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Ladislav Prokes vs Victor Berger
Pardubice (1923), Pardubice CSR, rd 11
Zukertort Opening: Old Indian Attack (A06)  ·  0-1



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sac: 49...Kxe4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-18-08  vikinx: I think White should have resigned after 82. ...e1=♕.
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  mifralu: This game was played by <Vladimir> Berger

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A battle between two endgame titans. Prokes went wrong here with 56 Nd3. While there are several drawing moves, the one that is most instructive is 56 Kf2! getting the King in front of the pawns. The key idea is 56..f4 (56..g4 is met by 57 Kg3 blockading) 57 Nc6 g4 (57.. f3 58 Nxe5 obtains a drawn K&P ending) 58 Ne7!

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The Knight harries Black from the rear. Now pawn moves are no good: 58..g3+ 59 Kg2 or 58..f3 59 Kg3 so Black must move his King.

I) 58..Kd3 59 Nd5 and Black must go back since 59..Kc4 is easily met by 60 Nf6 establishing a blockade.

II) 58..Kd4 59 Ng6 and again Black cannot progress further.

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The drama though was not yet over. In the game, the Knight went to the less influential square d7. From the diagram, Berger missed the chance to attack it with 58..Kd6! 59 Nf6 Ke6 60 Nh5 f4 61 Ng7+ Kf6 62 Ne8+ Kg5 63 Nd6 Kh4 and this side penetration is decisive.

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  woldsmandriffield: But there was to be a late dramatic twist. Having first established a blockade and then winning one of the pawns, Prokes reached this position with the move:

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White went 79 Kf2? when 79 Kf1 would have drawn. Prokes must have counted on 79..e3+ 80 Kg2 e2 81 Ne5 but Berger played the far from obvious 80..f3+! and now if 81 Kxf3 the f3 square is no longer available to the Knight.

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  woldsmandriffield: Returning to the position after 76..Kd2

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77 Ne4+ Ke1 78 Kg2 Ke2 and now White must play 79 Nc3+ Ke3 (79..Kd3 is answered the same way) 80 Nd5+ Kd3 and the blockade is maintained by either 81 Kf3 or 81 Nf6

This ending illustrates how to defend Knight vs 3 connected passed pawns and is a good example to use in coaching.

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  Retireborn: Thanks to <woldsman> for very interesting endgame analysis.

Thanks also to <mifralu> for identifying the correct Berger. Chessbase playerbase gives his dates as 1902-1950.

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