Friday, February 27, 2009

End Of The Week End Game

As I mentioned in my USATE Round 1 & 2 report, my teammate Guy Colas played a beautiful ending against his tough as nails 86 year old opponent, Albert Makatenas. I wanted to share the ending because it's so educational. It's the classic queen against a pawn on the seventh rank with the king far away. The position below was reached after 63...Qxb3+.

In these types of positions the challenge for the player with the queen is to force the opponent's king in front of the pawn, and use that tempo to bring his king closer to the pawn. Without those critical interludes in front of the pawn Black can not make progress. Guy did a beautiful job to get the win. One missed check will allow White to promote and draw. 66. Kc7 Qc4+ 67. Kb6 Qb4+ 68. Kc7 Qc5+ 69. Kd8 Qb6+ 70. Kc8 Qc6+ Here is the first check that forces White in front of his pawn. Any other king move loses the pawn outright.

71. Kb8 Ke3 72. Ka7 Qa4+ 73. Kb6 Qb4+ 74. Kc7 Qc4+ 75. Kd8 Qd5+ 76. Kc8 Qc6+ Once again Black has danced around White's king and forces him back to b8.

77. Kb8 Kd4 78. Ka7 Qa4+ 79. Kb6 Qb4+ 80. Ka7 Qa5+ Difference dance steps, but same situation for White. Back to b8 with his king.

81. Kb8 Kd5 82. Kc8 Qc5+ 83. Kd8 Qb6+ 84. Kc8 Qc6+ Once again the White king has to step in front of his pawn, giving Black the final king move he needs.

85. Kb8 Kd6 Look who has come in town to join the party! Please welcome his majesty, the black king. He's even going to let the white pawn hang around to watch the fun.

86. Ka7 Qc7 87. Ka8 Qa5+ 88. Kb8 Kc6

89. Kc8 Qc7#

A very nice ending done with precision. I wonder if I could do that with 5 seconds left on my clock?


chesstiger said...

Well played by your teammate but even you must, can, do this with five seconds on the clock since its a typical endgame.

You dont have to do all these moves, give an immediate draw, is when the pawn is on the f7 or c7. The king can then get in a stalemate position when he goes to h8 or a8.

Polly said...

I know it's easy enough to get a draw if the player with the queen doesn't feel like he has time to win it. In a team match if getting the win means winning the match for your team, obviously you're going to go for the win.

There could be a lot of pressure if the outcome impacts the match. It would really be unfortunate to run out of time because the player with the queen spends too much time trying to work out the win. That's why it's so important to understand these types of positions, and how to gain the crucial tempos needed to bring the king in.

This game was not crucial to deciding the match. We already were winning 2.5 - 0.5 when this game was still being played.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

hey, sorry to message you as a blog comment-- I couldn'tfind your email. I'm trying to get in touch with Michael Bodek/ his parents. WOuld you have an email address?
Elizabeth (