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Maurice Ashley vs Larry Christiansen
Foxwoods op (2002), Connecticut, rd 6, Mar-28
Modern Defense: Standard Line (B06)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Possible conclusions for the game are pretty:

I. 50...Ka7 51.Nc6+(!) Ka8 52.Kb6 e3 53.Nd4 f5 54.a7 f4 55.Nb5 Ne6 (55...e1Q 56.Nc7#) 56.h7... 1:0.

II. 50...Ka8 51.Kb6 e3 52.Nd5 e2 53.a7 (most elegant, but 53.Nc7+ Kb8 54.a7+ Kc8 55.a8Q+ Kd7 56.Qe8+... also works) Ne6 55.h7... 1:0.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < patzer2> I suspect that the 51.Nc8+? and 52.Kc6? are inacuracies in your line -- replacing first by 51.Nc6+ and later by 52.Kb6 seems much better. Consider the following improvements for Black in your line: <50...Ka7 51. Nc8+ Kb8> (51...Ka8! 52.Kb6 e3 53.a7 e2 54.Nd6 e1Q ... and White is too slow to close the mating net) <52. Kc6 e3 53. a7+ Ka8 54. Kb6 Ne6> (54...e2! and White is too slow again) <55. h7 Nc5 56. h8=Q Na4+ 57. Kc7 Nc3 58. Qh1+ Ne4 59. Qxe4#) 53. a7 >
Apr-29-05  MrSpock: Does anybody have a winning line for white? Starting with move 45 I always end in a draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <MrSpock> Can you give us the key line(s) where you are getting stuck? We'd like to help, but it is not clear what to work on.

In general (IMKO), Black has no real improvement over the the game -- and I alredy gave two extensions of the game to White win a couple of posts above.

Apr-29-05  Helloween: 50...Ka7 is mate in 14: 51.Nc6+! Ka8 52.Kb6 e3 53.Nd4 e2 54.Nxe2 Nh7 55.Nd4 f5 56.Nb5 Kb8 57.a7+ Kc8 58.Kc6 Kd8 59.a8=Q+ Ke7 60.Qa7+ Ke6 61.Qc7 Nf8 62.Nd4+ Kf6 63.Qg7#

Apr-29-05  MrSpock: Thanks Gypsy:
45. Nf5, Ng5 46. Nxh4, e4 47. Nf5, Kb7, 48. Kd4, Ka6 49. Nd6, Kxa5 50. Nxe4, Nh7 Can you see better moves for white until now?
Apr-29-05  patzer2: <Mr. Spock> after 45. Nf5, Ng5 46. Nxh4, e4 47. Nf5, Kb7, White can improve with 48. Nd6+! See my initial post above for more detail. You may also wish to consider loading up a chess software program for analyzing these positions in depth. Most are inexpensive and some are I understand are free. I like my Fritz 8, but I understand Shredder 9 is even stronger and faster and that will be my next purchase.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < MrSpock: ... 45. Nf5, Ng5 46. Nxh4, e4 47. Nf5, Kb7, 48. Kd4, Ka6 49. Nd6, Kxa5 50. Nxe4, Nh7 Can you see better moves for white until now?> 48.Nd6+! Ka6 49.Nxe4 Nh7 50.Kb4 ; or 49...Nxe4 50.h7 ; or 49...Kxa5 50.Nxg5 . (More pedestrian 48.Kb5 should also win, I think.)
Apr-29-05  MrSpock: For Gypsy:
5. Nf5, Ng5 46. Nxh4, e4 47. Nf5, Kb7, 48. Nd6+, Ka6 49. Nxe4, Nf7(!), 50. h7, f5 is for me not clear.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <MrSpock> In a slight difference from my friend <p2>, I actually think it is great to ask others here for help with lines. It is one of the things that keeps this community vibrant and going -- other than debating the relative merits of Fischer, Lasker, and Capablanka... It would probably become a boring place if we all retreated solely to our own Fritzes and Juniors for analytical advice. That said -- and in a defense of the engines -- while I do not use analytical engine myself, I do ask friends here to have their engines to look into stiff lines when I get stumped.
Apr-29-05  MrSpock: For Gypsy:
45. Nf5, Ng5 46. Nxh4, e4 47. Nf5, Kb7 48. Nd6+, Ka6 49. Nxe4, Nf7(!) 50. h7, f5 51. Nd6, Nh8 52. Nxf5, Kxa5 53. Kd5, Kb6 54. Ke6, Kc7 55. Kf6, Kd7 56. Kg7, Ke8 57. Kxh8, Kf7 58. Nh6, Kf8 and the Knight has a difficult job to block out the king without giving chess!?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < MrSpock: For Gypsy: 5. Nf5, Ng5 46. Nxh4, e4 47. Nf5, Kb7, 48. Nd6+, Ka6 49. Nxe4, Nf7(!), 50. h7, f5 > Clever idea! But 51.Ng5 Ne5+ 52.Kb4 Ng6 53.Nf3 f4 54.Ne5 Nh8 (various transpositions to here) 55.Ka4 (immediate 55.Kc4 is a bit faster, but Ka4 is more 'principled':-)) 55...Ka7 56.Kb5 Kb7 57.Kc5 Ka6 58.Kd5 Kxa5 59.Ke6 Kb5 60.Kf6 Kc5 61.Kg7 Kd5 62.Kxh8 Kxe5 63.Kg7 f3 64.h8Q... still wins (65.Qh1 and 66.Qf1).
Apr-29-05  Nomen Nescio: What's wrong with 45. h7
Apr-29-05  Hesam7: <Nomen Nescio> I see:

