Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Round Three of the 2015 960 Tournament Completed - and a Zugzwang!

Very exciting evening of chess action. The winners tonight were:

Vince V
Gene M
Paul M
Ken T
Congratulations to the winners.

Round Four pairings will be published soon.

But in the mean time, Zack R does it again and plays another very exciting and educational game that your scribe just had to cover for you.

It was a Fischer Random 960 game. But we are going to pick it up in the middle and it looks like a standard game. 
However, Black has built a big lead to this point.
Black is sailing along and has slowly built up a huge positional lead to go along with his piece advantage (-6). He has an extra pawn and knight and better protection for his King. White can only attempt for counter-play and hope Black gets lazy with this huge lead.

22. Qh4                 d5?
With this wasted move, Black ignores White’s threat to his King and tries instead to open up the center. But White can quickly get three pieces near Black’s King and Black really only has a knight in the area.  And White now moves quickly to remove him. Black is up 4 points in material but White is up 2.2 pawns in position, which equals (-1.8).
This is why we love chess! There are several ways to win.......and lose.
g5                    Ne4
fxe4                 dxe4
Bxe4                g6
Rxf4                Bd5
Re1                  Rxe4
Rexe4              Re8
Kg1                 Rxe4
Rxe4                Bxe4
Qxe4               Qd8
The game is now EVEN, and the clocks are getting low on time. But they play on.

h4                    Qd6
Qe8+               Kg7
Qe5+               Qxe5
dxe5                Kf8
Kf2                  Ke7
Ke3                 Ke6
White actually has the advantage here (+.25). In the post-game analysis, with four other members of the club, both players were actually worried about still losing the game after this long battle. White was happy to survive with a draw and Black was deflated about drawing what was a ‘won’ game earlier.
Ke4                 b5
c3                    c5???
Game agreed to a draw with everyone’s clock time running low.

Black’s last move was a game LOSER!
Black has walked into what is known as a ‘zugzwang”.

In other words, he will lose because IT IS HIS MOVE! These are very painful and this situation happens fairly often in an even endgame. Looking for them MUST be part of your endgame strategy.

Black had to play 39…..b6 or Ke7, giving him safe move options. Black cannot allow the White King entry into his position because White has a dangerous e-pawn. Black’s c6 and g6 pawns were keeping White’s King at bay. Now Black will be forced to ‘move’ his King and allow the enemy monarch into his camp.
So now there is:

a3                    b6
c4                    b4
a4                    Kd7
Kd5                 Kc7
E6!                  Fxe6
Kxe6               Kc6
Kf7                  Kd6
Kf6!                Kd7
White must waste a tempo, zugzwanging Black again!

Kg7                 Ke6
Kxh7               Kf5
Kg7!                Ke4
White zugzwangs his opponent yet again.

Kxg6               and it is over.
It would have been an amazing finish!

1 comment:

  1. Yes I know .....the White f-pawn belongs on f3 in the first diagram. I will fix it as soon as I get a chance.