Sunday, July 08, 2007

A New Hope

After two bad hair days finally some hope is glittering on the horizon. Montse affirmed the results of my 10 hour meditation over yesterday's rook ending.
Maybe it is possible to learn something about this most important part of the game after all! I'm listening to all chessvideo's about the endgame that I can find, and a greater picture seems to reveal itself.

During a flash of megalomania I decided to go over the more difficult endings when I have a break from the study of yesterday's position. B+N vs K causes little problems, although I haven't the fastest of all methods. But why should I be bothered by that? But K+Q vs K+R is very tough. It used to be a pretty straightforward endgame, but with the advent of the endgame tablebases a new resource for the defender is found, the so called third rank defense. As far as I know only a few people know this. IM Kraai, who devoted an entire chessvideo on the subject, didn't know it for instance. I don't think that an attacker will find the solution over the board. For sure not in time trouble. In 2001 Svidler couldn't find it against Gelfand. Since there is a reasonable chance to get it when you start with rook endgames I want to know how to play it. It can happen when you sacrifice your rook to force promotion. I want to know how to play it both as attacker and defender. Further I'm trying Q+K vs K+N, which is said to be easy too, but I can't find it myself yet. This endgame can happen after a pawn race. The attacker queens first, the defender prevents mate by underpromoting to a knight.

The method of reasoning in practical endings is quite alien to me, but listening to chessvideo's is a fast method to get some idea's how to approach this part of the game.


  1. I must say I am deeply impressed by Monste thorough analysis. You one of the more thoughtful positional analysis I have seen as a comment to a blog. Monste how long did it take you to analyse the position?

  2. Queen versus Knight was tricky, but a lot easier for me than N/B vs K. I put up the main pattern here. Therein I describe the foolproof algorithm that I use, and still haven't forgotten after about 6 months.

  3. That picture of the cat still gets me laughing even on my second view.

  4. Tak,

    a reference might be the game of Capablanca against kupchik. 24.02.1913. The endgame game has been commented by Capa in his book Fundamental chess. Master analysis can also be found in the games collection of Capablanca by Chess star. The pawn structure might be different but the idea is worth an ivestigation.
    A second game can be found in the match golubev-Sutovsky 1993. Same pawn majority with equal pawns on the K-side.

    Good luck