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Eduard Gufeld vs John Fedorowicz
"Fedorowicz' End" (game of the day May-22-2008)
100th US Open (1999), Reno, NV USA, rd 7, Aug-17
Modern Defense: King Pawn Fianchetto (B06)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-25-02  pawntificator: I don't see anything wrong with 8. Nxe5, in fact, it doesn't look too bad at all. I wonder why he didn't play it.
Dec-25-02  Andre: I think black would reply: 8. Nxe5? Qa5+ and 9. Nc3 QxN.
Dec-27-02  pawntificator: doh!
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: A lot of "what ifs" in this game. What if 41...Rxa2+ ? If 44. Kd3, then 44...Ne6 and the h-♙ falls.

If 53...Rxd3, then 54. e5+ Kxe5 55. Bg6+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: I presume 55...Nxd3 56. Kxd2 Nxb4 is a losing endgame?

What is the general technique for winning this endgame? My guess is that an attempt by black to set up some sort of fortress will fail because of Zugswang and the e-pawn will fall. White will then target the h-pawn...?

Can someone explain the winning procedure?

May-22-08  arsen387: Really very interesting game. Much tactics! A nice trap is 49..Rxb4? 50.Rxc4 Rxc4 51.Nxe5+ winning a piece.
May-22-08  Justawoodpusher: <ajk68> When the Black King has to take care of the white queenside pawn the white King can devour the black king side pawns.
May-22-08  arsen387: I think <ajk68> talks about this position, which arises after 55...Nxd3 56. Kxd2 Nxb4:

click for larger view

White to play and win.
This of course requires some technique, which I don't know either. Can someone explain?

May-22-08  JohnBoy: <ajk> and <arsen> bring up a great point. Black must have resigned prematurely, thinking he had to trade rooks to a losing king ending (as pointed out by <Just>). The X-for-pawn ending is far from trivial. The knight gets to f4 via d5 and white will have his hands full.

Usually in these types of endings, the idea of the rook side is to give back the X at a time ensuring a won king-and-pawn situation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Funny,it looks like the end is easy,but it isn't. White WILL win rook for knight but he must then storm a fortress of king,pawns,and a knight at f4-all with just a rook and king (the pawns are useless-until if and when the fortress goes down). I think the defense can hold.
May-22-08  xKinGKooLx: I actually think this is a very hard endgame for White to play. Black has a passed pawn, and White must constantly watch out for a fork on his king and rook by the knight. Nd5 - f4 ties white to the defense of the h3 pawn. I actually think Black is winning!

Also, I don't get the pun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I think <al wazir> is right here: After <41...Ra2+ 42.Kd3 Nd6 43.Rb8 Rxh2> there is enough counterplay for black.

click for larger view


May-22-08  LORDsAngellos: I have no idea why Black resigns here - I still see winning chances for him!

55. Ke3 - Rxd3+
56. Rxd3 - Nxd3
57. Kxd3 - Ke5
58. Kc4 - Kd6
59. b5 - e5
60. Kb4 - Kd5
61. Ka5 - e4
62. b6 - Kb6
63. Ka6 - e3
64. Ka7 - e2
65. b7 - e1=Q
66. b8=Q - Qa5#!

I played out this line on my chess board. What am I missing that made black resign?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: White missed an earlier chance to win a couple of pawns with 52 e5!

click for larger view

Now, after 52…Ne4 53 Rxe7+ Kf8 54 Rxe6 Rxd3 white’s in good shape.

click for larger view

I also think that 51 Kf1!? wins a full piece. There are a lot of continuations to work through after that move, though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: With the amusing endgame tactic 55. Ke3!, White breaks Black's pin and forces a won King and pawn ending after 55...RxN+ 56. RxN NxR 57. KxR .
May-22-08  JohnBoy: <patzer2> - you've overlooked the alternative line, NOT reducing to a trivially won K+P ending. Read the above comments!
May-22-08  Wone Jone: Personally, the Modern Defense is not to my taste. I prefer the French or the Caro Kann against e4. The Modern just looks ugly!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: <xKinGKooLx> The pun in a play on the expression, "I'm at my wits' end." There is also a Christian radio program for children called Adventures in Odyssey in which one of the characters, John Avery Whittaker, runs an ice cream parlor called Whit's End.
May-22-08  thatperson42: <LORDsAngellos> instead of bringing the white king all the way around after Kxe3 white just pushes the pawn and when black goes to capture it grabs the e pawn and then the pawns on the g and h files
May-23-08  xKinGKooLx: <Chessmensch: The pun is a play on the expression, "I'm at my wits' end.">

Ah! Of course! Thanks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Quite apart from the interesting exchange-up endgame (for White) that Black chose not to attempt to defend, there is an intersting human interest story associated with this game. I happened to have witnessed its concluding moves in the ballroom of the Sands Regency in Reno, and when Gufeld played 55. Ke3, he twisted his King back and forth on the e3-square (as if he were trying to screw it into place) before releasing it. Fedorowicz took none too kindly to this gesture. He jumped up from his chair, spoke loudly and indignantly to Gufeld (I do not recall his exact words, but I believe the sense was something along the lines of, "Do you want to take this outside, Buddy?"), and then stormed out of the room. Perhaps in the emotion of the moment, GM Fedorowicz did not fully assess what drawing prospects he might have had.

Gufeld gave a lecture the afternoon of the next day analyzing the game, and I believe he demonstrated that the endgame was, indeed, 1-0, but I certainly cannot recall his analysis today, almost 10 years after the event.

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