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Winning Endgame Technique

Alexander Beliavsky and Adrian Mikhalchishin

Translated by Laurence Webb

B. T. Batsford Ltd, London

First published 1995
Alexander Beliavsky and Adrian Mikhalchishin 1995
Reprinted 1996

ISBN 07134 7512 9

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data.

A catalogue record for this book is
available from the British Library.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be

reproduced, by any means, without prior permission
of the publisher.

Typeset by John Nunn

and printed in Great Britain by
Redwood Books, Trowbridge, Wilts
for the publishers,
B. T. Batsford Loo,
4 Fitzhardinge Street,
London WIH OAH


Editorial Panel: Mark Dvoretsky, John Nunn, Jon Speelman
General Adviser: Raymond Keene OBE
Commissioning Editor: Graham Burgess

Symbols 5
Introduction 7

1 Pawn Endgames 9
Technical problems in pawn endgames 9
The opposition 9
Chess 'materialism' 13
Overlooking typical counterattacks 15
How to play with and against passed pawns 17
Premature resignation 22
Exercises 24
Exchanging into pawn endgames 28
Simple examples 28
Complex examples 29
Exercises 45

2 Rook endgames with two extra pawns 48

3 Typical rook endgames with a passed pawn on the wing 55

The rook's pawn 55
The knight's pawn 60
The bishop's pawn 65
The central pawn 72

4 Various rook endgames 80

The riddle of Duchamp 80
Botvinnik's puzzle 83
Capablanca's puzzle 84
Is the endgame J. Polgar-Spassky lost? 85
A cunning king manoeuvre 94
Prophylactic cutting off (cramping) moves 95
What is the best position for the rook? 96
The 'shoulder budge' 98
Exercises 99

5 Bishop Endgames 102

Same-coloured bishops with an isolated pawn 102
Same-coloured bishops with a passed pawn 112
Same-coloured bishops with pawns on one wing 115

6 Which is stronger, the bishop or the knight? 122

7 An unusual endgame 134

8 %l, lb and 4~ vs:, i.. and 3~ on the same wing 140

liJ and 4~ vs ~ and 3~ on the same wing 140
With rooks 146

9 Rook against bishop: how to win an exchange up 158

10 Tactics in the endgame 182

Solutions to the Exercises 185

Index of Games and Composers 191

+ Check
++ Double check
# Checkmate
~ (+) Slight advantage to White (Black)
(+) Clear advantage to White (Black)
+- (-+) Winning advantage to White (Black)
= Level position
! Good move
? Bad move
!! Outstanding move
?? Blunder
!? Interesting move
?! Dubious move
Ch Championship
Weh World Championship
Z Zonal
IZ Interzonal
Ct Candidates
OL Olympiad
(D) Diagram follow

Endgame theory was first analysed Speelman'sAnalysing the Endgame,

a long time ago. The legendary or Dvoretsky's series of books.
Stamma, Ponziani, Polerio and oth- This book discusses problems en-
ers analysed many specific posi- countered by tournament players,
tions. Recently computers have had and is targeted at the average to
an impact upon the scene by gener- strong club player. Firstly we dis-
ating databases for various 5- and 6- cuss methods of play in positions
man endgames, a classic example of with various combinations of pieces
which is John Nunn's Secrets of and pawns (of course only touching
Rook Endgames. All chess books, a small part of all different chess po-
including those on the endgame, are sitions). In particular we focus on
valuable to the extent to which chess the mistakes made by strong chess
players can extract useful informa- players. In endgames the choice of
tion from them and then apply this possible moves can usually be nar-
information to tournament praxis. rowed down to two or three continu-
The Yugoslavian Encyclopedia of ations, and by knowing what is
Chess Endgames (referred to as incorrect, the correct move may be
ECE) only partly serves this pur- reached more easily. The same mis-
pose, as it comprises a collection of takes crop up time and again, re-
different positions without explain- peated from game to game and from
ing the various methods of play. As player to player. It is not by chance
the well-known trainer Mark Dvor- that the maxim 'you learn from your
etsky never tires of saying, endgame mistakes' was coined long ago.
study consists of analysing both We have specialized in endgames
theoretical positions and playing for a long time, publishing articles in
methods in complicated positions. magazines such as New in Chess,
The aim of playing complicated po- Schach, and Torre e Cavallo. These
sitions is to simplify them, by means articles were of a more theoretical
of exchanges or in other ways, to a nature than our current approach to
familiar theoretical position. This is certain positions and problems. By
endgame technique. Of course end- studying endgames it is important
game reference books are important not only to solve concrete problems,
for the tournament player, but even but also to fonnulate general princi-
more valuable are books such as ples in all types of position. We hope
8 Introduction

that all our readers will gain some- making such mistakes yourselves!
thing from this book, and enjoy the The authors of this book are cer-
wonderful and almost infinite world tainly not immune to error, and
of chess analysis. We are sure that would welcome any improvements
many readers will improve their found by our readers.
endgame understanding and thereby
achieve corresponding tournament Alexander Beliavsky
successes. In other words, study the Adrian Mikhalchishin
mistakes of grandmasters to avoid Lvov 1995
1 Pawn Endgames

Pawn endgames have a reputation how and why first class chess play-
for being straightforward, both stra- ers make mistakes in these end-
tegically and tactically. Yet anyone games. The material is presented as
who has tried to solve positions set a series of topics.
by the famous endgame composer
Grigoriev, or who has practical ex- The opposition
perience in these endgames, will
know that they belong to a world Kupreichik - Mikhalchishin
with its own special characteristics. Lvov 1988
For the tournament player these end-
games can be theoretically divided
into two types:
1) Technical problems of the
endgames themselves;
2) Exchanging into pawn end-
We shall discuss them in that or-

Technical problems in
pawn endgames Black, in slight time trouble, de-
cided to play actively.
In our very first chess playing days 1 ~d5?
we learn about such concepts as An easy draw was at hand with
simple and diagonal opposition, rule 1... ~f6 2 ~f2 ~g6 3 <ittf3 h5 4
of the square, corresponding squares gxh5+ ~xh5 5 <it>e4 Cittg4 6 f5 <iti>g5 7
and other principles. In some ways ~xd4 <itxf5 8 ~c5 <ii?e5 9 q.,b6 <i#i>d6,
pawn endgames are richer than other etc.
endgames, involving all these play- Now the fight has only just be-
ing methods, the lengthy calculation gun. There followed:
of variations, and pawn endgame 2 <l;f2 ~e4
technique. Pawn endgames are also 3 fS ~eS
a battle of the kings! Let's look at 4 <&t>e2?
10 Pawn Endgames

It is White's turn to blunder: he See how many blunders are made

should have played 4 a5. After by the two Grandmasters, who both
4...<it>d5 5 Ciite2 ~e5 6 ~d3 ~d5 7 f6 forgot about the distant opposition.
~e6 8 et>xd4 ~xf6 9 ~c5 '1t>g5 10 1 ~f3?
<ilib6 <iifxg4 11 ~xa6 h5 12 ~b6 h4 This leads to a draw, whereas 1
13 a6 and the white pawn queens ~e3! wins: 1...<&t>d5 (Black's other
first. two options are also losing: 1...r3;e7
Alternatively after 4...h5 5 gxh5 2 g4 ri;f7 3 <it>d4! +-; 1../.te6 2 ~f4
Citixf5 6 ~e2 ~g5 7 ~d3 ~xh5 8 ~f6 3 g4 Cit'e6 4 Citte4 and the white
~xd4 ~g5 9 ~c5 ~f6 10 ~b6 erir'e6 king penetrates) 2 g4! (not 2 ~f4?
11 q;,xa6 cl;d7 12 ~b7 the black ~e6! drawing) 2... ~e5 3 ~f3 ~d5
king does not reach the c7-square in 4 <it>f4 ~e6 5 ~e4 'iitf6 6 ~d5 reach-
time. ing a familiar winning position.
4 h5? 1 g4! also wins, provided after
After 4 a5! 5 e:td3 (or 5 ~f3 1...<it;>e6 the precise 2 <it'e2! is found
<itd5 6 ~f4 ~c4 7 f6 d3 8 f7 d2 9 (distant opposition), and if 2...<it>d6
fS_ dlf1 =) 5...<itd5 6 f6 <it>e6 Black then. 3 ~f3! wins, while against
has his pawn a square further up the 2... ~f6 White wins with the sym-
board and promotes frrst. metrical 3 'i&?d3!.
5 gxhS <it>xrs 1 ~e7!
6 ~d3 ~g5 2 ~f4
7 <iPxd4 ~xh5 2 <t>g4 (or 2 g4 ~f7! and Black
8 ~c5 1-0 seizes the opposition) would be met
by 2...<jfj>f6.
The position from the following 2 ~e6!
game is even simpler. 3 .g4 'ittf6
4 .~ et;e7?
Chiburdanidze - G. F1ear What's this? Now Black has for-
Brussels 1987 gotten about the distant opposition,
which was possible by 4... ~f7! 5
5 ~e3!
White's turn to seize the opposi-
5 rJ;;f7
6 ~d4 ~f6
7 ~dS q;e7
Or 7... cltf7 8 ~e5 <itte7 9 <it>f5
10 h5 +-.
8 ~e5 rJi;f7
Pawn Endgames 11

9 ~f5 rl;g7 specialist, decline it? As he himself

10 ~e6 ~g6 wrote, during his calculations he
11 h5+! q;gS missed the fact that Black only
12 q;f7 <t>xg4 wants the opposition when the pawn
13 ~g6 ~4 is on g4, but with the pawn on g3 he
14 ~xh6 1..0 must avoid it! When this principle
becomes clear it is easy for B lack to
Romanishin - Dvoretsky find the draw. So, returning to the
Odessa 1974 position after 1... ~e7 2 lIxe6+
~xe6 3 ~g4 <it>f6 4 ~f3 (D):

Black has the choice between go-

ing into the pawn endgame and 4 .. q;e7!
keeping the queens on. He played: A sound understanding of similar
1 jVf6 positions could help one find an-
Dvoretsky calculated the follow- other way of drawing: 4... <iPg6! 5
ing variation: 1... rJ;e7 21lxe6+ <it>xe6 'it'f4 (or 5 ~e4 ~f6! 6 g4 ~e6 =)
3 ~g4 <j;f6 4 <ittf3! and now 4... et>f5? 5... <iti'h5! 6 ~e5 et>g4 7 ~f6 ~xg3 8
loses (also bad is 4...<ifa>f7? 5 g4 q;e7 h5 ~f4! 9 <ifi>g6 ~e5 10 'it>xh6 ~f6
6 ~e3! and White seizes the opposi- with a draw.
tion): 5 g4+ ~e5 6 ~e3 ~e6 7 ~e4 5 <ittf4 <ifi>e6!
~f6 8 ~d5 'itf7 9 'itl'e5 q.;e7 10 ~f5 6 g4 ~f6
rttf7 11 h5 +-. Black seizes the opposition.
2 iVg8+ q;e7
3 <it?g4! Azmaiparashvili - Eolian
It turns out that the white king USSR 1979
easily reaches h5 and wins the h6-
pawn. What would have happened (See diagram on/ollowing page)
in the pawn endgame? Why did Here White played the faulty:
Dvoretsky, a renowned endgame 1 ~g5?
12 Pawn Endgames

So many mistakes in such a sim-

ple ending! These elementary errors
were caused by not knowing similar
endgames or precise theoretical po-

When there is a wide choice of

possible continuations it is easy to
Correct was 1 ~xf5 ~f7 2 f4 go astray and miss the chance to
q;e7 (or 2... h6 3 <t>e5 '3;e7 4 f5 cl;f7 gain the opposition.
5 f6 <it'fS! 6 <it'e4! ~e8 7 <it>f4 <ifi>f8 8
~e5 with a well-known win) 3 <it>e5 Geller - Stein
~f7 4 ~d6! ~f6 5 h6! <it>f5 6 ~e7 USSR 1964
Cif;xf47 <iti>f6, winning easily.
The game continued:
1 ... et1'8
2 <it'xfS rt;f7?
Black missed the drawn position
after 2... ~e7! 3 <it>g5 ~f7 4 ~h6
~g8 5 f4~h8.
3 ~g4?
Now White could have reached
the position discussed after the first
move with 3 f4!.
3 ~f6
4 ~f4 ~f7? In this position Black has a choice
The same mistake; correct was between three variations:
4... ~e6! 5 ~g5 rl;f7, etc. a) 1...<it>d6? 2 g5! rJite7 3 g6 hxg6
5 ~fS? 4 hxg6 ~fS 5 ~e4 <it>g8 6 <iitd5 q;g7
The winning variation is 5 ~e5 7 ~c5 <it;xg6 8 ~xb5 f5 9 a4 f4 10
~e7 6 f4! as indicated above. <it'c4 <itf5 11 as f3 12 <it?d3 Cit>g4 13
5 . ~e7 a6 ct>g3 14 a7 f2 15 <ste2! and White
6 <ifteS cj;f7 wins.
7 <jj>d6 ~6 b) 1...<ifte7? (the move played in
8 ~d7 ~f7 the game) 2 ~f5 q;f7 3 g5! fxg5 4
9 h6 ~g6! ~xg5 rJ;g7 5 h6+ ~f7 6 <ifi>f5 and
10 f4 ~f7! Black resigned since White will win
Pawn Endgames 13

the b-pawn after which his a-pawn hxg4 b5 and now there is no break-
queens frrst. through for White on the kingside.
c) 1... <iittf7! 2 <t>f5 (or 2 g5 ~g7 3 a2) 1...h5? was the move played
~f5 fxg5 4 <iitxg5 ~f7 5 'it>f5 rJ;g7 in the game: 2 ~d3 <j;>d6 3 ~e3 rl;;e7
and the black h-pawn promotes be- 4 ~f3 ~f8 5 ~g3 ~f7 6 cwth3! (care
fore the white a-pawn) 2... h6! (it is is necessary, because 6 ~h4 g5+ 7
also possible to transpose into the fxg6+ ~xg6 8 h3 a6 only draws)
variation above by 2...<it>e7! 3 g5 6... ~g8 7 ~h4 <iti'f8 8 <&t>h5 cj;f7 9
fxg5 4 'it'xg5 <iit>f7) 3 ~f4 r:te7! 4 h3 ~f8 10 ~g6 'it>g8 11 h4 ~f8 12
<t;e3 <li'd7 5 et>d3 <i!te7! and Black g5 hxgS 13 hxgS fxgS 14 ~xg5 r/i;f7
manages to draw by carefully main- 15 <iPg4 9;;e7 16 <&t>h4!. Zugzwang by
taining the distant opposition. triangulation! After 16...<ittf6 17 ~h5
a6 18 ~h4! Black resigned, because
Chess IMaterialism' 18...g6 loses to 19 fxg6 <it>xg6 20
cst>g4, and if 18... ~e7, 19 ~g4 rtif7
Magerramov - Makarychev 20 <it>gS and 21 <&t>g6.
Pavlodar 1987 b) 1 a4! is the correct move for
White. 1...hS (the line 1... a6 2 ~c4
bS+ 3 axbS+ axbS+ 4 ~d3, etc., al-
ters nothing) 2 as ~d6 3 <it>d3 't;e7 4
<it>e3 etJf7 5 ~f3 h5 (we have already
seen that 5...gS loses to 6 fxg6+
<fi;>xg6 7 ~g4 a6 8 h3 +-) 6 g4! h4
(or 6... ~g8 7 Ciitg3 ~h7 8 ~h4 ~h6
10 a6 +-) 7 g5! fxg5 8 ~g4 ~f6 9
~h5 h3 10 a6 winning.
1 bS+
2 ~d3 ~d6
3 ~e3 ~e7
White is obviously better due to 4 ~!
his better-placed king and Black's 4 q;,f3 is met by 4... ~f7 S <it>g4 g5
weakened kingside. 6 fxg6+ cJ;;xg6 7 h3 a6 and Black
1 ~c4 draws.
Two pawn moves deserve atten- 4 cj;f7
tion: 5 ~f3 g5
a) 1 g4 and now Black must be 6 fxg6+ ~g7!!
accurate: The only way to draw, since after
al) The standard counter-attack the alternative 6... ~xg6 Black loses
would have secured the draw with to 7 <ifi>g4 h5+ 8 Citf3 ~gS 9 h4+
1...h5! 2 h3 (or 2 gxhS) 2...hxg4 3 ~h610g4+-.
14 Pawn Endgames

Ju. Horvath - S. Horvath White is a pawn up, but needs to

Budapest 1988 find a way of breaking through the
black fortress to win.
1 b4 ~c7
2 bS
After 2 a5 there would follow
2...bxa5 3 bxa5 ~b7 4 ~b3 ~a6 5
<it>a4 h5! =. This is why Black kept
his pawn on h7.
2 <;Pb7??
The king plays stubbornly on its
own when 2...h5! draws easily. But
3 hS! gxh5
The obvious-looking continu- Alternatively, playing 3.. /l;c7 4
ation loses for White: hxg6 hxg61eaves the white king free
1 <t>f4 b3 to head for the g5-square.
2 <itg3 ~g5 4 ~d3 h4
3 <tt>xh3? 5 ~e3!
Instead of this move there is the White should not be materialistic:
fantastic riposte 3 <ith2!! ~h6 4 5 gxh4? h5! only draws.
~g3! =. Amazingly neither side can 5 bxg3
take the pawn. 6 ~f3 1-0
3 ~xhS
Black seizes the opposition and Pekarek - A. Petrosian
draws. Dortmund 1990

Kengis - Yuneev
USSR 1989

In this position White made the

obvious move:
Pawn Endgames 15

1 ~xg5 1 ~g5?
However White missed the idea There are two other possible vari-
of not capturing the pawn with 1 ations:
~e5! and after 1...d4 2 ~xd4 ~e6 3 a) 1...g5? 2 f4! gxf4+ 3 <i1th4 ~e4
h6 <itf6 4 h7 rl;g7 5 ~e5 ~xh7 6 4~g4+-.
~f6 the position is clearly drawn. b) I ...h5! 2 f4 ~e4 3 ~h4 ~xf4
After 1 <it>e5!, the alternative de- 4 <it;xh5 ~f3 5 ~g6 cat>xf2 6 rJ;;xg7
fence 1...<it'f8 2 'iitxd5 ~g7 3 ~e5 ~g3 7 <it>f6 ~xh3 8 ~e5 et>g4 and
~h6 4 <it>f6 <&ttxh5 5 rJitxf7 produces Black manages to reach the c8-
the same result. Interestingly neither square in time.
of the players nor Informator saw 2 f4+ ~h5
this possibility of saving the ending. Or 2... ~f5 3 ~f3 g6 4 ~e3 h5 5
1 .. d4 <it>f3 ~f6 6 <ite4 ~e6 7 h4 ~f6 8 fS!
2 ~f4 f5!! g5 9 hxg5+ ~xg5 10 ~e5 and after
White resigned, given the follow- both sides have promoted White will
ing variation: win the black queen.
3 ~g3 ~r6 3 ~f3 ~h4
4 ~f2 ~g5 4 ~g2 ~hS
5 ~e2 <i!txh5 5 ~g3 <i1i'g6
6 ~d3 c;f;g5 6 '.ttg4 ~6
7 ~xd4 <it>f4 7 f5 ~eS
Black wins the f3-pawn. 8 f3 hS+
9 ~g5 h4
P. Nikolic - Liang Jinrong 10 ~g4 1-0
Lucerne 1989 This is a surprising ending, which
shows that even strong players often
go astray in positions which involve
a wide choice of continuations.

Overlooking typical

Kharlov - Emst
Haninge 1992

(See diagram on following page)

An easy draw was possible:
Black's pawn deficit is compen- 1 ~d6
sated by his very active king. However the Swedish grandmas-
Play continued: ter decided to make use of the strong
16 Pawn Endgames

e5-square for his king by playing the 2 hxg4

immediate 1...g5?, which was met 3 h5 ~e6
by a typical counter-thrust, 2 g4!!, 4 <itf2 rJ;f7
and after 2...hxg4 3 h5 f5 4 h6 f4+ 5 5 ~g3 ~g7
~f2 g3+ 6 Cltg2 ~e4 7 h7 he was 6 <it>xg4 <it>h6
forced to resign. 7 <&ttf5 ~xh5
2 ~d4 <ittc6 8 ~xf6 g4
3 cS g5 9 eS g3
4 ~e4 gxh4 10 e6 g2
5 gxh4 <it>xcS 11 e7 gljf
6 <t>fS ~d6 12 e8'ii'+ e:th4
The black king succeeds in reach- 13 '6b8+ <it;g3
ing the key d6-square. 14 'ifg7+ 'iitf2
15 1ixgl+ cJi>xgl
Even experienced grandmasters 16 <it>e5 ~f2
forget about such breaks in pawn 17 ~d5 ~e3
endings. Here is another example. 18 <it>c6 ~d2
19 'iti>xb6 ~c2
Ree - Ftacnik 20 c;i(xaS ~b2
Kiev 1978 21 ~a4 'iti>c3
22 CiPb5 1-0
Black stands better, but with no The following endgame is a clas-
obvious way of winning he decided sic example on the same theme.
to play a logical-looking move:
1 ... gS Teed,1885
But this was met by a terrific re-
ply: (See diagram on following page)
2 g4!! In reply to the forced
There followed: 1 .. hS
Pawn Endgames 17

5 b6 h3
6 b7 h2
7 b8'ii hI'if
The queen endgame turned out to
be a drawn. The white king went the
wrong way.

Tseshkovsky - Novostruev
Vladivostok 1990

White has a decisive reply:

2 h4!!

How to play with and against

passed pawns

Gavrikov - Kharitonov
Sverdlovsk 1984

White has the advantage of an ex-

tra pawn, but Black has compensa-
tion in the form of an outside passed
pawn. In this position the following
variations are possible:
I ~c3
a) 1 h4 ~e5 2 g4 <ittf4 3 g5 <t>g4 4
d4 <it>xh4 5 f4 ~g4 6 d5 ~f5 7 ~c3
f6! 8 <it>c4 fxg5 9 fxg5 as 10 ~c5 a4!
with a draw.
There followed b) 1 f4!. Now the game contin-
1 ~aS? ued 1... <ii?f5 2 g3 <it>e6 (the magazine
Correct was 1 ~c5 ~xh5 2 b4 Shakhmaty v SSSR recommended
~g4 3 a4 h5 4 b5 axb5 5 as! win- 2...h5! 3 ~c3 ~e6 4 ~b4 ~d5, etc.
ning. However the game continued: with a draw; however this variation
1 ~xh5 ignores the natural 3 h3! h4 {or
2 <iitxa6 <iitg4 3...<it'e6 4 g4 hxg4 5 hxg4 ~d5 6
3 b4 h5 <it>c3 as 7 g5 ~e6 8 d4 ~f5 9 d5,
4 b5 h4 etc.} 4 gxh4 'it>xf4 5 h5 ~g5 6 d4 f5
18 Pawn Endgames

{6...~xh5 7 d5 <if;g5 8 h4+ <ittf6 9 h5 2 a3 g6

+-} 7 d5 ~f6 8 h6 f4 9 h7 ~g7 10 3 01
d6 +-) 3 g4! as 4 h4 ~d5 5 <ittc3 a4 3 h3! h64 h4 h5 5 f3! +-.
6 h5 a3 7 g5 ~e6 (or 7... a2 8 ~b2 3 ... h6?
<l;d4 9 h6 or 9 f5 +-) 8 d4 <ittf5 9 d5 3... a4! 4 bxa4+ ~xa4 5 <it>xc5
and Black resigned. <if;xa3 6 ~d4 eJitb3 7 ~e5 ~c3 8 ~f6
1 ~e5 ~d4 9 ~g7 <rPe3 10 ~xh7 ~xf3 11
2 <iftc4 as ~xg6~xf4=.
3 ~cS a4 4 h4!?
4 d4+ 'iite4! 4 h3! g5 5 fxg5 hxg5 6 ~e5 a4 7
The queen ending after 5 d5 a3 bxa4+ <ittxa4 8 <iti>d5! +-.
holds no advantage for White. 4 hS
5 ~e5 a4
Timman - Sveshnikov 6 bxa4+ <&ttxa4
Tilburg 1992 7 )ftdS! ~b5
8 a4+ <iltb4
9 as c4
10 a6 c3
11 87 c2
12 a8'ii' cl1i
13 \rh7+ ~a5
14 _c6! 'iixf4
15 _cS+!
Timman claimed that this inevi-
tably leads to another endgame in
which the white king can easily deal
with the black pawns. For instance,
To win White must either gain a play might continue 15...<it>a4 16
tempo or block the kingside. This is fid4+ 'iixd4+ 17 ~xd4 ~b4 18 f4!.
achieved by
1 ~d5! evitan - Eingom
(analysis by Timman) Belgrade 1988
The game continued 1 a3? ~c6 2
h3 ~b6 3 h4 and a draw was agreed. (See diagram onfollowing page)
The move actually played in the White played
game needed to be carefully consid- 1 g4?
ered. Sometimes a3 is a useful move However 1 <it>d3 <it>c5 2 g4! is cor-
and sometimes a4, depending upon rect, e.g.: 2... ~xb5 3 gxf5 gxf5 4
the position. ~d4 ~a4 5 ~e5 <iita3 6 <it'xf5 <iitxa2
1 ... <ifi>b5 7 <it>g5 +- or 2...fxg4 3 hxg4 ~xb5 4
Pawn Endgames 19

<it'e4 ~c6 (4... ~c5 5 <itte5 +-) 5 <&t>e5 After 1...h4 White should play 2
<iftd7 (5... h5 6 i5! +-) 6 g5 rJ;e7 7 a4 exf5 gxf5 3 g3 hxg3+ 4 ~xg3 and
a6 8 a5 after which the white king the widely separated passed d- and
penetrates either the kingside or h-pawns secure an easy win.
the queenside. White thought his But why not play 1...f4! instead?
move played in the game was even White should continue 2 h4 ~e7 3
stronger, but missed Black's riposte, g3 fxg3+ 4 cwt;xg3 which would al-
the 'shoulder budge': low White to play for the win by in-
1 ~c4! vading the queenside with his king,
2 gxfS gxfS but Black would then create a passed
3 h4 hS! h-pawn at the right moment by play-
4 84 ~b4 ing ... g5 with his king on f6.
5 ~d4 ~xa4 2 exfS?!
6 ~e5 <li>xbS A premature decision. Better was
7 ~xf5 as 2 Cittg3! ~f6 3 cJi>h4 fxe4 (3... f4 4 d6
8 <it>g6 a4 ~e6 5 <it>g5 +-) 4 ~g3 ~f5 5 <it>f2
9 f5 83 h4 6 <ite3 g5 7 a3 ~g6 8 ~xe4 ~f6
10 f6 a2 9 d6 cJ;e6 10 d7 ~xd7 11 <t>xe5, etc.
11 f7 al'ii 2 ~f5
12 f81i' 1We5! 3 g4?
13 fif3 <it>c4 She should have played 3 \ti>g3
Capturing the pawn allows per.. <iii>f6 4 ~h4 e4 5 ~g3 ~e5 6 Ciitf2 f4
petual check, so the players agreed a 7 g3 f3 8 ~e3 <itf6 9 g4, when the
draw. two white passed pawns win easily.
3 hxg4
Zsu. Polgar - Larsen 4 hxg4 fxg4
Vienna 1993 5 <iti>g3 ~f6
6 <3txg4 <ifi>g6
1 rJ;e7? 7 Cifi>f3
20 Pawn Endgames

7 d6 is no improvement. 8 ~xb5 ~xe6

7 <t>f5 9 ~c6!
8 'lte3 e4! White could still have gone horri-
9 ~ ~e5 bly wrong with 9 <ittc5? ~e5! -+.
10 <&ttg3 ~5 9 ~f5
11 ~h3 <&t>g5! 10 ~d6 <it'g4
112-lf2 11 <it>e6 ~xh4
12 <it>f6 g5
Barsov - Bruoner 13 ~f5!
Bern 1994 Despite the extra pawn Black is
unable to win, e.g. 13... g4 14 ~f4 g3
15 <it?f5! stalemate.

Vaganian - Portisch
Tilburg 1992

1 ... h5?
Great care must always be taken
over pawn moves. Black blunders,
not having realized that the white
king will now gain a tempo in at-
tacking the black pawn base. Black Who stands better? Each side has
could have won easily by means of a its own plus and minus: in Black's
simple waiting move: 1... ~b6 2 f3 favour there is his somewhat more
~c6 3 e4 fxe4 4 fxe4 'it>d6! 5 <&ttxb5 active king and a passed pawn. On
CiPe5 6 ~c5 <ifR>xe4 7 ~d6 ~f4 8 ~e6 White's side there are fewer pawn
<ii>g3 9 Ciftf6 ~xg2 10 h4 <it>g3 10 islands. Suppose we remove the a-
~g5 h5! -+. pawns from the board. In that case
2 h4! ~b6 White would push his e- and f-
3 f3 ~c6 pawns, deflecting the black king
4 e4 fxe4 from his passed c4-pawn. However,
5 fxe4 <ifi>b6 this would allow the black king too
6 e5 <t>c6 close to the white kingside pawns.<
7 e6 ~d6 But with the a-pawns on the board,
Pawn Endgames 21

the white king will be closer to the 4 a3 a4

black a-pawn after capturing on c4 5 e5! fxeS
than the black king will be to the 6 fxe5 C1ftd5
white kingside. Therefore the posi- 7 e6 ~xe6
tion must be evaluated as preferable 8 <itd4
for White. B lack resigned, unable to stop his
1 h4? a-pawn from dropping. Even Super-
An incorrect move. After the re- Grandmasters can lose their way in
ply 1... h5 White is deprived of all pawn endings.
flexibility in his pawn structure or
the chance of creating a passed pawn Timman - P. Nikolic
(the h5-pawn holds both the white h- Belgrade 1987
and g-pawns!). Correct is 1 <iitd2
cJ;c5 2 <rt>c3 ~b5 (2... g5 is refuted by
3 g3 g4 4 a3 h5 5 a4 as 6 e5 ~d5 7
f5! ~xe5 8 ~xc4 ~xf5 9 ~b5 win-
ning) 3 g3 g6 4 h3 h5 5 g4 h4 6 g5
~c5 7 a3 et>b5 8 <st>d4 ~a4 9 \t>xc4
Wxa3 10 f5 a5 11 fxg6 fxg6 12 e5
1 ~c5?
After 1...h5! White cannot create
a passed pawn. There would follow
2 ~d2 <ifi>c5 3 <iti>c3 et>b5 4 a3 ~cS 5
a4 as 6 g3 g6 7 e5 cwf.1d5 8 ~d2 ~d4 1 f6?
9 'ittc2 c3 10 ~d 1 'it>d3 and Black Gaining space by means of 1...g5
wins easily. 2 g4 f6 3 f3 f5 was Black's best op-
2 h5 f6? tion.
Why make it easier for White to 2 g3
create a passed pawn? After 2... ~d4 According to Timman another
3 e5 \t>c3 4 f5 <itb2 5 e6 fxe6 6 fxe6 strong possibility was 2 h4 h5 3 f4
c3 7 e7 c2 8 e8'ii' cl 'ii' Black has a g64 g3 ~b7 5 ~b5 r3;c7 6 c5 bxc5 7
clear advantage in the queen ending. dxc5 ~b7 8 c6+ <it>b8 9 ~c4 Citc8 10
3 'ifi>e3 as? <ittb4 <it'b8 11 <li>b5 ~c8 12 ~b6 'ifi>b8
Pushing a weak pawn is another 13 c7+ <iitc8 14 ~c6 followed by a
mistake. After 3...c3 4 ~d3 c2 5 white king raid on the black pawns.
~xc2 ~d4 6 \t>b3 ~xe4 7 \t>a4 2 . hS
~xf4 8 <it'a5 <itg3 9 ~xa6 f5 10 a4 If Black instead now plays 2...g5
<iti>xg2 the resulting queen ending is then 3 g4! h6 4 c5 bxcS+ 5 dxcS f5 6
better for Black. gxf5 gxf5 7 <itc4 g4 8 <it>d4 f4 9 <iiteS
22 Pawn Endgames

g3 10 hxg3 fxg3 11 fxg3 ~xc5 12

g4 is winning for White.
2... g61oses to 3 h4 h6 4 f4 h5 5 cS
bxcS+ 6 dxc5 eS 7 fxeS fxe5 8 ~c4
e4 9~d4.
3 f4!
The winning move; if White in-
stead plays 3 h4? g5 4 c5? bxc5+ S
dxc5 then Black is doing well due to
his threat of ...e5.
3 gS
4 fxg5 fxgS 4 <rt>d6! ~b2
5 h3 ~b7 5 cS a2
6 ~bS Q;c7 6 c6 al_
7 g4 h4 7 c7 'ii'a8
Alternatively 7... hxg4 8 hxg4 8 ~d7 _d5+
~b7 9 c5 bxc5 10 dxc5 e5 11 c6+ 9 <ittc8 ~a3
1;;c7 12 ~c5 e4 13 <ittd4 and White 9... ~xc2 leads to a well-know
wins. draw.
8 cS bxc5 10 c4! 'ii'c6
9 dxcS e5 11 ~d8 1Vd6+
10 <it>b4! 12 cstc8 <it>b4
Black resigned, unable to prevent 13 ~b7
the white king from winning the e5- and draws, since without a chec
pawn. on b5 Black cannot force the whi1
king to cS, while the trick 13... \We
Premature resignation in 14 ~b8 ~cS 15 c81*'+ <it>b6 is foile
pawn endgames by 19 c5+.

Belkadi - Pachman Mnatsakanian - Vogt

Munich OL 1958 Stary Smokovec 1979

White resigned here. (See diagram on following page

A draw was possible after: Instead of resigning White cou]
1 <Ji>e4 have salvaged a draw:
Not 1 a4? ~xc2 2 <it>e4 ~b3 3 1 ~e2 <iteS
~dS ~b4! -+. 2 ~d3 ~dS
1 rJtxa2 3 c4+ ~c5
2 ~dS a4 4 ~c3 as
3 <ifa>xcs a3 5 <it>d3 CS!
Pawn Endgames 23

3 ~d3 ~g4
4 ~e4
What next?

Chigorin - Tarrasch
Nuremberg 1896

6 ~c3 f4
7 'ittd3 f3
8 ~e3 <ifi>xc4
9 ~xf3 cj;b4
10 <itie3 ~xa4
11 ~d2 =
Sanz - Zsu. Polgar At this point Chigorin resigned,
Lean 1989 having calculated the variation 1
gxf6 gxf6 2 <it?g4 ~e4 3 ~h5 <i!txf5 4
<&t>h6 ~g4 5 Citxh7 ~h5!. However,
he could have played for stalemate
with 1 et>g4 et>e5 2 g6! h6 3 <it>h5!,
and Black cannot win.

On a similar theme is the follow-

ing famous game:

Golombek - Keres
Margate 1939

In this position White resigned (See diagram on/allowing page)

without continuing, although Black In this position White resigned,
was not sure how to win. Play might having calculated the following
proceed as follows: variation:
1 ~e2 ~e4 1 <iti'd2 cl'il+
2 ~d2 ~f5 2 lbxcl .txcl+
2...f3 3 gxf3+ <it>xf3 4 <it?c3 'ft>g4 5 3 <iiixcl ~e5
Cit>b4, etc. 4 ~b2 <it>xe4
24 Pawn Endgames

Pawn Endgame Exercises

Jaosa - W. Watson
Oslo 1991

White seems to be losing after 5

~a3 <it>f4 6 ~a4 <1Pg4 7 ~xa5 <iitxh4
8 <ittb6 <t>xg5 9 a4 h4 and the black
pawn queens fIrst, thereby covering
the white queening square. Only
later in analysis Euwe discovered
that in fact the white king should Is 1 g4 or 1 <iti'e4 the best move for
head for the g-pawn! White?
5 <&t?c3! 'it'f4
6 ~d4 ~g4 Hansen - Nimzowitsch
7 <&t>eS ~xh4 Randers 1921
8 ~f6 <t>g4
9 <iti'xg6 h4
10 <it>f6 h3
11 g6
White even manages to start
checking first! Thus both Golom-
bek's calculation and intuition were
faulty. There always exist, even in
the most critical positions, chances
to save the game if the player has a
sound knowledge of endgame prin-
ciples. Often players do not fully ex-
ploit all their chances in critical Black to move. Who is better?
positions. Find the right variation.
Pawn Endgames 25

Troger - Bertok Kuglin - Gapanovich

European Championship 1961 USSR 1986

White to play. Find the drawing Is 1... <&ltxc6 or 1...g5 Black's best
method. move?