45.h7 Nd6+

and after the white king moves Nf7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: For some reason I saw this very quickly. Perhaps because the moves prevents black's knight from shooting to f7 after a check on d6. this means that blacks alternative is to stop the h pawn at the cost of his own h pawn. after that the immobilization of the knight (to prevent h7 and the passed a pawn add up to a win. But i'm usually hopeless at endgames. It's like checkers.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < MrSpock: ... 45. Nf5, Ng5 46. Nxh4, e4 47. Nf5, Kb7 48. Nd6+, Ka6 49. Nxe4, Nf7(!) 50. h7, f5 51. Nd6, Nh8 52. Nxf5, Kxa5 53. Kd5, Kb6 54. Ke6, Kc7 55. Kf6, Kd7 56. Kg7, Ke8 57. Kxh8, Kf7 58. Nh6, Kf8 ... and the Knight has a difficult job to block out the king without giving chess!? > Yes, that would be a frustrating way to draw this -- white king trapped on h8 and the white knight not being able to spring him out by tempoing out his guard. It is only 51.Ng5! that wins (as given above), whereas 51.Nd6? Nh8! 52.Kb4 f4 just draws.

To complete the story for posterity, here is a pretty "trap" variation: 51.Nd6? Nxd6+? 52.Kc5! Nf7 53.Ke6 Nh8 54.Kxf5 Kxa5 55.Kf6 Kb5 56.Kg7 Kc5 57.Kxh8 Kd5 58.Kg7 ... which is a great king-knight chasedown. Pity that it is all but invalidated by the 51... Nh8!; but that does make it just accademic.

Apr-29-05  THE pawn: <Sneaky>

Ok, I see what you mean.

Apr-30-05  MrSpock: Thanks Gypsy, great! I now have a winning line for white: 45. Nf5, Ng5 46. Nxh4, e4 47. Nf5, Kb7 48. Nd6+, Ka6 49. Nxe4, Nf7 50. h7, f5 51. Ng5, Nh8 52. Kd5, Ng6 53. Nh3, Kxa5 54. Nf4, Nh8 55. Ke4, Kb5 and the black king is to late (one tempo) to block on f7/f8 1:0 I like to analyse endgames like this. I have reached several draws in lost positions because the young guys cant use their engines in the tournaments ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Richard Taylor: I worked out the first move but I had: 45. Nf5 (because it stops Nd6) then Ng5 46. Ne7+ and if now Kc7 47. Nd5+ Kb7 48. N:f6 h3 49. Ng4 - I thought that was a win...Nb6 mate

But the other line(s) that was (were) interesting was 46. ... Kb7 47. Kb5 h3 48. a6+ then if Ka7 49. Nc8+ Ka8 50. a7 h2 51. Ka6 h1=Q 52.Nb6 mate

I saw 46. Nxg4 and thought it was probably win but it looked to prosaic..

The line was : 46. Ne7+ Kb7 47. h7 N:h7 48. Kb5 h3 49. a6+ Ka7 50. Nc8+ Kh8 51. a7 (but I missed 51... Kb7 ) 51...h2 52. Ka6 h1=Q 53, Nb6 mate

Very sad but the other idea was if 49. ... Kc8 50. Kb6 h7 51. a7+ Ka8 52 Nd5 the reason for my 47. h7!! as now Black cant play Knight to e6 - and now if 47.... h8=Q Nc7 mate

Oh well I had a brilliant idea but failed - I failed brilliantly! - an didn't calculate accurately -if Black didn't have that resource that game would have been immortal!! As play it is a bit dull, a bit predictable.... but a better result than I would have got! But I got the general ideas and the first two moves...

Also if (in my line) 46. Ne7 Kc7 48. Nd5+ Kc6 (there are other King moves of course) 49. N:f6 h3 50. Ng4 and I felt White was winning...but just now blast and bother I see I over looked that White cant take on e5 because the knight forks and picks up the h6 pawn - so I found a brilliant way to draw or just draw and in one line to (probably) lose for White!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <gypsy> my analysis reached the final postion ( and by h7 puts the knight out of range of e6 to defend c7 ) was more or less the same finish you analysed EXCEPT that I tried to do it without taking the h pawn - lol
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <ewenaruds > that is an ingenious line but if 52 a8=Q its a draw but you had some brilliant ideas there!!

I saw some similar - but I abandoned h7 as I thought it looked too obvious for a puzzle! I cant tell you if your line is winnning or not I dont think anyone can really thoroughly analsye this position with or without a computer...

OTB I would probably have played as in the game -more or less- but analysing -in my noggin - at home I was looking for something ultra - and but in OTB one tends not to take such risks as in my analysis -or one gets very nervous about h pawns threatening to become Queens

But your anaylsis was very insightful - happy birthday!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <MrSpock> Clean, sophisticated line! Btw, your initial question made me spend more time on this endgame (Thx!) -- it is a great one.

<Richard Taylor> You seem to have soo much fun it is contagious!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Gypsy> yes - I suppose when I was youner winning (or being right) was all -now I have les testosterone or whatever raging around in me!! Or I'm wiser?? I don't want to "crush another person's mind" - Fischer's idea more or less (sounds awful) - I find that I am going to have to do every second one as I will be exhausted - I think I lost some OTB games as was up very late trying to solve the problem or the game position - but they are great...

(Richard to lose? Solution - stay up late analysing on!!)

But we need to remember that Chess is - or most of us - a game - or is it ??? Anycase if at some level we are not enjoying chess let's do something else...

Mar-06-08  CapablancaFan: Amazing endgame technique by Ashley! The game should have been a draw, Ashley says "I don't think so!".
Mar-28-13  dumbgai: Maurice Ashley uses positions from this game in his TED talk:
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