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Old May 3rd 04, 12:25 PM
Dr. David Kirkby
 
Posts: n/a
Default Was this game winable - rook+pawn vs rook ???

I played the following game on ICC where I (black) had a rook + pawn
at the end, whereas my opponent had just a rook. Was this position
winable for me, given I had the extra pawn?

I offered a draw, which was accepted, so the game ended in a draw, but
I wonder if this was the wrong decision to make. I've played from the
end position with crafty and it can't find a way to win, so I suspect
there is not one, but I'd be interested in the views of others.

Neither of us played very well, but the end is interesting.

[Event "ICC 30 12"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2004.04.30"]
[Round "-"]
[White "woodford"]
[Black "g8wrb"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "1258"]
[BlackElo "1203"]
[ECO "C00"]
[ICCResult "Game drawn by mutual agreement"]
[Opening "French: Steinitz attack"]
[NIC "FR.01"]
[Time "17:01:48"]
[TimeControl "1800+12"]

1.e4 e6 2.e5 d5 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nc3 {Slightly odd opening. } 4...e5
5.Bc4 Nf6 {Black would appear to have at least equalised h
ere, as he has an extra piece of material, despite it's white's turn.
} 6.d3 Bf5 7.Nf3 O-O 8.Bd2 c6 9.Qe2 Re8 10.O-O-O Nbd7
11.h4 Nc5 12.h5 h6 13.Nh4 Bg4 14.f3 Bxh5 15.g4 Bg6 16.Nxg6 Ne6 {This
was a blunder, as I clearly should have recovered the k
night. Crafty thinks it should have been done by ...b5, but even the
more obvious fxg6 would have been a lot better than the
move played, which gave away 3 points. } 17.Bxe6 Rxe6 18.Nh4 Bb4
19.Nf5 Nd5 20.Nxd5 Bxd2+ 21.Qxd2 {It would appear here tha
t by taking the knight on d5 with the queen, I create a double attack
on the pawns on a2 and f3.} 21...Qxd5 {This creats a d
ouble attack on the pawns at a2 and f3. White can't save both. } 22.b3
{White defends the pawn on a2, which would seem the m
ost important to defend - around the king. Kb1 would have saved the
pawn, and kept the pawns around the king undisturbed. Pe
rhaps black feared a back-rank mate later, so wanted to avoid that.

But of course leaves the one on f3 for me to take, which I did. }
22...Qxf3 {I grab a pawn. Crafty thinks this is +4.40 to w
hite and that he should play Rdf1. }
( 22...Qxf3 23.Rdf1 Qd5 24.g5 Kh7 {End of line suggested by
crafty. It gives white a big lead here (+4.78), but I'm stil
l not sure why taking the pawn earlier after the double attack with
the queen would not have been more sensible. } )
23.Ne3 {Crafty thinks its +2.45 to white here, and black should play
e4. Not sure how it works that out. } 23...Rd8 {Crafty
thinks this is +4.04 to white, in which case my failure to play e4 was
costly. I can't see why. } 24.Rdf1 {Black attaks my q
ueen a few times, by this leads nowhere. } 24...Qg3 25.Rhg1 Qh4 26.Nf5
Qg5 27.Ne3 {+1.58 here. I seemed to have got the scor
e a bit better, although white is still winning. White has pinned his
knight. though. } 27...e4 {Both the knight and pawn on
d3 are pinned now. } 28.Qf2 Rf6 {Black is slowly equalising, although
the score is sitll +0.93. but a lot better than the +
4.x before. } 29.Qe2 Rxf1+ 30.Rxf1 Rd5 {knight is pinned. } 31.Kb2
exd3 32.cxd3 Re5 {The knight is now attacked twice, and p
inned. White should play Re1 to save the pawn on g4. } 33.Rf3? {Now
the pawn on g4 can be taken, as rook is blocking the que
en path to it. } 33...Qxg4 34.Nxg4 Rxe2+ {What has swapped queens and
left himself in check. Crafty thinks black has the adv
antage now, no doubt due to Blacks extra pawns, despite the score
being equal. } 35.Ka3 h5 {Attack the knight, whilst advanc
ing the pawn on the h-file} 36.Nf2 g5 37.Rf5 Kf8 38.Ne4 Rg2 39.Nd6?
{Seems a poor move, when Nxg5 would have won a pawn. } 3
9...h4 40.Nxf7 g4 41.Ng5+ Ke7 42.Rf1 h3 43.Re1+ Kf6 {Black is slowly
making things easier for me to queen a pawn. } 44.Ne4+
Kg6 45.d4 g3 46.Rh1 {Score is -3.39 (black winning now).