Liicke - T. Heinatz Beliavsky - Foisor

Bundesliga 1993 Bucharest 1980

Black to play. Is 1...f4 or 1...g4 Is 1 h5 or 1 ~h3 the best move

the best move? for White?
Pawn Endgames 27

Tringov - Stein Tal - Rukavina

Amsterdam 1964 Sochi 1973

Black to play and win. Is 1...e5 or 1... ~e4 the correct


Stoltz - Nimzowitsch Barrera - Schatzle

Berlin 1928 Argentina 1975

Black to play and win. Black to play. What would you

28 Pawn Endgames

Exchanging into pawn Simple examples

endgames Geller - Mikhalchishin
USSR Ch (Riga) 1985
A common technique in chess is to
swap off the remaining pieces on the
board in the hope of realizing a
material or positional advantage, or,
if playing for a draw, in the hope of
reaching a theoretically drawn posi-
tion. In pawn endgames the material
value of a pawn is much higher than
in other endgames, and can only be
counterbalanced by a very active
king. Therefore exchanging into a
pawn endgame in the hope of win-
ning is far more common than swap- The easiest way for Black to con
ping off to try to obtain a draw. vert his material advantage is by Hq
Chess theory states that to realize a uidation into a pawn endgame.
pawn advantage, pieces must be ex- 1 14!
changed, while to defend when be- 2 gxf4 gxf4
hind on material, pawns should be 3 f3 :a2+
exchanged. From this it becomes 4 ~n lIxg2!
clear which questions face a player 5 <iltxg2 ~d4
considering whether to exchange White resigned straightaway.
into a pawn endgame. First it is nec-
essary to have a knowledge of pre- Mikhalchishin - Bareev
cise theoretical endgame positions. Lvov 1987
This means the range of positions to
which the player is heading. Sec-
ondly, it is vital to have a theoretical
knowledge of how to play pawn
endgames, which is discussed in the
first part of this chapter. The most
important question is this: is it easier
to realize an advantage (or obtain a
draw) by exchanging into a pawn
endgame, or by keeping the pieces
on the board?
Pawn Endgames 29

1 cJ;g7 win or to draw. Now we turn to vari-

2 .te8 ~h6 ous correct and incorrect ways of
3 .td7 1:tg4! simplifying into pawn endgames
This is the only possible winning from more difficult positions.
method: the black rook is immune
from capture as 4 i.xg4 hxg4 5 f5 Complex examples of
~h5 would force immediate resig- exchanging into pawn
nation. endgames
4 <iit'f3 :xh4
5 <Ji>g3 .uht Urzica - Tseshkovsky
6 i.h3 J:xh3+ Moscow 1977
7 <it>xh3 <it>g6

Fischer - Larsen
Denver Ct (5) 1971

White should be able to hold his

own in this theoretically drawn end-
game. The strongest move is a quiet
1 c6
1 .tc3! i.xc3 White instead played 1 :f2? with
2 ~xc3 'ite7 the idea of meeting I ...:tea7 with 2
3 ~d4 ~d6 :e2! and c6, c7, c8. However, Black
4 as f6 unexpectedly simplified into a pawn
5 a6 ~c6 endgame: 1.. J%el+!! 2 :xe1 al'fi 3
6 a7 <it'b7 1:xal :xal + 4 :f1 :xfl + 5 ~xfl
7 q;d5 h5 <t!te7 6 ~e2 ~e6 7 <ite3 ~d5 8 c6 (or
8 ~e6! 1-0 8 ~f4 f6! winning easily) 8...<iftxc6
9 ~e4 ~d6 10 <it>f4 f6 11 <t>e4 ~e6
These are relatively simple exam- 12 h3 ~d6 13 cJi>d4 f5 0-1.
ples. There are two possible aims in After the correct move, play may
exchanging into a pawn endgame: to continue:
30 Pawn Endgames

1 M. Gurevich - Adorjan
2 c7 Akureyri 1988
3 :n
4 :0
and Black cannot make any pro-

Kveinys - Djurhuus

Oslo 1992 t!J

When simplifying into pawn end-

games the mistake of prematurely
exchanging rooks is often made. It is
very difficul t to choose between an
active rook or an active king, a diffi-
culty which is compounded by the
psychological desire to realize one's
White decided to simplify into advantage by swapping off into a
the pawn ending, at the risk of fall- pawn endgame!
ing into a trap. Black decided to play actively
1 15+ straightaway.
Ib5.axb5 2 :Zxb5was sitnpler. 1 ltb5?
1 IIxgS After 1 :e4+ 2 ~d3 :e6 3 ':'xa7
2q"xgS White has a superior rook ending.
Best, however, is 1...a5! 2 ~xf7!
2b4 as
There followed an unexpected ex-
3 lldS! :xdS
4 exdS <it>g6
The natural 4 ...axb4 loses to the
fantastic 5 a4!! ~g6 6 ~d3 ~f6 7
~c4 CitieS 8 ~xb4 ~xd5 9 <sitb5.
5 bxa5 bxaS
6 <it>d3 ~f6
Pawn Endgames 31

7 ~c4 ~e7 2 ~e3 as

8 <ifi>b5 ~d6 3 h4 a4
9 ~xa5 f5 In this position 3...h5, trying to
10 <it>b5 ~xd5 reach the position in the game,
If lO...g5, the white king reaches would be incorrect, as White could
the f-pawn's square in time after 11 counter with 4 f3 and 5 g4.
<ittc4. 4 f4?
11 a4 g5 4 h5! is correct, after which the
12 as <ittd6 pawn ending would be drawn.
13 ~c4 <&t>c6 4 h5!
14 'it>d4 ~b5 5 ~d3 <ittc6
15 ~e5 f4 6 ~e3 :b3
16 gxf4 gxf4 7 ~d2 ~b5
17 ~xf4 ~xa5 8 e5 .u.xc3!
18 ~g4 ~b5 After 8...g6 White would counter-
19 <it>h5 ~c5 attack with 9 :d3! and 10 ltd7.
20 <itfxh6 'it>d6 9 ~xc3 ~c6
21 cii;g7 1-0 10 ~c4 g6
11 ~c3 ~d5
G. Garcia - Vladimirov 12 ~d3 c4+
Havana 1986 13 ~e3 c3
14 ~d3 c2
15 ~xc2 ~e4
16 ~c3 <iitf3
17 ~b4 ~xg3
18 'ittxa4 <it>xh4
19 ~b4 <Jtg3
The black h-pawn queens, and
thereby prevents the promotion of
White's pawn.

Yusupov - Ljubojevic
Linares 1992
It is unfavourable for Black to
simplify immediately into a pawn (See diagram on/ollowing page)
ending, which would be drawn. He Black could win easily by
must therefore improve his pawn 1 ... lIa3!
structure ready for the forthcoming However Ljubo decided that the
exchange. pawn ending was winning immedi-
1 ... :b2+ ately and played 1...:f5? but after 2
32 Pawn Endgames

<iite4! :'xg5 3 hxg5 f6 4 gxf6 <ittxf6 5 1 ~g2

~f4 g5+ 6 ~f3! it transpired that the 1...<ittg3 draws after 2 lth8 f5+!
natural 6... ~f5 fails to 7 g4+! hxg4 <t>xf5 cltxf3 4 J:xh2 <it>g3 5 J:h8 f3
8 ~g3 with an immediate draw. 2 ~xf4 hl'ii
Black had to try 6 ... <it;f7 but after 3 l:txhl ~xhl
the accurate 7 <&ttf2! <itte6 8 ~e2 ~d6 But now Rogers played the une
9 'ittd2 ~c5 10 <itte3! a draw was peeted:
agreed. 4 <Ji>g3! 'it>gl
2 <it>e4 f5+ 5 f4 cat>n
3 ~d4 ~f6 6 <it>f3 q;,el
4 <itc4 :a4+ 7 C5 <it>d2
Even simpler is 4 ...f4! 5 g4 f3 5 8 ~e4 <t>c3
gxh5 f2 and the black pawn queens. 9 <it>d5 ~b4
5 <itd3 :tg4 10 f6 ~b5
6 :xg4 hxg4 11 cwt>d6
7 <it>e2 <it>e5 The f7 -pawn is lost.
8 ~e3 f4+
9 gxf4+ ~f5 Dorfman - Kholmov
10 ~f2 ~xf4 Saratov 1981
11 <&t>g2 g3
12 ~h3 ~f3 (See diagram on following pag~
Black's position is difficult, at
Rogers - Shirov he decided to play:
Groningen 1990 1 ... J:e4
In his preliminary calculatiol
Black has the choice between Dorfman had of course foresee
1... ~g3 and simplifying into the this, and judged his position wi:
pawn ending which, Shirov decided, ning after:
was drawn. 2 :d4
Pawn Endgames 33

Only at this point in his analysis

did the disappointed Dorfman real-
ize his oversight: the opposition is
worth more than a pawn.

Disasters can happen as well:

HUbner - Adorjan
Bad Lauterberg 1980

Having noticed the problem with

his intended line, Dorfman in fact
played 2 g4 fxg4 (not 2...J:xb4? 3
gxf5 gxf5 4 lId5 +-) 3 lId4!?, but
Black discovered a tactical resource:
3...g3+ 4 Cifi>f3 g2 5 ~xg2 :xe3 6
lId5 f:.e4 and a draw was agreed.
2 ... :'xd4
3 exd4
Here Dorfman calculated a fan-
tastic resource: See how one well-known grand-
3 master tried to simplify into a win-
4 d5 ning pawn ending. He went for a
The queen ending is more prom- quick finish instead of securing a
ising after 4 ~g2 ~e6 5 ~h3 ~d5 guaranteed but delayed victory with
6 ~h4 ~xd4 7 ~g5 <it>c4 8 ~xg6 1...:xh3.
~xb4 9 ~xf5 ~c4 10 ~g5 (weak is 1 ... :cS??
10 ~e5 b4 11 f5 b3 12 f6 b2 13 f7 But White refused the pawn end-
b1'i' 14 fS1Y ffel+ with a draw) game by playing:
10...b4 11 f5 ~d5 12 f6 Cit>e6 13 2 <it>xh4!! ':xg5
~g6 b3 14 f7 b2 15 f8fi' bI'ii'+ 16 Stalemate!
~g5; here White maintains some
winning chances. (Typesetter's note: Bareev - J. Polgar
The database proves that this posi- Hastings 1992/3
tion is a draw).
4 ~e7 (See diagram on following page)
5 ~e3 ~d7 1 l:h3?
6 d6! ~c6!! 1 %lf3 was correct, after which
7 <itd3 ~d7 White can still fight for the draw.
Pawn Endgames 35

4 ~g7 gS 6 'ife3+ iixe3

5 hS g4 7 fxe3
6 h6 g3 Black miscalculated that he could
7 h7 g2 hold the draw by placing his king on
8 h8~ gl'ii+ e4.
9 ~f8 16cS+ 7 <&ttfS
10 crt;n 'ii'c7+ 8 'ittf2 ~e4
Now another simplification is in- 9 ~e2
evitable, leaving Black with a won Incorrect is 9 g4 g5 10 <itJe2 ~d5:
pawn ending. 11 ~d3 ~e5 12 e4 <iftf4 (Editor's
The next game demonstrates how note: 13 <iitd4 seems to win here) or
a faulty calculation led to an attempt 11 <ifr>f3 ~e5 12 e4 <iti>d4.
to simplify into a drawn queen end- 9 gS
ing, which turned out to be a lost 10 ~f2 <it>rs
pawn ending. 11 ~f3 g4+
12 ~f2 ~eS
Gelfand - Salov 13 <&t>el!
Moscow 1992 The e2-square is 'mined': 13

Uhlmann - Drimer
Leipzig OL 1960

There followed:
1 ... 'iWe4?
After 1...'iif5 White stays a pawn
up, but the remaining configuration
of pieces offers no real winning
chances. 1 'iVe4+
2 _xf6 'iixe2 2 ii'xe4 fxe4
3 ~8+ ~gS 3 ~n q;n
4 ~4+ <it>fS 4 <it>e2 <t>e6
5 16f4+ ~e6 5 ~d2 Cifi>dS
Pawn Endgames 37

resource. Correct was 1...<ite6! 2 c5 Black resigned. The enemy pawn

bxc5 3 a5 ~d7 4 ltJxc5+ <i;c7 after controls the crucial f6-square, pre-
which there is no clear way forward. venting the king from stopping the
2 ~xf3 h2 pawn.
3 ~g2!
Not 3lbg3? <it'd4, which draws. But sometimes one's own pawns
3 ... ~xe4 get in the way:
4 cS!
This is what Shirov saw. Akopian Andreev - Demin
now played 4...<it'd5 5 c6 <it'd6 and Moscow 1984
resigned a few moves later. Instead:
4 .. bxc5
5 as <it'dS
Now after the conventional 6
b6?? Cittc6, Black wins. Advancing
the b-pawn goes against Nimzo-
witsch's rule, which states that the
queening pawn must always be
pushed fIrSt. Thus:
6 a6!!
and only then 7 b6, and the pawn
successfully promotes.
1 h5 q;e5??
Capablanca - Ed. Lasker Too active. After the more re-
London 1924 strained I ... ~e7! 2 Q;c4 h6! 3 gxh6
gxh6 4 <itb4 <iti'f6 5 ~xa4 ~xf5 6
Despite Black's material advan- ~b4 the white king just reaches the
tage, White wins after: fI-square in time. However, Black is
1 h6! playing to win.
Pawn Endgames 39

2 g6 Speelman - Chandler
3 ~c2 <it>f8 Hastings 1988
4 ~dl .i.g3
White resigned, having over-
looked the idea of boxing in the
black king.

Karpov - Polugaevsky
Tilburg 1983

1 :a4!
2 :xa4 bxa4
3 <&ttf3
Or 3 f5 ~f7 4 cJi>f4 ~f6 5 ~e4
<it>e7 6 <iti>d4 ~f6 7 ~c4 ~xf5 8 <t>b4
<it'e6 9 ~xa4 ~d7 =.
3 <iti>fS
The calm 1... ~b4! would have al- 4 ~e3 ~f6
lowed Black to hold the position 5 ~d4 ~f5
easily, but instead he exchanged into 6 ~cS ~xf4
a lost pawn ending. 7 ~b5 ~e5
1 ltJ4xa5?? 8 <it>xa4 ~d6
2 ltJxa5 lbxaS Draw
3 i.xaS ~xa5
4 ~xf4 <ittbS Filipenko - Scherbakov
5 ~gS 'it>cS Berdichev 1990
6 ~h6 ~d6
7 ~xh7 rJ;e7 (See diagram on following page)
8 q;g7 1 ~cS+
The black king cannot reach f8 in Black opts for the pawn endgame,
time. as after 1...g5 2 hxg5+ <ittxg5 3 c5!
dxc5 4 i.c3 White easily holds the
The next game shows a correct draw.
simplification into an analogous 2 .i.xc5 dxc5
endgame. 3 d6 ~e6
4 d7 ~xd7
Pawn Endgames 41

threatening a breakthrough on the Salov - Short

queenside. White has more defen- Linares 1992
sive chances in this ending than in
the game.
4 JleS
5 'itd3 i.xc3
6 ~xc3 ~d5
Black's better-placed king gives
him good winning chances.
7 ~d3?!
The last chance was 7 b4, striving
for the position indicated after move
7 <it>cS
8 'iitc3 as! Black could play the simple
9 b3 hS 1... lbc8, after which he should fully
10 g3 gS equalize. However he instead forced
11 g4 h4 the game into a pawn ending:
12 f3 ~dS 1 liJdS?
13 b4 2 :xe8+ l:xe8
Alternatively Black is easily win- 3 ltxe8+ 'fixe8
ning after 13 <i1td3 cwfi>e5 14 <it>e3 f5 15 4 ltJxdS 'iVel+
<&tte2 fxg4 16 fxg4 ~e4 17 <it>f2 ~d3 S <r&>g2 \re4+
18 ~f3 b6 19 <ja>f2 ~c3. 6 'ii'f3 fixdS
13 <JteS! 6...cxd5 loses even more quickly:
14 bxaS <itf4 7 'ii'xe4 dxe4 8 g4 '1t'h7 (or 8... g5 9
15 ~d4 <it>xf3 hxg5 hxg5 10 f3 +-) 9 h5 g6 10 d5
16 'ifi>cS 'ittg3 cl;g7 11 d6 <i!tf8 followed by the fa-
17 ~b6 <it>xh3 miliar trick 12 g5!.
18 ~xb7 'it'xg4 7 ~xdS cxdS
19 a6 h3 8 <it>f3 f6
20 a7 h2 9 hS ~
21 a81*' hl'ii'+ 10 ~4 q;e6
22 ~b8 ~xa8+ After 10...g6 Salov gives the fol-
23 ~xa8 fS lowing variation: 11 a4 as 12 f3
White resigned, since he is unable rJ;g7 13 hxg6 'itxg6 14 g4 f5 15
to prevent a second pawn race fol- <&tte5! fxg4 16 fxg4 <it>g5 17 <if.1xd5
lowed by another queen exchange ~xg4 18 <iti>e5 h5 19 d5 h4 20 d6
and then a third black pawn promo- h3 21 d7 h2 22 d81i' h l1i' 23 'ii'g8+
tion. and after the inevitable exchange of
Pawn Endgames 43

gx.f5+ rJi/f7 7 axb5 cxb3 8 <it>d5 +-) Mamatov - Tseitlin

3 bxa4 h5. This position is fine for Moscow 1983
Black, but instead he decided that
the pawn ending would be even sim-
1 .tc5?
2 :xdS ~xd5
3 i.xc5 <it>xcs
4 <itte4 <iti>d6
S fs! gxfS+
After the natural5...g5 White gets
a protected passed pawn and wins
easily with 6 <ifi>d4:
a) 6 b57 b4! axb4 8 as!.
b) 6 b6 7 <itie4! (White must If Black had played 1...l1c5 fol-
avoid 7 ~c4 ~e5 8 b4?! axb4 9 lowed by 2... ~f5 and 3...e5(+),
~xb4 ~d5 10 a5 c5+ 11 ~a4!? White would clearly have been in
bxa5 12 <it>xa5 c4 13 ~b4 cJr>d4! trouble, but instead he played the
drawing) 7...h6 8 <it>d4 <&Pd7 9 <it>e5 immediate:
rJie7 10 6+ rj;f7 11 ~d6. 1 <;PfS?
6 <it'xfS b5 A truly horrible blunder. There
7 g5 cS followed:
8 <l;e4 bxa4 2 ':xg5+! ~xgS
9 bxa4 et>e6 3 'It>xeS a6
10 h4 4 a3 as
Black resigned, given the follow- 5 a4 1-0
ing continuation:
10 c4 Smyslov - Averkin
Or 10...Cit>d6 11 ~f5 c4 (11 ...<iitd5 USSR 1979
12 h5 and 13 g6 +-) 12 ~e4 and the
variation indicated above would be
11 <ittd4 <it>fS
12 <it>xc4 ~g4
13 ~b5 ~xh4
14 <it>xa5 ~xg5
15 <ifi>b6
The white pawn simultaneously
promotes to a queen and covers the
black pawn's queening square.
44 Pawn Endgames

Smyslov had a clear plan to con- 23 ~xg4 ~c6

solidate his position: 1 ~e4 f5+ 2 24 ~f3 ~dS
<ittd3 followed by transferring the 25 ~e3 ~c6
king to b5, after which Black will 26 <itte4 et>d6
find it hard to defend, but the pawn 27 'it>fS ~d5
endgame on the other hand is very A draw was agreed.
1 i..xe7 ~xe7 Beliavsky - Karpov
2 l:txc7+ :xc7 Brussels 1988
3 l2Jd5+ cj;d6
4 tlJxc7 et;xc7
5 ~e4?
The right move is 5 h4!.
5 <it'd6
6 a4 f5+
7 ~d3 ~c5
8 Ciitc3 g5!
9 b4+ ~dS
10 <itd3
Neither 10 h3 nor 10 h4 can
change anything.
10 .. g4 In this position Black declined
11 <&t>c3 'itd6! the rook exchange:
11 ... f4? fails to 12 a5 bxaS 13 1 l:td8?
bxaS e4 14 gxf4 e3 15 ~d3 winning. Strangely Karpov did not opt for
12 <ittc4 ~c6 the pawn endgame, which is forced
13 as b5+! after 1...:axb7 2 cxb7 ttJd6 3 l:tcl
This is the essence of Black's de- 4Jxf5 4 l:txc5 ~d6 5 ltc7 b3 6 :c3
fensive idea: White has a protected ~e7 7 :xb3 'it>d7 8 f4 ~c7 9 ~f2
passed pawn but his king cannot ttJxb7 10 i.xb7 :xb7 11 1:xb7+
penetrate the black position. ~xb7 12 ~e3 <it>c6 13 <l;d4 <it>d6. He
14 ~d3 ~d6 calculated well in advance that this
15 <iti>e2 ~c6 pawn ending was lost; we will return
16 <itfl <iitd6 to it later.
17 ~g2 ~c6 2 %:tcl! :a5
18 f3 c;t>d6 3 .th3! g6
19 fxg4 hxg4 4 lDh6 lbd6
20 h3 gxh3+ 5 !f:Jxf7! l2Jxf7
21 <it>xh3 ~d5 6 c7 1:.e8
22 g4 fxg4+ Black now has a lost position.
Pawn Endgames 45

The simplest way to win was 7 :b8 Exchanging into pawn

lLJd6 8 .td7. endgames: exercises

Furman - Zhukhovitsky
Leningrad 1969

This was the position Karpov be-

lieved to be lost. However, Black
can play the simple:
1 ... f6 Is 1... ltJc5 or 1...ttJxd4 Black's
It is not clear how White can best winning attempt?
make progress. Karpov overesti-
mated the strength of his opponent's Kaunas - Mordvinov
more active king. As the reader will Tashkent 1969
already have realized from the
large number of wrong decisions
taken by grandmasters, simplifying
into pawn endgames is no easy mat-
ter. We must learn from their mis-
takes. These endgames should not
be a lottery of guessing or not guess-
ing the correct move, rather involve
working out the right move by draw-
ing on one's theoretical knowledge
and accurately calculating the possi-
ble variations. In conclusion to this
chapter there are several exercises White to move. Find the simplest
for readers to test themselves. win.
46 Pawn Endgames

P. Ricardi - G. Garcia Piskov - Dvoirys

Bayamo 1986 Helsinki 1992

White to move. Which pawn end- Is 1 b6 or 1 llJxc4 the best move?

game should he opt for: 1 :xg4 fxg4
2 b5 or 1 b5 immediately?

Rozentalis - Smagin Berman, 1961

Odessa 1989

White to move. Is it better to play How can White simplify into a

1 i.f3 with the idea of 2 g6, or sim- won pawn endgame?
ply 1 .i.xt7?
Pawn Endgames 47

Briedis - Timoshenko A. Selesniev

Riga 1991 TIdschrift for Schack, 1923

Is 1 :'xh7 the best way to win? How should White exchange into
a pawn endgame?

Glek - Dautov Vaulin - Groszpeter

Frunze 1988 Kecskemet 1993

Is 1 l:td3 the best move? Should Black play the immediate

1....txe5 or wait before exchanging
into a pawn ending?
2 Rook endings with two extra

In all other endings the advantage of Black has the obvious plan of sac-
two pawns nearly always guarantees rificing his h-pawn in order to bring
victory - but it was no accident that his king to the d-pawn, thereby
Rudolf Spielmann commented jok- reaching a theoretically winning po-
ingly that all rook endings are sition. However, in this initial posi-
drawn. There are some well-known tion White has the chance to make
examples of drawn positions, such life difficult for Black by impeding
as those with the a- and f-pawns or this plan.
two rooks' pawns, although drawing t :d5!
chances depend on the activity of the In the game White played 1 :d2?
pieces. In this chapter we discuss but after l ...<iti>fS 2 ~xhS he had
less well-known positions in which missed the crushing 2...l:.e3 !!. After
the weaker side has excellent draw- 3 :f2+ (or 3 :dS+ ~e6 4 I1a5 d5 5
ing chances two pawns down, ana- <it>g4 <it>e5 6 l%aS ~e4 -+) 3... ~e4 4
lysing both positions which were ~g4 d5 5 %IfS d4 6 :eS+ ~d3 7 :a8
successfully defended and games lIel he was forced to resign.
where the players did not use all the With colours reversed this very
possible resources. position (after 1 l%d5) arose in Be-
liavsky's twenty-year-old analysis,
Beliavsky - Kupreichik published in Dvoretsky's Secrets of
Yugoslavia 1992 Chess Training! Now White can
draw in the following variations:
a) l .. Jlf6 2 :xh5 rj;f7 3 ~g4
<itte6 is met by 4 :hl followed by
checking from in front.
b) l ~f6 2 J:txh5! l:tel 3 <;ftg3
~e6 (3 :fl 4 <i1tg2 :f4 5 ~g3 =) 4
Cittfl lIe4 (4...:'eS S :xe5! =) 5 <ifi>f3
d5 6 lIhl ~e5 7 J:al with a well-
known draw.
c) l ... <t;f] 2 ~xhS! (not 2 l:xh5?
l%g6! -+) 2..JleS+ 3 l:xe5 dxeS 4
Rook endings with two extra pawns 49

~g4 <iti>e6 5 <iii>f3 ~d5 6 lti>e3 draw- Chaunin- Friedman

ing. Moscow 1956
Surprisingly, what is required in.
this position is to put the other side
in zugzwang! Therefore:
1 l:e4+!
2 'it>g3 l:te3+!
3 ~h4 :00
4 :dl ~f5
5 :n+
5 ~xh5 .:Ie3! transposes into the
5 cst>eS
6 :el+ ~dS
7 :dl+ ~c6 In this position White (to move)
8 :'cl+ Cit>d7 knew the winning theoretical posi-
9 <it>xh5 1Ie4! tion, which involves advancing the
10 <it>g5 d5 f-pawn to f6, cutting the black king
11 eM5 ~d6 off from its crucial defensive post
12 :dl ~cS! of g7. White can then win using the
13 :cl+ tactical trick J:th8, meeting ....:Ixc7
13 :al is answered by 13....:Ie3! by lth7+. He therefore played 1
14 11a5+ ~c4 15 %:ta4+ <iti'b5 with a hxg3?, with the intention of then
winning position for Black. pushing f4, etc. However White for-
13 .. ':c4 got that the position is drawn with
14 1:.al the g-pawn, and one can imagine his
Or 14 l:tdl ltc3! 15 et>e5 lle3+ 16 disappointment after 1...g4+! 2 fxg4
~f4 d4 and Black wins. and three pawns up White cannot
14 IIc3 win! White would win easily after
15 :&5+ <it>c4 1 ~xg3!
16 :a4+ ~b5 followed by the pawn sacrifice 2
17 :al lte3! h4! and only then smoothly advanc-
18 %:tdl ~c4 ing the f-pawn up to f6. It is always
19 :'cl+ %lc3 dangerous to think there is a choice
Now the d-pawn is unstoppable. between two equally good moves;
The only game plan in this type of usually only one move is correct and
position is to sacrifice one of the the other one is flawed.
pawns in return for greater activity
of either king or rook, although this The next game is provided from
is not always possible. one of the authors of this book.
50 Rook endings with two extra pawns

Mikhalchishin - Kluger Brooner - Hulak

Pecs 1978 Berlin 1990

This position looks easily won. There followed:

There followed: 1 ... :'f4+
1 ~h8 Nothing is gained by 1...<iith3 2
2 :te2 ~f2+ '&fi>h2 3 J:xa6 :f4+ 4 ~e3 :f5
3 1112? S ~e4!, etc.
In fact the win was hard to find: 2 ~g2 :f6
3 h7 %%.gl 4 ,:[f2 ~e7 (after 4...<&t>xeS 3 :a4+ g4
S :fS there is no defence from 6 4 1:a5 ':c6
11g8) 5 :a2 :'g6 6 :a7+ <it>f8 7 5 1%a2 :'b6
l:aS+ et;f7 8 l:1g8 :e6 9 %lg7+! ~f8 6 ~b2?
10 l:g5! ~f7 11l:tfS+ <&f;g6 12 .:lf8! Why allow one's opponent to im-
(12 :f6+ ? l:xf6 13 exf6 c3;f7! is prove his position? Stronger is the
stalemate) 12...l:e7 13 Itf6+ ~g5 14 simple 6 :a3! when 6...g3 fails to 7
~g8 and the pawn finally threatens l1a4+.
to queen. 6 g3+
3 ~xe5 7 ~g2 :tg6
4 l:[f8 ~e6 8 11a4+?
5 h7 In a similar position the World
I thought there was no defence to Champion, Garry Kasparov, found
6 :g8, but my adversary found a the correct drawing method: 8 l%a3!
cold-blooded move: <ili>h5 9l:a4! ~h6 10 :a5 ~h7 11
5 :h3! :hS+ <ifa>g8 12 l:fS r:Ji;g7 13 :f3 as
6 ~g7 l:Ig3+ 14 :f5 a4 15 :f4 :'a6 16 ~xg3 a3
7 <Jii>h6 l:h3+ 17 llfl a2 18 :tal ~f6 19 ~f4 and
8 <1.tg6 :g3+ the white king reaches the a2-pawn.
I was forced to concede a draw. 8 ~hS
Rook endings with tlvo extra pawns 51

9 :as+ ~g4 2 1%c6 et>d7

10 ~eS <it>C4 3 1:rd6+ ~e7
11 :te8 4 f6+?
White tries in vain to build a line White checks the wrong way; 4
of defence by cutting the black king :e6+ ~f7 5 c6 was correct, with an
off along the e-file. easily won position.
11 :tg5 4 q;f7
12 l:e6 as 5 c6 ~g6
13 :te8 ~C5! 6 <t>f3 l:el!
14 :el a4 White's difficulty is that his king
15 :e8 l:g4 is unable to reach either of his two
16 :e7 lte4 pawns.
17 :a7 '11tf4 7 ~f4 :e2
18 l:t7+ ~e3 8 fl.dS :c2
19 ~xg3 <iti>d2 9 l:d6 lIe2
20 'lfi>f3 :e3+ 10 17+ <j;xf7
21 q;f2 a3 11 ~5 ~e7
0-1 12 %ld7+ ~e8
13 ~6 1:el
The next endgame is a classic. 14 :dS :Xct
15 1:d6 :n+
Larsen - Torre 16 ~e6 l:el+
Leningrad IZ 1973 17 ~d5 IIdl+
18 <iti>c5 :xd6
19 ~xd6 ~d8

An unexpected defensive idea oc-

curred in the following game.

Gurgenidze - T. Petrosian
Moscow 1983

(See diagram on following page)

It appears as if the white rook is
1 :'c7? ideally positioned and he merely
Inaccurate. 1 ~g5 :xc5 2 ~g6 needs to move the king to the b3-
followed by 3 llh8+ was easily win- pawn. This was not fated to happen
ning. however, as Black managed to cut
1 cj;d8 off the white king.
52 Rook endings with two extra pawns

Correct was 1..Jtg4 2 ~d3 :g3+

3 ~c4 :g4+ 4 ~b5 l1xg5+ 5 <i1i>b6
1:tg4! 6 :a8 :tf4! (or 6... ~h7!) 7 a5
1:[f6+!, followed by the well-known
resource of checking from the side.
The game continued:
2 ~d4 :h4+
3 ~e5?
Hecht writes that White is win-
ning after 3 ~c5, since 3... ~xg5 is
met by 4 :as l:tf4 5 as l:tf5+ 6 ~d6
1 ... :&5! ~g6 7 a6 ~g7 S lleS :a5 9 :e7+
2 ~h6 1:bS <it'f8 10 :a7 lIa1 11 l:aS+ q;f7 12
3 ~g6 ]%&5 ~c6. In the game Black managed to
White was forced to agree to a draw after:
draw, as the following variation 3 <it>xgS
shows: 4 :a8
4 b4 :bS Typesetter's note: White could
5 :e4 :dS still have won by 4 ria6!; the main
There is no way forward. variation runs 4...lthS 5 ~d5 :f8
:'e6 %ta8 7 lte4 ~f5 8 1:tb4 lta6 9
A very interesting position arose <itc5, and we have transposed into
in the following game. line 1 of diagram 146 in Secrets of
Rook Endings, to which readers are
Sax-Hecht referred for more details.
Budapest 1973 4 ~g6
5 as rJ;g7
6 ~dS :f4
7 a6 :f6

Veselovsky - Varavin
Lublin 1993

(See diagram onfollowing page)

1 c6! :b2+!
In the game Black faced insoluble
problems after 1.. JIb8? 2 c7 ':'c8 3
1:e7 ert>c5 4 ~e3 ~d6 5 J:g7 <ifi>e5 6
Black played: 1:th7!.
1 ... :h3+? 2 ~cl l:b8
Rook endings with two extra pawns 53

1 e4?
This looks logical, but White
could have quickly lost this pawn.
Any other sensible move is winning,
e.g. 1 <it>e2 (or 1 l:.a2 ~f5 2 e4+ ~e5
3 ~e3 ':a8 4 a5 :h8 5 Itf2! with the
threat of 6 1:f5) 1... ~e4 2 l:[fl! fol-
lowed by switching the rook to the
fourth rank.
1 ... ~e6?
Correct was the surprise attack
If White now plays 3 c7, then 1...':c5! 2 lla3 1%c4 3 a5 l:txe4 4 a6
3...l%c84 :te7 ~c5 5 <ifi>d2 ~d61eads :f4+ and 5...:f8, managing to stop
to a drawn pawn endgame. the white pawn.
3 :00 .:le8 The game is now quickly over.
4 <if.;d2 2 'iPe3 ~d6
If White plays 4 Clftb2 there would 3 ~d4 <iifd7
follow 4 ...1;c5, threatening to sim- 4 ~c4 ~c6
plify into a drawn pawn endgame. It 5 ~b4 :eS
follows that White's only winning 6 l:cl + <it>b6
chance is for his king to reach the f4- 7 ':c4 1-0
square in the pawn ending.
4 ... ':c7 Even when two pawns down it is
5 ~e2 l:.t7! vitally important to activate the king
The white king cannot cross the f- and use the power of one's passed
file. pawn. Here is an example of this.

Kasparov - Short Kozlov - Mikhalchishin

London peA Wch (9) 1993 USSR 1978
54 Rook endings with two extra pawns

It appears as if White should play 4 .:Ie3+

1 ':xb3, but then after 1... :xg3 2 5 <ifi>d6 :d3+
~d4 h5 the white king is cut off 6 ~e5 h5
from the black h-pawn, which will 7 :b8!
proceed to run down the board. In 7 e7 is weak due to 7... <j;f7, but
this position White made use of his now this advance is threatened.
best chance, paying no attention to 7 ... l:e3+
the g3-pawn and undistracted by the 8 )f;>d6 )f;>f6
passed b3-pawn, in order to get opti- 8... ~f5 fails to 9 e7 h4 10 :xb3
mum use of his e-pawn. In other lIe1 11 l:[b8 h3 12 e8'iY l:xe8 13
words: 1:xe8 g5 14 llh8 g4 15 ~e7 et>f4 16
1 e4!! l:.xg3 ~f6 g3 17 l%h4+!, drawing.
2 e5 ~g6 9 :18+ ~g5
2...h5 is met by 3 e6 h4 4 e7 1:le3 10 e7 b2
5 ~d6 threatening 6 :'xb3. 11 l:b8 <it>f6
3 e6 l:d3+ 12 :18+!
4 ~e5! Of course not 12 :xb2l:te6+! and
White must avoid 4 <it>e4? l:d2 5 Black wins.
l:.xb3 ~f6 6 l1b7 lle2+ and now 12 ~g5
Black wins. The black king must be 13 :'b8 ~f6
squeezed, Le. the shoulder budge! Draw
3 Typical Rook Endgames

The most frequently occurring end- The stronger side must try to
games involve an equal number of maximize the co-ordination of his
pawns on one flank (especially three king, rook and passed pawn, and the
versus three) and a passed pawn on player defending must achieve
the other flank. The Moscow chess maximum king activity to attack the
player Kantorovich invented a very enemy pawns and create his own
interesting statistical system to help passed pawn. Of particular impor-
evaluate this type of ending. The tance is the position of the stronger
stronger side has the best winning side's rook; behind the passed pawn
chances with the knight's pawn, is usually ideal, although sometimes
which he gives 0.7-0.8, Le. from ten it is very important to reach a posi-
games one would score 7-8 points. tion in which the rook can simulta-
The bishop's pawn is evaluated at neously defend the passed pawn
0.65, a centre pawn at 0.7, and the from the side as well as pawns on
rook's pawn at around 0.6. It should the other wing, while cutting off the
be noted that these evaluations are enemy king.
averaged out, and the result of any
concrete position depends in the first The rook's pawn
instance on the activity of the pieces.
Playing methods in these types of Van der Wiel - Seirawan
position are well-known; for the Haninge 1990
stronger side they involve combin-
ing the use of king and rook to push
the passed pawn as far as possible,
and for the weaker side they involve
attacking the enemy pawns as much
as possible, especially when the en-
emy king has to abandon his pawns
on one flank to support the advance
of the passed pawn on the other
flank. We discuss these positions
from both sides and look at reasons
for the mistakes that often occur in
practice. 1 ~hS!
60 Typical Rook Endgames

The knight's pawn gxh5 9 :h7 l:c5 10 ~f3 b5 11 ~e3

and now 11 ...b4? fails to 12 ~d4
Chekhov - Eingom b3? 13 ~xc5 b2 14 ~c6! +-.
USSR 1984 S :c4!
6 gxh5 :'xh4+
7 <ittg3 l:.xh5
8 ltg7 ltg5+
9 ~h4 ~f8!
10 lib7 .I:bS
11 Cifi>g4 g5
Black won easily.

