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Iweta Radziewicz Rajlich vs Karina Cyfka
Polish-ch (women) (2012), Warsaw POL, rd 8, Feb-25
Tarrasch Defense: Classical Variation (D34)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Oh, no! There's seven pieces on the board! I'll have to use my brain instead of a tablebase!
Jan-12-13  dzechiel: Pretty straight forward for a Saturday.
Jan-12-13  rilkefan: I (perhaps miraculously) saw up to move 62 and figured white was won, but I've no idea if that was the best defense for black.
Jan-12-13  rilkefan: Interesting problem: black to move, 58...?
Jan-12-13  czxcjx: The key difference between 61.Rh4 and 61. e6! that makes the game move winning is that after 61.Rh4 Ra6+, there is no longer the threat of Rb8#. This gives rise to the line of, for example, 61.Rh4 Ra6+ 62.e6 Kg8 63. Rg4+ Kf8 64. Rxg3 Ra7 65. Rh3 Rf7+! with a stalemate draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: This is a pretty good test of endgame skills for us casual players.

Let's diverge from the text and proceed with 60...Kg8 61 e6 Ra6 62 Rxg4+ Kf8.

click for larger view

There are 4 and only 4 winning moves for white. What are they and why do they work?

The answer key is below.

Jan-12-13  SuperPatzer77: What an amazing Rook endgame by Iweta Radziewicz Rajlich!!!


Jan-12-13  stacase: Just in the nick of time.
Jan-12-13  newzild: Saturday, 3pm:

This looks easy:

59. Kf6 (threatening 60. Rb8 mate)

a) 59...Ke8 60. e6 Ra8 (60...Kd8 61. d7+ Kc8 62. e8=Q+) 61. Rxb4, winning both of Black's pawns.

b) 59...Ra8 Rxb4 and again the pawns drop.

c) 59...Kg8 60. Rb8+ Kh7 61. e6 and I can't see any way for Black to stop the pawn.

Time to check.

Good as gold. Too simple for a Saturday.

Jan-12-13  triangulation: I usually don't get saturdays, but let me try....

59. Kf6 looks the best move at a glance. It threatens mate as well as clears the path of the e pawn. 59 ... Ke8 (if Kg8 then Rg7+ picking up the g pawn; if Ra6+ then e6 threatening mate and Rxb4 will follow) 60. e6 Kd8 61. e7+ Kc8 I've got to be missing something. I think black will go into the other lines I mentioned preferring to lose a pawn and posing a better resistance with a more active rook.

Time to check.

Jan-12-13  david p: saw K-f6 straight off and thought ``too obvious``. Today is Saturday right?
Jan-12-13  morfishine: 59.Kf6 threatening mate must be the first move. Black has 2 ways to parry: 59...Ke8 or 59...Ra8. Since 59...Ra8 60.Rxb4 & 59.Kg8 looks unplayable due to 60.Rg7+ Kf8 61.Rxg4;

<59.Kf6 Ke8 60.e6> forcing Ra8 anyways

<60...Ra8 61.Rxb4>

PM: Looks like its time to dust-off Fine's Rook ending Book

Jan-12-13  justin2seo: oh I found it~
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Not sure why, but the mate threat isn't why I found Kf6 so quickly. It was the desire to use the e Pawn as a shield against Rook checks along the a file. Nice study. Endgames shine a light on the logic of Chess.
Jan-12-13  GauraNitai: Iweta Rajlich. Wife of Vas. Rybka?
Jan-12-13  gofer: Not sure why this is "Very Difficult", but endgames are a huge problem for me so may be I am way off base. Perhaps if one of the black pawns were on b3 or g3 then this would be "Very Difficult", but it seems pretty straight forward

<59 Kf6 ...>

59 ... Ra6+ 60 e6 Kg8 61 Rg7+! Kf8 62 Rxg4 Rb6 63 Rc4 Kg8 64 Rc8+ Kh7 65 Kf7 59 ... Ke8 60 e6 Kd8 61 e7+ Ke8 62 Rb8+
59 ... Kg8 60 Rg7+! Kf8/Kh8 61 Rxg4


I don't think <59 ... Ra8> puts up much of a defense. I also think white's <62 Rh4> over complicates things. <62 Rg4> is absolutely fine as Ra8 cannot protect the pawn due to 1 e7+ Ke8 2 Rg8+ Ke7 3 e8=Q+ winning. So all black can do is play Rb7 delaying the inevitable.