White seems doomed now, with no way to stop the pawn being queened
without signficant loss of material.

Crafty suggests Kf5 to attack the knight. } 46...h2 {Crafty thinks
this was a blunder, having put the score slightly in whit
e favor. This is no doubt true, as I was hoping to play Rg8, in which
case white would need to take the pawn and loose the r
ook or take the rook and be left with a queen. } 47.Nxg3 {Em, white
has equalised. } 47...Rxg3 {Forced really. } 48.Rxh2 {Ag
ain forced. Craft thinks this is very even (+0.1)} 48...Rg4 49.Rd2 Kf5
50.Kb4 b6 51.a4 Ke6 52.Re2+ Kd5 53.Re7 Rxd4+ {Why did
my opponent not play a5+ and force my king back??} 54.Kc3 Re4? {a5
would have saved the pawn on a7. } 55.Rxa7 Kc5 56.Kd3 Rg
4 57.a5 bxa5 58.Rxa5+ Kb4 59.Ra6 c5 60.Kc2 Rg2+ 61.Kd1 Kxb3 {I'm now a
pawn up in the endgame, but don't seem to be able to
make use of it. } 62.Rc6 Rc2 63.Rb6+ Kc3 64.Rc6 {Game drawn by mutual
agreement. Could Black have won from here???} 1/2-1/2
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Old May 3rd 04, 12:52 PM
Remco Gerlich
 
Posts: n/a
Default Was this game winable - rook+pawn vs rook ???

Some comments:

16...fxg6 would have been an illegal move, which is why Crafty wants
to play ...b5 first to get rid of the bishop. Surely you saw that during
the game, isn't recapturing the piece the normal way the first thing
you look at?

Around move 20, you trade off two pieces just to get a pawn. You are a piece
behind, you should avoid trades as much as possible; and winning the f pawn
only gives him lines to your king anyway.

After 24..Qg3 white could have played 25.Nf5! Qxg4 26.Rhg1, with
attack on g7. Crafty would have told you this, too.

General comment: chess isn't about "points" and "getting the score a
bit better". If you don't why know why the computer in hindsight likes
one position better than the other, you'd do better no to look at
those numbers at all.

It seems a bit strange to say that 36.Nd6 was a bad move, because
36.Nxg5 would win a pawn - since Nd6 itself also wins a pawn (f7 or
b7). I do agree that your passed pawns should have been the priority
though, without the g5 pawn you wouldn't have much chance, with it
your pawns become very dangerous.

Around move 45-46 white is already in trouble against the black pawns,
and the checks he gives only help you getting the king closer. What
was he thinking, "perhaps this check is mate?". I think it's certain
that those pawns are at least going to cost him the knight.

"Crafty suggests Kf5 to attack the knight". No, to get the king
closer. You mentioned that reason a few times before - attacking
something is not a positive thing in and of itself!

After ...h2 white grabs the chance to give his knight for two
pawns. The rook endgame with 3 vs 3 pawns on the same side seems a
draw to me. But there is always a lot of play left.

"54..a5 would have saved the pawn on a7". Yeah, and lost the rook to Rd7+.

The endgame is a draw, with the rook behind the pawn and king in front
of it he has maximum activity. In the end position it is obvious, if
you play ...c4 then Rxc4+ is an immediate draw, if you move the rook
then you lose the pawn, and if you play like 66...Kd3 then he plays
67.Rd6+ Kc3 68.Kc3 and we're back to the same position.

Although it was a draw all the time, you could have made it a lot
harder for him. Your rook was fine on g2, with 62...Rc2 you put it in
an awkward position.