Mikhalchishin - Losev
Moscow 1974

1 ~e8
Black has the obvious plan of
bringing the king to the b6-pawn.
The other possibility 1...h5, also
leads to nothing after 2 llb7 l:c6 3
g4 ~e8 4 l:th7 :tc3+ 5 ~g2 hxg4 6
:g7 ':c6 7 <iifg3 ~d8 8 <it>xg4 <&tc8 9
~g5 b5 10 ':xg6, with a draw.
2 !tb7
Also strong is 2 g4 h5 3 ltb7
1:c3+ 4 <it>g2 :'c6 5 gxh5 gxh5 6 1 <i1tn ~f7
:h7 l:c5 7 ~f3 ~d8 8 <it>e3 b5 9 2 g3
:b7 ~c8 lOl:th7 b4 11 ~d4 ltb5 12 After 2 g4 there would follow
<&ti>c4 l%b6 13 ~c5 with a draw. 2... ~f6 3 ~el <it>g5 4 ~dl ~f4 5
2 ... ':c6 <l;c 1 :h2 6 ':c3 'itte4 7 b4 ~d4 8
3 :th7 1:.f3 <it>c4 and the black king's mobil-
Now 3 g4 is bad in view of ity seals the draw.
3...<iii>d84 lIh7 g5! and Black gets a 2 h5
winning position. 3 <ittel ~f6
3 ':'c3+ 4 <it>dl :h2
4 <&tth2 hS 5 h4
5 g4? Correct was 5 g4 h4 (or 5...hxg4 6
He should have played 5 ltg7 hxg4 cJtg5 7 :e4 and the b-pawn
:c6 6 g4 <it>d8 7 <itt g3 <it'c8 8 gxh5 runs while the black king is boxed
Typical Rook Endgames 61

in) 6 'it>c1 %:tg2 7 b4 l:.g3 8 ~d2 win- 12 ~e5

ning. 13 cst>a3 <it>d6
5 g5! 14 b6 ~d7!
6 hxg5+ <j;xg5 (D) 15 ~c7+ ~d8
Of course not 15... ~d6? 16 ftc8!
with the threat of b7.
16 %:tc6 ~d7
w Draw

Bronstein - Romanishin
Erevan 1975

7 ~cl ~g4?
Black misses the clever trick
7... ~f5! 8 b4 h4! 9 gxh4 1:txh4 with
a draw.
S b4 h4
After 8.. Jlh3 9 ~d2 %1xg3 10
:xg3+ ~xg3 11 b5 the pawn pro-
motes with check, and a won queen 1 :b5?
versus pawn endgame results. A faulty plan. The correct idea
9 gxh4 <ittf5 was 1...1:f6! 2 <i!tfl :e6!, cutting off
10 b5 :xh4 the white king and controlling the
11 ~b2 b6-pawn. This plan shows great
Dvoretsky thought this move was technique and is highly instructive.
a mistake and that 11 ~c2 ltb4 12 2 <ittf3 l:.b2?
lib31:c4+ 13 <itd3 :lc8 14 ':'c3 l:[b8 It was worth trying to cut the king
15 llcS+ <it>e6 16 <t>c4 <ittd7 17 <it;b4 off with 2...ltb4, but Black did not
was winning, but the mistake oc- expect White's next.
curred not here, but later. 3 <i!te4!
11 ~f4 A surprising plan, but after 3 <it'e3
12 :c3? ~f6 4 <&t;d4 <it>e6 B lack can hold
This is the decisive error. In all back the white king.
his books Dvoretsky missed the fact 3 .:xn
that 12 :d3 ~e4 13 ~c3 l:lhS 14 4 l:c7 :b2
Itd4+! is winning. 5 b7 ~f6
62 Typical Rook Endgames

6 ~d5 <it>fS 1 h6
7 1txti+ <it>g4 2 l:td3 cJ;;g7
8 lig7 ~xg3 3 <ittf3 :b2
9 :xg6+ ~xh4 4 ~e3 g5?!
10 'iti'c6 Better is 4...fS! 5 f4 g5 6 hxg5
White has cut off the black king, hxg5 7 fxgS ~g6 8 <ifi>f4 1:f2+ 9 :'f3
but it appears that Black can push 1:tg2!, providing a strong counter-at-
his h-pawn all the way. White how- tack against the g3-pawn.
ever gets there first. 5 hxgS hxgS
10 Cit>h3 6 g4? (D)
11 ltg5! White hopes to deprive his oppo-
Threatening 12 l:.b5. nent of any counterchances, but the
11 :xb7 best move was 6 f4! ~f6 7 fxg5+
12 <ittxb7 h4 cJ;;xg5 8 <ifi>d4 ~g4 9 ~c3 :g2 10 b4
13 <&itc6 <it>h2 and White is winning the pawn end-
14 ~d5 h3 ing.
15 ~e4 ~hl
16 ~f3 h2
17 :eS 1-0

Novikov - 011
Lvov 1990

6 <&itf6?
Correct was 6...f5! 7 gxf5 <t>f6 8
f3 <itxf5 9 ~d4 'ittf4 10 et>c3 J:[f2 and
now the pawn ending is drawn.
7 :d6+
After 7 f3 ~e5 there is no obvi-
1 :O! ous way forward.
The correct piece configuration. 7 .. <it'eS
If White tried 1 b4 l:[b2 2 ~f3, then After 7...9:;e7 there would follow
after 2...h6 and 3...g5 the white rook 8 :b6 f6 9 f3 and 10 ~e4.
could not simultaneously defend the 8 lIb6 c.fi>d5
b4-pawn and the f2-pawn. 9 f3 :bl
Typical Rook Endgames 63

9... ~c5 is met by 10 :tf6 ~xb3+ <it>f5 g3, although Black has drawing
(or lO... <it>d5 11 fLf5+ <it>e6 12 l:lb5 chances) 6.. J:tc3+ 7 ~f2 ':c2+ 8
followed by ~d3, ~c3 and ~f5) 11 ~gl ~e4 and Black is fantastically
~e4 :b4+ (or 11..J%b7) 12 ~f5 and active.
White wins. 6 <Ji>xf3 :c3+
10 <it>d3 ~c5 7 c;t;g2 :d3
11 :f6! l:xb3+ 8 :'xh6! l:.xb3
Black resigned as all his pawns 9 ':g6!
are lost. The two versus one ending is very
unpleasant for Black, unable to stop
Vyzhmanavin - Smyslov the h-pawn with his king stranded
Gelsenkirchen 1991 on the e-file.
9 . ltb2+
Black's last chance was 9...f4.
White would then play 10 .:tg5+ (10
h61tb2+ 11 ~h3 l:bl) 10... ~e4 11
l:tg4 ~f5 12 lIxf4+ ~g5 13 J:[h4
~h6 but now the white pawns are
10 ~h3 J:tbl
11 ~h4 :hl+
12 ~g5 l:tgl
13 ~h6 %:Ihl
14 :'a6 :gl
There followed: 15 :a3 ~f6
1 g5 16 :e3 .:tg2?
This looks very logical, but now Another mistake; it would have
Black is saddled with a permanent been better to play 16...1th1 and, if
weakness on h6. appropriate, 17...:'h3.
2 l:b6+ <it>e5 17 ~h7 cst>gS
3 h5 g4+? 18 h6 :a2
3.. J%c2 followed by 4.. Jtc3+ is Ftacnik gives the line 18...1ih2 19
stronger, hindering White's play on J:[e6 :h3 20 1:tg6+ ~h5 21 ~g7 and
the kingside. White wins.
4 'it'e3 :c2 19 1:e6 :a3
5 f4+ gxf3? 20 ~g7 ~g4
Another possibility is 5... ~d5, 21 ~f6 1-0
and if 6 :'xh6 (better is 6 ':b5+ ~d6 A different pawn set-up for the
7 :xf5 %:g2 8 ~e4 lIxg3 9 :f6+ weaker side is considered prefer-
rl;e7 10 ':xh6 ':xb3 11 :g6 ~f7 12 able.
64 Typical Rook Endgames

Vaganian - Hellers Black is many tempi behind and

New York 1990 White easily queens.
11 l:xn
12 <it>c4! :0
13 :tb7+ <it>h6
14 :Id7 lIb 1
15 <it>cS :'cl +
15...g5 is refuted by 16 hxg5+!
~xg5 (16...fxg5 is answered by 17
b7 threatening :d6+ and :b6) 17
%:td4 intending l:b4.
16 ~d6 :dl+
17 Q;;c7 l:cl+
18 ~d8 l:bl
This is a classic position that has 19 :d6! 1-0
been reached many times. Black
must go for immediate activity by If the number of pawns on one
means of 1...f6 and 2...g5, but in- wing is increased to four then the
stead he played passively: stronger side certainly has greater
1 ~f6 winning chances, but the position
2 f3 1:tg2 can still be defended.
3 ~f4 1:tb2
4 :b6+ 9iJg7 Piket - Tukmakov
5 b4 l%b3 Amsterdam 1990
6 ~e4 l%bl?
The immediate 6...1:tb2 7 <&ti>d5
:g2 is better, attacking the white
pawn chain.
7 b5 f6
Black has lost five tempi (!) but
now he finally gets on with the cor-
rect plan. If he now plays 7...%lb4+ 8
~d5 :b3 9 ~d6 l:xf3 10 l:c6 l:xg3
11 l:c5! :b3 12 <it>c6 f6 13 b6
':xb6+ 14 ~xb6 g5 15 ~c6 White
would win.
8 l:b7+ et>h6 1 h4?
9 %lb8 l:b3 1 g4! is better, immediately creat-
10 b6 rJitg7 ing trouble for Black on the king-
11 cli>d5 side.
Typical Rook Endgames 65

1 ... ~g7 It is useful to improve the pawn

1...h5? is weak due to 2 1:a8+ and structure.
3 ltb8, activating Black's rook. 1 g6
2 g3 h5 2 <ittg2 ~g7
3 <&ti>g2 :b2 3 f4 as
4 1:a8 Itd2! 4 1:a6 %:ta2
It is vital to transfer the rook to a 5 ~C3 1:a3+
more active position, from where it 6 ~f2 11al
will defend its pawns and open the 7 11a8 1:[a2
way up for the king. 8 ~f3 :a3+
5 llb8 .:td7 9 <&t>f2 1:a4
6 <ittfJ <it>f6 10 <it>f3 :a3+
7 g4?! 11 ~g2 <Ji>f6
White's last chance was 7 <Jte4 12 1:.a7 :al
~e6 8 f3 f5+ 9 ~f4 ~f6 10 g4 12... ~f5 fails to 13 !txf7 + <it g4
7 hxg4+ 14 <Ji>f2 l:xg3 15 1tf6, etc.
8 <it>xg4 <it>e5 13 g4 h5
9 l:f8 e6 14 gxhS gxh5
10 f3 ~d5 15 <iitfJ a4
11 e4+ cj;d4 16 11aS a3
12 cj;g5 lIe7! 17 ~e4 l:el
White has no defence te 13... <it>c4 18 e3 1:hl
and the inevitable advance of the b- 19 :'xa3 :xh4
pawn. 20 <&t>f3 l:th1
21 :a5 <it>g6
Romanishin - Razuvaev 22 1:g5+ <t>h6
Odessa 1974 23 1:g8 :n+
24 ~e4 111,.1/2

The bishop's pawn

Beliavsky - M. Gurevich
Groningen 1992

(See diagram on/ollowing page)

Black's position is critical be-
cause of the weak b6-pawn.
1 :e6!
White's aim is to position his
1 h4! rook on the ideal e3-square.
66 Typical Rook Endgames

17 :n
18 .:Lg2?!
White should have played 18
1:c6! ~d4 19 l:.e6!, etc., but now the
black king makes it to the corner,
forcing White to search for study-
like possibili ties.
18 'ltd6!
19 as %1al+
20 1:a2 l:[hl
21 :d2+ ~e6
1 l:f2 22 <ifi>b2 :h8
2 :e3 ~d7 23 :g2 :a8
3 ~d3 ~d6 24 llg6+ rt;c7
4 <it;e4 ~e6 25 a6 :le8
5 f4 :h2 26 ~a3 ~b8
Black could make life hard for 27 ~a4 r:J;;a7
White after 5 ... ~f6, in which case 6 28 ~a5 :b8
<it>d5 fails to 6...1td2+. He would 29 .1:g7+ ~a8
have to play 6 l%h3 ~g6 7 f5+! ':'xf5 30 1:b7 :c8
S:th6+! +-. This is what Black was counting
6 :g3 :e2+ on: a- and c-pawns plus stalemate
7 ~d3 ':12 ideas such as 31 ~b6 :'c6+!.
8 <if.le3 :h2 31 :b6 <tia7
9 :tg6+ ~5 32 ~b5 :h8
10 1'1xb6 %:.h3+ 33 :c6 l:h3
11 ~d2 ~xf4 34 l:tc7+ 'iit>a8
12 :'xb7 <tteS 3S ~a4 lthS
13 :b6! 36 lId7 lIh8
Correctly cutting the black king This move loses simply; the last
off from the queenside. chance was 36...%lh6, when in order
13 :h2+ to win White must find 37 ltd3! :b6
14 ~c3 lIh3+ 38 <it>a5 :b4 39 :d8+ rJ;a7 40 1:d7+
15 ~b2 :h2+ 1i>a8 41 fib7 lla4+! 42 <it>b5 %la5+
16 <it>a3 :hl 43 <ittc6 :xa6+ 44 :b6 lla4 45 llb5
17 :tg6 and White wins.
Not a mistake, but simpler is 17 37 llc7 :'hS
:tc6 ~d4 18 :g6 ~c3 19 .:Ig3+ 38 ~aS :h3
<it;c2 20 :g2+ <it>c3 21 as :tal + 22 39 llb7 :h6
::ta2 :bl 23 <it>a4 :xb3 24 r!a3 +-. 40 :b6 1-0
Typical Rook Endgames 67

Rozentalis - Nijboer Mnatsakanian - Vladimirov

Groningen 1992 Moscow 1979

1 h4 :gl 1 %:tc5
2 g3 f6! A more logical plan is 1 l:d3, fol-
The best possible pawn structure: lowed by h4, f4, ~f3, g3 and ~e3
now Black always has the threat of with the idea of making a king
...g5. breakthrough on the queenside via
3 l:tc4 the d4-square.
3 c4 leads to nothing after 3.. Jlfl 1 hS!
4 <itte2 l:c1. 2 h4 <itte6
3 ~f5 3 ~f3 g6
4 1%f4+ ~e5 4 g3 f6!
S ~c4 gS! As in the previous game, the best
6 %td4 :n! plan for Black is to prepare the ...g5
7 :d2 gxh4 break.
8 gxh4 fS 5 ~e3 <ltd6
9 ~cS :hl 6 :c8 ~e5
10 ':d4 f4! 7 ':c6 et>rs
11 :d5+ <iii>e4 8 :0+ ~e6
12 l:xh5 <M3! 9 lIc4 ~d5
At the price of a pawn Black has 10 ':c7 ~e5
achieved maximum activity. An old 11 l%c4 ~d5
truth in rook endgames: activity al- 12 J:d4+ ~e6
ways compensates material. 13 l:d3
13 c4 ~xf2 White finally understands that
14 <t>d6 f3 there is no other way to play for the
15 cS ~g3 win, but Black has already prepared
Draw the counterplay.
68 Typical Rook Endgames

13 ... gS! 3 h4 :a2

14 hxg5 fxg5 4 c4
15 f4 h4! Miles gives 4 <it>e1 l:c2 S l:f3 and
16 gxh4 gxh4 transferring the king to g3 as an al-
17 ~e4 :e2+ ternative, but this seems dubious.
18 CiPrJ ltc2 4 ... <it>f8
19 ~g4 :g2+ 5 ~el?!
20 ~xh4 ~f5! 5 cS looks more natural, intend-
Again Black puts activity above ing c6, and after defending the pawn
material: although two pawns down with l:f6, moving the king up to the
his rook and king are very active. c6-square.
21 <lth3 :f2! 5 ~e7
22 ~g3 :xf4 6 et>n :'c2
23 l%d5+ ~e6 7 <&t>g2 llc3
Draw 8 f3 l:ic2+
9 <it>g3 CS!
Miles - Gheorghiu Miles gives this move an excla-
Ostend 1986 mation mark, but it was perfectly
feasible for Black simply to bide
10 1:d4
After 10 gxf6+ there would fol-
low 10... ~f7 11 %:td4 ~xf6 12 ~f4
<it>e6 13 ~e4 l:tc3 14 f4 hS.
10 <it>e6
11 f4 l%c3+?
After 11 ... ~e7 White's best
chance would have been 12 h5 gxh5
13 l%d5 J:xc4 14 .:lxf5 .:lc 1, but this
leaves very few winning chances.
1 ... :a2?! 12 ~f2 :h3
It is generally a good idea to cut 13 <itte2 h6
off the opponent's king, but given Upon 13... ~e7 there follows 14
White's unfortunate pawn structure c5 :c3 15 :1d5 with the unpleasant
he should have begun an immediate threat ofhS followed by ~d2-d3.
attack against it with 1...h6 2 h4 14 cS! q;e7
hxg5 3 hxg5 :'a2. 14...:xh4 is refuted by IS c6
2 :f4 ':as hxg5 16 c7 l:h8 17 :'d8 +-.
Black has to make another rook 15 c6 hxg5
move. 16 hxgS :'c3
Typical Rook Endgames 69

17 :d7+ ~e6 9 1:c7+ ~f8?!

18 :g7 <ittdS Not bad, but again this is passive.
19 :txg6 :'c4 9...<it>f6 is more logical.
20 :r6 :xf4 10 cS <;t>e8
21 g6 ~eS 11 c6 <ifi>d8
22 :fS 1-0 12 :xn :xc6
13 'lttd2 'it>e8
Belov - Savon 14 1:a7 <itf8
Podolsk 1991 Cutting the king off with 14.. J:tc4
would have been stronger.
15 ~d3 :00
16 ~d4 :e2
17 f4 :e8
18 fS gxfS
19 .:taS lte4+
20 <iti>d3 ltg4
21 1:xfS+ rJ;g7

Khivitsky - Vasiukov
Erevan 1954
1 h4
An interesting alternative is 1 g4
and 2 h4, preventing Black's defen-
sive set-up.
1 .. hS
2 :'c6 ~fS
3 l:tc7 tj;g7
4 <ifi>g2 <M6
5 'itn
It would have been stronger to
push the pawn from c4 to c6 and
only then trying to activate the white
king. 1 l:[c6?
5 .:tc2 This move is a decisive error. In
6 <it>el ~g7?! such pJsitions it is always best to cut
This is somewhat passive; more off the opponent's king, here by
attractive is 6...~e6. playing 1 :'c7. After 1...g5+ 2 <itf5
7 1:c8 ~f6 Black has the following possibili-
8 :'c6+ et;e7 ties:
70 Typical Rook Endgames

a) 2.. J%gl 3 :xc2 ':xg3 4 ':'c6+ Mikhalchishin - Basin

~h7 5 f4 g4 6 ~g5 can only be dan- Minsk 1985
gerous for Black.
b) 2...g4 3 f4 h4 4 gxh4 g3 5
l:c6+ ~g7 (5 ... ~h5 6 lIe8) 6 ':e7+
<itf8 7 '.ttf6 ~e8 8 :e7+! <ifi>d8 9
lle2, and by attacking from the side
instead of from behind, White se-
cures the draw.
c) 2...h4 3 g4 h3 4 1:tc6+ rJig7 5
%lc7+ <ittf8 6 ~f6 ~e8 7 l:.e7+ Cittd8
8 :e2 and again this can only be
dangerous for Black, facing the loss
of his g5-pawn.
Back to the game: 1 f4
1 ~g7 2 ~cS?!
2 <ittgS ~n An inaccuracy: it is always best to
3~4 ~e7 cramp the enemy king. Therefore he
4 ~e3 g5 should have played 2 <it>d5 ~f5 3
5 ~d2 lIn :'c2, although after 3...:e8 4 e7 lIe8
6 ~xc2 5 ~d6 ~e4 6 ~d7 :h8 7 c816 l:txc8
The pawn endgame arising after 6 8 ':xc8 f3 9 gxf3+ <it>xf3 10 ~e6 g3
':xc2 :f2+ is lost for White because 11 h3 ~g2 12 Ciite5 ~xh3 13 <ili>f4 g2
of the potential passed h-pawn. the position is drawn.
6 :xf3 2 <iWs
7 lIh6 :xg3 3 'it;d6 lIh7
8 lIxhS <ittf6 4 c7 lIxe7!
9 <it>d2 ~fS Black is losing after 4...l:[h8 5
10 ~e2 ~g4 ~c6 ':c8 6 l:d8 :lxc7+ 7 ~xc7 f3 8
11 %Xhl g3 hxg3 9 hxg3 ~e4 10 l%e8+ ~d3
Alternatively 11 %lh8 :f3 12 lIhl 11 ~d6 f2 12:f8 ~e2 13 'ifi>e5, etc.
~f4 13 lIfl J:xfl 14 ~xfl <t>f3 or 5 ~xc7 f3
11 ~f2 :f3+! 12 ~g2 <ittxh5 13 6 gxO
~xf3 ~h4, with a winning position If White plays 6 g3 there would
for Black in both cases. follow 6... hxg3 7 hxg3 ~e4 8 ~d6
11 .. :g2+ ~e3 9 :dl ~f2 10 ~e5 ~xg3 11
0-1 ~e4 f2 12 ~e3 <iftg2 13 <it>e2 g3 14
:al ~h2 15 <t>f3 (15 ~fl is met by
Defensive difficulties can also 15...'It>hl =) 15...fl'f1+! 16 J:xf1 g2
arise when the material is level. 17 :2 <iii>hl drawing.
Typical Rook Endgames 71

6 ... gxf3 6 ~e3 'ite6 7 <it'f4 b5 8 c3 followed

7 <iti?d6 ~e4! by b3 and c4.
Not 7 ... ~f4? because of 8 l:[d4+ 4 :e7!
~e3 9 <itte5! 2 10 l:tf4 <ite2 11 <ittf5 5 cS?!
winning. He should have played 5 b4 in-
S h3 ~e3 tending 6 b5.
9 :'dl ~e2 5 <ritg5!
10 :al f2 6 b4 f4
11 lti>e5 n fi 7 a4 <it;g4
12 :xfl ~xfi 8 b5 f3
13 ~f4 ~f2 9 IId6
14 <&t>g4 ~e3 White has no time to play 9 bxa6
15 <it>xh4 ~f4 f2! 10 a7 fl'ii 11 a81i' l:e2+ giving
Draw Black a mating attack.
9 ... as!
Balashov - Salov A good plan. Now White cannot
Lvov 1984 easily find a satisfactory way of sac-
rificing his rook for Black's passed
10 c6 bxc6
11 :'xc6
If 11 bxc6, then 11 ... 2 12 ltf6
~g3 13 :g6+ <it>f3 14 :f6+ <ittg2 15
:g6+ cJi>fl 16 %1f6 l:g7! 17 et>d3
~g2 18 <it?c4 fl ~+ 19 l:xfl <&t>xfl
20 <ifi>b5 =.
11 f2
12 :f6 'itfg3
13 l:g6+?
1 1%h3 f5 A definite mistake: after 13 b6
2 :a3?! ~g2 14 :g6+ ~fl 15 :'f6 lte2+ 16
An inaccuracy, although not a de- ~c3 Black cannot make progress.
cisive mistake. Simpler is 2 :lc3 or 2 13 ~
l1d3 followed by playing the rook to 14 :f6+ ~g2
the seventh rank. 15 :g6+ <ittn
2 a6 16 b6 l1e2+!
3 :d3 <it>f6 17 ~dl l:tb2!
4 c4? Given the fatal zugzwang, White
White could have scored an easy resigned. If 18 ~c 1 there follows
draw with 4 :d7 1te7 5 :xe7 rJ;xe7 18... ~e1, and upon 18 l:f6 there is
72 Typical Rook Endgames

the simple 18... ~g2 19 :g6+ ~f3 .:tg7 :a5! deserves serious attention,
20 l:f6+ ~e3 21 :e6+ <ifi>d3 22 as Black holds the position by tacti-
l1d6+ ~c3 23 :f6 1:d2+ 24 ~cl cal means.
:'e2. 4 :e2+
The Dutch chess player Peter
The central pawn Boel noted in New in Chess maga-
zine (no. 2, 1993) that the pawn end-
Ghitescu - Rajkovic game after 4 d5+! :txd5 5 %lxd5
Skopje 1984 <ittxd5 6 ~g5 ~e5 (6...<it>e6 7 f4 r3i;e7
8 f5 gxf5 9 et>xh5 +-) 7 f3 ~d4 8
cbf6 is easily won for White.
4 ~d6
5 l%.b2 <it>e6
6 <iite4 :al
Black is making unnecessary
moves; 6...1:[a4 7 1:[b5 :a2 is more
logical, immediately attacking the
white pawns.
7 dS+ ~f6
7...rl;e71ooks more logical, push-
ing the white rook into a less favour-
1 :'a2! able position after 8 1:b7+ ~f6. In
One of the most important plans this position 9 d6 fails to 9...:tdl 10
for the side a central pawn up is to d7 <itte6, but 9 ~d4 is better, trans-
place the rook behind the passed posing into the Schmidt-Pytel game
pawn. The enemy rook and king can on the following page.
be deflected into stopping the passed 8 ltd2 rtie7
pawn, during which time the king 9 d6+!
can try to attack the enemy pawns. In the game White played 9 <ifi>e5?
1 . <&t>e6 :el + 10 <t>f4 f6! 11 :a2 lIe5! 12
2 :d2 :'al :a7+ <ittd6 13 1:ta6+ cj;e7 14 d6+
If Black plays 2.. J%el +, the fol- <tti>d7 with a draw.
lowing manoeuvre is decisive: 3 9 ~d7
~f4 <iii>d5 4 ~g5 1:e6 5 ~h6 :d6 6 10 ~e5 :85+
rj;g7 f5 7 <itth6 l%e6 8 ~g5. 11 ~f6 :r5+
3 ~f4 :as 12 ~g7 lID
In ECE Ghitescu makes no com- 13 ~h6!! %lf6
ment on this move, although the 14 f4 I1xd6
continuation 3...f6 4 :b2 :a6 5 <it>e4 15 :xd6+ ~xd6
:a4 6 :b6+ q;e7 7 l:b7+ <it>e6 8 16 f5! gxfS
Typical Rook Endgames 73

17 <t>xhS ~e5 15 :te6+ ~t7 16 :e3 and White has

18 <ittgS excellent winning chances.
White wins easily. 4 :b7+ ~f6
5 dS 1:cl+
D. Schmidt - Pytel 6 <it>d4 :dl+
1970/71 According to Kantorovich, Black
can draw by 6.. J:tgl. However after
7 <&1tc5 ltxg3 8 d6 :d3 (8 ...:'c3+ 9
<it>d5 :d3+ 10 ~c6 :d4 11 :b8
:xf4 12 d? is in fact winning; in-
stead 10...:c3+ 11 <t>d7 %1c4 trans-
poses to the variation in the game) 9
:e7 <it>f5 10 :xf7+ ~g4 11 ltf6
White is winning.
7 ~cS :Id3
8 <it;c6
D.Schmidt awards this a double
exclamation mark, but 8 d6 :'xg3 9
1 lIb3 :e7! intending :e5-d5 is better.
This is a fairly slow plan, but 8 1txg3
there is no obvious difference in 1 9 d6 :c3+
'iftc3. 10 ~d7 ~f5?
1 ~e7 A better try is 10...:c4!, after
2 ~d3 hS which White has the following win-
3 ~c4 :a1? ning attempts:
Kantorovich's question mark. He a) 11 ':c7 :xf4 12 ~e8 :xh4 13
prefers 3... ~d6 4 :b6+ rj;;e7: d? l%d4=.
a) 5 l%b7+ ~e6 6 d5+ :'xd5 7 b) 11 :b8:xf412~c6%lxh413
':xf7 :d1 and the ending is drawn. d7 :d4 14 d8'ii+ ':xd8 15 :xd8
b) White should play 5 d5! :'a3 6 ~e5 16 %le8+ ~d4 17 l:h8 (17 ~d6
:b3 :a5 7 .l:.b7+ ~f6 8 :'b5 (not 8 g5 18 ~e7 <it>e5 19 et>xf7+ ~f4 20
d6 in view of 8... ~e6 {8...:a3 9 <&t>g6 h4 =) 17...g5! 18 :xh5 g4 19
.:le? :'xg3 10 :Ie5! +-} 9 d7 rJile? 10 l%g5 f5 20 :xf5 ~e4 =.
dSiV++ 'iti>xd8 11 :xt7 :a3 and it is c) 11 'it>d8 :xf4 (not 11 ...<it>f5
not obvious how White can win) because of 12 d7 <iPxf4 13 ct;e? Ild4
8...:a3 9 %:tb3 l:a5 10 <tt;d4 ~e7 11 14 llb4 winning) 12 d? llxh4 13
'ub7+ ~f6 12 :b6+ ~e7 13 ~e5 llb6+ ~f5 14 rt;c7 :d4 15 :'d6
f6+! 14 ~d4! (not 14 lIxf6? because 1:c4+ 16 q;b6 l:tb4+ 17 ct;c5 :b8 18
of 14...:xd5+ 15 ~xd5 <it>xf6 and d8'ik l:xd8 19 1:xd8 <it>e4 and again
the pawn ending is drawn) 14.. .1%a3 Black holds the draw.
74 Typical Rook Endgames

In the game Black was forced to After 4 1:lh8 Black can transpose
resign after: to the plan in the game with 4...:b5
11 :tb5+! <&ti>xf4 5 :g8~e6.
12 :g5! 15 4 ~e6
13 :xg6 ~e4 5 :e8+ ~d7
14 ~e6 f4 6 :e4 f6
15 d7 :d3 7 l:b4 :a2
16 Citte7! ~e5 8 :b3 :e2!
17 :e6+ 9 :b7+
This game shows that it is very After 9 cJj>f3 Black should play
dangerous for the weaker side to the rook to e6, then push the d-pawn
transfer his king to the c-file. using king as back-up support.
9 ~c6
Novikov - Gavrikov 10 :17 J:e6
Lvov 1987 11 f4
This is White's only counterplay.
11 gxf4
12 ~f3 dS
13 ~xr4 d4
14 ':f8 d3
15 :d8 :d6
16 ltc8+
Simplifying into a pawn endgame
was also hopeless after 16 ':xd6+
~xd6 17 ~e3 ~e5 18 <it>xd3 ~f4 19
~d4 <itg3 20 <ifi>e4 ~xh3 21 ~f3
<ith2 22 ~f2 h3, etc.
White has a permanent weakness 16 ~b5
on h3, and this proves sufficiently 17 J:cl d2
serious todetermine the outcome of 18 l:dl ~c4
the game. 19 gS fxg5+
1 J:d4 20 ~xg5 l%d4
Gavrikov himself views this as an 0-1
inaccuracy, preferring 1... rt;e7 2 f4
gxf4 3 1:h8 :d2+ 4 ~f3 :d3+ 5 Ermenkov - Castro
<it>g2 l:g3+ 6 <it>h2 f3 7 ':xh4 f2 and Linares 1979
Black wins.
2 :e8 :a4 (See diagram on following page)
3 :g8 :as 1 h5
4 1:b8 2 <ittf3 :bS
Typical Rook Endgames 75

19 ... :CS
20 <ifi>e3 g5!
20... ~g2 is not entirely success-
ful due to 21 f4! <ifi>xg3 22 :idl! and
Black is in difficulties.
21 hxg5 fxg5
22 f4 g4 (D)
22... ~xg3 23 fxgS h4 24 %Id 1!
lleS+ 25 ~d4 is no improvement.

3 :a7 :b6
4 <ilte3 llb3+
5 <it>e4 ~e6
6 <itff4 :b4+
7 <it>e3 dS
8 ~f3 f6
9 .:tg7 ~r5
10 l:d7 l:b3+
11 <ite2 l:bS
12 ~e3 :as
13 <iti>f3 <it'e6 23 'iti>e4
14 :g7 d4! An alternative defensive possibil-
15 <it>e4 ity is 23 :d3, after which 23 ...:f8
15 :'xg6 loses White's rook after 24 <l;f2 :ta8 25 :b3 (or 25 fS 1ta5!
15... ~f7 16 :h6 cj;g7 -+. -+) 25 ...:a2+ 26 ~g1 (or 26 <itf!
15 ... lidS h4 27 gxh4+ <it'h2! and now there is
Black switches to the plan of put- no stopping the g-pawn) 26...:g2+
ting the rook behind the passed d- (26...h4 no longer works after 27
pawn and attacking the white pawns gxh4+ g3 28 :bl! drawing) 27 <it>hl
with his king. :xg3 28 :txg3+ <it>xg3 29 f5 ~f2 30
16 <it>d3 <Ms f6 g3 leads to Black giving mate.
17 :e7 <it>g4 23 :18
17...g5? fails to 18 :e4! and then 24 :d3 h4!
f3. 25 gxh4+ g3
18 :e4+ ~h3 26 ~f3
19 :xd4 The continuation 26 fS does not
If White tries 19 :f4, then Black save White because of 26...<it>g4 27
would counter with 19...f5 20 :'xd4 :d6 l:.e8+ 28 <iii>d3 (or 28 :e6
1:xd4+ 21 ~xd4 f4 -+. :xe6+ 29 fxe6 g2 and the white
76 Typical Rook Endgames

queen is skewered after the check) 8 :a4 <it'eS

28... ~xf5 29 h5 1Ig8 -+. 9 rla6 :b2+
26 ... g2 10 ~ :b4
27 :dl 1Ig8 11 cai?e2 ~fS
28 ltgl ~h2 12 :d6 l:tb5
29 :xg2+ 13 1:a6 gS!
Alternatively 29 <ittf2 l:tg4! -+. Black gets on with the main task
29 ... :Ixg2 of weakening White's pawn struc-
30 fS <iith3 ture. After ...:b4 and ...ltc4 White
31 hS J:gl will sooner or later have to exchange
32 ~f4 ~h4 on g5.
33 h6 1.1fi+ 14 hxgS fxg5
34 <iti>e5 <it>gS 15 %:'a4 :b8!
35 h7 l:.xfS+ Intending ...1:.h8 and ...h4.
0-1 16 f3?
Anything but this; now White's
Van Riemsdijk - Brendel second rank is fatally weak.
Biel1993 16 ... l:b2+
17 ~n
Paying the price for his 16th
move. 17 ~e3 fails to 17...:tg2 so
the white king is banished to the fIrst
17 ... :'c2!
Black can afford to ignore 18
g4+, which is refuted by 18...hxg4
19 :xg4 (19 fxg4+ ~e5 intending
...:'c4 and ...<iti>f4) 19...llc4 20 :g2
<&itf4 -+.
18 <it>gl (D)
1 hS 18 .. ~e5
2 1:.f4+ <iite6 Stronger is 18.. Jlc4 19 %la8 g4!
3 h4 :a8 20 :tf8+ <it>e5 21 fxg4 hxg4 22 Cit>t2
Advancing the pawn would at the :'c2+ 23 '.t>e3 l:tc3+ 24 ~f2 d4 and
moment be premature, so Black the king then reaches c4, as we have
switches to the normal plan. shown in many games.
4 ~e3 :a3+ 19 f4+ gxf4
5 <ifi>e2 :b3 20 :xf4?!
6 ~d2 :bl Better was 20 gxf4+ <it'f5 21 :d4
7 <ifte2 f6 :'c5 22 ~f2 ~g4 23 <iti>g2 with the
Typical Rook Endgames 77

idea of countering 23 ...h4 with 24 1 ... ~f5

f5+. 2 :e2!? :0+
20 .. d4 Black manages to avoid the trans-
21 ~n d3? parent 'cheapo' 2...:txe2? 3 g4+,
Here Black should have played winning for White.
21 .. J:lh2! to reply to 22 ~gl (or 22 3 ~e3 ~e6
<it>e 1 ~d5! and the black king gets 4 ~d3+ ~d6
to the d-pawn via c3 with unstoppa- 5 :a2 1:dl+
bIe threats, while the pawn ending 6 ~e4 ':el+
with the pawn on d4 is lost) with 7 1rf5 :O+?
22...:te2! 23 l:h4 d3 24 ':xh5+ <it>e4 Rodriguez's question mark; he
and Black wins. prefers 7...:g1, hitting the g-pawn.
22 <it>el! :te2+ White would have to defend tempo-
23 <it>dl lte4 rarily with the rook, playing 8 h4
24 l:h4! <if;d5 9 :d2.
This is what Black missed: the 8 ~g5 :'17 (D)
pawn ending is now drawn.

Finally a position with reduced


Diaz - A. Rodriguez
Bayamo 1991

1 l1b2!
Again we see the plan of posi-
tioning the rook behind the passed
pawn which simultaneously defends
the pawns on the second rank. 9 :a8 :tb7
78 Typical Rook Endgames

9 ...~d5 10 :h8! is unpleasant. 18...:el is a strong alternative,

10 :h8 l:.bS+ taking advantage of the first oppor-
11 <ittf4 h6 tunity to attack.
12 :g8 :gS 19 :a6+ ~d5
Clearly better than the passive 20 :as+ ~d6
12...llb7 13 ~f5. 21 Ilf5 :el?
13 g4. ~e6 After the correct 21 ...l%a7 22 <t>e4
14 h4 l:dS 1:e7+ 23 1:e5 :f7 24 d5 White ad-
15 ~e4 vances his d-pawn.
Alternatively 15 :xg7 l:xd4+ 16 22 :17 g6
<t>e3 lta4 17 ltg6+ ~e5 gives Black 22... ~e6 23 lIxg7 ~f6 24 %lh7
good counterplay. ~g6 25 lla7 ltgl 26 h5+ is winning.
15 ... :d7 23 llf6+ ~dS
16 :e8+ 24 :'xg6 :bl
A different plan is 16 ]:ta8, in- 2S l%xh6 lth3+
tending 17 l:a6+ ci;f7 18 d5 and 19 26 ~c2 1-0
~e5, and White has excellent win-
ning chances. Somewhat surprising is the feeble
16 ~f7 (D) plan that White adopts in the follow-
ing game.

Gelfand - Timman
Linares 1993

17 lta8
17 :c8! looks stronger.
17 ... lte7+
18 ~d3!
After 18 q;d5 Rodriguez gives There followed:
the following variation: 18...:d7+ 1 :el?
19 ~c5 :c7+ 20 ~d6 :e7! threat- 1 :c3! is clearly better, freeing
ening ...:e4. the way for the king. and aiming for
18 ... ~e6 the D.Schmidt-Pytel game.
Typical Rook Endgames 79

1 l%a4! Again 5 f3 or the immediate 5

2 l:dl ::1a3! tte4 is better.
Now White's king is restricted. S %ld3
3 g4? 6 1:le4 gS!
3 :d2 is better, with the idea of 7 hS ~d5
transferring the king to e2, and then 8 l:.e8 llxd4
playing :d3. 9 ~g3 :r4
3 'i;e7 10 :a8 :r6
4 l:el+ ~d6 White has lost his d4-pawn and
5 h4? has no real winning chances left.
4 Various Rook Endgames

The Riddle of however, that the truth of the riddle

of Duchamp can be found.
Marcel Duchamp is an enigmatic
figure both in the world of chess and
in the world of art. Art historians to
this day argue about his place in the
hierarchy of contemporary art, and
chess players find it hard to under-
stand why a successful artist threw
down his brush to become a profes-
sional chess player for thirty years.
Duchamp played for France in the
Olympics four times, published an
endgame book about the theory of
corresponding squares with the White has three possibilities: A) 1
well-known theoretician V. Halber- ~e4; B) 1 %:tg7+; C) 1 ~e3.
stadt, and featured his favourite
game in many of his pictures, the A) 1 ~e4 h4 2 ~d5 (or 2 :g7+
majority of which are displayed in ~f2 3 %1h7 h3 4 1txh3 ':xb7 5 J::f3+
famous museums such as the New {White also gets nowhere with 5
York Museum of Modern Art and :b3 l:[b6 6 ~d5 f5 7 ~c5 :b8 8 b6
the Paris National Museum. He f4, etc.} 5... ~g2 6 ':f5 <it>g3 7 'it>d5
composed one enigmatic study but ~g4 8 ~c6 :'f7 and Black secures a
never gave the solution. In the 1980s draw by pushing the f-pawn) 2...h3 3
the magazine Chess Life and Review Citc6 h2 4 1:g7+ ~f2 5 :h7 <&t>g2 6
published a discussion with the cj;c7 ltg8 7 b8'fi ':xb8 8 ~xb8 hl11
participation of Grandmaster Larry 9 :'xhl <it>xhl 10 b6 f5 11 b7 f4 12
Evans, reaching the conclusion that ~c7 f3 13 b8'ii' f2 and Black can
there is no win. The author of an ar- draw.
ticle in the Soviet magazine 64 from
1990 came to the same conclusion: B) 1 1:g7+ <it>f2
there is no solution. We believe, 2 lib? h4
Various Rook Endgames 81

If 2... ~e2, then 3 Cit>e4 with the Now Black has two possibilities:
unstoppable threat of <it'd5 and <ittc6, a) 5...:b6 6 ~e3 lte6+! (the al-
and if 3...:d8 then 4 :d7! opens the ternatives are bad: 6...<std 1 7 <it;d4
way for the king). f;c 1 S ~c5! l:tbS 9 l:%f2 and White
White now has a further choice: pushes the b-pawn and wins by
3 l:xh4 threatening the f-pawn; if 6... ~fl
Two other moves need examina- then 7 1tf2+ <it>gl 8 1tf5 ~g2 9 ~d4
tion: ~g3 10 <Ji>c5 lte6 11 b6 is winning)
a) After 3 ~e4 h3, both 4 ~d5 7 ~d4 :d6+ (if 7...f5, then 8 b6 f4
and 4 ':xh3 lead to a draw as in vari- 9 b7 :eS 10 b8\i' :xb8 11 :xb8 f3
ationA. 12 <i1te3 +-) 8 ~c5 (the cunning 8
b) 3 ~f5 h3!? (after 3... ~g3 4 <it'e4 fails for other reasons, namely
~e6 h3 5 ~d5 h2 6 ~c7 ltg8 7 b8'ii' 8...:tb6 9 ~d5 f5 10 ~c5 :b8 11
:txb8 8 <it>xb8 f5 9 b6 f4 10 b7 f3 11 1:tb4 ~e2 12 :f4 l:f8! 13 b6 ~e3,
<itc8 f2 12 b81i'+ and White wins) 4 etc.) 8...l:dS 9 b6 (if 9 llb4, then
~e6 <&t>g2 5 ~d6 h2 (also not bad is 9... f5 10 :f4 ltf8 11 b6 ~e2 reach-
5...f5 6 ~c7 l:gS 7 bS\W :IxbS 8 ing the last variation) 9...f5 10 b7 f4
~xb8 f4 9 b6 f3 10 ltg7+! q;f2! 11 11 bS1i l:xb8 12 ltxbS f3 13 ~d4 f2
b7 h2 12 1:h7 <iftg2 13 ~cS hltf is a theoretical draw.
with a draw, or 10 b7 f2 11 <it>a8 b) 5... <ii?d1 6 b6 ~cl 7 l:tb5 ~c2
ft'ii' 12 bS'ii' ~a6+! forcing the ex- 8 ~e4 f5+! (the only move; Black
change of queens, after which b- loses after 8...<ittc3 9 <it>d5 f5 10 ~c6)
pawn against rook is drawn) 6 rJi;c7 9 <ittd5 (if 9 <it>xf5, then 9...<iitc3 10
:gS 7 bS\i' l:xbS 8 <ifi>xbS h11i 9 ~e5 <&ttc4 and the black king reaches
:'xhl <iitxh1 10 b6 f5 11 b7 f4 12 the b6-pawn before the white king)
~c7 f3 13 bS1Y f2 draw. 9...<ittd3 (also playable is 9...f4) 10
3 :xb7 ~c6 :Ixb6+! 11 1:xb6 f4 12 ~d5 f3
4 l:[h2+ ~el 13 :b3+ <it>e2 14 ~e4 f2 again arriv-
5 l:tb2 (D) ing at a theoretical draw.

