Saturday, May 12, 2018

Rd 2 Complete for Club Championship 050718 - Kid's Night Monday!

White to make move #31
The 2nd round of the Club Championship was completed this Monday. Pairings will be out by this coming Monday - which is (drumrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroll!) - Kid's Night!

May 14th is Kid's Night, and not a tournament night. So come on by with the younger chess players in the family for some casual chess or lessons if that is what is requested.

Kid's Night focuses on our younger members, but there is still some casual chess available for the adults of all ages. So come on by!

Now take a look at how not to play an endgame.

Here we have a double rook endgame. A quick look tells us Black is up one pawn (-1). But a closer look shows us his advantage might be bigger still! After all, he has a super majority of pawns on the queen-side and his rooks are doubled for maximum strength.

But Black has some negatives also. His rooks are what is known as 'biting on granite' as they cannot yet do much on the f-file they are concentrated on. And the Black King is a long way from getting in this endgame struggle right now.

As for White, to offset his pawn deficit, his rooks are more active, his King is closer to the action, and he has a small majority of pawns on the king-side.

Tally it all up and Igor3000 says Black is indeed winning, but by only by  (-.7) and not a full pawn.

To try and push this to a win, Black must active his rooks and king to better squares so he can quickly start moving his queen-side army forward. To hold a draw, White must keep Black's rooks pinned down protecting the backward c-pawn. And if White can somehow keep Black's king out of the game, White's own king could be the drawing difference. Let's see what actually happened in tournament time pressure.

31. Re1           R8f7
32. Re8+         Kh7
33. Rdd8?
White wants to avoid trading pieces as that is normally the best way to hold a draw in these situations, but 33. Rxf7, Rxf7 34. Kf2, Rf4 was a better plan. (-1.2)

33. .......           Rf5?!
Not the best as 33. .....Rf4, 34. Rc8, R7f6 holds the bigger advantage (-.8).

34. Rc8            R7f6
35. Rh8+          Kg6
36. Rc7?          .........
Keeping control of the e-file was necessary with 36. Rhe8. Instead Black can take a winning edge with 36. .....Re5, 37. Kf2, Rfe6 (-1.4). But Black misses his chance!

36. .........           d4?
37. Rg8             Rf7
38. Rxc6           R7f6?
Endgame play is always tricky and when you add time pressure, it becomes much more difficult. Then once you realize you tossed your advantage away, panic sets in and the board becomes a blurry mess. 38. ...... R5f6 was needed. Now White leads (+.8).

39. Rc7             d3??
Total collapse as the dream of queening a queen-side majority pawn blocks the nightmare of the Black King now being under assault. White is up (+14).

40. Rcxg7+        Kh5
41. g4+              Kh4
42. gxf5             Rxf5
43. Rg4+           Kh5
44. Rd8             Resigns

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