I then look at <Jimfromprovidence>'s post and see that <62 Rg4> makes life 20 times more complicated for white. The tablebases make it clear that there is a win after <62 Rg4>, but is a very hard struggle!

Jan-12-13  morfishine: <Jimfromprovidence> Thanks for the table-base! Its now saved in my profile.

Yes, Rb4/c4/d4/h4 are the winning moves

Jan-12-13  David2009: Saturday 12 January - an ending for a change
I Rajlich vs K Szczepkowska-Horowska, 2012 White 59?

click for larger view

The obvious first move is 59.Kf6 exploiting the fact that the Pb4 blocks the saving Rook check Rf4+. Rather than attempt to analyse I set the ending up on Crafty End Game Trainer link: and tried to win it OTB.

Alas, first time round I blundered the win away; the ever-alert EGT foiled me with the defence 59...Ra6+ 60.e6 Kg8 61.Rxb4 g3 62.Rg4+ Kf1 63.Rxg3 Ra7! 64.Rb3 Rf7+! draw since exf7 is stalemate. Second time round I found a win which I leave you to discover (hint: try to gain a tempo in the first line). Or just check how the game finished? Time to do just that:
Black defended differently and lost differently. Rather than post the win against Crafty EGT, I will leave others to do so: if no-one does I will post it later.

<Phony Benoni: Oh, no! There's seven pieces on the board! I'll have to use my brain instead of a tablebase!> Like it!

Jan-12-13  Marmot PFL: Seemed like a fairly basic ending. Black didn't defend very well, probably because it was hopeless anyway.
Jan-12-13  snakebyt: Seemed obvious to me too at first. I got the first first move Kf6. Then ...Ra6+ which sent everything in a different direction kinda. I still took out the bPawn w/ RXb3. But I didn't want the blk pawn to QUEEN UP!!! Which here in the end locked in blkK and became key to this pawn castle headlock. To me this is a brilliant ending! But what do I know... :)
Jan-12-13  LoveThatJoker: <59. Kf6>

A) 59...Ke8 60. e6 Kd8 (60...Ra8 61. Rh7 ) 61. e7+! Kc8 (61...Ke8 62. Rb8+ ) 62. e8=Q+ Kxb7 63. Qxa4

B) 59...Kg8 60. Rb8+ Kh7 61. e6 g3 [61...Ra6 62. Rxb4 Kg8 (62...g3 Kf7 ) 63. Rb8+ Kh7 64. Kf7 ; 61...Ra1 62. e7 Rf1+ 63. Kg5 Re1 (63...g3 64. e8=Q ) 64. e8=Q Rxe8 65. Rxe8 ] 62. e7 g2 63. e8=Q g1=Q 6. Qh8#

C) 59...Ra8 60. Rxb4 g3 (60...Ra6+ 61. e6 ) 61. Rh4 Kg8 62. Rg4+ Kf8 62. e6 Ra6 63. Rxg3


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A great and complex finish. At first I feared that white couldn't even SAVE the game. The final position is a hoot:black has a queen and rook while white has a solo pawn and rook.

White is destined to come out a rook and queen AHEAD!!

Jan-12-13  LoveThatJoker: Hi guys! Could someone be so kind to run my 'C' line through an engine please?

I am at the Art Gallery in my city, and I have no way of checking at the moment.

Thank you,


Jan-12-13  Marmot PFL: The only move I had any question about was 60 Rxb4 or e6. I don't think it matters anyway as the positions reached are the same. Other than that white's means seemed to be determined by the position and didn't require much if any calculation.
Jan-12-13  Marmot PFL: <Hi guys! Could someone be so kind to run my 'C' line through an engine please?> <C) 59...Ra8 60. Rxb4 g3 (60...Ra6+ 61. e6 ) 61. Rh4 Kg8 62. Rg4+ Kf8 62. e6 Ra6 63. Rxg3 >

61 Rh4? is inaccurate ex.61...Kg8 62 e6 Rf8+ 63 Kg6 g2 64 Rg4 Rf4!=. 61...Ra6+ 62 e6 Kg8 also draws. 61 e6 is the only way for white to win.

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