C) 1 'it>e3 h4
2 :g7+ <it>n
3 <it>f3 ~el!
White wins beautifully in the
variation 3...h3 4 :h7 ~gl 5 :c7!
<ith2 6 :c2+ ~gl ? :Ic1+ ~h2 8
ltbl!! :'xb7 9 b6 f5 10 ~f2 f4 11
~f3 lid? 12 b7 :d3+ 13 <iPxf4 :d8
14 bs16 %lxb8 15 1:xb8 ~g2 16
:b2+, etc.
82 Various Rook Endgames

4 b6 h3 llxb7 8 :h6 :17 9 ':c6 <it>d3 10 '::c7

5 :h7 (D) 1:f6 11 b7 :b6 12 ~xf5 ~d4 leads
to a theoretical draw) 7... h2! (but not
7... ~c3?, given in 64, because of 8
~e5 h2 9 ~d6 1:txb7 10 :h3+! 'ifi>b4
11 <it>c6 winning) 8 1txh2+ ~c3,
transposing to the drawn variation
shown above.
6 ~dl! (D)
If 6...<it>fl then 7 :xh3 :'xb7 S
:Ih6 :f7 9 <it>f4 ~f2 10 :e6+ 11f8
11 b7 :b8 12 l:e7, etc. is winning.

5 f5
The best move. The other two
lines are clearly worse.
a) 5...h2 6 lixh2 :xb7 7 ~e3!
l:te7+ 8 <it>d4 fS 9 %:tb2 ltb7 10 ~e5
<it>d1 11 <&t>xf5 ~c 1 12 :b5 <it'c2 13
~e5 <it>c3 14 ~d5 winning.
b) 5... ~d2 6 <itte4 h2 7 l:xh2+
~c3 8 ~d5 1txb7 9 et>c6 and now
9...lif7 10 b7 l:tf8 11 :h4! rJi'd3 12
:a4! 1:b8 13 .:tf3 :lf8 14 rj;c7 l:f7+ 7 ~d3
15 ~b6 llf8 16 ~a7 or 9 :b8 10 White has another possibility: 7
%lf2 :fS 11 ~d5! f5 (11 :dS+ 12 <t>d4 f4 (Black should play 7... h2 8
~c5! 1tf8 13 b7 threatening ':xf6) ~c5 :xb7 9 ::txh2 f4! 10:f2 :f7
12 b7 <&fi>d3 13 1:tf3+! <it>e2 14 r!b3 f4 11 ~c6 ~e 1 =) S <iitc5 f3 9 :'xh3 f2
15 ~e4! f3 16 lle3+ ~f2 17 ':xf3+ 10 1:h1 + (10 1:.f3 <t>e2 11 ':'xf2+
winning. ~xf2 12 ~c6 :h8 13 ~b5 {or 13
6 ~e3 rt,;c7 1th7+ 14 ~b8 l:h3! drawing}
White has one other winning at- 13... ~e3 14 <ifta6 ~d4 15 ~a7 <itc5
tempt: 6 ~f4 ~d2 7 ~xf5 (the other is also a draw) 10... ~e2 11 Cit'c6 ltg8
two possibilities are unpromising: 7 12 ~b5 1:.g1 13 b8ii' :xhl 141i'e5+
~e5 f4! and then 8 Cittd6 f3 9 1;c7 f2 winning.
10:Xf7 J:xb7+ 11 ~xb7 '1itel, once 7 ct>el
again a draw, or 8 <ittxf4 h2 9 :xh2+ 8 <itd4 h2
et>c3 10 lth7 cJ.td4 and Black de- 9 :Lxh2 1txb7
stroys all the white pawns; 7 ':xh3 10 :b2 ~dl
Various Rook Endgames 83

Worse is 10...f4 11 ~e4 <it>dl 12

Q;xf4 ~el 13 l:b5 winning, as in the
variations above.
11 ~e5
After 11 ~d3 1:d7+ 12 ~e3 .:tb7
13 1td2+ <ifi>cl 14 l:d6 ~c2 15 <ittd4
f4! 16 ~e4 (or 16 <it>c5 :f7 17 <it>c6
f3 18 b7 f2 19 b8ii' f1'i' and White
has no checks) 16... et>c3 17 ~d5
1If7 18 :'c6+ ~d3 the position is
clearly drawn.
11 <it>cl the black rook's attack on the b2-
12 :'b4! ~c2 pawn, or using the rook to attack the
13 ~d6 ~c3 white king and the f4-pawn? Botvin-
After 13...f4, 14 <t>c6:In 15 b7 is nik chose the latter, but incorrectly.
winning. 1... ~f6 2 b4 l:b2 3 ~e4 l:te2+! is
14 ~c6! l:tb8 best, since the white king is now ex-
It is not hard to prove that the posed to attack: 4 ~d4 %lf2 and the
pawn ending is lost. king is tied to the defence of the f4-
15 1:1f4 1:tf8 pawn.
16 b7 2 <it>d3 :n
White wins. However if Black 3 1:b4 .:n
plays 12... ~d2! 13 ~d6 <it>e3! he An alternative is 3.. J%d1+ 4 ~c2
manages to draw! Thus the riddle of lIf1 5 lId4 ~f6 61:c4 and then b4.
Duchamp remains an enigma. 4 b3 :O+?
Why limit the rook's activity?
Botvinnik's puzzle Again 4... ~f6 is better.
S et>e4 J:g3
Levenfish - Botvinnik 6 l1bS :gl
Match, Moscow 1937 7 l1d5 :bl
8 lIbS (D)
White continued: After 8 l:td3 <it>e6 9 J:[f3 ~f6 10
1 :bS <it>d4 ~f5 11 <li'c4 'iti>g4 Black draws
After 1 %tb6 Black can force a easily, having activated his king.
drawn pawn endgame: 1...g5 2 fxg5 8 'ifi>f6?
:'xg5 3 %1d6 :b5 4 :d2 ~e6 5 <iitd4 He should play the immediate
:d5+ 6 ~c3 1txd2 7 ~xd2 ~d6!. 8...l:.e1+ 9 ~d5 :til.
1 ... :gl? 9 %lb6+ r3;f7
This is Botvinnik's puzzle: which If 9... rtte7, then 10 b4 :e1+ 11
is the more important, maintaining ~d5 %:f1 12 :xg6 :'xf4 13 b5 ~d7
84 Various Rook Endgames

14 :c6! Itf5+ 15 ~c4 is winning for was agreed a few moves later. About
White. the move
10 b4 :el+ 1 ~cS
11 <it>d4 :n Capablanca, an unrivalled master
12 <it>e5 :el+ of the endgame, wrote: 'This is a
13 <&itd6! %:te4 very risky continuation; probably
14 bS f!xf4 Black even has the better chances.'
15 :lc6! We were puzzled how the natural
Black resigned, as after 15...gS move 1 ~cS could be bad, and ana-
there would follow 16 b6 1!b4 17 lysed this position in depth. Black's
~c7 g4 18 b7 and, after White wins most logical reply is:
the rook for the b-pawn, the black 1 ... ltd3
pawn, cut off from the king, will Of course 1.. Jlf6 and 1 :e6
soon be lost. must be considered. After 1 J:f6 2
:c3 ~f8 3 :e3 as 4 a4 :fS+ 5 <iti>b6
Capablanca's puzzle rJiJg7 6 b4! axb4 7 as Black is in
When we analysed the 1921 world Let's look at 1...:e6. There are
championship match between Ca- various possibilities, but the best
pablanca and Lasker, our attention continuation seems to be 2 l:c3 ~f8
was drawn to the following rook 3 a4 rJi;e7 4 J:d3 as S 'ittbS J:eS+ 6
endgame, which occurred in the first ~b6 ~f6 7 b4! axb4 8 a5 and there
game. is no obvious defence.
2 :12
Capablanca - Lasker Now Black is at a crossroads.
Havana Wch (1) 1921 2 .. as
The other possibilities are:
White is clearly better, but in this a) 2...Citi>f8 3 'it>b6 :d6+ 4 ~a5
position he played 1 et>e3 and a draw rt;e7 5 a4 ~d7 6 :c2! and now
Various Rook Endgames 85

6 .. J~d3 7 b4 :Ixf3 8 'it>xa6 :Ixg3 9 5 a4

b5 :b3 10 g4 11 b6 f5 12 ~b7 f4 6 :a2 :Ixf3
13 a6 f3 14 a7 l%a3 15 as'if ':xa8 16 7 ~b5 :Lxg3
~xa8 g3 17 b7 winning, or 6...f5 7 8 ~xa4 fS
b4 f4 8 g4 :Id3 9 ~xa6 llxf3 10 b5 9 b5
and White should win easily. The white pawns are more dan-
b) 2...g4 3 fxg4 :'xg3 (D): gerous.

w i.

i. .i.

Black has the most chances in
variation 'b', although even this line
is clearly in White's favour. Capa-

.. .
blanca's commentary is strange:
why did he refuse to play actively
with his king when in all these posi-
.~. tions Black is playing virtually a
.~. king down?

~. a
bl) 4 :f4 1:e3 5 :f6 6 :a6 f5
Is the J. Polgar -
Spassky endgame lost?

7 gxf5 gxf5 with sufficient counter- In the final game of the J.Polgar-
play for Black. Spassky match there occurred a very
b2) Better is 4 ':f6 ':xg4 (a bet- interesting position: rook ending
ter try for Black is 4 ...aS! 5 ~b5 with two pawns against one on the
':xg4 6 <it>xaS cJ;g7 7 :f3 f5 8 b4 f4 same flank. It seems to be com-
9 b5 g5 10 b6 l:g3 11 ':f2 :a3+ 12 pletely drawn but praxis shows that
~b4 l:a6 13 cJi>b5 :ta8 14 a4 but this configuration (f- and g-pawns
again White has serious winning versus h-pawn) is quite dangerous
chances) 5 ':xa6 f5 6 b4 f4 7 b5 f3 8 for the weaker side. In 1983 this
:'f6 :g5+ 9 ~c4 and White wins. kind of ending was extensively ana-
3 Ciitb6 1:.dS lysed by the Soviet master Kuz-
4 a3!? minykh in Shakhmatny Biulleten no.
Also interesting is 4 a4 with a fur- 7, and there also exist some analyses
ther b4 and as in mind. of IM N.Minev and GM Ftacnik.
4 ... :d3 However, in ECE there are no final
5 b4 conclusions on this subject. Given
Even stronger is 5 :b2 a4 6 bxa4 the dearth of actual games involving
:xa3 7 a5 ':xf3 8 a6 ':'xg3 9 a7 1:ta3 this position and the lack of any
10 l%b5 :xa7 11 rJ;;xa7 f5 12 cat>b6 g4 definite theoretical assessment we
13 ~c5 f4 14 ~d4 and White wins. have reviewed current praxis and
86 Various Rook Endgames

tried to draw some conclusions. The 10 1:th6+ ~f5

first example shows the correct way 11 :h8 1:.a3+
of defending against the advanced 12 et>g2 ~e4
pawns. 13 l:te8+ <ifi>d4
14 l:td8+ ~e3
Brodsky - Magerramov 15 :e8+ ~d2(D)
Helsinki 1992

16 J:eS!
1 :tb2+ White's only chance is to com-
2 ~f3 hth2 bine an attack on the g5-pawn with
3 :18+ checks.
Of course not 3 :'h8? falling for 16 ... :'e3
the standard trick 3...:xh3+. 17 :a5!
3 ~g6 Activity is much more important
4 l:g8+ than a pawn: after 17 ':xg5? ~e2
4 h4? 1%h3+! is very dangerous 18 :f5 f3+! 19 <Jti>g3/g1 :e8! Black
for White. wins immediately.
4 et>f6 17 ... :tg3+
5 :h8 1;g7 18 )f;h2
6 :hS ~g6 18 ~f2 is preferable.
7 J:h8 Ciitf6 18 .. :c3
8 <ii>g4! 19 'it>g2 ~e2
Wrong is 8 1:f8+? (or 8 lIh5? 20:82+ ~e3
~f5 9 :h8 :xh3+! -+) 8... ~g7. 21 :f2! :'cl
8 .. :tg2+ 22 :0+ ~e4
9 ~f3 :a2 23 :f2 (D)
9...:g3+ 10 ~f2 gets nowhere as A very important theoretical posi-
it is impossible to penetrate White's tion: White holds a draw.
position with the king. 23 :c3
Various Rook Endgames 87

after 32...:d2+ 33 1txd2+ ~xd2 34

<it'f3 and 35 h4 is totally drawn.
33 1:a3+ ~e4
34 :84+ :d4
3S :82
Now the pawn ending is winning
for Black after 35 :Ixd4+ <ifi>xd4 36
~f3 'iife5.
3S ... :d3
36 :e2+ ~f5
Alternatively 36...:te3 37 :a2
24 :a2 :g3+ :g3+ 38 cJi>h2 l:tc3 39 ~g2 is simi-
2S ~h2 :d3 lar to a position already reached.
26 <it>g2 ~e3 37 :a2 g4
27 %In! 38 hxg4+ <li>xg4
Once more the players have 39 '3ifi! l:h3
reached the main position. 40 :g2+ 'tt'rs
27 :dl 41 %181 1:3+
28 :f3+ ~e4 Draw
29 :0 l:el
30 1:a2 1:.dl Vaiser - Djuric
31 %1e2+ Szirak 1985
This is a useful check in a posi-
tion with many good possibilities,
such as 31 ~f2.
31 ... ~d3 (D)

1 ~h3!!
Psakhis and Vaiser give this move
two exclamation marks. A logical
possibility was 1 h5, which could
32 l:81! <it>e3 lead to the well-known ending with
The pawn ending which arises f- and h-pawns.
88 Various Rook Endgames

This kind of position with the A poor move; control over the
pawn of the weaker side on his back rank is crucial. The immediate
fourth rank is considered to be lost, 2...l:b8 was better.
except the case when the rook of the 3 lIb3
weaker side is on his eighth rank, Official theory considers this a
because it is very importantto check mistake, and that 3 :ta8 is correct,
from behind. but Vaiser's plan is no worse.
There are various other possibili- 3 ... :e7 (D)
ties. In the game Gliksman-Novak,
Stary Smokovec 1976 there fol-
lowed 1 h5 g5 2 l:b6:f7 3 :a6
ri;g7 4 <ifi>f5 :b7 5 h6+ (or 5 lta5
~h6! 6'iitxf6 J:tbl 7 'iiif5 ~xh5 -+)
5...<ittxh6 6 :xf6+ ~h5 7 ~e5 :b3!
8 l:fl ~h49 :hl+ llh3 and Black
Other variations are also winning
for Black: 1 :la3 :b82ltf3:b6! 3
'iitg3 <&t>h5 4 <t>h3.1a6 5 ~g3 f5 -+.
Alternatively 1 :b6 f5+ 2 <it>f4
lla8 3 :b7%la4+ 4 ~g3 l:la3+ 5 4 :g3!
~g2 ~h5 6%1h7+ ~g4 7 :'h6 :ta6 8 This is the new defensive idea:
~f2 g5 -+. White targets the g6-pawn and is
This is all theory. Interestingly ready to meet 4...~h5 with 5 :g5+.
the position before White's first 4 :e8
move is considered lost due to 5 :gl %le3+
Kuzminykh'sanalysis, yet it is en- 6 <iti>h2 %ld3
tirely similar, with reversed colours, 7 :Lg2 l:d6
to the game Gliksman-Novak (ECE Such tries as 7...f4 are useless be-
no. 736). cause of 8 :g4! I:.d2+ 9 ~gl f3 10
This means that Vaiser has found :f4 l:d3 11 :g4 intending 12 ~f2.
a very interesting plan. Let us return 8 ~h3 :16
to the game. 9 ':'g5!
1 f5 Here a draw was agreed because
2 l:ta3! 9 .. f4
This is a very importantmove for would be met by
White's defensive strategy. From b3 10 ~g2 13+
the rook controls the third rank and 11 ~ 1:f4
stands ready to move tog3. 12 :g3 <&ti'hS
2 ... :17? 13 :gS+!
Various Rook Endgames 89

Vaiser's idea is very important 6 llg2 :[18

since it means that all positions Alternatively 6... f4 is met by 7
where the weaker side's pawn is on <Ji>g4 and 8 l:.f2.
its fourth rank are drawn if the rook 7 IXgl!
can be positioned on the g-file. Now 7 llg3 would be refuted by
7...f4 8 l:gl f3 9 ~g3 f2 10 l:.fl <it>h5
In more complex positions the 11 <itth3 :f3+ 12 ~g2 ~g4.
weaker side sometimes has to pre- 7 .. f4
pare the drawing set-up even at the 8 ~g2 3+
cost of a pawn. 9 ~
The king's task is to blockade the
Yakovich - Savchenko passed pawn.
Rostov 1993 9 ... :CS
10 :g4! <ithS
11 11a4 Draw

Nijboer - Peebu
Netherlands 1982

In this position White played:

1 J:1g1!!
White prepares his defensive set-
up straight away. This is much more
effective than either 1 <ifth2 :a4! 2
<Ji>g3 ~h5, when Black has some un- 1 . hS
pleasant threats, or 1 :e5 ~h5 and In Schaakbulletin 174 Wim An-
again White is in trouble. driessen writes that after this move
1 ... llxaS Black's position is hopeless. How-
Black gets nowhere after 1... ~h5 ever a new plan of defence has been
2 ~h2 :a4 3 :g5+. demonstrated in the Vaiser-Djuric
2 ~h3 :a8 game. Here the pawn structure is a
3 flg3 lle8 bit different, but of course it is sim-
4 l:gl l:e6 pler to keep the pawn on h6.
5 :g3 1:f6 2 ~g2 ~gS?
90 Various Rook Endgames

Stronger is 2...:ta2 3 :f8 ~g5 4 drawish. However, Vaiser's game

~h3 ~g6 and now 5 ~h4 (or 5 f4 would suggest that in both positions
:al or 5 f3 lIa3!) does not work the weaker side has strong drawing
because of 5...:lal 6 :tg8+ ~h6 7 chances.
3 'itfh3 :a2 We shall now investigate the end-
After 3...l:al White would play 4 ing which was the starting-point for
l%b8t l:hl+ 5 ~g2 :tal 6 l:b2! fol- our discussion in this section.
lowed by 7 f3, 8 :2, 9 fIf1, 10 <itth3
and 11 f4 winning. J. Polgar -Spassky
4 f4+ ~g6 Budapest 1993
S l:g8+ ~h6
6 :tb8! (D)

1 lID??
A big mistake. Almost any other
In this position Black would hold move would have been better, for
the draw if he could check on his example 1 :b7 or 1 :b4.
eighth rank. 1 .. fS
6 ~g6 2 :f4
7 %:tb6+ ~g7 Otherwise Black's king goes to
8 ~h4 :h2+ h4, pawns to f4 and g5, and finally
9 'ittgS 1:th3 1:e2, lIe3.
10 l:b3 ~g8 2 ... lIe2
11 CS h4 With the idea 3...lte4 and 4 ... ~h4
12 1:b8+ rj;n and Black wins.
13 l:b7+ <iltg8 3 'itthl
14 g4 1-0 After 3 :a4 g5 4 llb4 f4 and
Kuzminykh believed that the 5... ~h4 White's position is hope-
pawn structure f3+g2 (f6+g7) is won less.
while the structure f2+g3 (t7+g6) is 3 ... %%e4 (D)
Various Rook Endgames 91

8 ... :teSt!
The winning move; White cannot
save the h-pawn.
9 :tg2 gS
10 %:tg4+ ~xh3
11 l:g3+! ~h4!

Maiorov - Legky
Cannes 1992

4 :In Citth4
5 <ifi>g2 :b4
6 ~h2 1:e4
Obviously Spassky had planned
6...f4, but then he saw the variation 7
:g2! (Vaiser's plan) 7...g5 8 :g4+
'ilth5 9 ~g2 and could not see how to
win the resulting position. Now we
see that Vaiser's plan works when
the stronger side's pawns are on g6
and f5 against h4, or g5 and f4
against h3. 1 ... lte4
7 ~g2 f4! (D) A correct move, but there are
many other good possibilities, for
example 1...1:el or 1...:te2.
2 g3 :b4
3 14 rJ.b3
4 <it>h4 :0
5 ~g4 llb3
6 1%e7 :a3
7 ~h4 :0
8 :a7 :b3
9 g4 l:lb6
10 IS :h6+
11 'itg5 :b6
8 ~f3 12 ~h5 1:f6
Now Vaiser's plan does not work: 13 :d7 :a6
8 ~h2 g5 9 ltg2 f3 10 :tgl :e2+ 14 IIe7 :b6
and Black wins. 15 c:j;gS (D)
92 Various Rook Endgames

This critical position was ana- 22 J:bS+ ~e6

lysed in Kuzminykh's article. He be- 23 ~xh7 :1a7+
lieved that there are two ways to 24 ~h6 lta8
achieve a draw: Or 24... et;f7 25 g6+! winning.
a) 15...:bl 16 ~f6 (or 16 f6 :tal 25 g6 %IhS+
17 lle8+ q;f7 18 lth8 lthl) 16..J:Ib8 26 ~g7 lib1
17 :g7+ ~h8 18 :d7 <it>g8 19 rJ;e7 27 %lb6+ q;e7
r:Jitg7 20f6+ ~g8 21 f7+ ~g7!. 28 :b7+ ~e6
b) 15...J:b8 16 ~h6 :b6+ 17 29 <it>gS :h2
:e6:Ib4!. 30 g7 lIhl
15 ... :a6 31 ~f8 J:n+
16 %100 11a7 32 ~e8 J:gl
In this position either 16...:tal or 33 J:b6+ ~eS
16...11a8 is logical. 34 q;f7 :0+
17 Itb6 ~g7?? 3S ~g6 1-0
The decisive mistake: 17...1:.al is
correct, transposing into a position Gelfand - Karpov
from Kuzminykh's analysis. Reggio Emilia 1991/2
18 f6+ q;f7
Alternatively 18... ~g8 19 l:b8+
rj;f7 20 :h8 %la5+ 21 ~h6 ~xf6 22
l:f8+! (22 :'xh7? :g5! 23 1If7+
~xf7 24 <ittxg5 '3;;g7leads to a draw)
22... ~e6 (22...rt;e7 23 :f4 +-) 23
g5 l%b5 24 l:h8 <itff5 25 l:lxh7 ~g4
26:a7 +-.
19 ~h6 :al
20 :b7+ ~6
21 g5+ et;f5 (D)
Various Rook Endgames 93

1 .. :a3 2S ~hl ':e2

2 1:[b2 ~gS 26 <itg1 :'c2 (D)
It is impossible to make use of the
king's position on f4 so Black tries
to create some threats via the queen-
3 :b8!
White's best defence against the
threat of ... <iith4.
4 ~gl
S :a8
6 :a3
7 :a1!
7 1%b3 was also possible. 27 :'b4+
7 <it>f3 28 :b3+
8 :0+ ~e4 29 lIb1
9 :a1 f4 30 :a1
10 :dl :'c2 31 :cl
11 l%el+ ~f3 32 1:al
12 :n+ <itte3 Black has not made any progress
13 :'el+ :e2 and the position was repeated once
14 :a1 :c2 more.
15 :el+ ~d3 32 .. :g2+
16 Itn f3 33 ~h1 g3
17 .1:a1 The last chance, which of course
Of course not 17 h3? :'g2+ 18 achieves nothing against careful de-
~hl ~e2-+. fence.
17 ~e2 34 1:a3+ <it>f4
18 :bl! 35 1%a4+ ~fS
Black has successfully achieved 36 bxg3 l:txg3
optimum activity for his pieces, but 37 <&t>h2 :g4
it is still impossible to win. 38 :85+!
18 :a2 The pawn ending is lost after 38
19 :n ~e3 :'xg4? <itxg4 39 ~hl ~h3, etc.
20 ltbl :a4 38 ~4
21 :b3+ ~f4 39 :a4+ ct>gS
22 :b8 :al+ 40 :a3 f2
23 <ifi>f2 :a2+ 41 :0 :r4
24 <ittg1 1:g2+ 42 1%xf4! Draw
94 Various Rook Endgames

The next game is an easy job for

Boris Gelfand.

Ruzele - Gelfand
Kramatorsk 1989

:a4. On h5 the black king can hide

in ambush, waiting for the white
king to cross over the fifth rank at
which point he will win the g5-
pawn, and thereby go into an ending
with pawn against rook and distant
The white king is too far from the king.
kingside. 3 %185 ~f4
1 :g2 f4! 4 ~f2 ~g4
This move wins more easily than 5 ~e3
1...ltd3+ 2 ~b2 ZIxh3 3 :xg6 <it?e4. If White plays 5 ~g2 there is the
2 :xg6 f3 pi tfaII 5...<it>h5? 6 <t>h3! +-.
3 :f6 ~e4 5 ~h4
4 'itb3 ~e3 6 ~d4 ~g4
5 "'c3 0-1
J:te4! 7 et>e4 ~h4!
The only move because 7...:e8+
(7 ... ~h5 is bad due to 8 ~f4 and
A cunning king then 8...<it>h4 9 :a1! llf8+ 10 ~e5
:a8 11 ~f6 +- or 8.. Jlf8+ 9 'it>g3
manoeuvre Ila8 10 'it>h3 +-) allows the king to
penetrate with 8 <it>d5 :a8 9 Citi>e6.
Yakovich - Itkis 8 ~4 :18+!
USSR 1985 9 ~e4
The point: White doesn't have 9
1 e2! <itte5? due to 9...:f5+! -+.
2 It>xe2 <iii>e4! 9 1:.a8
The best move. If Black plays 10 ~d4 Cit>g4
2... ~e5 he fails to get his king to the 11 <it>cS '&txgS
crucial h5-square after 3 ~f3 <litf5 4 12 ~b6+ <M4
Various Rook Endgames 95

13 :a4+ q;f3 8 <ittf4 ~b4

14 :a3+ <itf4 9 ~e4 <it>a5
15 <it>b7 :'xa7+ 10 ~d5 ~xb5
16 cJ;;xa7 gS 11 ~d6+ 'Wtta4!
Draw Not 11 ... ~c4? 12 ~c6 and White
A similar idea occurred in the fol- 12 <iitc6 b5
lowing game: Draw
Another possibility is 8 ~f3 <itb4
Tomaszewski - Wojtkiewicz 9 ~e4 cJta5 10 ~d4 <ifi>b4 11 <it>d3
Naleczow 1988 <1t>a5 12 ~c4 ':c8+! but once again
the king cannot pass the fifth rank.

Prophylactic 'cutting
off' (cramping) moves

Prophylactic moves provide a warn-

ing (or threat) to your opponent
which can be important in all stages
of the game. Here are some exam-
ples from rook endings.


:. . .. ..
1 Kir. Georgiev - Ljubojevic
The black king hides, waiting for Linares 1988
the h-pawn to advance.
2 <l;O .:td4
3 ~g3 :e4 w
:Ie8 .8.

7 :hS :h8
Now the white king must reach
the h7-pawn, but how can he pass
the fifth rank without losing the b-
pawn? White has a more active king
and rook, and an extra pawn, but
there is no win. One might analyse

1 :a3!!
various moves in this position but This move controls the black
the main continuation is: pawn's advance as well as creating
96 Various Rook Endgames

the possibility of giving an unpleas- After 8... ~e8, 9 1:ta8+ q;f7 10 d7

ant check on the third rank. wins quickly.
I ... l:td4 9 :'c4! 1-0
Alternatively 1... ~e8 2 d6 c3 3
d7+ q;e7 4 :ta8 11d4 5 l:te8+ ~f7 6 What is the best
l:e2! and then 6... ~g6 7 ':c2 :d3 8
rJiJc7 +- or 6...<it>f6 7 <itc7! l::c4+ 8
position for the rook
Cittd8 c2 9 'at>e8 +-. in the endgame?
2 d6 <iite6
3 :e3+ ~fS One of the first golden laws that be-
4 d7 ~4 ginners learn is the maxim of the
5 :el! cl great chess teacher Siegbert Tar-
6 rl;c7 l:tc4+ rasch: 'Always put your rook behind
7 <itJd6 1-0 the pawn, whether your own or your
opponent's.' However, in chess, laws
T. Georgadze - Gulko can always be broken - sometimes
USSR 1978 the rook stands badly behind the

A. Petrosian - Monin
St. Petersburg 1993

1 :e3!!
1 d? fails to 1...:c1+ 2 Cittd8 a3 3
:'f2+ rl;g7 4 rj;e7 lIel +, etc.
1 ... l:cl+
2 ~d7 %%bl There followed
3 :0+ ~g7 1 :d6+?
4 :1a3 l:b4 White decides to put his rook be..
5 ~e6 l:e4+ hind the black pawn, but he should
6 <it>dS %le 1 have positioned it in front with 1
7 1:xa4 rJ;f7 :tb4 ~f5 2 'it>f2 ~e5 3 <ifi>e2 <iltd5 4
8 <ifi>c6! ~e6 <it>d2 '&fi>c5 5 llf4, after which his
Various Rook Endgames 97

pawns can be pushed. If the black 2 <iite3 eS!

king stays on g6 or f6, then White 3 ~e4
can play his king to e2 followed by If 3 fxe5+ there would follow
g4 and king to e4, and rest is easy. In 3...'it>xe5 4 ~d3 <it>dS 5 ~c3 ~c6 5
the game Black manages to exploit ~b4 :e5! and the black rook's mo-
the position of the b6-rook. bility secures the draw.
1 1;n 3 exf4
2 l:b6 <iite7! 4 ~xf4 ~e6
3 g4 <it>d7 5 <rti>e4
4 ~g3 etic7 5 :el+ and 6 l:e4 is a better at-
5 :e6 b4 tempt, although the win has already
6 :e2 b3 escaped.
7 :'b2 l:[bS! 5 g5
The white king cannot abandon 6 hxgS 1:xg5
his pawns, or the enemy rook will 7 ~f3 1:a5
quickly 'eat' them. 8 1:el+ <it'f5
9 1:e4 :cS! (D)
Yusupov - Timman
Linares 1992

Just as the white rook has reached

the fourth rank: his adversary threat-
1 1:al? ens check on the third.
Natural but bad. Correct is 1 :e4! 10 :f.e3 :85
threatening to bring the king to the 11 :a3 ~eS
a-pawn, and if Black responds with 12 <itte3 <itte6
1...'it'f5 then 2 l:e5+ <iftg4 3 .l:g5+ 13 <it>e2 ~d6
~h3 4 a5 gives the white rook an Black can draw by 13... h4 14
ideal position, defending both the a- gxh4.:th5!.
pawn and the g-pawn. 14 ~ <it'e6
1 ... :a5 15 l:e3+ ~dS
98 Various Rook Endgames

16 Ita3 ~e6 3 )j(c4!

17 q;e3 h4! If 3... ~xb4, then 4 f6 <it'c5 5 cJ;g7
18 g4 'it>f6 and Black is helpless against the
19 )j(f4 <it>g6 pawn push f7.
20 W <iitg5 4 ~e6!
21 :a2 h3 Now the kings stand shoulder to
Draw shoulder. This 'shoulder budge' is
the only move since 4 f6 loses to
The 'Shoulder Budge' 4... ~d5 5 rttg7 <it>e6 6 f7 :la?, etc.
4 ... l:tel+
If 4...:a6+ then 5 'it>e5! and the
This fascinating method is a way in white king, by retreating, crucially
which kings do battle in endgames. keeps the enemy king at bay.
It occurs most often in rook end- S 'iitd6! :n
games. 6 ~e6 :el+
A draw was agreed.
Mikhalchishin - Azmaiparashvili
Tbilisi 1980 This same idea is brilliantly dem-
onstrated in one of Mitrofanov's

L. Mitrofanov, 1990

Obviously White is fighting for

the draw in this position; the ques-
tion is whether the black king can re-
treat in time. There followed:
1 Q;x17 al_ 1 l:.d7!
2 l:xal :txal Bad is 1 :17+ ~e4! 2 l:e7+ ~d5
3 fS! 3 :d7+ 'itfe6 4 Ad8 :'c5+ and then
The other pawn push is bad: 3 b5? 5.. J%d5.
~c4 4 b6 cj;>d5 5 b7 l%bl and White 1 ~e4
is in trouble. 2 <iitg4!
Various Rook Endgames 99

The only move: if 2 ~g6, then Matsukevich - Lein

2...:c6+ 3 rJ;g7 :'c7 -+. USSR 1968
2 ... :c4!
3 l:Ixd2 <lte3+
4 ~g5 cj;xd2
5 h4 ~e3
6 hS :cS+
7 ~g4!!
This move backwards maintains
the opposition, while the 'active' 7
~g6? loses to 7... ~f4 8 h6 l:c6+ 9
rj;;g7 ~g5 10 h7 :'c7+ 11 ~gS ~g6
12 hSttJ+ ~f6.

Rook ending exercises How can White draw?

Polugaevsky - Korchnoi Ubilava - Matulovic

TIlburg 1985 Belgrade 1989

Is 1 :g7 or 1 ~g4 the drawing How can Black draw?

100 Various Rook Endgames

Radulov - Beliavsky Tal- Zaitsev

Leningrad 1977 Riga 1968

Black to play and win. How can White draw?

Keres 1951 Scheeren - Van der Sterren

Shakhmaty v SSSR Wijk aan Zee 1981

How can White draw? Find a winning plan for Black.

Various Rook Endgames le

Schneider - Romanishin Spassky - Beliavsky

Buenos Aires 1978 Montpellier et 1985


Is 1...Cjf;c5 or 1...<it>e5 Black's best Is 1 c4 or 1 b4 the best move?


Sokolov - Ivanovic
Yugoslavia 1971


Should Black continue 1...:d8 or

1...1:e2+? Calculate the variations.
5 Bishop Endings

Same-coloured The main alternative is to put a

pawn on the right colour square with
bishops with an 1 g4. After 1...hxg4 2 hxg4 ct>d5 3 f3
isolated pawn i.b6 4 .if2 and then 4...e5 5 .tel
.txd4 Black wins an extra pawn by
In this kind of position the isolani is force, but given that his pawns are
a serious weakness, especially if the on the same colour as the bishop the
stronger side's king is blockading it. position is probably impossible to
The position of the bishops is not es- win. This is a fairly typical way of
pecially significant, although the building a defensive fortress in such
bishop attacking the isolated pawn is positions. Black should play more
clearly better placed than the bishop subtly with 4...f5!? and now 5 i.e3
defending it. The pawn structure is (5 gxf5 exf5 6 i.e3 g4 7 fxg4 fxg4 8
crucially important: if the side with iof2 i.c7 and ...g3-g2) 5...f4 6 i.d2
the isolated pawn has further pawns i.xd4 7 ..tc 1 e5 8 i..d2 e4+! 9 fxe4+
fixed on the same colour as the <itfe5 after which Black can force the
bishop then the double weakness win by pushing his pawn to f3 (10
can be fatal. i.el is the most stubborn - editor's
DragaSevic - Aleksandria 1 ... fS+
Jajce 1983 Forced, or White plays g4 and f4.
2 ~d3 g4
3 hxg4 hxg4
4 i.f4+ ~c6?!
This does not alter anything, but
surely 4...<iPd5 is better?
5 i.e5 i.b6
6 <JR>e3?
A poor waiting move in principle,
as d3 is the best square for the king.
Better is 6 .tf6 <1td5 7 i.g7 i.d8 8
.th6 .te7 9 i.d2 i.f6 10 i.c3 i.g5
11 .ib2 i.h6 12 J..c3 (bad is 12 i.al
1 ~e4 .tcl 13 i.c3 i.a3 14 i.d2 i.b2 15
Bishop Endings 103

.te3 i..al-+) 12...~clI3 .tal.ta3 2 i.b2

14 i.c3 .tcl 15 ..tal .tg5 16 .tc3 3 .ie3 bS
.td8 17 .td2 .tb6 18 .tc3 (18 .te3 4 a4
!La? -+) 18...e5 19 dxe5 .txf2 and White attempts to fix at least one
Black now wins easily. black pawn on the dark squares as an
6 i..d8 object of future attack.
7 <it>d3 .ie7! 4 ... b4
8 a3 ..tgS 5 i.f4!?
9 <ifi>c3 ~d5 White goes on the counter-offen-
10 .tg7 i..cl sive, although 5 .if2 was also possi-
11 .ifS \ti>e4 ble. This move probably holds the
12 .td6 ~f3 draw in the resulting pawn ending:
13 .tcS <iPe2 5...i.cI 6 i.e3 .txe3 7 ~xe3.
14 a4 .td2+ 5 .txd4
15 <ittc2 i..el 6 i.e7 .te5
16 axb5 axb5 7 .ixaS .txg3
0-1 8 .td8
The games reaches the position
Dizdarevic - Kovacevic after 8 .txb4 in a few more moves.
Zagreb 1993 8 .teS!
9 i.e7 i..f6
10 .txb4 .txh4
11 <itte3 .tf6 (D)
11 ... g5 would be a very poor
move, refuted by 12 .td8, which ties
the bishop down to the g5-pawn.

