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Salomon Flohr vs Vera Menchik
Margate (1936), Margate ENG, rd 5, Apr-20
Dutch Defense: Nimzo-Dutch Variation (A90)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-29-18  goser: What an interesting pawn endgame! Flohr played "natural" 48. Kc6 but Menchik was very accurate (48...Kg6!). As the engine shows, White could win with 48. Kb7!! and Black has no way to keep opposition.
Oct-29-18  MelvinDoucet: <@goser> 48. <♔c7>, as 48. ♔b7 is a draw after 48... ♔f7.

48. ♔c7 ♔f7
49. ♔d7! (49. ♔xc6? ♔g6 1/2-1/2) ♔f6
50. ♔d8

or 48... ♔f8
49. ♔d8 ♔f7
50. ♔d7 transposing.

(Draw if white's move.)

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <MelvinDoucet: <@goser> 48. <♔c7>, as 48. ♔b7 is a draw after 48... ♔f7. ...> Something is fishy over here: Black played <47...Kxf7> and the move 48...Kf7 is therefore unavailable.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: As far as I can say, <48.Kb7!> indeed would have won the game. In turn, <48.Kc7? Kg7> draws just as surely as the <48.Kxc6? Kg6> did.

The applicable endgame theory is that of <corresponding squares>. (One can probably also find the drawing moves by looking for the <distant opposition>.)

After the <48.Kb7!>, Black corresponding-square move would be 48...Kh7; but her king cannot get there

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Menchik has chosen a difficult opening scheme and never really equalized. After <44...Rf7> Flohr had three winning plans available:

(1) <45.Ra8...> to switch his primary attack towards Pe6

(2) <45.Rd8...> to strengthen his current attack against Pb7

or, as in the game, the forcing trade into a pure king and pawn endgame

(3) <45.c6> Rxc6+ 46.Rxc6 bxc6 47.Rxf7+ Kxf7 ....

This liquidation into the pawn endgame (3) may be at once the simplest and the most difficult pathway to a win to take. It is so because the path is narrow and exacting: If Black plays her defense right then on three consecutive steps White king is left with only one rather non-intuitive step without allowing a draw:

<48.Kb7! Kf6! 49.Kc8! Kg7! 50.Kc7! ...>

Once this dance of kings through the narrows of choices is over, White path to win becomes wider and simpler.

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