as the pawns are doubled! After: 46.gxh4 Kf8 47.h5 Kg7 48.h4 f6 49.Kf4 Kh6 50.Kg4 f5+ 51.Kxf5 Kxh5 Szabo could not make any progress.

If Szabo delays taking the pawn, things are no better for him: <46.g4> h3 47.Kg5 Ke7 48.Kh4 Kf6 49.Kxh3 Kg6 50.Kg3 f5 51.gxf5+ Kxf5

Dec-29-06  syracrophy: 45...h4! was the saving shot. (As <Chessical> points it out)
Dec-29-06  chessmoron: A nice change of scenery here.

<Chessical> A wonderful find and clear analysis.

Dec-29-06  ernieb: What if after 45...h4, 46.g4
Dec-29-06  syracrophy: <ernieb> Take a look at <Chessical>'s analysis
Dec-29-06  ernieb: Okay, thanks.
Dec-29-06  syracrophy: In the endgames, a basic saving resource is to sacrifice a pawn to double the opponent's pawns to make them weaker <A clear example of it is the great <41...a6!> of the great game Capablanca vs Carlos Torre, 1925, which was drawn by this saving resource>. So, that after the opponen't pawns are weak, they can be easily controlled, even captured.

For example:

click for larger view

Is and easy win for White, but check now:

click for larger view

It's a draw!

Now, an example:

click for larger view

Black saves himself with 1...b4! 2.cxb4 <Not 2.c4?? b3! and now Black's winning> 2...♔b5 and it's a dead draw

Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: Yeah, 45...h4, creating doubled rooks' pawns was the idea I immediately found. I can't believe I got a Friday!

I think it's weird that this puzzle should go uncommented. Usually when the solution is not what was being played there's an annotation mentioning the correct move.

Dec-29-06  MrPatzer: <syracrophy: 45...h4! was the saving shot.> Hey, I got the answer! Kramnik better watch out, because I'm coming for him.
Dec-29-06  dzechiel: Boy, black's 45th is sure a lemon. It's obvious that there is no way that black will win this game, therefor black has to make moves that bring about the draw as quickly as possible.

Once 45...h4 is played, the pawn cannot be taken because, as any beginner knows, the rook pawn (or rook pawns in this case) allow the defender to draw easily.

After 45...h4, white must push the g-pawn or risk a simple drawn K&P v K&P position. But then black plays 46...h3 and when white tries to take the h-pawn with his king, it will give black time to trade off the his f-pawn for the white g-pawn, once again leaving white with just the useless h-pawn.

It's really surprising that this move was not found, as move 45 is typically after time control when black would have lots of time (or even an adjournment) to study the position.

Dec-29-06  euripides: <If Szabo delays taking the pawn, things are no better for him: <46.g4> h3 47.Kg5 Ke7 48.Kh4 Kf6 49.Kxh3 Kg6 50.Kg3 f5 51.gxf5+ Kxf5> also 50.Kh4 f5 51.g5 f4 52.Kg4 f3 53.Kxf3 Kxg5 draws.
Dec-29-06  ahmadov: The puzzle says "Black to play". I was looking for a draw. This is the first puzzle in which I find a player to play and... lose.
Dec-29-06  greensfield: We did the puzzle over lunch, thought that black had no chance of a win, and voted 45...h4 to double up white pawns or push on to h3 if White declines to double up. We thought this was the way to go for a draw.
Dec-29-06  TrueBlue: way too easy, feels like Christmas :)
Dec-29-06  dzanone: 46...h4 47.Kxh4 f6 48.Kg4 Kg7 49.Kf5 Kf7 50.h4 Kg7 51.g4 Kf7 52.h5 Kg7 53. h6+ Kxh6 54.Kxf6 and White can make no headway. I wondered why no one mentioned having the King take the pawn; it doesn't go anywhere.
Dec-29-06  slomarko: i needed 2 secs to solve this puzzle something more difficult please
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: How about that! I answered a Friday puzzle that the master (who played the game) missed.I saw h4 immediately based on two factors: First is white takes,the game is hopelessly drawn,even without black's pawn at f7. Second,after the annoying problem of rounding up the pawn after refusing the exchange,black's king can become more aggressive and hold the draw-instead of being forced into a passive stance as in the text.
Dec-29-06  TrueBlue: solmarko, same position, white to play
Dec-29-06  YouRang: I found 45...h4 right away as a drawing move for black:

If 46. gxh4, the h pawns are doubled and it's an easy draw (in fact, black can give away his f-pawn and still draw).

If 46. g4, then black will be able to trade his f-pawn for white's g-pawn, leaving another rookfile pawn draw.

If 46. (any king move) allows 46...hxg3 and there's no way to get past black's f-pawn.

It was so easy (for a Friday) that I thought, "gee, maybe black is supposed to WIN this". (A dumb thought, I know.)

Good puzzle though. I have to assume that it would be difficult for <> to find a good puzzle in a game if the player him/herself didn't find it! Did someone analyze this game and submit it as a candidate puzzle?

Dec-29-06  WarmasterKron: Probably the first Friday I've got in some time, and quite easy, too. Doubling the pawns on the rook's file with the defending king controlling the queening square is an important theme in king and pawn endgames.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <dzanone: 46...h4 47.Kxh4 f6 48.Kg4 Kg7 49.Kf5 Kf7 50.h4 Kg7 51.g4 Kf7 52.h5 Kg7 53. h6+ Kxh6 54.Kxf6 and White can make no headway.>

I assume your analysis is intended to begin from the actual game position after 45. … Kf8? 46. Kg5 …, but if so, the position in which you say, “White can make no headway”, is, in fact, winning for White, for example (starting from the puzzle position and then the following moves: 45...Kf8? 46.Kg5 h4 47.Kxh4 f6 48.Kg4 Kg7 49.Kf5 Kf7 50.h4 Kg7 51.g4 Kf7 52.h5 Kg7 53.h6+ Kxh6 54.Kxf6, to reach the end of your analysis, White wins as follows: 54. … Kh7 55.g5 Kg8 (or 55...Kh8 56.g6 Kg8 57.g7 Kh7 58.Kf7 ) 56.Kg6 Kh8 57.Kf7 Kh7 58.g6+ .

Dec-29-06  slomarko: <TrueBlue> well h4
Dec-29-06  dakgootje: Found the idea of h4, however didn't take the time to calculate whether it really worked.
Dec-29-06  TrueBlue: slomarko, yes, you got that one as well :)
Dec-29-06  scorpius: This puzzle is near the beginning in Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics
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