1 .ta3!
A typical manoeuvre, which pre-
vents White from improving his
pawn structure by means of a4.
2 .td2
After 2 .tc3 Black could win a
pawn with 2... i.d6 3 .tel b5! 4 12 ~f3 g5
.txaS ..txg3 5 i.d8 .tfl. 13 i.el e5
104 Bishop Endings

14 b4 e4+ 24 ~e2 ~c6

15 <it>g2 g4? 25 ~xe3 'it>xb7
Stronger is 15... ~c4 16 b5 .td4! 26 ..th4!
hindering the advance of the white White is ready so sacrifice his
pawns and preparing ...g4 and ...e3- bishop for a pawn to reach a drawn
e2. position.
16 ~g3 i.e5+ 26 . .tc7
17 ~g2 27 ~e4 ~c6
Very wisely White does not go in Alternatively 27 ... <ittc8 28 'litf5
for 17 ~h4? e3 18 'iPxh5? g3. i.d8 29 .tel ~d7 30 ..tg3 ~e7 31
17 e3 J.el ~f7 and it is not obvious what
18 b5 ~c5 next. So it was worth trying to pene-
19 .i.h4 .td4 trate with the king on the queenside
A good try would have been with 27...rJ;c6.
19... ~b4 20 b6 <ittxa4 21 .td8! with 28 ~fS ~d5
the idea of 22 .i.c7 and 23 b7. 29 ~g6 Citte4
Black's best response would be 30 ~xh5 <ifi>f3
20... ~a5! 21 .td8 <&tta6 22 ~fl g3!? 31 <iitg6 Draw
23 as i.f4 24 .tf6 ~xa5 25 b7 ~b6 A fantastic battle!
26 i.gS, drawing.
20 <iitn ~b4 (D) Wojtkiewicz - Khalifman
Rakvere 1993

21 .td8 ~xa4!
White would meet 21 ...g3 with Black's doubled pawns (the sec-
22 i.h4! .te5! 23 i.g5! and it is not ond weakness) are the cause of his
at all clear how Black can make pro- subsequent suffering. Doubled pawns
gress. are less mobile, which makes them
22 b6 ~b5 easier to attack.
23 b7 i..e5 1 CS!
Bishop Endings 105

Cramping the enemy bishop is 12 as! bxaS

more important than putting pawns 13 ~cS a4
on the same colour as the bishop. 14 d6 b6+
1 i.f7 15 ~c6 a3
2 b4 i.e8 16 d7 a2
3 bS i.f7 17 d8'ii al'ii
4 ..tdl! 18 ~d6+ ~e4
The start of a familiar plan with 19 <iti>xb6 ~f3
the bishop on b3 and then e4. 20 ~b7 <&tg2
4 i.g8 21 ~d3 iVcl
5 i.b3 i.f7 22 b6 'iVcS
6 e4 i.g8 23 ~3
7 i.a2 .i.f7 White managed to win easily.
8 i.xdS .txdS
9 exd5 ~c7 Pritchett - Beliavsky
White has reached a pawn ending Novi Sad OL 1990
a whole pawn up, but the win still re-
quires good technique.
10 <i!tc3 ~d6
11 ~c4 (D)

White played:
1 <it>n
1 g4 is worse, because aftet
1...<it>e7 2 <it>f1 <&t>d7 3 <it>e2 <it>c6 the
11 ~e5 black king arrives at d5; similarly 1
Alternatively 11 ...cit?c7 12 ~b4 cJtg2 cj;e7 2 <it'f3 ~d7 3 <iite41Jt>c6 4
'iitd6 13 a5 <ifi>xd5 (13 ...bxa5+ 14 g4 g6 followed by ...f5+ and again
<ifi>xa5 ~xd5 15 <ifi>b6 ~c4 16 <it>xb7 the king reaches the d5-square.
~xb5 17 ~c7 +-) 14 a6 bxa6 15 1 ... hS!?
bxa6 <itc6 16 <ita4 b5+ 17 ~a5 wins. Given that the black king cann01
The move in the game gives White go directly to dS, Black tries to maxi-
an easily winning queen ending. mize his initiative on the kingside,
106 Bishop Endings

leaving open the option of playing 8 i.d2 .td8!

the king to f5. Black's plan is to cramp the white
2 ~e2?! pawns on the kingside as much as
White has a favourable set-up, but possible.
here he should have improved his 9 i.b4 f5
pawn structure vlith 2 h3 and 3 g4, 10 ..td2 h4
although this gives Black the new 11 i.f4 h3
resource of exchanging into a pawn 12 i.d2
endgame with ...i.f4. On the other White must guard the as-square,
hand 2 h4? is a mistake, since after preventing a black bishop invasion
2.. /t;e7 3 <it>e2 ~d7 4 ~d3 ~c6 5 on el.
~c4 i.e7! and 6...g5 followed by 12 ... i.e7
7...gxh47 gxh4 f5, the h4-pawn be- 13 i.e3
comes a new weakness in the white 13 i.c3 loses to 13 f4! and
camp. 14...fxg3, threatening IS i.xg3.
2 .. g5 13 .i.a5
3 ~d3 14 i.f4 i.el
If White now plays 3 h3 Black re- 15 i.e3 ~d6
sponds with 3... g4, fixing the white 16 i.f4+ ~d7!
pawns on the wrong colour. 17 i.e3 ~c6 (D)
3 ... g4!
4 ~e4 ~e7
Playing the king towards f5 by
4 ... ~g6 does not work in view of 5
d5 <it>f5 6 .icS.
5 .l.d2
White finds no plan and so plays
a waiting move. However, 5 d5 is
better, liquidating the isolani; then if
5 ...eS, the white bishop can stay on
the g I-a? diagonal and if ... f5- f4,
then he would swap bishops with
i.c5. Because of triangulation White
5 ~d7 has been 'zugged' and is forced to
6 .tel? cede the key dS-square. He could
Again White has no sense of the now offer more stubborn resistance
danger and misses the chance to with 18 d5+!? exdS+ 19 ~d4, but
play 6 dS. after 19...a5 !? 20 <it>e5 i.c3+ 21
6 ~e6 ~xf5 d4 22 i.f4 ~c5 23 ~xg4 <if.ib4
7 .te3 i.c7 24 <iitxh3 'it>xa4 White cannot, in
Bishop Endings 107

spite of his extra pawn, stop both the i.e6 3 b3 rJ;e7 4 i..c6 ~d6 5 i.b7 f6
d-pawn and the a-pawn. 6 gxf6 i.f7 as a draw, since the b3-
18 ~d3 et>dS square is occupied. We shall investi-
19 ~e2 i.c3 gate this position below.
20 'itd3 i..b2 2 .le8 q;e7
Zugzwang again. 3 i..OO ~d6
21 f4 gxf3 4 .lb7
22 i.f2 i.el This is an analogous zugzwang to
23 ~e2 i.g5 the previous game. Black is forced
24 <iti'd3 .if6 to play:
25 i.e3 .id8 4 .. C5
26 i.d2 f2 5 gxf6 i..n
27 ~e2 <it>xd4 6 .ic8 i.g8
28 i.e3+ ~e4 7 i.g4 .if7
29 .ixf2 .le7 8 i.dl
0-1 Now, however, the white bishop
As we have seen, zugzwang plays goes to b3 and the e3-e4 push is de-
a crucial role in this kind of end- cisive.
game. Now let us return to the position
claimed to be drawn by Szabo and
Szabo - Korenski Shereshevsky.
Sochi 1973

White has very good winning

In the game Black played chances, although success is far
1 ... i..e6? from simple. The following plan, for
The commentary in Informator example, does not work: 1 i.a6 i.e8
by Grandmaster Szabo and in the 2 i.e2.in 3 i.b5 <Ji>e64 .ic6 <ittd6!
book Endgame Strategy by Master 5 .ta4 'itte6 6 <iti>c5 Q;xf6 7 ~b6 <ittf5
Shereshevsky gives 1....if5 2 ..teS 8 ~xa5 ~e4 9 b4 ~xe3 10 b5 d4 11
108 Bishop Endings

b6 i.d5 and White has to settle for In the next game there occurred a
the draw with 12 .te8. less successful defence.
t i.c8 i.e8
2 i.g4 i..n Matanovic - Uhlmann
3 i.f3 Skopje 1976
This is the only real chance to
win. The f5-push is unsuccessful: 3
f5 gxf5! (not 3...g5? 4 .tf3 i.g8 5
i.h5) 4 i.xf5 i.e8 and it is not obvi-
ous how White can make progress.
3 .. i.e6
4 i.dl i.f7
5 b4 axb4
6 i.b3 (D)

Without the two b-pawns, a draw

would be fairly straightforward, but
this position offers the possibility of
1 i.hS i.h3
If 1...i.c6, 2 i.f3 is unpleasant.
2 b3!!
A profound idea, creating various
zugzwangs, for example 2... .tft 3
6 ~e6 i.f3 or 2... i.g2 3 i.e2 <itc6 4 hxg5
There is one other possible vari- hxg5 5 f3 i.h3 6 g4 f5 7 gxf5 i.xf5
ation: 6....i.e6 7 i.a2 ~d7 8 <ifi>e5 8 <it>e5 +--.
i.f? 9 e4 dxe4 to i.xf7 e3 11 i.c4 2 .id7
b3 12 .tb5+! ~d8 13 ~d6! +--. 3 i.f7 .too
7 .txd5+ <it>xf6 4 14 gxh4
8 .txf7 cJ;xn 5 gxh4 .tb7
9 ~c4 ~e6 6 .thS
10 ~xb4 ~dS If 6 i.e8, then after 6...i.c6 7
11 ~c3 cli>e4 i.xc6 ~xc6 the pawn ending is
12 ~d2 ~f3 drawn.
13 ~d3 <it>g3 6 ... .tc6
14 ~d4 ~ Not 6... i.c8 because of 7 i.e8
15 e4! +- .ta68 b4 +-.
Bishop Endings 109

7 i.f3 i.a8
8 c4 (D)

best defence it would have taken

Plaskett's study-like analysis to find
the win.
Black now blunders: 2 g4 i.OO
8 . dxc4? 3 g5 bxg5
Black misses an excellent defen- 4 hxgS i.d7
sive resource: 8...bxc4 9 bxc4 i.c6 5 i.e2 i.OO
10 i.xd5 ..te8 11 c5+ Q;c7 and al- 6 i.g4 .le8
though a pawn down the bishop end- 7 fS gxfS
ing is drawn. A brilliant idea! After the alternative 7...i.c6 8
9 i.xa8 cxb3 fxg6 fxg6 9 i..e2 i..d7 10 ..td3 i.e8
10 i.e4 b2 11 i.b1! i.f7 12 i.c2 i.e8 13 i.d3
11 h5 b4 Black is 'zugged'.
12 ~e3 1-0 8 i.xfS .loo
9 .lg4 i.e8
The most important factor for the 10 i.h5 'ite6
side with the isolated pawn is not the Not 10... ~c6 because of 11 i.f3
position of the bishop but the pawn winning.
structure; if the structure cannot be 11 citeS ~
improved then the situation is fairly 12 <it>xd5 ~xg5
sad. For example: 13 i.e2 ~S
14 J.d3+!
Plaskett - Zak The only winning plan.
London 1983 14 <itg4
15 e4! ~f4
1 h4 i.e8 16 C1fi>c5 ~e3
In the game Black played 1...f5? 17 .txb5 i.xbS
2 h5! gxh5 3 g3 and was forced to 18 ~bS ~xe4
resign, although if he had played the 19 ~c5! fS
110 Bishop Endings

20 b5 f4 7 .tgS h6
21 b6 f3 8 .if7 hS
22 b7 f2 9 .te8 i.c2
23 b8~ n'iN 10 i.f7 i.e4
24 1ie8+! 11 fS!! i..xfS
White wins after the exchange of If 11 ...gxf5, then 12 i.xh5 gives
queens. White an outside passed pawn, in
this position a decisive factor.
A fairly unhappy pawn structure 12 i.xdS i.c8
was the reason for defeat in the fol- 13 e4 ct;e7
lowing game. 14 <t>eS gS
15 hxg5 h4
Polugaevsky - Mecking 16 g6 h3
Mar del Plata 1971 17 g7 h2
18 gSlf hl'ii'
19 'ti't7+ <i1td8
20 'iif8+ 1-0

White's task in the following

game proved to be much harder.

B. Pytel - Hoidarova
Hungary, 1969

White, by gradually improving

his pawn structure and the position
of his bishop, manages to put his op-
ponent in zugzwang.
1 h4 .to
2 b4 i.hl
3 i.e2 .tg2
If 3....te4, there would follow 4
i.g4 .i.fS 5 i.f3 .te6 6 e4 dxe4 7
.txe4 i.c8 8 .tf3 r3;e7 9 ~e5 and 1 .th5 .tf5+
White wins easily. 2 ~e3 i.d7
4 i.g4 .te4 3 h4 g4
S i.c8 Q;c7 After 3...gxh4 4 gxh4 .te6 (Black
6 i.e6 ~d6 must prevent 4 i.g4 followed by
Bishop Endings 111

..-lc8 at all costs) 5 i.e8 .tc8 6 i.c6 Black has prepared ...g5 after
<iitd6 7 ..ta8 ~e5 8 <iit'd3 ..tf5+ 9 which only one pawn will remain on
~d2 i.c8 10 ~e3 Black is in zug- the wrong-coloured square; a single
zwang and must cede the d4-square weakness can be defended success-
to the white king, resulting in a rapid fully. There followed
loss. 1 .tg2
4 .tg6 <&ttf6 If 1 g4, Black would reply 1... g5
5 .tc2 ~eS 2 i5 i.f7. Then 3 .th1 ..tg8 4 i.g2
6 ..td3 .te8 i..f7 5 i.f3 .tg8 6 .idl ..tn 7 ..tb3
7 i.e2 .td7 .tg8 8 e4 .if? 9 .txd5 i..xd5 10
8 i..dl! .te6 exd5 b5 11 a3 a6 and the pawn end-
9 a4 ..td7 ing is drawn. White could try the
10 axb5 axb5 preparatory 3 b5 .te8 4 a4 JLf7 5
11 i.e2! h5 i.dl i..g8 6 .tb3 i.n 7 e4 .tg8 8
12 i.n i.c6 ..txd5 .txd5 9 exd5 ~d7 but again
13 i.d3 .ie8 the pawn ending is drawn.
14 i.c2 i.f7 1 i.f7
15 ..th7! i.e8 2 .tn ..te6
16 ..td3! cli>e6 3 ..td3 g5!
17 ~d4 ~d6 Weaker is 3...i.n 4 h4 and Black
18 .tf5 i.f7 is in trouble.
19 i.h7! i.e8 4 i.c2 .tg4! (D)
20 .tg8 1-0
In order to win, White had to put
Black in zugzwang no less than five

Petrosian - Benko
Stockholm 1962

Black activates his bishop.

5 .ta4 .to
6 .tb5 ..tg2
7 fxgS fxgS
Of course not 7... hxg5 8 h4 which
gives White an outside passed pawn.
112 Bishop Endings

8 i.d3 i.b3 3 ~xeS .tc6

9 i.g6 ~e6 If 3... ..tf5 White wins in the fol-
10 ..tb7 ~d6 lowing way: 4 <it'f4 ~a7 5 Cittg5 <&ii>b6
11 a3 Draw 6 i.e2 rJ;a7 7 i.xg4 i.d3 8 .tc8
~b6 9 h4 ~a7 10 i.e6 <ittxa6 11
Same-coloured i.f7 <it>b6 12 i.xg6 i.e2 13 i.h5
i.b5 14 JLg4 i.e8 15 i.f5 et;c7 16
bishops with a i..g6 q;d8 17 ~f6!.
passed pawn 4 ~f6 i.f3
S ~xg6 .idl
Beliavsky - Kotronias 6 cili>gS ~a7
Belgrade 1993 7 ~f4 ~b6
8 i.d3 r3;a7
9 iLrS g3!
10 <it>xg3!
This is the only correct move;
White's passed pawn should be as
far away as possible from the enemy
10 ... ~xa6 (D)

White's outside passed pawn de-

flects the black king to the queen-
side, but material is so reduced that
he must find something extraordi-
nary on the kingside to win.
1 g5! hxgS
2 ~e4 g4?
The best chance was 2...ciIi>c5! 3
i.d5 (after 3 i.d3 <it>d6 4 <itte3 <it>c5 5 11 iLg4(?)
i.xg6 <it>b6 6 i.d3 .tc6 it is very Although it seems unimportant,
hard to approach the black pawns) the best move was 11 h4! and only
3... ~b6 4 i.b7 g4 5 c;t>xe5 .if5 and then 12 i.g4, but both sides missed a
in this position, similar to the game, chance for Black. After 11 ...<ittb6 12
White's bishop has to waste a valu- i.g4, if Black continues 12...i.b3
able tempo moving from b7 to at- 13 h5 C:;c7 14 h6 i.g8 15 i.e6 i.h7
tack Black's pawns. 16 <it>f4 ~d8 17 .if5 i.g8 18 ~g5
114 Bishop Endings

2 ~e3 ~c4 If Black plays 8...h4 White must

3 i.f8 respond by 9 g5 .i.g7 10 i.e3, with
The position is clearly drawn. the unstoppable threat of 11 ..td4.
9 hxg4 !Le7
The passed pawn which advances 10 g5 .i.a3
either on its own or backed up by the 11 i.e3 .td6
king serves to deflect enemy forces. If 11 ....i.e7 then White wins with
Very often pawns are exchanged and 12 g6 ~f6 13 i.g5+!.
a new passed pawn is created, which 12 .td4 i..c7
when pushed is decisive (see Mik- 13 g6 iLb8 (D)
halchishin-Holzmann). In bishop
endgames zugzwang is particularly
Czemiak - Mikhalchishin
Groningen 1992

14 ~f3!
The immediate 14 g7 is weak,
since after 14... <it>f7 15 <ifi>f5 i..c7 16
~g5 i.d8+ 17 ~h6 'it>g8 18 ~g6
i.c7 19 i.f6.ta5 it is not clear how
White can win.
White must create a passed pawn 14 i..d6
on the kingside; after g4, h4, and 15 ~g4 .ib4
g5 Black will be totally squeezed, 16 .te3!
therefore his fIrst move is forced. It is best to take control of this
1 h5 diagonal, since 16 <it>h5 is met by
2 i.eS c6 16...i.d2!.
3 i.b8 .th6 16 ~f6
4 g3 .tcl 17 ~h5 .tf8
5 i.eS .i.d2 18 iLcl
6 h3 i.g5 Simpler was 18 i.d4+! <iti>f5 and
7 i..f4 i.f6 now not 19 g7, as Black was count-
8 g4 hxg4 ing on, but simply 19 c5! and only
Bishop Endings J 15

then 20 g7. After the immediate 19

g7 there would follow 19....txg7 20
.i.xg7 c5! and White cannot stop the
black king winning the c4-pawn.
18 ... <itte6 (D)

.tc3 i..b6 (8.....txc3 9 bxc3 ~h6 10

~g4 +-) 9 ~e4 i..c7 10 i.e5 i.b6
11 .i.d6 ~h6 12 ~e5 ~xh5 13
<Ji>xe6 <iitg4 14 f5, although White is
also winning in this variation.
2 <t>g5 ~g8
19 ..th6 ..ta3 Or 2...i.b6 3 .i.f6! i.e3 4 h5
20 .tf4 ..tf8 .txf4+ 5 ~xf4 ~xf6 6 h6 ~g6 7
21 et>g5 .tg7 ~e5 winning.
22 i.g3 .tfS 3 <itf6! i.xh4+
23 ..tel! ..tg7 4 ~xe6 ~f8
23... ~e5 is refuted by 24 i.b4! cS 5 C5 ~e8
25 i.xc5!. 6 f6 ~d8
24 ..tb4 .tf6+ 7 f7 1-0
Alternatively 24.. /itd7 25 <it>f5
and the bishop gets to f6 via d2 and Same-coloured
25 ~h6 ~fS
bishops with pawns
26 .ifS ~e4 on one wing
27 cS! 1-0
This configuration of material has
Mikhalchishin - Holzmann drawish tendencies for two reasons:
Budapest 1990 1) bishops cannot make use of
their real power at short range on
There followed only part of the board;
1 ... i.f2? 2) often the bishop is of a differ-
More resilient is 1.....tb6 2 ~g5 ent colour to the corner square on
i.d8+ 3 ~g4 <j;g6 4 h5+ <it>h6 5 the wing where the game is being
i.c3 ..tb6 6 ..td2 ~h7 7 ~f3! ..td4 8 played.
116 Bishop E.... ~

I. ZaJa-Erm
Imperia 1989

1 ..tn?
As Ermolinsky
1 ~h4
draw was possible:monstrated, the
2 ~ i.h5 3 ~d5 ter 1 We2! i.n
2 ~hS
3 e4
6' ~e6 and Black is t1ed
~h3 4 ~gl f3 5
4 e5 i.d3 his weakness on 4 to defending
..tg6+ 1 g .
5 <it>g4 riJn
6 .tdS+ ~e7
2 h3 f3!
7 <l;f4 ..tb7 Or 2 ~e3
..td5+!) 3 -+.g3 3 hxg3+ (3 ~xf3
8 g3 A wxg3 4 i.

Ad7! (zugzwan e2 f2 5 i.fl
i.g8 10 i.f5 ~ 8.. /~d7 9 i.e4 ~gl 8 ~g3 i.~66:c.: Wg2 7 Wf4
The alternative <,j(f8

etc. would al + e7 11 i.c8 i.h7 i.b5 i.n 11 ~ Ad3 i.g2 10

to draw. so have enabled Black i.d5! (again Who d7. ~c4 12 .i.h3
13 ~f4 i.g2 -+:te IS m zugzwang)
9 i.e4 ..tg8
10 i.f3 ~e7
3 ~
2 ...
11 ~g4
12 ~4 ~e6 Black could sfU i.d7!
3...i.xh3? 4 i. 2,1_ go wrong with
Or 12 <it>h5 ~ xe5
with a simple dra
12 w.
13 ~xh6 ~e6 4 ~J .-.
is~nabl e to make
~e7any pro- ~glAlternativel
i.xfl 6 W~f1 !g2 i.xh3+ 5

13 ..tg4 ..tb3
5 :tc4 i.xh3
6 i.n i.d7
14 ..tc8 ~f7
7 cM4 i.c6
Bishop Endings 117

8 <ite3 ~g4 2 ... i.d2?

9 <it>d2 This was his last chance to play
Repeated zugzwangs force White 2...g5.
to concede space to the black king. 3 f4! .ic3
9 <JtC3 3....i.e3 fails to 4 fS gxf5 5 gxf5
10 <ittel .teS! exf5 6 e5 i.g5 7 e6+ <iitg8 8 i.e7!
11 i.c4 ~g2 and 9 .id8 +-.
12 i.dS+ <itth2 4 eSt 1-0
13 .ic6 i.h3
14 i.d5 i.g2 Now for an incredible game:
15 .tc4 .iOO
16 .to i.bS E. Cekro - Todorovic
and Black won. Tuzla 1990

Thkmakov - Dlescas
Wijk aan Zee 1993

mmmm m~m

m m m mm White is two pawns up but is

cramped by Black's g4-pawn and
centralized king. Clearly the pawn
See how many inaccuracies are ending arising from 1....ixe3 2 fxe3
made by both sides despite the lim- <it>xe3 3 h4 is lost for Black. Also
ited material on the board! bad is 1...i.c7 2 h3 gxh3+ 3 <iltxh3
1 e4? ~f3 4 <iti>h4! followed by the deci-
Correct is 1 f4! and only then 2 sive 5 ~h5 and marching the g-
e4. pawn up the board. So Black's only
1 ... i.e3? hope is:
Black should have played 1...g5!, 1 ... .td8!!
blocking White's plan, with an in- 2 h3 gxh3+
evitable draw. 3 ~xh3 ~f3
2 i.d6? 4 g4 i.e7
Again 2 f4 is mandatory. 5 g5 .txg5!
118 Bishop Endings

6 i.xg5 ~xf2 in his book that a draw is inevitable

Draw in endgames with pawns on the
This game emphasizes the impor- same side if there is no chance of a
tance of an active king in the end- breakthrough with the king. Tourna-
game. ment praxis in recent years has given
several instructive examples of this.
Four pawns versus three on the
same side of the board with same- Hort - Bertok
coloured bishops was considered Zagreb 1970
drawn as long ago as Fine's book, on
the basis of the following game.

StAhlberg - Fine
Kemeri 1937

The pawn structure is somewhat

worse in this position than in Fine's
game, but this does not look decisive
at first.
1 i.dS q;g7
In this position equality was eas- 2 <iPg2 i..e2
ily maintained after: 3 f3 ~f6?
1 . f6 A slight inaccuracy; it was more
2 ~cS i.d7 logical to immediately go for the
3 i.g8 h6 drawing set-up with 3...f6 4 ~f2
4 ~d5 i.a4 i..b5 5 e4 ~f8 6 ~e3 ~e7 7 ~f4
5 'itd4 i.d7 <ittf8 8 g4 hxg4 9 fxg4 i..d3 10 g5
6 J.c4 i..a4 fxg5+ 11 hxg5 (11 'it'xg5 .txe4 12
7 i.d3 J.e8 i.xe4 rJ;g7 =) 11 ... ~e7 12 e5 i..b5
8 h4 g5 13 i.e4 i..e8 and Black's defence is
Draw solid.
4 <itii2 i.b5
The famous endgame expert 5 e4 i.e8
Grandmaster Yuri Averbakh writes 6 cii>e3 ~e5
Bishop Endings 119

7 i.b3 f6 10 eS+ 1Je7

8 .ta2 CS? 11 'itd4 i..a4
Bertok completely misjudges the 12 ~cS i.e8
position. However, Black is already 13 ~b6 i.a4
in serious difficulties - his bishop is 14 cl;c7
confined to the e8-square, and if he To destroy the blockade White
plays 8...g5 then 9 hxg5 fxg5 10 f4+ prepares a decisive breakthrough.
<it>f6 (or 10...gxf4+ 11 gxf4+ <i1tf6 12 14 ... i.bS
eS+ <it>fS 13 .tbl + ~e6 14 'if;d4 15 i.b3
winning) 11 eS+~f512.tbl+<iti'g4 Black resigned because of the fol-
13 f5 h4 14 e6 hxg3 (or 14... h3 15 lowing variations:
i.e4! h2 16 f6 +-) 15 f6 g2 16 ~f2 a) IS ....te2 16 i..g8 ~f8 17 i.h7
and the white pawn queens. rt;g7 18 e6 ~xh7 19 e7 i.b5 20 ~d8
The only move is 8... <it'd6, and and wins.
there might follow 9 ~d4 q;e7 with b) IS ... .te8 16 .tg8 .ta4 17 e6
two possible plans for White: .te8 18 i.f7! iLxf7 19 exf7 cj;xf7
a) 10 e5 i.c6 11 i.d5 i.d7 12 20 <l;d7 rJi;g7 21 Ciite7 'it;h7 22 ~f7
~e4 i.b5 13 ~f4 i.d7 14 g4 hxg4 winning.
IS fxg4 .tcS! (15 ...fxe5+! appears
to give White 16 <it>gS, but after Now for two very similar posi-
16....txg4 there arises a well-known tions:
draw) and White cannot make any
progress. G. Polgar - Barcza
b) 10 g4 hxg4 (10...i.d7Ieads to Hungary
a difficult position after 11 gxh5
gxh5 12 .tb3 followed by 13 i.dl
and 14 f4 aiming at the hS-weak-
ness) 11 fxg4 i.d? 12 gS fxg5 13
hxg5 and Black holds the position.
Therefore White should try this
plan with the king standing on f4,
which is entirely feasible (viz. 9 'iltf4
instead of 9 <it'd4). In that case after
9... ~e7 10 g4 hxg4 11 fxg4 i.d7 12
gS i.e8 (or 12...f5 13 hS! +-) 13
gxf6+ <ittxf6 14 e5+ ~g7 IS et>g5
i.c6 16 i.b1 i.e8 17 e6 Black is los- 1 ~e8 i.xc4
ing the g6-pawn along with the 1...1itc7 loses: 2 .te6 <it>d6 3 i.f7.
game because of zugzwang. 2 ~d8! <itdS
9 f4+ Ciitf6 3 .txb7 <it>xd4
120 Bishop Endings

4 .txc6 Several years ago we composed

5 ~c7! our only study.
If 5 b5? then 5...i.xb5! 6.txb5
<it>b4! =. Original
5 ~xb4
6 Ciitb6 i.e6
7 i.b7 i..d7
8 ..txa6 i.h3
9 i.bS i.c8
10 i.c6! 1-0

Martinez - Cobo
Havana 1966

The intended solution is 1...g4!

(the pawn ending after 1...i.c4 is not
winning) 2 hxg4 .txf3+ 3 'ittxf3 (3
gxf3 h3 4 ~f2 <iftxd3 5 g5 e4 6 fxe4
h2 7 <iftg2 f3+ and wins) 3... ~xd3 4
g5 e4+ 5 ~xf4 e3 6 g6 e2 7 g7 e1iV
S gS'iI iVe4+ 9 ~g5 1fxg2+ with a
win for Black. However one of our
students later found the surprise 2
1 ... f4! i.f5!.
2 gxf4 1 ... g4!
After 2 i.xf4 i.xf4 3 gxf4 ~d2 2 i.f5! ~c4+
the pawn ending is won for Black. Now after 3 ~f2 g3+ 4 <ittg1 i.d5
2 i.b6 5 <it>f1 'ittd2 6 <rti>gl ~e3 Black is
3 C5 gxf5 threatening to sacrifice the bishop
4 i.f4 i.d8 for three pawns with ... .txf3, easily
5 ~gS i.c7 winning, so White has to play 7 i.g4
6 <&t>el <&t>e2 S i.h5 i.e6 9 i.g4 (the only
The only defence to 6... f4. move; if the bishop goes the other
6 i.d6! way Black could play the decisive
7 <it;f2 f4! ...i.xh3 and ... ~xf3) 9....txg4 10
8 i.h6 fxe3+ hxg4 e4 11 fxe4 h3 12 e5 h2+ 13
9 i.xe3 i.g3+! 'itth1 f3 14 gxf3 Cittf2 and Black
0-1 wins.
Bishop Endings 121

But what if White keeps his king 7 .tdS e4

on el? This proves to be the correct 8 i.xe4! ..txe4
defence. 9 fxe4 f3
3 ~el! g3 10 ~n!
4 ~e4! i.d3 There is no win; the study con-
5 i.dS ~d4 tained a good idea, but was refuted
6 i.e6 Cite3 by a simple move.
6 Which is better, the bishop or
the knight?

This is a particularly important that the bishop works well with a

question in chess, but for some rea- rook, and the knight makes an excel-
son insufficient attention has been lent partner for the queen. Two bish-
paid to it. Contemporary theory (of ops are usually stronger than a
middlegames and endgames) rates bishop and knight, but two knights
bishops stronger than knights ap- might put up strong resistance. The
proximately 60 percent of the time. pawn structure is also vitally im-
This is a debatable figure, but it did portant; the more symmetrical the
allow Grandmaster Dorfman to say pawns are, the better the knight. The
only half-jokingly 'The very worst knight is best suited to occupying
bishop is better than the very best outposts in the centre, while the
knight.' However, things are not bishop is strongest when it can at-
that bad for knights, and sometimes tack targets on both wings or a series
it works the other way around. The of weak squares of the same colour.
famous Ukrainian trainer, Interna- We focus on those games in which
tional Master Yuri Sakharov, com- great skill has been shown in ma-
pared the knight to a bus which can noeuvring that capricious animal,
walk where it likes, and the bishop the knight.
to a trolleybus which can only travel
along pre-determined routes, the di- Kholmov - Vasiukov
agonals. We are not concerned with Moscow 1971
the middlegame, but in the endgame
the bishop does have a slight supe-
riority over the knight because most
of the positions that arise are open
positions. Another advantage is that
bishops are easy to manoeuvre,
whilst to play well with a knight re-
quires great technique. Bishops and
knights do not exist and operate in
isolation, but interact with the other
pieces. It was discovered long ago
Which is better, the bishop or the knight? 123

1 ... g5! 24 ~e2 ~c3

Obviously Black is better, but he 25 ~dl ltJe8!
still needs a concrete plan to im- 26 <it>cl ~f6
prove his position. Firstly he intends 27 ~dl ttJd7
to cramp the white bishop. 28 i.g6 liJf6
2 i.e2 g4 29 .tc2 ~b2
3 i.dl ~e6 30 <;t>d2
4 i.c2 White opts to sacrifice a pawn. If
If White plays 4 .te2 there would 30 a4 then 30...'ifi>c3 31 ~cl ~d4 32
follow 4 ...llJg6 and 5... ~e5, with a <&t>d2lLJe4+! 33 .ixe4 CJt>xe4 34 ~e2
further repositioning of the knight. as! and the pawn ending is easily
4 ltJo winning for Black.
5 i.d3 ~e5 30 ~xa3
6 i.c2 ltJd4 31 ~c3 bS
7 .i. b1 ltJe6 32 cxbS axbS
Clearly the black knight should 33 .tg6 lbds+
aim for b4, but he is going about it in 34 <it'c2 M! (D)
a strange way.
8 i.c2 lbd8
9 .tbl liJf7
10 i.c2 lbd6
11 i.d3 ttJb7
12 i.c2 lba5
13 i.bl lbc6
14 .tc2 ttJb4
15 .tbl a6
16 a3 ttJc6
17 i.c2 ltJa5
18 <itd3 ltJc6
19 ~e3 lDd4 B lack sacrifices a pawn in return
20 .idl CS! for a decisive attack on the queen-
The e4-square is a serious weak- side.
ness for White, but there is no way 35 .txhS c4!
to exploit it. Therefore Black aims 36 i.g6
his king at the white queenside. Or 36 bxc4 b3+ 37 ~bl lbc3+
21 exfS lbxfS+ and 38...b2 winning.
22 ~f2 ~d4 36 cxb3+
23 i.c2 lbg7 37 ~d3 b2
The knight retreats into a passive 38 ~d4 tiJf6
position in return for an active king. 39 i.bl 4JhS
124 Which is better, the bishop or the knight?

40 ~e5 llJxg3
41 ~f4 lbn
42 ~xg4 l2Jd2
43 .td3 l'iJc4!!
An important manoeuvre, guar-
anteeing the promotion of the black
44 ~f4 ~b3
45 h5 ltJa3
46 h6 lDc2
47 h7 bl'ii
48 h8'ii' 'iWcl+ 2 ~g3 cs
49 <itfs '1We3! 3 exfS+?!
After the centralization of the White is prepared to stop ...f4 at
queen White has a difficult choice any price, although it is not clear
between a poor queen endgame and how Black will win after this.
facing the strong combination of 3 <it>xfS
queen and knight. 4 .i.e3 ltJe1
50 ~g8+ ~b2 5 .td2 lDc2
51 'iic4 b3 6 i.cl ltJd4
52 ~f6 lbb4 7 i.e3 lDe2+
53 .tn ~a3 8 ~g2 hS
0-1 9 h4?
Committing a pawn to the wrong
The knight can be particularly fe- coloured square for his bishop.
rocious in endings on the one wing White is fatally afraid of the squeeze
in which the bishop can only operate after ...h4 and ...tLJf4, reducing his
on squares of one colour. The supe- king to the h2-square. However he
riority of knight over bishop reaches forgets that in compensation the h4-
its apogee in endings such as the fol- pawn could then be attacked by his
lowing: bishop. After the move in the game
the black king successfully switches
Gulko - Romanishin to the other wing.
Lvov 1978 9 <ifi>e6!
10 i..gS ~dS
The game continued 11 ~e7 l2Jd4
1 ~g6! 12 .td8 ttJfS
The plan of playing the king to c4 13 ~n l2Jd4
was also possible but there is more 14 ~g2 ~e6
action on the kingside. 15 i..e7 ~c4
Which is better, the bishop or the knight? 12:

16 i.d6 ~d4 ~g4 28 i.e3! ~xh4 29 <ittg2 fol-

17 ..te7 ~d5 lowed by f3.
By means of a cunning triangula- 27 i.d4 l[)d2
tion Black tries to force the white 28 i..b6 <iti>g4
bishop off the d8-h4 diagonal. 29 i.d8 lbf3+
18 ~g3 'tJd4 30 <it>g2 lbxh4+
19 i.d8? 31 ~h2 lbf3+
White stubbornly maintains his 32 ~g2 h4
bishop on the same diagonal, but he Time for the h-pawn to start it~
should have played 19 .ta3 with the decisive march down the board.
idea of .tb2, hitting the e5-pawn. 33 i.c7 h3+
19 lZJf5+ 34 ~n gS
20 ~h3 'litd4 35 i.d8 <&tifS
21 .tc7 e4! (D) 36 i.c7 g4
37 i..b8 Clt>e4
38 i.c7 liJd4
39 i..b8 'ittfJ
40 i.c7 ltJe2
41 .th2
Black was threatening 41 ...l2Jf4
42 ~gl ttJd3 43 .tg3 lbxf2! 44
i.xf2 h2+ and wins.
41 lbc3
42 i.b8 liJe4
43 ~gl lbxf2
White did not expect his weak f3-
pawn to be exchanged, but for Black Zaichik - Mikhalchishin
the most important thing is to pene- Riga
trate to the f3-square with his king.
22 fxe4 ~xe4
23 .tb6 ~f3
24 ..tcS g6
25 .tb6 lbd6
The next stage of the Black's plan
is to attack the f2-pawn with his
26 ~h2 ~c4!
The immediate 26...ttJe4 allows
White to save the game with 27 ~gl
126 Which is better, the bishop or the knight?