With 62...c4, he would have to be careful. For instance, 63.Rb6+ leads
to a lost position after 64...Kc3 65.Rc6 Rg1+ 66.Ke2 Rc1 - although
that too will take a long time still! (like 67.Rc8 Kb2 68.Rb8+ Kc2
69.Rc8 c3 70.Rc7 Ra1 71.Rc8 Ra3 etc - the black king can't get closer,
and black can slowly move the pawn up) After 63.Kc1! c3 64.Rb6+ black
can't hide from the checks anymore, though. Mind that after 63...Kc3
white must go to the short side with 64.Kb1!, to prevent the problems
like in the other variation).

These positions are hard, full of possibilities. Makes you realize how
complex the rest of the game is, with 32 instead of 5 pieces :-)

--
Remco Gerlich
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Old May 4th 04, 12:58 AM
Mike Ogush
 
Posts: n/a
Default Was this game winable - rook+pawn vs rook ???


On Mon, 3 May 2004 11:52:11 +0000 (UTC), Remco Gerlich
wrote:

Some comments:

16...fxg6 would have been an illegal move, which is why Crafty wants
to play ...b5 first to get rid of the bishop. Surely you saw that during
the game, isn't recapturing the piece the normal way the first thing
you look at?

Around move 20, you trade off two pieces just to get a pawn. You are a piece
behind, you should avoid trades as much as possible; and winning the f pawn
only gives him lines to your king anyway.

After 24..Qg3 white could have played 25.Nf5! Qxg4 26.Rhg1, with
attack on g7. Crafty would have told you this, too.

General comment: chess isn't about "points" and "getting the score a
bit better". If you don't why know why the computer in hindsight likes
one position better than the other, you'd do better no to look at
those numbers at all.

It seems a bit strange to say that 36.Nd6 was a bad move, because
36.Nxg5 would win a pawn - since Nd6 itself also wins a pawn (f7 or
b7). I do agree that your passed pawns should have been the priority
though, without the g5 pawn you wouldn't have much chance, with it
your pawns become very dangerous.

Around move 45-46 white is already in trouble against the black pawns,
and the checks he gives only help you getting the king closer. What
was he thinking, "perhaps this check is mate?". I think it's certain
that those pawns are at least going to cost him the knight.

"Crafty suggests Kf5 to attack the knight". No, to get the king
closer. You mentioned that reason a few times before - attacking
something is not a positive thing in and of itself!

After ...h2 white grabs the chance to give his knight for two
pawns. The rook endgame with 3 vs 3 pawns on the same side seems a
draw to me. But there is always a lot of play left.

"54..a5 would have saved the pawn on a7". Yeah, and lost the rook to Rd7+.

The endgame is a draw, with the rook behind the pawn and king in front
of it he has maximum activity. In the end position it is obvious, if
you play ...c4 then Rxc4+ is an immediate draw, if you move the rook
then you lose the pawn, and if you play like 66...Kd3 then he plays
67.Rd6+ Kc3 68.Kc3 and we're back to the same position.

Although it was a draw all the time, you could have made it a lot
harder for him. Your rook was fine on g2, with 62...Rc2 you put it in
an awkward position.

With 62...c4, he would have to be careful. For instance, 63.Rb6+ leads
to a lost position after 64...Kc3 65.Rc6 Rg1+ 66.Ke2 Rc1 - although
that too will take a long time still! (like 67.Rc8 Kb2 68.Rb8+ Kc2
69.Rc8 c3 70.Rc7 Ra1 71.Rc8 Ra3 etc - the black king can't get closer,
and black can slowly move the pawn up) After 63.Kc1! c3 64.Rb6+ black
can't hide from the checks anymore, though. Mind that after 63...Kc3
white must go to the short side with 64.Kb1!, to prevent the problems
like in the other variation).

These positions are hard, full of possibilities. Makes you realize how
complex the rest of the game is, with 32 instead of 5 pieces :-)

--
Remco Gerlich


Some further notes:

After Black played 27...e4 to exploit the poin on the d-pawn, White
could have retained his advantage via 28.d4 avoiding the pawn exchange
at d3. If 28...c5 29.d5! follwed up by c4 and White is winning again
with the protected passed pawn plus his material superiority. If
28...Red6 29.c3

Black should have played 58.Kb6 with a draw. 58.Kb4 is actually a
blunder that should have lost to 49.Ra4+
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