Black appears to have a reason- 7 ~d3 ~g7

able position; after 1...:'fd8 and then The d4-bishop not only fails to
2....td4 Black's bishop is strongly help the rook to create threats, but
placed in the centre of the board. positively hinders this process.
However after having analysed the 8 l:cl h5
position more deeply one of the 9 1:c2!
authors of this book began to feel a Ideal light-squared strategy by
certain discomfort, as White can White: nearly all his pieces are on
mount pressure by doubling rooks the light squares. This is how the
on the d-file. At the post-mortem Ti- knight can often show its advantage,
gran Petrosian and EduardGufeld by playing on the squares the bishop
completely disagreed on the nature cannot reach!
of the position, in particular on the 9 .. %le1
role and strength of the dark-squared 10 lOOS a6
bishop. Gufeld declared that Black If Black plays 10...i..d4 White
must be fine with a bishop that con- can retort 11 ~c6.
trols half the board. Petrosian coun- 11 liJb7 (D)
tered 'But what will it attack on the
dark squares?' The great Tigran was
right: the bishop is less effective
than it looks and White can play
powerfully on the light squares. In
order to create some counterplay
Black should try 1... a5 and even sac-
rifice a pawn if necessary. He at-
tempts this in a different way:
1 ... cS?
2 ltJd6 i.d4
If Black plays 2... a5 White would
reply 3 a4, after which the b3-pawn White can already convert his po-
is easily defensible while the as- sitional plus into material gains.
pawn is a more serious weakness. 11 l:e6
3 f3 :b6 12 ~c4 f5
4 llJc4 :e6 13 li)xcS lld6
5 .:the! 14 b4 g5
White plans to swap one pair of 15 84 g4
rooks to defuse any threats to his A long-winded way of trying to
king. create some counterplay.
5 :teeS 16 bS :d4+
6 l:xe6 1txe6 17 ~b3 axbS
Which is better, the bishop or the knight? 127

If Black plays 17... a5 then White knight in a very interesting way.

would respond with 18ltJa6, threat- White must try to free his rook from
ening 19 :'c6 and 20 b6. the a3-square.
18 axb5 :dl 1 .idl
19 ltJe6 .tf6 2 :c3
20 f4! :bl+ 3 ':c4
21 ~e4 i.e7 4 lie!
22 lbe5 h4 Clearly 4 ':xb4 axb4 5 ~fl b3! is
23 ltJd3 i.d6 winning for Black.
24 ~dS! i.b8 4 ltJd2!?
2S ~e6 :hl 5 lIc3 ltJe4
26 ~b7 i..d6 6 :lel IS
27 b6! :xh2 Black decides to support his cen-
28 l:c7+! ~g8 trally posted knight, but stronger is
29 ~e6! the variation shown by Vaganian:
An elegant finish. 6...<t>e7! 7 f3 lbd2 8 ~f2 l:b2! 9
29 h3 l:c2 :xc2 10 i..xc2 <ir>d6 11 ~e2
30 ~xd6 bxg2 lbc4 12 <it>d3 ~c5 13 i.b3 lbd6 14
3t %let :h6+ ~c3 ttJfS 15 e4 lbh4 after which
32 ~eS :'xb6 Black has a big advantage.
33 c;t;xfS .:Ib3 7 ~n r:3;e7
34 ltJes :g3 8 f3 l2Jd2+
3S ~g6 1-0 9 <ii>f2
9 'it>e2 is slightly better.
P. Nikolic - Vaganian 9 lbc4
Lucerne 1989 10 :c3 ~b2
11 i.e2 ~d6
12 ~e2 hS!
It is highly appropriate to im-
prove the black pawn structure be-
fore capturing the pawn.
13 f4 h4
14 :c8
Alternatively there is the passive
14 :a3, but after 14...g6 15 i.b3 e5
16 fxeS+ ~xe5 17 ~d2 ltJc4+ 18
i.xc4 :xc4 White has a very diffi-
cult rook ending.
In this open position Black man- 14 li)xa4
aged to co-ordinate his rook and 15 ..txa4 :xa4 (DJ
128 Which is hetter the bishop or the knight?

Mikhalchishin - Chemin
W ','
Cienjuegos 1981

A rook ending has been reached

in which Black has both an extra
pawn and weak white pawns to at-
tack. Black hopes to brunt the force of
16 l:[g8 White's attack by playing ... ~d7,
If White plays 16 l%d8+, Black taking the c5 and e5-squares under
would reply 16.. .r&1i>e7 (16...<&t>c5 is control. The knight is crucial to
also playable) 17 ~a8 :al 18 ~a7+ Black's defence, therefore it must be
~f6 19 ~f3 a4 20 g4 hxg3 21 ~xg3 eliminated!
a3 22 ~g2 g5 23 fxg5+ ~xg5 24 1 ii.xf6! gxf6
1:ta4 a2 25 !:a8 e5 26 I:ta5 ~h4 27 2 %tdl %:ibS
l:a8 f4! and the advance of the f- If Black plays 2.. J~d8, then 3
pawn is terminal. :xd8+ <iti>xd8 4 :'a4 wins the a7-
16 1:[a2+ pawn.
17 ~f3 :Ic2! 3 lId3!
The rook is to be positioned be- Threatening to play :a3.
hind the valuable pawn. 3 1!b4
18 1:xg7 l:tc7! 4 lDd2 1:tgS
19 ~g8 %:ta7 5 g3 %:ixc4
20 ~e2 a4 6 lbxc4 1:tg4
21 :dS+ etie7 7 f4 hS
22 ltd2 a3 7...e5 is poor due to 8 h3 1:g6 9
23 1:a2 ~d6 fxe5, winning a pawn. Black hopes
24 <it>d2 ~dS to weaken the g3-pawn and thereby
25 ~d3 :a8 deflect the white rook from its im-
26 <ittc3 ~e4 minent attack on Black's a7-pawn.
27 ~d2 ltd8+! Which white piece is still inactive?
0-1 The king. What is to be done? De-
Impressive technique. fend g3! Therefore White proceeds:
130 Which is better, the bishop or the knight?

15 i.f.2 lLlf5 Smyslov made an interesting ob-

16 ~d2 'iitxf4 servation concerning similar posi-
17 <it'e2 <ittg4 tions: when there are doubled pawns
18 ~n lbxh4 on the board the knight is usually
19 ~gl <t>h3 stronger than the bishop!
0-1 4 lbd2 :rd8
5 ltJe4 c4
It is very often hard to choose be- 6 1tJc5 .ifS
tween playing with a knight against 7 f3!?
a bishop, or with a bishop against a White is prepared to give up the
knight. Even the great players go open file, having determined that his
astray. king will manage to chase the en-
emy rook from the d2-square.
Smyslov - Tal 7 Jlc2
Moscow 1969 S :xdS+ l:xdS
9 <ittn ~f7
10 b4 JlfS
11 <t>el e5
Slightly better was 11 ...i-c8, al-
though White could then gradually
improve his position, for example
with 12 a4.
12 ltJb7 l:d7
Black has no other options for his
13 lba5 cS
14 bxc5 :d5
In this position the correct choice 15 ltJb7
was to give up the bishop by playing 15 e4 is less effective as it leads to
1...:Ifd8 2lDxf5 gxf5 3 f4 ~f8 fol- a rook ending with drawing chances
lowed by ... e6 and .. .rJiJe7., liquida- for Black: 15...:xc516ltJb7 :le71?
ting White's initiative. However, llJd6+ ~e7 18lbxfS+ gxfS 19 exf5
Black played: l:b7.
1 .too? 15 :d7
2 ..i.xc6 bxc6 16 lbd6+ q;e7
3 1tJf3 f6 17 g4!
White was threatening to hit the A useful move, gaining the bl-
c6-pawn with 4lbe5. 3... i.g4 would square for the rook. 17...i-c2 fails to
be met by 4 lbe5 ..i.xe2 5 :e 1 ..i.a6 6 18lbxc4 lIe7 19lbe3.
lbd7 :fe8 7 tbxc5 i.c8 8 lIad1. 17 .too
Which is better, the bishop or the knight? 131

18 l:.bl :c7 We certainly do not wish to create

19 :b7 1txb7 the false impression that the knight
After 19...<ittd7 White would re- is stronger than the bishop. The
spond 20 l:xc7+ ~xc7 21lt:)eS+. knight is a highly versatile piece,
20 ltJxb7 <it>d7 (D) and to take full advantage of this
often requires very impressive tech-
It is well-known that Bobby Fis-
cher liked to play with bishops
against knights, but look at his fan-
tastic technique when using the
knight in the next game - a game
that supports the thesis that the
knight is stronger than a bishop if
the pawns are symmetrical.

Saidy - Fiseher
21 lbd6 USA Ch (New York) 1963/4
An important decision. After 21
ttJaS f5 22 gxf5 gxf5 White would
bring his king to b4 but Black could
create counterplay on the opposite
wing. The knight is always better
placed on d6 then as.
21 h6
22 ~ <ittc6
23 ~e3 as
23 ...cli>xc5 fails to 24 ltJe4+, and
23...f5 is met by 24 gxf5 gxf5 25 f4
~d5 26 lDeS! exf4+ 27 ~xf4 <it>xc5
28llJg7 +-. Black's frrst task is to find the
24 ltJes C5 best square for his knight. The an-
25 CJg7 .td7 swer is to play the knight to where it
26 gxfS gxfS attacks the white d-pawn. Therefore:
27 f4! ~dS 1 ... lbd7!
27... <tt>xc5 fails to 28 fxe5 <il?d5 29 2 ~n ttJf8!
~f4. 3 <it>e2
28 e6! ..te8 White does not sense the danger;
29 c7 <it>d6 he should have played 3 g4! fol-
30 h4 1-0 lowed by f3 and h3, optimizing his
132 Which is better, the bishop or the knight?

pawn structure and creating maxi-

mum difficulties for his opponent.
3 ... ~
4 ~d3 hS
5 i.e3 ~h7
6 f3 ~g6
Fischer's plan is now in its second
stage: activate the king and advance
the pawns.
7 84 Ciitfs
8 ~e2 g5
9 <iti>f2 lbds 18 h3 lllis
10 i.d2 ~g6 19 <it>d3 g4!
11 <it;e3 ~ 20 hxg4 hxg4
12 ~d3 Ciitf5 21 fxg4 ltJh6
13 i.e3 f6 22 .tel
14 <it>e2 ~g6 White could have offered more
15 <itd3 f5 resistance with 22 ~e2 ltJxg4 23
After some repetitions Fischer i.gl ~f5 24 ~3ltJf6 25 ..th2lbh5
begins his main plan, although he 26 as ~g5 27 g4 fxg3 28 i.xg3
cannot activate his king and advance &Jg7! although this is also lost, since
the pawns at the same time. Black will win the white d-pawn by
16 ~e2?! checking away the white king.
White's lackadaisical approach 22 ltJxg4
ignores more active continuations 23 i.d2 ~fS (D)
such as 16 g4. After 16...hxg4 17
fxg4 hxg4 18 i.f2 g31 19 i.xg3 ~f5
the black king penetrates. However
16 g3! f4 17 gxf4 g4! 18 fxg4 hxg4
19 i.f2lbxf4+ 20 Ciite3 ~f5 21 i.g3
was correct; it is hard to see how
Black can make progress.
16 f4
17 i.a llJg7? (D)
On the last move before the time
control Fischer repeats moves, not
yet having decided on the correct
idea ...g4. White could now escape 24 i.e1 ltJr6
with 18 g4! fxg3 19 i.xg3 ttJe6 20 Grandmaster Vladimirov found
h3, building a fortress. another way of winning: 24...llJe3
Which is better, the bishop or the knight? 133

25 g3 ltJg2 26 i.f2 fxg3 27 i.xg3 27 lOg3

<iti>g4 28 i.e5 <it>f3 followed by 28 ~d3 ~S!
29... ~f4+, forcing White's king to There is no defence against the
retreat. crushing ...lDh4.
2S i.h4 ~4 29 .in %4
26 i.el <ifl'g4 30 as ~xg2
27 <iPe2 31 ~c3 ~f3
After 27 b3 Black can put White 32 i.gl 'ite2
in zugzwang by means of triangula- 33 .ih2 f3
tion: 27...~g5! 28 ~e2 cwftf5 29 q;d3 34 i.g3 ~3
~g4. 0-1
7 An Unusual Endgame

The drawish tendencies in rook end- wrong colour and the white king has
games with the f- and h-pawns are already penetrated too far.
well-known. Less familiar are the 1 lbb6 ~b7
similar positions of bishop against 2 ~dS JteS
knight with f- and h-pawns (or a- 3 ~b5 i.g3
and c-pawns). Admittedly, these 4 c4 i.h2
endgames occur very infrequently. 5 cS i.g3
There are two varieties: either with 6 l)e3!
bishop on the same colour as the Re-routing the knight to its opti-
queening square of the rook pawn, mum position.
or with the bishop differing in col- 6 .if4
our from the corner square. The sec- 7 ltJc4 .tg3
ond position is much simpler to win, 8 lbd6 ~c7
although some positions can be suc- 9 as! (D)
cessfully defended in the right cir-
cumstances. This type of position is
best described by Averbakh.

Ljubojevic - Spassky
Thessaloniki OL 1988

9 ... .th4
9...i.xd6 loses to 10 cxd6+ <iitxd6
11 ~b6.
10 a6 catb8
11 ~c6 .if2
Alternatively 11 ...<i1ta7 12 'iitd7!
In this position Black has no real ~xa6 13 c6 and Black is defenceless
drawing chances as his bishop is the against c7 and c81i.
An Unusual Endgame 135

12 lbb5 .th4 6 ... etn

12....tgl fails to 13 <iti>b6 with the 7 ~a4 <it>b7
idea of a7+ and 'lJc7 mate. 8 ~bS i.g3
13 a7+ ~a8 9 tDd8+ <ifi>c8
14 ~b6 i.d8+ 10 lbe6 ~b7
15 ~a6! 11 cS
15 lbc7+ is also strong. Also strong is 11 a6+ "'a8 (the a1~
15 . i.b6 ternative 11 ...<ittb8 is decisively met
16 c6! 1-0 by 12 ~b6 intending a7+) 12 c5
i.e5 13 c6 cJtb8 14 'itb6 +-.
Vuksanovic - Petrovich 11 ... i.n
Lvov 1993 12 c6+ <ittc8
13 lbc5 (D)

B .

~. ~ ,~


There followed:

The immediate 13 a6.la7 14 c7
1 tDe7+ Cit'd7! begs the question: what next?
1 as is also possible. 13 ... .lg3
1 ~b7? 14 lbd7 i.f2
Black intends to defend from the 15 lbb6+ Q;c7
back, but clearly 1... ~c5 is stronger 16 lbd5+ ~d6
(although insufficient to save the 16...ciPc8 leads to the same thing;
game). in any case White has to play the
2 ttJg6 i.d4 knight to c5 to win.
3 c;t>b4 <ifr>c6 17 lbf6 rJ;c7
4 ltJe7+ ~b6 18 lbe4 !i.a7
5 a5+ ~a6 If Black plays 18....tgl, there
6 ltJc6! would follow 19 lilc5 ~b8 20 a6
White must get his king to the b5~ i.h2 21 lDe6 i.g3 22 <itb6 and
square, after which the end is near. White wins.
136 An Unusual Endgame

19 ltJcs ~d6 Or 3... ~c7 4 ~c5 .tf3 5 liJb5+

After 19... ~c8 there follows 20 ~b8 6~b6+-.
liJe6, transposing into the variation 4 ~aS .to
shown above. 5 ~bS+ cJi>b8
20 ~a6! 6 ~b6 cltc8
A superb sacrifice. 7 a7
20 ... ~xcS There is no defence from 8 CiJc7.
21 ~b7 i.b8
22 a6 1-0 The next position is much more
Now let us turn to the position
with bishop and corner square the Averbakh,19S8
same colour. Averbakh analysed po-
sitions with the king on the fifth rank
many years ago.


Black to move. Curiously Black

is losing because he has insufficient
squares on the a8-hI diagonal. If it
were White to move he would win
by means of llbe6+ <it>d7 2 ~f4 and
The strongest continuation is: 3 ~b6, followed by pushing the c-
1 lbc2! i..d3 pawn after due preparation.
1...i.h3 2 a6 ~a7 (nothing is al- 1 ... ..tfi+
tered by 2../l;c7 3 lLla3 i.d7+ 4 2 <it'aS i.g2
<iti>c5 and 5 liJbS+, transposing into 3 ~b4!!
the main variation) 3 cwt>a5 i.c8 4 An unexpected zugzwang.
~b4 .id? 5 c5 i.e8 6 liJc2 .id7 7 3 i.e4
llJd4 and 8 lDb5+ and White wins There are two other possibilities:
easily. a) 3...i.d5 4 Cifi>b5 .ie4 5 lbe6+
2 ~ Jle2 <iitd7 6lbg5! and the king invades on
3 86 ~a7 b6.
An Unusual Endgame 137

b) 3....tfl 4 lDb5+ ~c6 5 a7! 1 ... lbd2+

citb7 6 c6+ ~a8 7 <it>a5! J.xb5 8 Alternatively 1...lbe5+ 2 ~g3 h5
~xb5 ~xa7 9 ~a5 <ii>a8 10 Cifi>a6 3 i.d5 h4+ 4 <it;>h3 lbg6 5 i.f3 <ittf4 6
<it>b8 11 ~b6 winning. i.h5 and the h4-pawn is lost.
4 l2Jb5+ <it>d7 2 ~g3 ltJe4+
After 4 ... ~c6 White plays 5 a7 3 ~f3 bS
<il;>d7 6 ~a5 and 7 <iitb6, etc. 4 i.c8
5 lbd6 .ta8 This move is awarded a question-
Alternatively 5...i.c6 (or to an- mark by Anikaev, who prefers 4
other square on the long diagonal) 6 i.a6 h4 5 <ittg2 ~g3 6 .tb7 ltJh5 7
<iitaS Q;c7 7 lDb5+ and White wins. .tf3 lZJf4+ 8 ~h2 lDd3 9 ~h3 lDel
6 ~4 ~c7 10 .i.c6 f4 11 i.b7 f3 12 i.c6 f2 13
7 ~b6 i.b5 drawing. However, White can
There is no defence from the a- still save the game after the move
pawn. played..
4 .o. h4(D)
Mikbalchishin - Anikaev
Nikolaev 1981

5 ~g2?
One of your authors cannot ex-
1 .i.b7! plain why he ceded ground to his
Anikaev indicates in Informator opponent's king. He should have
32 that after 1 i.d5? Black wins continued 5 i.b7 h3 6 .l.a6 ~f6
with 1... lbd2+ 2 Cit>g3 ltJe4+ 3 et>f3 (6... f4!? - editor's note) 7 i.b7 ~e5
(3 'iith3 <Jtf4 4 ~h4 ltJf6 5 ..te6 ~e4 8 i..c6 (not 8 i.c8? ~g5+! 9 ~g3
and then 6...f4 is no improvement) 'ite4 10 .ta6 ~e3 -+) 8...ltlg5+ 9
3...h5 4 ~c6 (4 .txe4 fxe4+ 5 ~xe4 <iitg3 f4+ 10 ~f2 ~d4 11 i.b7! ~d3
~g4 -+) 4...h4 5 .td7 tLxi2+ 6 ~e2 12 i.c6 ~d2 13 .ib7 f3 14 ~g3 h2
4Jc4 7 <iitf2 ~g4 and Black's king 15 i.xf3! lDxf3 16 q;g2 leading to a
reaches the necessary square. well-known theoretical draw.
138 An Unusual Endgame

5 <it>g4 7 'lie3 h3
6 ~h2 lZJd2 8 ..tb7 f4+
7 ..td7 tbn+ Another committal decision since
8 <it>g2 1tJe3+ there is no way forward onto the
9 <ith2 fourth rank. After 8...liJe4 9 ~f3
After 9 ~f2 there follows 9... ~f4 ~d4 10 .tc8 lDd6 11 .id? there is
10 ..tc8 h3 11 .id7 lbg4+ winning. no defence to 12 ~g3.
9 ... h3 9 ~f2 'ittd4 (D)
10 i.e6 ~h4
And Black won.

Olafsson - Ivanchuk
Reykjavik 1990

10 ..ta8??
In the corner the bishop loses its
manoeuvrability, unable now to con-
trol the h3-cS diagonal. On the other
hand, after 10 .tc6! ltJe4+ 11 Citf3
1 tZJg6 ~e5 12 i.d7lbg5+ 13 ~f2 'itte4 14
Unfortunately Black is forced to i.c6+ ~d3 15 ..tb5+ ~d2 16 i..c6
retreat. If White were to move then the position is drawn. The mistake
he would lose, as he would have to of White's tenth move allows a
allow the black king onto the fourth pretty finish.
rank - but knights cannot lose a 10 lbe4+
tempo. 11 ~f3 ~e5!
2 ~f3 It>f6 12 .tb7
Black reorganizes his king and White cannot play 12 i.xe4 be-
knight, as their former configuration cause of 12...h2 13 ~g2 ~xe4 14
was unpromising. 'ifi>xh2 ~e3.
3 ..tn ~eS 12 ... lbg3
4 ..tbS ltJf4 0-1
5 i.d7 ltJe6 There is no defence to the h-pawn
6 .tc8 ttJg5+ queening.
An Unusual Endgame 139

A very interesting and similar bI) After 2...lbf4 3 <li>e3lbxh3 4

endgame arose in the following i.b7 there arises one of the afore-
game. mentioned positions.
b2) Black has another possibility
Suetin - Stein which we had missed when publish-
Kislovodsk 1972 ing this position in New in Chess
magazine, namely 2...lbb6! 3 ~e3
lL\c4+ 4 ~d3 ~f4! and Black wins.
The game continued:
1 <iltf4
2 i.b7 lDe4+
3 ~g2 lPe3
4 i.c8 f4
5 i..a6 ~
6 i..bS f3+
7 ~gl ~r4
8 ~h2
Black's aim is to reach the g3-
1 i.c6? square with his king.
1 <iili'e3 is a better attempt. There S lDe4
follows l ...lLld5+ and then: 9 i.a6 lik3!
a) If White plays 2 i.xd5, then 10 ~gl
after 2... ~xd5 3 1i>f4 <ifi>e6 4 <it>g5 10 i..c4 is met by 10... ltJdl! with
<ite5 5 ~xh4 ~f4 6 ~h5 <li>g3 7 <ittg5 the idea of 11 ...lLle3 to be followed
f4 8 h4 f3 the black pawn queens. by 12... f2.
b) 2 <ifi>f2 and here Black must 10 ~g3
play precisely: 0-1
8 .:., lb and 4LS vs .:., ..t and 3LS on
the same wing

This is one of the least well analysed We have divided this chapter into
ending's in chess endgame theory; two parts; knight and four pawns
there is no clear idea of what the against bishop and three pawns;
stronger side's winning chances are, rook, knight and four pawns against
either with rooks or without. Only rook, bishop and three pawns. Is
Jonathan Speelman's book Endgame either of these endings winning?
Preparation touches on it; no other When should rooks be exchanged
endgame book deals with this posi- and when should the position be
tion. ECE gives only two positions. simplified into a rook endgame? The
Why are books written on the general plan is obvious: the opti-
endgame? In order to make definite mum positioning of pieces together
judgements of various positions on with advancing the pawn phalanx.
the basis of tournament practice and As in other endgames, the weaker
home analysis. The evaluation of side must strive to exchange pawns,
this type of position reminds me of and the stronger side pieces.
an episode in a certain literary work
in which two doctors were diagnos- ttJ+4~ V i.+38 on the
ing a patient's illness. One doctor
same wing
said 'The patient is more dead than
alive'. The other doctor said 'The
patient is more alive than dead'. Converting the material advantage
These evaluations aptly describe the of one pawn when all the pieces are
conclusions that some chapters on on the same flank can be very prob-
endgame theory reach. It is alto- lematic. It requires pure technique.
gether simpler to reach a correct and The weaker side has practically no
definitive evaluation of a position counterplay, but the stronger side
in opening theory, with its many also faces certain limitations: each
games, analyses and conclusions pawn exchange makes the draw
reached in works such as Informa- more likely. These endings on the
tor. Endgames often have too few same wing occur very frequently
practical examples, and also demand and are basically drawish. More
very accurate analysis. often than not there are also rooks on
1:t, lb and 4/j vs:' .i and 3[j on the same wing 141

the board, and rook and bishop usu- 3 ~ cM4

ally work together better than rook 4 .ia4 gS
and knight. However if the ending is S i..d7 lbfS
on one wing the power of the knight 6 .te8 f6
increases considerably since it can 7 .id7 ftJd4
attack both light and dark squares, 8 i.c8 eS
and there are no long range objects 9 ..tb7 fS
of attack on the other wing. There is Black chooses to create a passed
as yet no definite evaluation of this pawn on the e-file. However, he
type of position, although most ex- could have opted for another plan by
perts prefer the weaker side's draw- first playing his knight to d6, then
ing chances to the stronger side's advancing ...e4; after fxe4 tDxe4 a
winning chances. However, the sta- position from the game Lyskov-
tistics do not bear this out, as in fact Beilin, Moscow 1949 would have
winning chances are held at about been reached.

Chekhlov - Katisonok
Riga 1985

This game continued 1 .id7 (it is

stronger to play 1 <it?fl ~f4 2 i.c6
ttJc5 3 q.,f2 lbd3+ 4 <if(e2 lbe5 5
i.b7 <iltg3 followed by playing the
The pawn structure in this posi- knight to e5 and advancing the pawn
tion is clearly in Black's favour, but to f3) 1... <itte2 2 i.c8 ~g3 3 i.d7
the win is far from simple. Cite 1! 4 i.c8 lbe2+ 5 ~h2 ~f2 6
1 cj;>f6 .id7 ttJd4 7 ~hl f5 8 i.c8 f4 9 i.d7
2 ~gl f3 10 gxf3 ltJxf3 11 i.g4 ~g3 12
2 g3 is met by 2... g5, handicap- i.f5llJd4 13 .tg4ltJc2 14 <ifi>glltJe1
ping White with chronic weaknesses 15 i.e2 llJg2 followed by ...lDf4,
on f3 and g3. winning the white h-pawn.
2 ~eS Back to Chekhlov-Katisonok:
142 l:, 1tJ and 4!j vs l:, i. and 3~ on the same wing

10 .i.d5 e4 4 lbxh5+ ~g6

11 fxe4 fxe4 5 lbr6 <li>gS
12 .tb7 6 lLle8! i.f2
In this position the simplest way 7 lbd6 ~g6(D)
to win is 12... e3+ 13 <iii>fl <iti>g3 14
..td5 'it>h2!, for example 15 ..te4
ltJe6 16 ~e2ltJf4+ 17 ~xe3 ~g3 18
i.f5 lbxg2+ followed by ... li)f4 and
...l2Jxh3, or 15 .tc4 lbf5 16 ~e2
~xg2, winning easily.

Yurtaev - Serper
USSR 1988

8 <iti>c6?
Simpler was 8 e6 fxe6+ 9 '1txe6
f4 10 Cite5 i.g3 11 llJf5! ..th2 (or
11 ...f3+ 12lDxg3 fxg2 13liJe2 +-)
11l2Jh4+ ~h5 12llJf3 ..tg3 13 ~f5
followed by the knight tour l2Jd4-
8 ... ..td4
9 ltJc4 i.c3
White has an almost ideal posi- 10 ~d5 <iti>gS
tion with his extra pawn, more active 11 lbd6 ~g6
pieces and a strong pawn structure. 12 ltJbS i.b2
The plan is fairly simple: win the h5- 13 lDd4 <itgS
pawn. 14 g3 i.c3
1 lbe4 .tb6 15 lbf3+ ~g6
If Black plays 1...'ifi>g7 White 16 ~d6 i.b4+
would respond with 2 ~c6, threat- 17 ~d7 .i.c3
ening to bring his king to the e8- 18 e6!
square, hitting the f7 -pawn. Finally White hits upon the cor-
2 IS! pIS rect plan.
White was threatening both 3 f6 18 ... rxe6
and 3 fxg6 fxg6 4 ~d6 followed by 19 <iit>xe6 i.f6
e6. 20 lbeS+ i.xeS
3 lbf6+ q;g7 21 ~xeS ~gS
It, ttJ and 48 vs It, i. and 3~ on the same wing 143

22 h4+ ~g4 7 f4 <it'd6

23 h5 1-0 8 ltJc5?!
Better is 8 ltJb4 .tb7 9 lDc2 and
Romanishin - Balashov then lLle3 and f5, creating huge
Irkutsk 1986 problems for Black (Romanishin).
8 rJite7
9 eS .to
10 lLJe4 fxe5+
11 fxe5 (D)
If White plays 11 ~xe5 the pawn
ending after 11 ....txe4 12 ~xe4
~e6 is drawn.

1 ltJb4 ~e6
2 ~d4 .i.d7
3 lbd3 i.b5
4 lZ)f4+ q;f7
5 e4?!
According to Romanishin this ap-
parently obvious plan is faulty, and
he should instead have played 5 ~e3 11 .tg4
followed by lbd3, ~f4, g4 putting 12 lbcS .th3
Black in a dilemma over whether to 13 ~e4 i.g4
allow the weakening of his h-pawn 14 ~d3 i.f5+
after gxh5, or to exchange with 15 ~e2 .tbl
...hxg4, which would allow White to 16 ~f2 ~
form a passed pawn on the h-file. Al- 17 ~ ciie7
though the latter is the lesser of two 18 ~e3 .tc2
evils, defending this position would 19 ~f4 ~f7
be very tricky. 20 ~6
5 ... .tc6 White should try to make pro-
6 lZ)d3 gress by playing his knight to d4,
Another option for White is 6 g4 king to g5, then transferring the
hxg47 fxg4 g5 8 hxg5 fxg5 9lbh3, knight to f4, although this is prob-
but then 9....id7! holds the position. ably impossible to carry out.
6 ~e6 20 ... i.bl
144 :., ltJ and 4~ vs %1, .t and 3~ on the same wing

21 llJb4 r;e7 1 .ta4 ~eS

22 ~6+ ~e6 2 <l;e2?!
23 ttJd4+ <it>d5 White cedes ground voluntarily
24 lbrJ ~e6 rather than wait to be forced back-
25 ttJgS+ (D) wards - not a losing move but cer-
tainly showing the wrong spirit! 2
.td1 with the idea of i.f3 is clearly
2 .... <iitd4
3 ..i.b3 ttJd6
4 i.a4 eS
5 O?
White unnecessarily weakens his
pawn structure. He should have pre-
ferred the waiting move 5 J.b3.
5 lLlfS
6 ~f2
In this position Black made the White loses after 6 J.eSlbxg3+ 7
'natural'move: ~f2 tDf5 8 h5 gxh5 9 Ji.xt7 h4.
25 ~dS?? 6 <itd3
... but was forced to resign: 7 i.b3 ttJd6
26 /:[jf7 'itte6 8 g4 gS!
27 l2Jhs 1-0 9 hxgS bxg5 (D)
There is no defence from ~g5.
Instead Black could have drawn
with 25...r:/;e7.

Popchev - Cvitan
Dubrovnik 1990

10 .td5 ~d2
11 .ta2 f6
12 i..dS tDb5
Black can now cramp the white
king with a few knight manoeuvres.
:, tb and 4[j vs:, i. and 3~ on the same wing 145

13 ..tc6 lbc3 Some games can be very amus-

14 .tb7 lbdl+ ing. A fascinating endgame arose in
15 ~g2 ~e3 the following game:
16 <itg3 lbc3
17 i.c6? Novikov - Mikhalchishin
This loses to a surprising combi- Lvov 1987
nation. White could have continued
his resistance by playing 17 rltg2
lbe2 18 i..e4 ltJd4 19 <iitg3 and now
19... lbxf3 fails to 20 i.xf3 e4 21
.tg2 <it>d3 22 <it;f2, but Black could
maintain winning chances by means
of 19... ~e2 20 ~g2lbe6! followed
by ...ltJf4+, meeting Cittg3 with <iitfl
followed by ... ltJe2+ and <it;f2
picking up the f-pawn. After ltJf4+
White should retreat the king to gl,
but in that case Black has the re-
source ...ttJf4-d3-e1. White has doubled pawns but
17 . ttJe2+ paradoxically this gives him win-
18 ~g2 lbd4 ning chances.
19 .tb7 (D) 1 .tc4 ltJc3
The knight impedes the path of
the white king, but this is easily
2 Citifi ~f6
3 f3 ~e7
4 ~el ~4
5 ~d2 lbb6
6 ~d3 llks
Black's other defence 6...llJd7 is
no improvement, as White would re-
spond with 7 cJi>d4 ~d6 8 .i.bS lbf6
9 e4 fxe4 10 fxe4 rl;e7 11 eSlDg4 12
19 lDxfJ!! i.d3 rl;f7 13 <it>d5 followed by ~d6
A fantastic tactical solution! and e6(+). Black's general difficulty
20 i.xf3 e4 in this ending is the passivity of his
21 .idl <ittd2 knight, which White seeks to restrict
White is forced into a lost pawn as far as possible.
ending, and therefore he resigned. 7 ~d4 ~7
146 It, ltJ and 4!j vs 11, JL and 3/j on the same wing

8 ~cS ltJc8 20 ~f3!

9 e4 (D) White's triangulation helps over-
come any remaining resistance.
20 ~h6
21 ~f4 rtig7
22 <itgS 1-0
Accurate work!

With Rooks
USSR 1976

9 .. fxe4
Of course Black does not want to
undouble the white pawns, but oth-
erwise his lack of space would
quickly become fatal: 9...lLkt6 10 e5
~e8 11 ~c6 !tJg7 12 ~c7 ltJe8+ 13
Clitc8 tbg7 14 .ld5 ttJe8 15 i..c6IJg7
16 .id? <li>f8 17 ~d8 rt;f7 18 i.c8
ltJe8 19 e6+ ~f8 20 e7+ q;f7 21
10 fxe4 ttJd6 1 . g5!?
11 ~d4 A surprise! Reducing pawns usu-
12 i.d3 is also fully playable. ally favours the weaker side, but
11 ... ltJe8 Averbakh intends cramping White's
12 e5 ll:Jg7 bishop and pawns.
13 .ld3 tbe6+ 2 hxg5 bxgS
14 <iPe3 ll)f8 3 i.b7 g4
15 i..c2! 4 .taB?
Zugzwang! This is passive according to Aver-
15 ... <iiie6 bakh, who prefers 4 :b5, attempting
16 ~d4 rt;e7 to hinder Black's pawn advances.
17 fS! gxf5 4 :.a4
18 .txfS 5 .tb7 15
Look at the poor black knight. 6 :'c2 :'&3
18 ... cj;f7 7 J:b2 r:J;f7
19 ~e4 rJ;g7 8 l:c2 ~6
1:, ltJ and 4~ vs %I, ..t and 3~ on the same wing 147

9 l:[b2 lbf3! (D) 19 <it>h3

A fascinating decision, as 9 ltJc4 20 g4 f4!
or 9... tLJd3 with ...e6-e5-e4, or e6- 0-1
e5 and ...f5-f4 to follow, looks like
the natural way forward. Adorjan - Tseshkovsky
Riga lZ 1979

10 i.xC3
It was worth trying 10 l:b6, hin- 1 ~
dering the advance of the e-pawn. The plan of gaining space by
10 gxC3+ playing 1 g4 and then h4 and ~f2
11 <it>d2 eS looks good.
12 :b8 ~g5 1 . h5
13 :g8+ ~h5 The late International Master Lev
14 ltg7 Aronin considered this plan faulty,
Alternatively 14 :h8+ ~g4 15 recommending a different defensive
lth4+ <itg5, with a decisive advan- set-up with 1...g5. This seems dubi-
tage for Black. ous, however, as after 2 g4 ~g6 3
14 .. e4 :b3 followed by ltb6+, ~g3 and
15 1%g8 h4, Black's position is very difficult,
Here the quickest road to victory if it can be defended at all.
is 15...e3+! 16 fxe3 :al. In the game 2 h4 .ta6
Black won after: 3 :00 :a7
15 ... l:tb3 4 :'c2 i..d3
16 :g7 ltd3+ 5 l:.d2 .i.c4
17 ~el %td8 6 e4 :al
18 :h7+ ~g4 Why not 6... :a2
7 ':xa2 i.xa2
19 :g7+? reaching the position from the game
White could have offered more Romanishin-Balashov?
resistance by 19 :h4+ ~g5 20 lIh7. 7 ~e3 f6
148 :, llJ and 4~ vs .:, .t and 3!3s on the same wing

Donaldson criticizes this move, Portisch - Pritchett

although he approves of Black's de- Buenos Aires OL 1978
fensive system.
S cl;f4 :a5?
Black should play his rook to his
second rank and await White's plan.
9 It.)c6 :c5
10 :d7+ <if;f8
11 :d6 i.bS (D)

The bishop is a different colour

from that in the Adorjan-Tseshkov-
sky game. Now White could opt for
a plan of :b3, h2-h3, f2-f4, <it>f3,
ltJe4 and, when appropriate, g4. Por-
tisch tries another method.
1 ~ :e7
12 ltJb4 g5+ 2 :b3 :00
Although Black would be forced 3 tlJe4 !Le7
to exchange rooks after 12... ~e7 13 4 :b7 :e5
llb6 .tc4 14 lDc6+ ~f7 15 ~e3, 5 :Id7 :00
this would have been better than 6 llJc3 .lfS
what happened in the game. 7 ltJe2 :e7
13 ~e3 fS? 8 ':'d3 :eS
Desperation. 13...rJ;f7 is better. 9 ltJf4 lle7
14 hxgS fxe4 10 1td5 :e7
15 f4 h4 11 lbd3 :c6
16 J:[dS! lIc3+ 12 e4!
17 <it>d2 J%g3 After some stalling White gets on
18 hbS hg2+ with his plan.
19 <i1te3 h3 12 :&6
20 :b6 1%g2 13 ~e3 ~g8
21 :f6+ q;g7 14 h3 i.b6+
22 lZ)ds 15 f4 :aJ
Black resigned, having shown a 16 g4 bxg4
fantastic lack of any defensive plan. 17 hxg4 i.g7?
:, lLl and 4~ vs :, .t and 38 on the same wing 149

Probably a decisive error. Black The simplest path to victory, as

must play 17...f6, trying to avoid be- discussed earlier, is to calculate the
ing completely squeezed by White's pawn ending carefully.
pawns. 31 . lIb7
18 lId8+ ~h7 32 .:txh7+ ~xh7
19 g5 :a1 33 'ittg5 <ili>h8
20 eS 34 ~g6 <it>g8
Now the bishop has been made 3S f7 + Citi1S
totally passive it is time to bring the 36 ~f6 eS
knight to either d6 or f6. 37 ~eS et;xf7
20 ... :gl 38 ~fS! 1-0
21 liJcS :tg3+
22 lPf2 :.aJ Romanishin - Gipslis
23 ~ Jurmala 1987
Also winning is 23 liJb7 with the
idea of ltJd6 and .:td7.
23 :&2+
24 <ifi>g3 :&3+
2S ~g4 :&4
26 lhf6+ ..txl6
27 gxf6 (DJ

All the black pieces are placed

perfectly while the white knight
seems to have no good squares. Per-
haps White should try to activate his
knight by playing 1 ~b8and 2lL\d7,
followed by lL)cs or ~e5 depending
on where Black puts his bishop. In-
Compare this position to the Nei- stead of this White went for the
Averbakh game. breakthrough:
27 ... :a6 1 g4 hxg4+
28 :1'8 :a7 2 hxg4 i.h4!
29 e6! fxe6 Unexpectedly threatening mate.
30 :e8 ~h6 3 llJe7+ i.xe7
31 :h8+! 4 :txe7 ~
150 Il, llJ and 4~ vs 1:, ..t and 3~ on the same wing

5 :c7 2 h4 l:[b7
5 :e5 is slightly better, forcing 3 ~ l%b3
the exchange on g4, although after 4 llc4 11a3!
5...fxg4+ 6 ~xg4 ~f7 this ending 5 lbb4 :a4
should finish in a draw. 6 :e4 hS
S l:[d6 Black tries to avoid simplifying
6 lIb7 :e6! into a minor piece ending, as after
7 gxfS gxf5 6...i.c3 7 llx15 ltxe4 8 'it>xe4 i.el 9
8 ~e2 1:te7! h5 White threatens f5. After 9...h6
9 :b5 10 f5 Black should play 10...gxh5
The pawn ending after 9 %txe7+ 11 gxh5 but now White threatens f5-
rl;xe7 10 ~d3 <it>d7! is drawn. f6, ~f5 and e3-e4-e5-e6. The only
9 :17 defence to this is 11 ....th4, but after
10 ~d3 r/;g7 12 <ifi>f4 it is zugzwang: 12...i.g5+
11 Citd4 :d7+! loses to 13 ~e5. Therefore Black
12 :dS 1:.17 must play 12...f6. White then plays
13 ~cS l:tc7+! 13 ~e4 ~f7 14 ~d4 ~e8 15 ~c5
14 <iitd6 l:c3 ~d7 16ltJb6+ rJ;c7 17lbc4 ~d7 18
Draw ~d5, followed by e3-e4, transfer-
ring the knight to c5, the king to c6,
Magerramov - Annageldiev and then playing the knight to d5.
Pavlodar 1987 By gradually reaching a position
with <iti>e6, the win becomes simple:
the knight is played to d7 and the
pawn pushed to e5. Black's idea in
the game is to give White a weak-
ness on h4.
7 gS i.c3
8 lbd3 :a7
Once again Black avoids ex-
changing rooks, since after 8...:xe4
9 <iitxe4 the white king goes to d5
and the pawns to e4 and f5, threaten-
ing to win by f6 and e4-e5-e6.
1 f4 9 :'c4 .i.al
White gains space immediately, 10 e4
but perhaps the knight should be po- A critical position; 10 i5!? de-
sitioned more actively first by 1 :'c4 serves serious attention; 10...gxf5 is
and ~a2-b4-d5. met by 11lbf4, and if 10...f6 then 11
1 :b3 ':'c6 gxf5 12lbf4.
:, liJ and 48 vs .:, i. and 3~ on the same wing 151

10 . f6!? (D) After 17 lIf6+, 17... ~g7 fails to

There is no other way of defend- 18 lbe6+ ~h7 19 ltJf8+ and then
ing against e5, ~e4 and f5. ltJxg6, so Black must play 17... ~e7
18 llJd3 l%a4+.
17 ~e8
18 e6 .ib4
19 ltXl7
An artificial move; 19 lbd3 i.d6
20 :g7 is more natural.
19 ~e7!
20 lbeS+ ~xe6
21 :c6+ <:3;e7
22 :'c4
It would be interesting to ask
whether 22 lbxg6+ <l;d7 23 :f6
11 e5 i.d6 24 ltJf4 :a4+ is winning.
11 f5 deserves serious attention; 22 <it>d6
if 11 .. Jla3 then 12 :c7+ (perhaps 23 :d4+
stronger is 12 <itfe2 lta2+ 13 <lte3 In this position 23 ~xg6 is met
%%h2 14 :c7+ ~g8 ISlt.Jf4 IIxh4 16 by 23... i.el.
:cS+ tig7 17llJe6+ ~f7 18 :'c7+ 23 ~e6
~eS 19 fxg6 fxg5 20 g7 and again 24 ltJc6 i.el
White is better) 12...<it>gS 13 <it>e2 25 ltJxaS i.xa5
gxf5 14 exfS :a5 15 liJc5 i..d4 16 White has an extra exchange, but
':cS+. there are enormous difficulties in
11 fxeS winning this position. An attractive
12 fxe5 rJ;f7 continuation is 26 '.fi>f3 and 27 l:le4+
13 <t>e4 1:.aS forcing 27.. .rJ;f7. The white king
Black attacks the e5-pawn in an goes to d7; meanwhile the black
attempt to hinder White's progress. bishop occupies the g3-square. Then
14 :c7+ ~e8 White loses a tempo to give Black
15 llJcs the move; he is forced to play
Also possible is the exchange into ...rt;g7, to which White replies ~e6
a minor piece ending with 15 ':'c5 f6-g6 winning. White's plan in the
l:xc5 16 lbxc5 i.c3 17 lDd3 ..td2 18 actual game only led to a draw.
~d5 et;e7 19 e6 followed by l'iJe5, 26 1:c4 i.el
winning. 27 1:tc6+
15 i.c3 It is still not too late to try 27 ~f3
16 l:c6 ~f7 and 28 ::te4.
17 :'c7+ 27 . rJ;;f7
%:. ~ and 48 vs .:, i. and 38 on the same wing 153

26 :e8+ ~6 54 ltd4 :'f6

However 26... <il?f4 is refuted by 55 .tb7 ~g6
27 ~f2. 56 :d8 :e6+
27 :18+ ~g6 57 ~d2 ltJa
28 l%g8+ ~h6 58 :Ld4 <i>gS
29 i.dS :c2+ 59 .la8
30 ~e3 :'c3+ White's position gives an impres-
31 ~f2 llJcs sion of overwhelming passivity.
32 i.f3 tDd7 59 .. :f6
33 l:d8 lbf6 60 ~el liJhl
34 %ld6 ~gJ 61 1:d8 :b6 (D)
3S <itte2
35 g3 g4 36 i.g2 lbh5 is danger-
ous for White, leaving the g3-pawn
3S g4
36 .tb7 lbhS
37 ~el 1te3+
38 <i1tf2 lIc3
39 ~el :e3+
40 ~ :b3
41 .ta8 ltJg3
42 l:e3+
43 62 l:.d4?
Now 43 ~f2 is met by 43 ...f4 Why not 62 :g8+ trying to stop
with the crushing threat of ...lte2+ the f4-pawn?
and ...l%el. 62 lbg3
43 :a3 63 ~d2 lbn+
44 i.b7 :a2 64 ~e2 lbe3
45 :d4 lbhl 65 l%d2 ~h4
46 ~el :al+ 66 <ifi12 :b3
47 ~e2 :gl 67 i.e4 :'a3
48 :d6 :bl 68 i.c6 lbfS!
49 .la8 :b3 68...g3 is premature; it is difficult
SO :d3 :b2+ to see how Black can make progress
51 ~el ltb8 after 69 ~e2 !tal 70 .lf3 %lfl 71
52 .tc6 ftb6 .tb7.
S3 .la8 f4! 69 1%b2 :al
After a long series of manoeuvres 70 :b4
Fischer gets on with an active plan. Alternatively 70 %:td2liJg3 -+.
154 :, ltJ and 4~ vs lI, .1 and 3~ on the same wing

70 :&2+ 8 %181 ttJeS

71 ~el ~g3 9 ..te2 <i!tf6
The invasion of the king decides 10 :a6+ <itfS
the outcome of this titanic struggle. 11 :81 1tb3
72 :b3+ lDe3 12 :as :b2
73 ..te4 <ifth2 13 <ite3 ~6
74 :b4+ lDxg2+ 14 :a6+ 'i;g7
7S i.xg2 ~xg2 15 :d6 :81
76 :xf4 g3 16 lidS ~6
77 :g4 ~f3 17 :bS :a3+
78 :g8 :al+ 18 Ciitf2 1:a4
0-1 19 l:b6+ <it>f5
20 :bS ~e4
In the following game Beliavsky 21 ltb2 :d4
demonstrates the correct way of de- 22 :81 :b4
fending rook, bishop and two pawns 23 ..tf3+! ~r5
against rook, knight and three. 24 i.e2 lbc6
25 .to ttJeS
Beliavsky - Yusupov 26 i..e2 lbd7
USSR 1980 27 :as+ <iW6
28 :'a6+ q;g7
29 :85 lbf6
30 :81 ltJe4+
31 'itg2 fS (D)

The play needs no commentary.

1 i..dS lL)f5
2 i..o :a4
3 i..dl :a3
4 i..o ~g7 Finally Black starts his plan of
5 l:[b2 %lc3 threatening ...f5-f4, aiming to de-
6 :81 lbd6 stroy White's pawn structure and
7 :d2 lbc4 win the h4-pawn.
:, llJ and 4~ vs :., .t and 3~ on the same wing 155

32 i.f3 lbd6 56 <iti>gl Itd4

33 :e2 :td4 57 i.h3 et.g7
34 :eS ttJc4 58 ~h2 h4
3S :c5 :d2+ S9 <itg2 l:td3
36 ~gl llJe3 60 :a7+ clth6
37 :c3 ltJc2 61 lta6 ttJc4
38 :c7+ <iitr6 62 1:a8 llJe3+
39 :00+ ~g7 63 <iWl lbdl+
40 ':c7+ ~h6 64 ~g2 Draw
41 i.d5 llJe3
42 .to f4 Chandler - Karpov
43 gxf4 :d4 Reykjavik 1991
Perhaps 43 ...liJf5 was worth try-
44 oUe7 lDfS
4S :e4 lbxh4
46 i.hl (D)

1 :d2?!
According to Karpov 1 :b6 is
best, chasing the black knight.
1 .. lIbS
2 <it>r2 ~g6
46 ... :dl+ 3 l:d6 l:[b2+
46.. Jld2 is better. 4 %1d2 :b4
47 ~h2 liJr5 5 :81?
48 :a4 :d2+ Karpov recommends 5 :d6 llJd4
49 ~h3 %ld3+ 6 i.xd4 exd4, exchanging into a
SO ~h2 :d2+ rook ending with a passed d-pawn,
51 ~h3 llJe3 which is also incorrectly evaluated
52 :a3 ltJc4 by theory.
53 :a6 I1d3+ 5 hS
S4 ~h2 lbd6 6 ~el h4
55 i.g2 1:d2 7 :d2 <iti'fs
156 .:, lb and 4~ vs 1:l, .i. and 3~ on the same wing

8 ltc2 ttJr4 Karpov considers the best line as

9 .id2 23 .te3 f4 24 i.d2ltJd4 25 ..telltJf5
The rook ending is clearly lost af- 26 l:d2+ <ili>c4 27 :c2+ <Jtd5 28 ..td2
ter 9 .ixf4 <itxf4, followed by ... g5, lZJg3 29 ..tel and White is still hold-
...f5 and ...e4. ing the position.
9 ... :a4 23 lZXi4?
10 ~n ltJh5 23 ... lbf4! wins thus: 24 .td2 g5
11 <&tf2 lbg3 25 ..txf4 gxf4 26 :b5 :a2+ 27 'ifi>gl
12 i.el <it>e6 e4 28 %:.d5+ ~e2 29 ':xf5 e3 30
13 1:[b2 !tJfS l%xf4 .:tal + 31 <it>h2 <iti>f2 32 :xh4
14 %lb6+ ~d7? llgl!.
After 14...<i!i>d5 15 ':b5+ <&t>c4 16 24 %%d2+ <&t>c4
:a5 :xaS 17 i.xa5 ~d3 the ending 2S :b2 e4
should be easily winning for Black, 26 fxe4 fxe4
who has the simple plan of ...f5 and 27 .td2 <li>d3
...e5-e4-e3. 28 i.f4! :1a3
15 :b2 ~c6 29 %td2+ ~c4
16 :'e2+ \t>dS 30 lIb2 lbrs
17 :d2+ lbd4 31 l:c2+ ~d4
18 :b2 <it>e4 32 :d2+ ~c3!
19 ~n :al 33 l:e2 :a4
20 tJi>n fS 34 :lel
21 i.b4 34 :d2 is countered by 34...ltJg3!
21 i.d21oses to 21 ... ~d3 22 .i.g5 35 q;el tl)f5 :+ (Karpov).
f4 23 ..txh4 <it'c3 24 :tb7lbf5! -+. 34 . :a2+
21 ... lDe6 35 ~n
22 ..td2 <ittd3 (D) The ending arising from 35 Z%e2
:!xe2+ 36 ~xe2 ~d4 37 i.c7 e3 is
lost for White.
3S .. 'itd3
36 :dl+ ~c4
37 :lel + <ii>dS
38 ltdl + Ciite6
39 :el %184
40 <ifilf2 ~6
41 l:e2 gS
42 i.el?
The only move, according to Kar-
pov, is 42 !Lc7.
23 ..tel?! 42 ... :c4
1I, It.J and 48 vs It, i. and 38 on the same wing 157

43 : t e l : c 2 + 47 .. J:a2 48 J:bl <ittg6 49 :b6+

44 <iitgl (D) ~h5 50 i.c5 e3 -+ is correct.
48 <ifi>n tbf4?
The final mistake. 48...ltJg3+ 49
<it>gll:ta2! was again correct.
49 :al ltJxg2
SO :85+ ~e6
51 :a6+! et>dS
Alternatively 51 ... <iftn 52 i.xg5
e3 53 1:.f6+ rJ;;g7 54 :te6 =.
S2 :85+ ~c4
53 :a4+ ~c3
S4 i.xg5 e3
55 .tf6+! ~b3
44 . tbg3? S6 l:e4 :tf2+
Karpov considers 44...<iPg6 to be 57 ~gl :xf6
a winning move, after which White 58 ~xg2 :.t2+
has three possibilities: 59 'itfgl ltf3
a) 45 ~fl? ~g3+ 46 <ifi>gl :xcl 60 <ittg2 :tg3+
and Black wins. 61 ~! :xh3
b) 45 ~h2lLlg3 -+. 62 ~e2 <ifta2
c) 45 i.xg5 ~xg5 46 l:xe4 %le 1+ 63 ltd4 ~a3
47 ~f2 :fl+ 48 ~xfl lLlg3+ 49 64 lle4 ~b3
~f2 lLlxe4+ 50 ~f3 et>f5 51 q;e3 65 :f4 :hl
~g5 52 ~f2 ~e4 and again Black is 66 ~xe3 h3
winning. 67 <iftf2 ~c3
45 i.e3 tJi>g6 68 ~g3 lltd3
45...11a2! is better. 69 lIh4 Draw
46 i.f2 ~fS At long last, and after so many
47 ..te3 ~2+? mistakes!
9 Rook against Bishop

In the majority of positions, espe- the creation of connected passed

cially endgame positions, the rook is pawns.
clearly stronger than a bishop. How- 4 %:te8
ever sometimes the bishop holds its 4...%lc6 is met by 5 c4 bxc4 6 b5
own or is even better than a rook. and White wins.
There is one fairly rare method of S c6+ Clt>c8
converting an advantage which in- 6 c4 l:eS+
volves sacrificing the exchange for a 7 et>d4 bxc4
pawn. 8 <ifi?xc4 lIe2
9 b5 lIc2+
TaI- Bronstein 10 ~d5 :&2
Moscow 1974 11 i.c3 1txg2
12 b6 1:a
13 b7+ ~b8
14 i.xf6 1-0

Converting an extra exchange

into victory can be either straightfor-
ward or difficult, depending on the

Beliavsky - Lobron
Munich 1991

1 1:xdS! cxdS
2 ~d4 r;e7
If Black plays 2...%le8 White
would respond 3 c6 :e6 4 ~c5 ~e7
5 ~b6 and there is no defence to 6
~b7 and the advance of the c-pawn.
3 ~xdS ~d7
4 b4!
This reinforces White's queen..
side pawn structure and prepares for
Rook against Bishop 159

Black has the unpleasant threat of Converting an extra exchange

advancing his pawns on the queen- into a win is also far from simple, as
side to the fourth rank and then play- bishop plus pawn are always ready
ing ... b3, creating serious problems to create a counter-attack.
for White. Therefore White must get
his king in the action as quickly as Beliavsky - Ivanovic
possible. Cetinje 1992
1 f4! i.c3
This looks good, but in fact only
reduces the bishop's mobility. Better
was 1...i.f6.
2 :d3 b4
3 <ti2 i.b2
Clearly Black's plan is to play
...a4, and ...b3, meeting axb3 with
...a3, but White finds a clever way of
preventing this.
4 q;e2 i.f6
Black finally realizes that the best
place for the bishop was f6. If he in- White should play 1 a4 <ittg5 2
stead plays 4 ...a4, White would re- :e4 with a later exchange on b5 and
ply 5 %:1d8 b3 6 axb3 a3 7 :la8 and activation of his king. In the game
the advance of the a-pawn is halted. White underestimated the strength
S :e3+! ~d5 of the black position.
6 ~d3! a4 1 ~d3 as!
7 :e4 ~cS 2 :e4 CiPgS
The advance of the b-pawn gives 3 a4
Black a lost kingside ending. In any case White is forced to
8 1tc4+ ~bS play a4 as Black was threatening to
9 %le7 b3 himself advance with 4... a4 and
10 axb3 <ittb6 5 ...b4 after which he could make a
Black wants to push the pawn as breakthrough at any point
far as possible by tactical means. 3 bxa4
Now 10... a3 is met by 11 %la? 'ittb4 3...b4? would be a mistake, as af-
12 Cittc2 and then 13 :a4+. ter 4 %le8 and 5 %la8 White's a-pawn
11 :xt7! a3 would certainly be stronger than
12 ~e2! a2 Black's h-pawn.
13 :xf6+! 4 b4+!
The pawn ending is hopeless. 4 :xa4? is bad, allowing 4...-tb4
Black resigned. and5 ... ~h4.
160 Rook against Bishop

4 <MS 16 .l%h6 i.d8

5 :xa4 i.b4 Not falling for the trap 16...h2?
6 :al ~e5! 17 l:g6! +-.
6...<iti>g4? is a mistake, allowing 17 :tg6+ ~f2
the rook to dominate the board after Draw
7 %lel i..d6 8 J:tc4+.
7 ~c4 (D) When the pawns are on the same
Alternatively 7 l:gl i..e7! =. wing it would appear that drawing
chances are slim, however...

Khasin - Filipenko
Moscow 1985

7 i..e7
8 ]haS i.xh4
9 :a7 i.d8
9... ~d6 is bad, allowing 10 :a6+
and 11 :h6, winning the h5-pawn. White's position looks like it
10 :a8 .tf6 should be winning, but analysis
11 :18 h4! shows that Black can build a for-
Better than 11 ...i.e7 12 :e8 <iPd6 tress. The game continued:
13 :h8 h4 14 Ith6+ ~d7 15 Cit>d4 1 l:bS g6
i.g5 16 llh5 i.f6+ 17 'ifi'e4 et>d6 18 2 <t>e3 f6
:h6+ ~e7 19 et>f5 and Black loses a 3 ~d4 i.h3
pawn. 4 J:b6 i.g4
12 :17 ~5! S ~cS i.h3
A timely activation; by giving up 6 J:d6 i.g4
a pawn and coming to the help of his 7 <ittc6 i.f3+
own passed pawn the black king se- 8 ~c7 i.g4
cures a draw. 9 llb6 i.h3
13 :'xc7 h3 10 ltd6 i.g4
14 llh7 ~g4 11 1td3 .th3
15 d6 'ltg3 12 :e3+ cj;f7
Rook against Bishop 161

13 ~d6 ..tg4 6 !iLa7 l:.d8+

14 :e7+ 'itfS 7 ~e2 lld6
15 :a7 i.h3 8 i.n ~c4
White cannot make any further 9 i..el ':a6
progress, and therefore the players 10 <iPe3 Ital
agreed a draw. 11 i.g3 (D)
White is finally forced to switch
In principle any normal configu- his bishop to the other diagonal, or
ration of three versus three on the else Black would simplify into a
same wing should be easily won for won pawn ending.
the stronger side. Examples can be
found in any endgame book. An in-
teresting variation on this. position
occurred in the following game.

Dorfman - Anikaev
Volgodonsk 1981

11 <i1tc3
12 ~e2 l:gl
13 ~f2 :dl
The exchange 13..J%xg3 is pre-
mature, allowing White to draw by
utilizing the distant opposition: 14
~xg3 ~d3 15 ~h3! =.
1 rJ;f7 14 ~e2 ~c2
2 .tb6 ~e6 15 <Jt>e3 :d3+
3 ~e2 ~d6 16 ~e2 :d2+
4 <ittd3 ~c6 17 <itel ~d3
Black should control the a3-fS di- 18 .in 1Ixf2!
agonal, preventing the bishop from Now this combination works! Ex-
hitting the f6-pawn. White's main changing into pawn endings re-
problem is his lack of available quires great care.
squares on the gl-a7 diagonal, how- 19 cJtxf2 <j(d2
ever hard this may be to believe! White resigned, as the black king
5 .lgl ~b5 will capture the f3-pawn.
162 Rook against Bishop

Chiburdanidze - Gaprindashvili 7 :h8 h6

Pitsunda Wch wom 1978 8 ~d6 ~g6
9 rt;e7 hS
10 :g8+ 'it>f5
11 :g7 ~f4
12 l:xn ~xf3
13 :h7
13 :g7 would be answered by
13 ... h4
14 %lg7 ~g3
15 :xg5+ <iL'xh3
16 <t>d6
There is an easier win with 16 f7
1 fS! i.xf7 17 Q;xf7 ~h2 18 <itf6 h3 19
Of course White's first task is to ~e5 <ifthl 20 ~f4 h2 21 ~g3.
liquidate the doubled pawns, al- 16 <it>h2
though as the game shows this move 17 <l;e5 h3
also serves to cramp the black posi- 18 <it>f4 i.f1
tion. 19 <t>f3 i.c4
1 ... rJ;g7 20 'iitf2 i.e6
2 f6+! 21 .:tg7 Clithl
After 2 fxg6 fxg6 it would be far 22 :th7 1-0
more complex for White to win. She
would have had to play her king to And now, here is an interesting
g5, then h4 and f4, while the black endgame with two pawns each.
bishop was on the bl-h7 diagonal,
followed by h5. This would lead to Benjamin - Tseshkovsky
the well-known winning position Somerset 1986
from the Polugaevsky-Gligoric game.
2 ~h6
3 ~f4 gS+
4 ~eS Cili>hS
The only chance is to attack the
white pawns.
5 :d8 i.c2?!
Clearly better is 5...i..b3 and
6....te6, although this is also insuffi-
cient to draw.
6 :f8 .ib3
Rook against Bishop 163

1 :g8 iLg7 21 ~d3 .tf4

2 <iPf3 i.h6 22 1:a8 ~f6
3 ~e4 .i.g7 23 rJ;e4 i..cl
4 :c8 .th6 24 llc8 iLd2
5 :b8 i.g7 25 :d8 .th6
6 l%g8 .th6 26 :tg8 ~e6
7 1tgl !Lg7 27 :h8 i.g7
8 :hI i.h6 28 :e8+ ~f6
9 1%h4 29 %lg8 i.h6
White has reorganized his troops 30 ~dS! (D)
so that the rook can hold the f4-
pawn and is ready to support the
passed h5-pawn. The question is
now whether a king raid into the en-
emy camp will bring victory.
9 rJ;e7
10 ~d4
White starts to carry out his plan,
although 10 f5 was also entirely pos-
sible, which would lead to a position
arising later.
10 .. ~f6
11 <t>c5 eS? White has achieved the minor
Black himself goes for the posi- victory of seizing the d7-square and
tion shown above, although he could somewhat cramping the black king.
have played 11 .. /iti>f5 12 'iPd6 f6 13 30 i.f4
1ite7 e5, with counterplay. 31 :g4 i.h6
12 fxeS+ ~xe5 32 <3a>d6 ~5
13 J:g4 ~e6 33 %lg8 <iW6
14 ~c6 q;;e7 34 citd7 i..g7
15 :tg8 ~e6 3S ~e8 i.h6
16 .1:h8 i..cl 36 :g2 i.g7
17 :e8+ 37 :gl! i.h6
17 h6 ~f6 18 h7 ri;g7 is insuffi- 38 :fi+ rJ;g7
cient as there is no rook move that After 38...c.ti>g5 39 ~xf7 ~xh5 40
attacks the black bishop. :hl+ ~g5 41 :h2! Black loses his
17 Cltf6 bishop because of zugzwang.
18 :g8 ~e6 39 :xt7+ ~g8
19 ~c5 ~eS 40 ~e7 i.g7
20 ~c4 i.h6 41 h6!
164 Rook against Bishop

A typical winning manoeuvre, additional resource of h3 and g4.

taking control of the g6-square. Miles' plan of not allowing the black
41 i.xh6 king to get to el is fairly risky, be-
42 <li16 .tg5+ cause if it fails, he will be deprived
43 ~g6 .th4 of any active counterplay, unable to
44 :f4 .tg3 attack the enemy pawns.' Therefore
45 1%g4! 1-0 the best chance was 1 <ili>e2, followed
by 2 i..b3 and 3 ~, heading for the
Miles - Polugaevsky position described above.
RigalZ 1979 1 ct>d2 <li16
2 .to ~eS
3 i.g2 :&2+
4 ~el ~d6
5 .tf3 ~cS
6 ..tg2
White's defensive plan is very
passive, and passivity never works.
6 ... :b2
7 .in :bl+
8 ~e2 Citc4
9 i.g2 1:.b2+
10 <iftel <it>c3
In this position White must coun- 11 .tn (D)
terattack the weak black pawns. If
the fS-pawn were on g6, then Black
would have no problems in convert-
ing his material advantage. Poluga-
evsky writes: 'Most of all we were
worried about a white king on f3,
from where it could go to f4 at the
right moment, attacking the black
pawns. To destroy White's position
the black king has to go all the away
around to the f2-pawn. But at that
moment when the black king is most
distant from his own pawns the This is the position that Miles
white bishop will start to attack the thought was unassailable. Although
black pawns from h5 or e8, and fur- Black cannot reach the f2-pawn, he
thermore the white king will be free now takes the bull by the horns:
to join in. This is not to mention the 11 eS!
Rook against Bishop 165

12 i.g2 f6 The presence in this position of h-

13 i.h3 f4 pawns can only make the win easier.
14 exf4 exf4 22 .in hS!
15 i.g4 23 .ta6 :b3+
The first step in Black's plan is 24 ~g2 h4(D)
accomplished; there remains only to
force White to capture on f4, after
which Black's position will be won.
Black cannot play the immediate
15...fxg3 as after 16 hxg3 the posi-
tion is drawn.
15 .. ~d3 (DJ

25 i.c8
If White had played 25 h3 then
Polugaevsky would have responded
by advancing his pawn to f4, forcing
the bishop onto the hI-a8 diagonal.
Then the black king would follow
the route e5-d4-c5-b4-a3-b2-cl-d2
16 i.fS+ ~d4 with the rook on c3 White will not
17 gxf4 be able to play ~fI because of f3,
White has little choice as 17...f3 which means that the black king will
was threatened, and 17 i.g4 is met reach el.
by 17... ~e4. 25 . fS
17 CitdS! 26 .td7! :c3!
18 ~ The last trap was 26...h3+ 27 ~fl
18 .tg6 is countered by 18..JIb4 1:a1+ 28 ~e2 JIb1 29 .tc6 1Ixh2 30
19 f5 :h4. ~ft, with a draw. The advance of
18 ... :b4 the f-pawn with the king on e4 must
19 ~g2 :xf4 be prepared, taking the ht-a8 diago-
20 .td3 :b4 nal away from the bishop.
21 <i>f3 <ifi>eS 27 ..te8 'iti>e4
This position is similar to the 28 i.hS f4
Polugaevsky-Gligoric game given in 29 Citn ~d3
the book Grandmaster Preparation. 0-1
166 Rook against Bishop

When there is increased material 5 hxg4 .too

on the board with an extra minor 6 ~g3 <1;17
piece, endgames on the same wing 7 :a6 llXl3
become particularly difficult. B lack decides to reorganize his
defensive set-up, intending to attack
Karpov - Beliavsky the f3-pawn from e5, although this
Moscow 1983 is hardly appropriate in the present
8 %la7+ ~g6
9 :e7 i.dS
10 ltJd6!
Black cannot play ...f5 without
the g5-pawD becoming a decisive
weakness, although now White's f5-
knight powerfully cramps Black's
10 ... llJes
11 llJfS .tf7
12 ~ liJc4 (D)
Black's pawn structure is favour-
able, but nevertheless White has
plans to improve his position.
1 f6?
This is a clear concession on
Black's part. It gives away his plan,
i.e. to play ...h6 after the exchange of
knights, and then control either the
bl-h7 or the a2-g8 diagonal depend-
ing on which way the white king ap-
proaches. A more natural way of
playing is with 1....ta4, followed by
...i.b3 and ...i.e6. Black would then While Black can only move his
play ...h5 or ...f5 at the right mo- knight, White calmly improves the
ment, following the principle which position of his king.
states that the weaker side should 13 lIe7
exchange pawns while the stronger 14 ~e3
side should exchange pieces. 15 ~d4
2 tlJa6 hS 16 ~e4
3 lDcs i.f7 17 llJe7+
4 ltJe4 hxg4 18 ltJds
Rook against Bishop 167

18... llxl6+ is met by 19 <it>e3 <it>g6 3 l1g7!

and now 20 :c6!? lbe8 21 ~e4 or 3 f5+ would have been prema-
20 lfJe7+ g;g7 21 :d7. ture, for after 3...gxf5+ 4 <ifi>f4 .i.e2 5
19 :c3 lbg6 :h7 b4 6 h5 b3 7 h6 b2 8 l:tb7 bl16
20 ~d4 llJh4 9 :'xb1 ~t7 the black king manages
21 ~cS lLlg6 a timely retreat.
22 ~d6 ltJes 3 .. i.b3?
23 ltJe3! ~g6 3...f5+ 4 ~d4 ~f6 is a better try,
24 ~e7! although it should not be enough to
Now if 24...llJxf3, White wins by draw.
25 Ilc6 lle5 26 :'xf6+ ~g7 27 4 f5+ gxfS+
lbf5+. 5 <ifi>f4 i.dl
Therefore Black resigned imme- 6 lIb7 b4
diately. 7 hS i.xhS
After 7...b3 there follows 8 h6 b2
Sometimes material has to be sac- 9 lib? and the d1-bishop will be un-
rificed in order to reach a position on der fire in the event of9...b11i' 10
only one flank. :txb1.
8 :xhS Cit>dS
Aleksandria - Savereide 9 ~e3 1-0
Tbilisi 1978
The most interesting positions
occur when the weaker side has a
passed pawn on the other wing.

Eingom - Mikhalchishin
Simferopol 1983

1 . i.c4?
Black should have bravely played
1...i.g4! 2 lIxb5 Cifte6 3 ':b6+ 'it;e7 4
.1%b7 + <iltf8! (4... ~e6 is also possi-
ble). It is not obvious how the black
defence can be broken.
2 :b7+ ~e6 1 .. g5?!
168 Rook against Bishop

A questionable and impetuous 10 :d6 i.g6?

decision. 1...h5! is better. Eingorn Black tries to prevent his king
considers the best chance to draw from being shut in by fS at any cost,
is 1...h5 2 c.Pe3 .id7 with a later but clearly better is 10....tc4 11 :b6
...J.e6-c4, when Black will pas- ~f7 and ... ~g6, which offers more
sively observe White's play on the drawing chances.
kingside. White would play his 11 lIb6 .ld3
pieces thus: \lrd6 and :lb7 against 12 ~d5?!
Black's~g4 and ~f8. White can Even more unpleasant was 12
then continue with h4, g4 and g5, ~d4 .ic4 13 fS, further cramping
and after the exchange on g5 the fol- the black king.
lowing position arises. 12 1m
13 ~d4 i.c2
The passed pawn must be sacri-
ficed to prevent f5.
14 l:xbS ~g6
15 ~e3 .lfS
16 :b8 1;g7 (DJ

There are two defences to the

threat ofg6:1 ...i..d3 andl.~.g6. Af-
ter the latter there is no obvious win:
1...g6 2 ~e5 ~e8 3 ~f6 i.d3 4 <it>e6
i.c4+. Let us return to the game.
2.. ~e3 h5
Consistent. Black has constructed a defensive
3 :dl b5 position in which he controls the
4 lIet ~d6 light squares and where the h4-pawn
5 ~d4 h4 is immune to attack from king or
There is no other defence from rook, but White has possibilities of
the threat of :'c5. smashing this defence by occupying
6 gxh4 gxh4 the g~file.
7 ltcS i.e8 17 <M3 i.h3
8 :dS+ r;e7 18 :e8 i.rs
9 ~cS i.n 19 :el 1m
Rook against Bishop 169

It would be senseless to play 32 ~eS tJltg2

19...<ith7, since this allows the white 33 :b6 10
king to get to e7 after 20 :g1.
20 :gl i.c8 (DJ Velilnirovic - Marjanovic
Yugoslavia 1978

21 ~e4
Eingorn evaluated the pawn end- This position is similar to the Ein-
ing arising after 211lg4'?' .txg4+ gorn-Mikhalchishin game,but the
22 <iti>xg4~g6 as drawn in Informa- big question here is whether White
tor 35 (Gallle 30), although we can- should push his b-pawn Ofnot. The
not see any draw after 23 f5+ ~g7 pawn on b2 has its plus points, not
24 ~xh4 cJth6 25 ~g4~h7 26 <ifi>f4 least in blocking the second rank.
~h6 27 cJte4 <iith5 28h3 ~h4 29 But is this enough to draw? White
~d5. Eingorn probably did not feel should try 1 h4 and 2 g3.
like calculating the pawn ending. 1 h3 ~e6
21 . i.b7+ 2 .tc3 f4?!
22 ~d4 i.c8 This seems dubious; 2... ~d5 3
22....if3 is met by 23 f5. ~f3 Citc4 and 4... ~d3 was prefer-
23 ~dS .lfS able.
24 Wd6 ..th3 3 <iti3 Cififs
2S %la1 ~g6 4 J.,g7 :ht
26 llaS! i.n 5 .tc3 gS?!
27 ItcS .td3 The right plan, bufpoorly exe-
28 ~e7 i..bl cuted. 5...h5 is better; stopping 6
29 l:c6 Cififs g4+ since Black can reply 6~ .. hxg4 7
30 1bf6+ ~g4 hxg4+ ~g5 and ...%lh3+.
31 ~e6 ~ 6 g4+! fxg3
31...<it>h3 allows 32 :h6 <it'xh2 33 This looks like the only natural
l:lxh4+ cii>g3 34 :hl +-. move, because after 6... ~e6 7 ~g2
Rook against Bishop 171

(or 2...i.d6) looks very strong.

3:c3+ ~b6
4 ~d3 i.e5
There are very promising alterna-
tives such as 4...f5! and 4....td6.
S :c8 a3
6 :a8 .ib2?!
The bishop stands very passively
on b2, and would be much better
placed on d6. The king race begins.
7 ~e4
Here is one possible variation: 7 ~c4 is met by 7... ~b7 8 :'a5
1....i.e2 2 ~g5 a5! 3 :xaS f6+ 4 ~b6 9 :a4 ~c6 10 <i'b3 CiPd5 11
~f5 .1g4+ 5 CiPe4 et;f7 6 :a7+ ~f8! :a5+ ~e4 12 :xh5 .td4 13 l:h6
7 ~d5 i.h3 8 <ifi>d6 .1g4 8 %la4 i.xf2 14 ':xf6 i.xg3 15 h5 .if4
i.h3 !. The white king cannot get with a draw.
closer to the f6-pawD, so the game is 7 ... ~bS
drawn. This method gives Black 8 ~S ~b4
drawing chances in various analo- 9 ~g6 i.d4 (DJ
gous positions with different passed Black sealed his ninth move. Ag-
pawns. zamov analysed the following draw-
ing variation: 9... ~b3 10 c;rxh5 f5!
Agzamov - Mikhalchishin 11 ~g5 a2 12 l:lxa2 ~xa2 13 ~xf5
USSR Ch (Riga) 1985 i.d4! 14 ~xg4 i.xf2 15 h5 <ifi>b3 16
h6 <it>c4 17 h7 .td4 18 'ifrf5 ~d5 19
g4 Cit>d6 20 g5 ~e7. The move Black
adopted in the game also draws, al-
though in a somewhat more com-
plex way.

1 qm ~c6
2 <it>e2 a4?!
Black's desire to push his passed
pawn is understandable, but 2....i.b6
172 Rook against Bishop

10 ~xhS fS 2S Cifth7 .if6!?

11 ~g5 i..xf2 26 g6
12 ~4 Citb3? (D) Definitely not 26 gxf6?, when
A blunder; the draw was close at 26... cit;>f7! 27 ~h8 ~f8! draws.
hand after 12...i.el! 13 h5 ~b3 14 After White's actual move, Black
:le8 i.a5! 15 1:e3+ ~a4! 16 l:e2 was forced to resign.
~b3 17 ~xf5 a2 18 llxa2 ~xa2 19
~g4 ~b3 20 ~f5 ~c4 21 g4 <ifi>d5 A more complicated position oc-
22 g5 Citd6 23 <ifX6 (23 ~g6 i.d2!) curred in the following game.
23...i.d8+ 24 <it>g6 i.xg5 25 ~xg5
'l;e7 =. Mikhalchishin - Bareev
USSR Ch (Lvov) 1987

13 :b8+!! ~c2
14 hS i.el If White could advance his pawn
15 l:e8! i..c3 to a6, the draw would be easy. At the
16 11a8 ~b3 moment, however, all he can do is
17 ~S a2 wait for Black's plan.
18 <iPxg4 al1i 1 .te8 1:c3!
19 l:xal i.xal Played with the aim of attacking
20 ~fS <it>c4 at any moment the bishop on the
21 g4 ~dS seventh or eighth rank.
22 g5 ~d6 2 q.,g2 l%c7
23 h6 2... ~c5 only draws after 3 h5 g5
White's idea is to play ~f5-g6-h7 4 .id7 gxf4 5 gxf4 :c4 6 <iti>g3.
and then push the pawn to g7. If Black tries 2... ~d5 then 3 as
23 ... .ic3 .1:.a3 4 .if7+ and 5 i.g8 is strong for
24 ~g6 ~e6 White (Bareev).
After 24...i.d2 White wins by 25 3 i.bS l%c3
h7 .lc3 26 ~f7 and g6-g7. 4 .te8 ~e6!
Rook against Bishop 173

A cunning triangulation; Black 11 as :b7!

wins a tempo and threatens to invade 12 i.c4 :'c7
the e4-square. 13 ..tg8 ~c3
S ~ 'it'd5 14 a6 1:a7!
6 i.b5 15 ~g2 ~b4
After 6 as Bareev gives this vari- 16 ~
ation: 6... ~e4 7 i.f7 ltc5! 8 a6 ~f3 16h5 is met by 16... ~b517hxg6
9 ~gl :c1+ 10 ~h2 :tal 11 i..g8 hxg6 18 <iti>f3 ~xa6 19 g4 fxg4+ 20
h6!-+. ~xg4~b5-+.
6 <iPd4 16 <ittbS
7 <itg2?! 17 g4 fxg4+
This again is passive; the more 18 ~g4 hS+!
active 7 <Jt>e2 is better, although At all costs Black must stop
probably not enough to draw. White from playing f5.
7 l:.c7 19 ~ :g7
8 ~ ~c3 19...f5 is also strong.
9 <ifi>e2 lte7+ 20 .ie6 <ifi>xa6
10 ~?(D) 21 <it>e4 ~b6
This is another passive decision 22 CiltdS ~c7
and a serious mistake. White should 23 i.h3 lte7
actively fight for space by playing 24 i.e6 ~d8
10 <&Pd1 l:te6 11 i.f1 J:d6+ 12 ~e1 2S fS gxf5!
~c2 (or 12...l:.d2 13 i.b5 :'c2 14 Also winning is 25 ...g5 26 hxg5
~f1 citd4 15 i.a6!) 13 i.b5 :e6+ 14 fxg5 27 f6 l:a7 28 c;t>e4 :a5.
~f1 ~d2 15 as lte1+ 16 ~g2 :all? 26 f4 :g7
a6 ~e118 ~gl :a2 19 J.c4!, with a 27 i.xrs ~e7
draw. 28 <ifi>e4 :g3!
Black now has enough time to
bring his king across, having inter-
cepted the white king.
29 .ic8 rJ;f7
30 .id7 9;;g7
31 i.e8 ~h6
32 .id7 :g4!
33 ~ Axh4
34 ~g3 :hI
35 .ih3 1hh3+
36 hh3 <ltg6
The pawn ending is completely
10 ~d2 hopeless. Therefore White resigned.
174 Rook against Bishop

Mikhalehishin - Czerwonski 5 :g8+ ~h6

Lublin 1993 5... cj;f7 fails to 6 :la8 i..b4 7 ~f5
and White wins.
6 CJt;rs i. b2
7 :h8+! rJ;g7
8 %1xhS a4
9 1:h4 a3
10 :a4 <ith7
11 :a7+ <j;h6
12 h4! 1-0

We were surprised to see the

analysis of an endgame Dawidow-
Wojtkiewicz, published in the maga-
It looks as if White has good win- zine Pergamon Chess in June 1989,
ning chances. However the continu- in which Wojtkiewicz won an end-
ation 1 ~d5 is met by 1 ~f5! ing with rook and two pawns against
intending 2... ~g4 and then 3 ~h3. bishop and three on the same wing.
White is forced to play 2 :g7, but
after 2... i.e5 3 h3 a4 4 g4+ hxg4 5 Dawidow - Wojtkiewiez
hxg4+ ~f4 6 g5 a3! a draw is inevi- Poland 1988
1 :te7 i.b4
2 :d7
White could also choose the plan
of playing his rook to the fourth rank
with 2 :'c4, but after 2.. .<~g5 3 ~f3
<ltg64 :'c6 <itf5 there is no obvious
way of making progress.
2 .. i.c3
3 lIe7 i.b4
4 lieS i.a3?
White is trying out various plans
and Black loses concentration. After 1 14
the correct 4 ...i.e1! 5 :d8 i.b4! 6 The move 1 Ciifi>g2 fails to 1... ~c3
~f4 i.e1! 7 lidS i..b4 White has no 2 ~f1 Cittd2 followed by ...l:a2 and
winning chances. However after the ....:Ia1+, allowing the black king to
move in the game White employs a occupy the el-square.
standard manoeuvre to gain access 1 ... ~c3
to the f5-square. 2 <iW3 1%b7?!
Rook against Bishop 175

2... ~d2 is better than the move in Black should not win. For example
the game, although after 3 fxgS fxg5 13...:tb8 14 ~f3!.
4 ~e4 l:b5 5 i.g8 :a5 6 i.e6 ~e2 7 Of course it is instructive to see
.id7 ~f2 8 i.e6 ~g3 there is still how the actual game progressed.
plenty of play left in the position. 6 ~e3 ~c4
3 i.g6 l%e7 7 i.g6 ~cS
4 i.f5 <iit>d2 8 .tf5 :'e8
5 e4 r:Jic3 (D) 9 i.g6 :h8
10 i.h5
10 e5 loses to lO... fxe5 11 fxe5
10 <ittd6
11 fxg5 fxgS
12 <it>d4 ~e6
13 i.g6 l:d8+
14 ~e3 <it>e5
The first stage of Black's plan is
complete, and now he starts to con-
strict the white king.
15 i.f5 :a8
In this position, if White bides 16 ~ :a3+
time, Black would play ... <iitd6 and 17 ~f2 <iftf4
...l1h8, forcing White to exchange 18 et>e2 :a2+
on g5, thus giving him a very diffi- 19 <it>n ~f3
cult position. In the position in the 20 ~el :le2+!
diagram the best move for White is 6 21 <it>dl
eS! and after 6...fxe5 7 fxg5 ~d4 8 After 21 ~fl Black is winning
g6 Black has two possible plans: with 21 ...l:e3! 22 ~gl %1e1+ 23
a) 8... e4+ 9 i.xe4! ltxe4 10 g7 ~h2 <it>f2 24 i..h7 %lal 25 i.g6 lla6
%le8 11 ~f4 %%g8 12 ~f5 l:xg7 13 26 i.f7 :h6+ 27 i.h5 :'e6 -+ (or
g5 cwfi>d5 14 g6 Ita7 15 'it'f6 drawing. indeed 27...:txh5+ 28 gxh5 g4 - edi-
b) 8...1te8!? and now: tor's note).
hI) If9 g7, then 9.. .1Ig8. 21 ...
b2) White can play 9 g5! %lf8 10 22 ~cl
~g4 and after lO... e4 11 i.e6 e3 12 If White plays 22 e5, this would
g7 l:e8 13 i.f7 :b8 14 ~f3! Black be met by 22...'i1tf3! 23 e6 'ifi>f2 24
is even losing, but 10...:1g8 11 ~h5 <it>cl <itel 25 ~bl ~dl! 26 <ita!
:h8+ is a simple draw. ~c1! forcing zugzwang and thereby
b3) 9 i.c2 %:Lf8+ 10 .if5 e4+ 11 winning the e6-pawn.
~f4 e3 12 ~f3 :e8 13 ~e2 and 22 ~d3
176 Rook against Bishop

23 ~dl The next game is an interesting

After 23 i.g6 the simplest is ending that shows Bronstein's su-
23...ltel+ 24 ~b2 :xe4!. perb technique.
23 1:e3
24 i.g6 llg3(D) Bronstein - Thkmakov
Reykjavik 1990

25 tWt>el
White is in zugzwang. 25 e5+ This position is identical to the
fails to 25...'iPd4 26 e6 lte3 27 J..f7 game Rotov-Zhuravlev, USSR 1973
(or 27 i.f5 ~c3! withzugzwang) in ECE, except for the pawn on h2.
27... ~c3 28 i.g8 :e5 29 i.f7 ~d3 The result of the game should be a
30 i.g6+ ~d4 (30... ~e3 31 -lfS) draw after normal play, but Black
and now 31 i.f5 ~c3! or 31 .if? makes the dubious decision to ex-
~e3 winnin.g the g4-pawn. change a pair of pawns.
25 ~e3 1 gS
26 ~ lbg4 2 hxgS ~xgS
27 e5 1.&4 3 ~ ~S
28 <li'g2 ~f4 4 :18+ i.f6
29 e6 %ta7 5 ~e3 ~eS
30 .td3 1%81+ 6 lIn ~5
31 <i1tgl <it>g3 7 ~ q.,g6
32 ~n 8 :b7 ~S
Or 32 e7 ltal+ 33 ~fl llel-+. 9 ':b6 i.g7?!
32 :as. In order to secure the draw the
33 e7 lieS plan of 9....te5, .keeping the bis'hop
34 i.b5 :xe7 on the h2-b8 diagonal and eyeing
35 ~gl :el+ the g3-pawn is scarcely sufficien~
36 i.n ltdl but Black has another promising plan
01 of controlling the c I-h6 diagonal.
Rook against Bishop 177

10 :Id6 ~g5 1 ~g2?

11 1:td7 .ih6 In this type of position, the
12 1:dS+ ~g6 stronger side should try to prevent
13 et>e4 .i.g7?! Black from setting up .the drawn
13... i.c 1 is better. structure of pawns on g6 and h5
14 l:d7 ~f6 (giving up the e6-pawD if neces-
15 ~dS .th6 sary). Therefore White. should have
16 :h7 <ittg6 taken the chance to play Ig4!.
17 lth8 i.g7 1 ... .td4?
18 :g8 ~6 Again the right move is 1...h5 !
19 <i>e4 't;f7? transposing to the Bronstein-Tuk-
Clearly 19...i.h6 is stronger. makov game with an extra pawn on
20 :a8 ~g6 e6. Strangely, over the next few
21 <i>r4 i.h6+ moves neither White nor Black sees
22 ~e5 i.d2 g4 as improving White's position.
23 :g8+ <jf;h6 2 ~f3? g6??
24 :1d8 i.e! 3 ~e4 .if6
25 ~f6 ~h7 4 :a7+ q;g8
26 l:d3 <ith6 5 g4!
27 <iitfS .in Better late than never!
28 l:.f3! .tel 5 ... i.c3
29 1:a3 .ta 6 l:e7
30 ~f4 ~g6 6 h4! looks very strong,prevent-
31 1:a6+ rl;g7 ing Black from constructinga drawn
32 :a2 i.el position.
33 lle2! 1-0 6 ..tf6
7 l:xe6 rtit7
Wolff - Browne 8 :&6 .tc3?
US Ch (Durango) 1992 Black now has a second chance of
securing a draw by means of 8...h6
and 9...i.h4!, completely halting
White's plan.
9 :a7+ ~g8
10 %ld7?
White also fails to see that 10 h4!
is necessary.
10 i.f6
11 ~f4 .t.b2?
12 :c7? J.f6
13 gS!
178 Rook against Bishop

With this move White reaches a gxh5+ 22 ~xh5 i.f8 23 g6! winning
position which according to theory easily.
is drawn, but as analysis by Wolff 19 hS! .ic3
and Elkies shows, is in fact winning. 19...gxh5+ is met by 20 eritxh5
13 ... i.d4 .id6 21 l%a8+ ~g7 22 :a7+ ~g8 23
14 h4 .tb2 g6 hxg6+ 24 ~xg6 ~f8 25 <it>f6
15 ~g4 i.eS <ite8 (25 ... ~g8 26 :g7+! <t>f8 27
This loses quickly. Theory rec- :d7 +-) 26 ~e6!. This is why the
ommends that Black should keep the bishop is weak on d6!
bishop on the a3-fS diagonal. How- 20 h6 \j;f7
ever, White would put his rook on b7 21 1tc4 .te5
and then play h5, when the follow- 22 ~f3 i.d6
ing position arises after ...gxh5(+), 23 :c8 ~e6
<ili>xh5: 24 J:h8
The end is near.
24 .. <it>f5
25 :xh7 ~xgS
26 lld7 1-0

Mikhalchishin - Buturin
Lvov 1978

White can win this position in

the following way: 1 ltb3 .td6 (al-
ternatively, 1.. .i-i8 2 :b8 rJ;f7 3
:b7+ Ciitg8 4 g6 +-) 2 ~g4 ..tc5 3
l:b5! i.f8 (3 ...i..d6 4 ~f5 i.c7 5
:d5 i.b6 6 ~f6 i.c7 7 :d7 .ia5 8
:g7+! ~h8 9 ~f7 +-) 4 ~f5 i.g7 5
g6! h66 :b8+ J.f8 7 'it>f6 +-. 1 . :Ie3+
Back to the game: 2 i.d3!
16 :c6! .tb2 If the white king leaves the third
17 :a6 i.c3 rank then Black would win easily by
18 :a4! J.e5 occupying the d4-square with his
The bishop cannot go to g7 due to king, thereby restricting the white
19 :a8+ ~f7 20 :a7+ cJtg8 21 h5 king to the second rank. This plan
Rook against Bishop 179

was executed in the game De Fotis- 20 ~d2 1%gl

Podgaets, San Juan 1971 (on the 21 <it'c3 :el
other wing). In this position Black 22 <it>d2 :1g1
must try to push the white king back 23 ~c3 :g3+
and advance with his own king. Black's last winning attempt was
2 ~f4 23...<iitb6 24 i.d3 ~a5 25 i.c4 :tel
3 ~c4 <it>eS 26 i.d3, but this also only draws.
4 i.c2 l1e2! 24 'it>c4 :e3
4...Cit>d6 fails to 5 b4. 25 i.d3 :b3
5 ~dl 26 i.e4+
5 i.d3 is met by 5...:'d2 6 iLg6 A draw was agreed. An important
~d6, as in the game. position for endgame theory.
S l:d2
6 i.f3 ~d6 When the pawns blockade each
7 ~c3 I:.d4 other, the possibility of the weaker
8 i.g2 :g4 side attacking the enemy pawn is
Another possible plan is to play crucially important.
the king to a5 with 8.. .'~c7 9 i..fl
<iitc6 10 i.g2+ <iPb5 11 .if1+ Citi>a5 GeUer - Novikov
12 i.c4 l:[h4 13 .in %th 1 14 i.d5 Helsinki 1992
%Idl 15 i.c4 :cl+ 16 ~d2 l1hl 17
<t>c3 Ilh3+ 18 i.d3 and <&fi>c4, after
which there is no obvious way for-
9 i.n ~e5
10 i.e2 lth4
11 i.a6 :h3+
12 <ifi>c4 ~d6
13 i.b7 :h7
14 .ig2 l1g7
15 .if3 :gl
16 i..e2 :'cl+
17 <Jttd3 1 i.e2 :b4
Another possibility is 17 ~b5 2 <iti>e3 ~g6
~e5 18 i.c4 <&ti>d4 19 i.g8 l:gl 20 3 i.d3+ ~g5
i..c4 :g5! 21 ~c6 ~c3 22 ~b5 :e5 Black's plan is firstto defend his
23 ~a5, but this also only draws. pawn with the king, then improve
17 ~c6 the position of his rook, and finally
18 ~d2 :bl try to break through with his king.
19 <ii?c2 1tel 4 .te4 %lb3+
180 Rook against Bishop

5 ~f2 :Ic3 Tilburg 1990 lnformator 50/490;

6 .tdS ~S 2 Malaniuk-Stanojoski, Dubrovnik
7 i.b7 ~e5 1990,50/463; 3 Korchnoi-Spassky,
8 Cittg2 ~d4 Clermont Ferrand 1989, 48/568; 4
9 ~f2 1:tc7 Kuzhanov-Pushkin, USSR 1987; 5
After 9...l:c2 10 ~f1 ~e3 there is M.Gurevich-Gavrikov, Riga 1985;
no way of reaching the g3-pawn. 6 Ioseliani-Gaprindashvili, USSR
10 i..a8 1:17+ 1981; 7 Larsen-Christiansen, Mar
11 Cit?g2 ~e3 del Plata 1981, 31/131; 8 Ivanov-
12 i.d5 %le7 Zakharo v, USSR 1976, 21/489; 9
13 'it;gl %:[eS Smejkal-Parma, Siegen OL 1970,
14 i.b7 <&ttd4 10/538; 10 S.Garcia-Gligoric, Ha-
15 cltf2 Itc7 vana 1969, 8/267; 11 Donner-Bar-
16 .taS :17+ cza, Havana 1967, 4n38.
17 ~gl :e7
18 ~f2 cJi>c5 Yusupov - Wegner
19 ~gl Hamburg 1991
A draw was agreed.

We used to think that endgames,

especially those with reduced mater-
ial, were without any lacunae and
had all been thoroughly analysed,
but when we started our research we
discovered that endgame theory is
in fact very weak. The key work,
The Encyclopedia of Chess Endings
(ECE) is poorly written, with no
general conclusions about many
types of positions, and also very lit- For the exchange Black has an
tle analysis from actual games. It extra pawn and a solid position.
would be interesting to computer- White's plan is a fairly typical one:
analyse the very simplest endings, try to cramp the enemy king as
such as rook and pawn against much as possible, and then with the
bishop and pawn. This could pro- help of zugzwang win one of the en-
duce some very revealing results. If emypawns.
the reader is interested in this type of 1 . f5
position, he may wish to consult 2 f3 f4?!
similar endings that arose in the fol- He could defend with 2...i.f6, in-
lowing games: 1 Gelfand-Ivanchuk, viting the white king to c6.
Rook against Bishop 181

3 gxf4 If White plays the immediate 18

Yusupov proposes the odd move f4 then 18...i.e3! draws.
3 g4, although after 3...hxg4 4 fxg4 18 i.a3
i.h45 :h8 g5 Black is threatening 19 11a5 .tb4
push the f-pawn to 12. 20 :a4 .tcS
3 ... i.xf4 21 Itc4 i..a3
4 h3 22 :c3 i.b4
Yusupov prefers 4 1:[c2, although 23 :b3 (D)
it is not clear how White should con-
4 ... .tg3
5 ':c2 i.el
6 :g2
After 6 ~c4 ~f6 7 ~d5 c;t>g5! 8
~xd6 ~f4 and then ...g5 Black gets
some active counterplay for the
6 ~f6
7 et>c4 i.aS
8 ~d5 .i.b4
9 <1ttc6 ..tc5 23 i.c5?
10 ~d7 i..b4 At the crucial moment the black
11 Cifi>e8 .ic5 bishop goes to the wrong square. In-
12 ~d8 stead Black should play 23...i.d2
Although White is trying to pene- when after 24 :b2 i.c125 lIc2.ta3
trate with his king, he rejected 12 White is getting nowhere. Instead 24
~f8 because of 12...d5+ 13 et>g8 d4 <ifi>xd6 is met by 24...i..f4! followed
14 <it>h7 g5 15 <it?h6 h4 16 :'xg5 d3 by ... ~g5 and ... ~h4, and if White
17 :g2 ..te3. plays 25 h4 the riposte 25...g5 t cre-
12 .tb4 ates a strong passed pawn.
13 rt;c7 i.cS 24 f4! exf4
14 <it'c6 i.b4 Alternatively 24... .tgl is met by
15 ~dS ..tcS 25 fxe5+ dxe5 26 Itf3+, and \Vhite
16 :'c2 wins.
White has been forced to adopt a 25 eS+ dxeS
new plan which involves exchang- Or 25...ciite7 26 exd6+ Axd6 27
ing into a pawn ending. %:tb7+, etc.
16 ... i.b4 26 ~cS g5
17 lIb2 ..tc5 27 <ifi>dS g4
18 :b5 28 h4! 1-0
10 Tactics in the Endgame

It is commonly believed that there is 3...g3 fails against 4 fxg3 fxg3 5

little scope for tactics in the end- lbg4.
game, which should be played in the 3 ... i.f6
style of Capablanca, calmly and 4 ltJxg4 i.d4
gradually. However, there are some 5 ltJh2! (D)
chess players who prefer to play This way the knight recovers the
tactically in the endgame, and they sacrificed piece by threatening ttJf3
usually produce very original and and e5. Therefore Black is forced to
exciting chess. A prominent repre- abandon his knight.
sentative of this style of play is
Grandmaster Zurab Azmaiparash-
viIi. Here is a striking example:

Azmaiparashvili - Temirbaev
Kuibyshev 1986

5 r/Jg7
6 !Llo ..txf2
7 ~xb2 ~g6
8 <t>c3 ~hS
Black goes for all or nothing, but
if the black king stayed on f6 then
1 ltJxeS! White would threaten the f4-pawn
Initiating a complex combination. with his king on f3.
1 ... lbxb2 9 ~c4 ~g4
2 :'xd8+ i.xd8 10 eS i.b6
3 <ifi>c2! 11 e6 i.d8
The point. The knight is trapped, 12 ~d5 ~g3
and White emerges material up since 13 llJel!
Tactics in the Endgame 183

This knight retreat and transfer to

the d3-square is decisive.
13 i.e7
14 ~3 1-0

Here is another example:

Azmaiparashvili - Kupreichik
Kuibyshev 1986

If Black plays 7...c3 then the pre-

liminary 8 :dl+, only then followed
by 9 ~xc3, ruins Black's counter-
8 :dl+ <Jtte4
9 b6 :c6
After 9...:c8 White would play
10 b7 %lb8 11 lId7 fS 12 ~xa4! c3
13 <it>b3 and the advance of the a-
pawn is decisive.
Black has an excellent position to 10 ~b5 :c8
compensate for the exchange, with 11 :d7! :b8
well-centralized pieces and a extra There is no stopping 12 :c7, so
pawn. Azmaiparashvili's decision therefore Black tries to create tacti-
looks suicidal: cal counterchances.
1 :'xc5!? 'iixcs 12 :c7
2 _xcS bxcS After 12 %txf7 c3 13 :c7 ~d3
3 ~n ~f6 White does not manage to clean up
4 ~e2 ~e6 the a4-pawn, and to create con-
5 <it>d3 ~d5 nected passed pawns.
6 ~c3! (D) 12 ... ~d3
Only now does Azmaiparashvili's 13 :too!
idea become clear. Despite the extra The only way to win; 13...l:a8
pawn Black's position is paradoxi- fails to the simple 14 lIxc4.
cally very difficult, with the white b- 13 CS
pawn threatening to advance along 14 cj;xa4 c3
with the threat of l:dl +. 15 ~bS gS
6 c4 It takes Black a lot of time to cre-
7 ~b4 :Le7 ate his own passed pawn.
184 Tactics in the Endgame

16 84 f4
17 gxf4 gxf4
18 as e4
19 ~b4!
By consolidating the b6-pawn,
White has liberated his king to liqui-
date the black pawns.
19 ~e2
20 86 e3
21 a7 l::f8
22 fxe3 1-0
Black is a piece up, but how can
Najdod - Gheorghiu he win? The game actually finished
Moscow 1967 in a draw after a threefold repetition
6 ~g8
According to GM Tony Miles in
ECE Black is winning after 6 hS! 7
~h3 (not 7 ~g5? due to 7 i.xe5!
and the white king is in a mating net)
7...<ith6 (7 g5 leads to the same) 8
~h4 g5+ (8 f6 looks strong - edi-
tor's note) 9 fxg5+ ~g6 10 Itb5!
(bad is 10 h3 f6!! 11 gxf6 i..xe5! and
once again White is getting mated)
10.. J%el 11 :xb2 :e4+ (Miles con-
White has fallen into a very diffi- siders the position winning after
cult position, but here he thought of 11...J:xe5, but 12 h3 :'xg5 13 g4 fS
the following clever piece sacrifice. 14 ':b4! fxg4 15 hxg4 hxg4 16
1 l:d3! %le1 :'xg4 leads to a well-known drawn
2 lIxb3 ':xbl position) 12 ~h3 :xe5 13 ~g2
3 eS h6 <it;xg5 14 ~f3 and in the resulting
4 <iti>g4 et>f8 endgame of rook and two against
5 :tb7 ~g7 rook and three White has good draw-
6 ~h4(D) ing chances.
Solutions to the Exercises

Pawn Endgames 1 ... ~c4

2 ~d2 e3+
PI 3 <ifi>xe3 <it>xc3
1 ~e4 4 ~f4 ~xb4
1 g4? ~c5 2 g5 (2 ~f4 ~d6 3 5 <it>gS ~cS
~g5 ri;e7 4 ~h6 e5 =) 2...<ifi>d6 3 6 <it?h6 b4
<iir>e4~e7 4 ~e5 rJ;f7 Ih-lf2 Jansa- 7 ~xh7 b3
W.Watson. 8 <iL>g8 b2
I ... CJPcS 9 h6 bl"iW
2 <ili>eS bS 10 b7
3 axb6 ~xb6 With a draw.
4 g4 ~c7
4... a5 5 g5 a4 6 ~d4 e5+ 7 ~c3! P4
+- using a well known idea of 1 . g4!
Nimzowitsch. 1...f4? 2 ~e4 (2 ~c4? g4! -+)
5 g5 <attd7 2... <ittxc5 3 ~f5 ~d4 4 ~xg5 Ciite3 5
6 q;f6 ~e8 <it?g4! (typically refusing the cap-
7 ~g7! +- ture) 1-0 Liicke-T. Heinatz.
2 ~e5 gxh3
P2 3 gxh3 <itxc5
Black is winning. with a draw.
1 ... rtic7
2 c3 PS
2 c4 ~b6 3 cxd5 cxd5 4 <i1tc2 1 ... 'ittxc6!
<it>a5! -+. 1...g5? 2 ~f3 g4? (but White is
2 ~b6! still winning after 2...<la>xc6 3 ~e4:
3 cxb4 9;bS 3...<iitd6 4 'ifi>f5 g4 5 <ifi>g5 ~e6 6
4 <iPc3 <it>a4 ~xh5 g3 7 f3 or 3...g4 4 <Ji>xe5 h4 5
and Black wins. ~f4 +-) 3 ~g3 <it>xc6 4 ~h4 e4 5 g3
1-0 Kulgin-Gapanovich.
P3 2 ~h4 'ifi>dS
1 h5! 3 ~xh5 ~e4
1 ~d2? h5 2 ~e3 ~c4 0-1 Tro- 4 <ifi>g6 ~d3
ger-Bertok. S ~xg7 <ite2 =
186 Solutions to the Exercises

P6 2...<it>d3 3 rJ;xg7 f4!! 4 ~xh7 ~e2 5

1 hS! g4 ~xf2 6 g5 f3 7 g6 Citg3! 112- 112
1 ~h3? h5! 2 g3 fxg3 3 ~xg3 Kalinichev-Schulz.
<iite6 4 ~f4 ~xd6 5 ~g5 <it>e6 6 1 ~d3
<iPxh5 et>f5 7 ~h6 ~f6 8 a4 a5 9 h5 2 r:;e7 f6
eti;f7 10 ~g5 q;g7 11 ~f5 '.ith6 12 3 ~ ~e2
'ifi>e5 ~xh5 13 <iti>d5 ~g5 14 ~c5 4 f4! <it>f3
<it>f5 15 ~b5 ~e6 17 <iti>xa5 ~d7 and 5 IS <iti>g3
the black king reaches the c8-square 6 ~xg7 +-
in time to force the draw.
1 ~e6 PlO
2 ~h3 "'xd6 Yes.
3 ~g4 ~eS 1 ... g4!
4 ~gS ~e4 2 hxg4 h4!
5 ~f6 h6 3 gS!
Or 5... ~e3 6 ~f5 h6 7 ~e5! win- 3 c5? e3 4 ~d3 h3-+.
ning. 3 e3
6 a4 as 4 c.itd3 h3
7 <iitg6 1-0 5 gxh3 <iti3
6 g6 e2
P7 7 g7 el_
1 ~d4! 8 g81i' 'ife3+
1 ~d5 ~b4 2 ~d4 'itb3 3 f4 ~c2 9 <ita>c2 1fn+
or 1 ~e5 ~c4 2 ~f6 ~d3 3 ~xg6 With a draw.
~e4! are both drawn.
1 ~c6 PI1
2 ~eS <ittcS 1...'ith2! (1 .. 5~xh4 2 ~fl ~g5 3
3 f4+- g3 ~f5 4 Cit>e3 =) 2 <ittf2 ~hl 3 Ciitg3
~gl 0-1 Tringov-Stein, Amsterdam
PS 1964.
1 a4!!
1 <it?c3 a5 2 ~c2 b4 3 a4 ~al! -+. P12
1 bxa4 1... f4! 2 gxf4+ ~d6!! 3 a5 g3 4 a6
1...b4? 2 as +-. <&t;c7 5 ~e2 d3+! and Black wins.
2 ~cl=
P9 a) 1... e5? 2 'ifa>c3 ~g4 (2...e4 3
1 g4! 'it>d2 <i!te5 4 a4 'Wtd4 5 as "'c5 6 ~c3
1 q;e7 is! 2 ~f7 (or 2 <iPe6 <&t>d3 3 ~b5 7 rJtd4 +-) 3 ~d2 ~f3 4 Ciitel
f4 ~e2 4 <itfxf5 <itfl 5 g4 ~g3 =) ~e4 (4...<iitg2 5 <itte2! e4 6 a4 e3 7 f3
Solutions to the Exercises 187

and wins) 5 a4 ltd4 6 f3! 1-0 Tal- E2

Rukavina, Sochi 1973. 1 ::txh7! ~7
b) 1...<iti>e4! 2 a4 ~f3 3 as <JItxf2 4 2 ~d7 :a8
a6 f3 5 a7 ~gl 6 a81f f2 draw - Tal. 3 e7 1ta7+
4 ~e6 :a8
P14 5 1Jr1 :a7
If you paid careful attention to the 6 ~f8 %la8+
Ree-Ftacnik game then you will 7 eB1i :xe8+
have easily found the following: 8 Ciitxe8 +-
1...g5! 2 hxg5 (or 2 gxh5 gxh4 and
Black wins easily after 3 h6 Ciftf7! or E3
3 f4 h3 4 ~f3 exf4) 2... h4 3 ~e3 (3 1 bS!
f4 h3 4 f5+ rt;e7 5 ~f3 e4+ is no 1 ':xg4? fxg4 2 b5 ~d5 3 c6 bxc6
better) 3... cJ;f7 4 <iitf2 ~g6 5 <ittg2 4 bxc6 cJi>xc6 5 ~xd4 lPb5 6 ~c3
<iitxg5 6 ~h3 (Black was threatening ~c5! 7 <t>d3 ~d5 8 ~e3 <it>c4 0-1
6... e4!) 6...<it?f4 7 <ittxh4 Ciifxf3 8 g5 Ricardi-G.Garcia.
e4 and White resigned in the game 1 :xf4
Barrera-Schatzle, Argentina 1975. 2 gxf4+ ~dS
After both sides queen, Black will 3 c6 bxc6
exchange on g8, after which the 4 bxc6 ~xc6
black king picks up the white pawns 5 <&ti>xd4 ~d6
on the queenside. 6 a4 as=
Exchanging into Pawn E4
1 i.xf1!
1 .tf3? b5! 2 g6 fxg6! 3 ~xe6 a5
4 <ili>e5 d3 5 ~e4 ~c3 6 <itte3 d2 7
El i.e2 a4 0-1 Rozentalis-Smagin.
In the game Furman-Zhukhovit- 1 i.xf7
sky Black played 1.. .ltJc5 2ltJe2 but 2 rj;xf7 d3
then he could not make progress. 3 g6 d2
However, there was a way to win: 4 g7 dl1i
1 tDxd4 5 gSjf _dS+
2 ~xd4 g5! 6 ~f8 'ii'xg8+
3 <iti'xc4 7 <&t?xg8 bS
3 fxg5+ ~xg5 4 cwfi>xc4 f4 -+. 7... ~d5 8 cj;f7 et>e5 9 rtte7 b5 10
3 g4! f4+ ~xf4 11 ~d6 =.
4 ~c5 hS 8 f4 ~d5
5 Cittb6 h4 9 etl;f7 <ite4
Black is winning easily. 10 ~e6=
188 Solutions to the Exercises

E5 2 U3 <it>xh7
1 ltJxc4 3 d5 exdS
This is the correct move. Instead 4 exfS ~g7
in the game Piskov-Dvoirys there 5 g4 ~6
followed 1 b6? c3 2ltJc4? as -+. 6 ~e3 ~e5
1 :lxbS 7 ~d3 d4
2 lbxd2 exd2 8 ~c4 ~e4
3 IlxbS axb5 9 16 d3
4 ~xd2 cM7 10 n d2
5 <ittc3 ~e6 11 f81i dl1f
6 ~b4 ~eS 12 'ilfS+ ~e3
7 g3 ~d4 The queen endgame fmished in a
8 ~xb5 <it>e3 draw.
9 14 ~f3
10 CJt>c4 h5 E8
11 <itd3 <it>g2 No. White's best move is the
12 <iite2 = zwischenzug:
1 l:d6+
E6 After 1 :d3 :xd3 2 exd3 hxg4 3
1 f4+! hxg4 g5! 4 ~e2 (not 4 f5? ~e5 in-
The pawn endgame that arises tending .. /iIi>f4 -+) 4... gxf4 5 d4 b5 6
from 1 Wxh6+ ~xh6 2 gxf5 exf5 3 <itd3 ~g5 ? d5 f3 8 d6 ~f6 9 <it>e3
f4 e4 4 dxe4 fxe4 5 h4 is most likely ~e6 10 ~xf3 ~xd6 11 <it>e4 f6 and a
a draw. draw was agreed in the game Glek-
1 ... exf4 Dautov.
1...:xf4 2 h4+! ~g6 (2...'iWh4 al- 1 'i;e7
lows 3 'kg? mate) 3 ~g8+ "fig? 4 2 %ld3+-
h5+ ~h6 (4... ~f6 5 g5+! _xg5 6
lifS mate) 5 g5+! 'iixg5 6 'fih8 mate. E9
2 h4+ 1 :'dl! :00
Not 2 1fxh6+ Citi>xh6 3 gxf5 eS! =. 1... c4 2 l:el+ q;,d5 3 ':xe5+
2 et>g6 <i1?xe5 4 CJt>g5 <it>e4 5 q;,f6! winning.
3 gxfS+ exfS 2 l:el+ <ifi>dS
4 flxh6+ <&ti>xh6 3 c4+! ~d6
5 ~f3 4 ::txe6+ ~xe6
And the pawn ending is won. 5 <iftf4 <itf6
6 <ite4 ~e6
E7 7 c3!
No, in view of the following line: The capture of the cS-pawn is
1 l:xh7? f5+! forced.
Solutions to the Exercises 189

EI0 3 l!g7 li;c6

I ~d5! 4 <it>f3 ~d6
The immediate 1...i.xe5? loses to 5 ~g3 llbl
2 ~h3! <it>d5 3 l:txeS+ 1txe5 4 i.xe5 6 <M4 <iti>e6
~xe5 5 <t>h4 <it>d5 6 <it>xh5 ~c4 7 h4 7 'iitgS :!gl+
1-0 Vaulin-Groszpeter. With a draw.
2 et13
Not 2 e6? i.xg3. R4
2 .txe5 = 1 ... :f5!
2 .:ta8
Rook Endgames 2 <it>b3 g3 3 ~b4 g2 4 :g6 1:tf4+
followed by ...1:lg4 -+.
RI 2 g3
1 ~g4! 3 a6 1:tf6!
1 :g7? :b1 2 ~f2 (2 ~h2 b4 3 4 a7 M7
l:txg5 b3 4 l:tb5 ~c3 5 :tb8 :'c 1 6 0-1
:'c8+ <ittb2 7 :b8 :'c3 -+) 2...b4 3
l:txg5 b3 4 :b5 b2 5 ~g2 ~c3 6 RS
:'c5+ <it>b3 7 l:tc8 ltc1 0-1 Polugaev- 1 ~g4 e3
sky-Korchnoi, Tilburg 1985. 2 :a3! e2
1 <itte3+ 3 :a1 ~g2
2 <t>xgS ~ 4 :el ~h2
3 stfs :h4 5 :al=
4 ~e5 ~e3
S ~dS= R6
I lIbl!
R2 1 ~d3? 1%e1 2 ~d2 lle6 3 :bl g5
I ~a2! 4 lIh1+ <iti>g6 5 I1g1 lIe5! 6 cwtd3 ~f5
1 :b8? c3+ 2 ~a2 :d1! 31:.d8+ 7 .:tfl+ <iitg4 8 :gl+ ~f3 -+ Tal-
~cl 4 l:th8 c2 5 l:th2 lId8 0-1 Mat- Zaitsev.
sukevich-Lein. 1 gS
1 ... c3 2 ~d3 lteS
2 l:th4= 3 ~d4 :e8
4 l:hl+
R3 With a draw.
1 g3+!
1...<iIi>c6? 2 ~e4 ~d6 3 '1t>f4 ~e6 R7
4 ~g5 lIhl 5 :a6+ rJ;f7 6 lth6 1-0 1 ... ~c5
Ubilava-Matulovic. 1...:b3? 2 ~h5 ~c5 3 :b7 %:txg3
2 ~e3 <iPb6! 4 l:tb5+ = Scheeren-Van der Sterren.
190 Solutions to the Exercises

2 :g8 l:td2 2 <ittd6

3 :xg7 ItdS! 2 et>d7 :'e5! 3 l%xb5 b6 =.
3...:d6 4 ~h5 b3 5 :tb7 1:b6 6 2 ~6
:'c7+ Cit;>d4 7 l:tcl =. 3 :txb5 l:te7
4 :c7+ <it>d4 -+ 4 ltbl %th7
5 :0+ <ittg6 =
I ... <1ite5! RIO
1... ~c5? 2 1:b7 :txa5 3 l:xh7 1 b4!
~d5 4 l:.e7 ~d6 5 lte4 <iti>d7 6 h3 1 c4? :xb2 2 :txd5+ cii>e6 3 :a5
1:a3 7 .:te3 :a5
8 ~f3 1%f5+ 9 <t>g4 %:tb4 4 c5 :c4 5 eritg3 Cit>d5 6 l:xa7
+- Schneider-Romanishin. :txc5 7 :e7 ~d6 8 lie8 l:g5+ 9 <iitf4
2 a6 ~e4 J:.g7 Ih- l 12 Spassky-Beliavsky.
3 h3 <ifi>f4= 1 lieS
2 :c5 :'xcS
R9 3 bxcS ~e6
1 ... lie2+! 4 <iite3 <ifi>d7
1...:d8? 2 :'xb5 l:te8+ 3 CiPd6 5 ~d4 ~c6
<iitf64 :txb7 l:el 5 c6 +- Sokolov- 6 f4
Ivanovic. and White wins.
Index of Games and Composers

Adorjan-Tseshkovsky 147 Chiburdanidze- Gurevich,M-Adorian 30

Agzamov- Gaprindashvili 162 Gurgenidze-Petrosian,T 51
Mikhalchishin 171 Chigorin-Tarrasch 23 Hansen-Nirnzowitsch 24
Aleksandria-Savereide 167 Cvitan-Eingorn 18 Hort-Bertok 118
Andreev-Demin 37 Czerniak- Horvath,Ju-Horvath,S 14
AndresVilela 26 Mikhalchishin 114 Hiibner-Adorjan 33
Averbakh 136 Dawidow-Wojtkiewicz 175 Hubner-Pfleger 34
Azmaiparashvili-Eolian 11 Diaz-Rodriguez,A 77 Jansa-Watson,W 24
Azmaiparashvili- Diesen-Dolmatov 129 Kalinichev-Schulz 26
Kupreichik 183 Dizdarevic- Kova~evic 103 Karpov-Beliavsky 166
Azmaiparashvili- Dobias 26 Karpov-Knaak 57
Temirbaev 182 Dorfman-Anikaev 161 Karpov-Polugaevsky 39
Balashov-Salov 71 Dorfman-Kholmov 32 Kasparov-Short 53
Bareev-Polgar,J 33 Drag~evit- Kaunas-Mordvinov 4S
Barrera-Schatzle 27 Aleksandria 102 Keitlinghaus-
Barsov-Bronner 20 Duchamp 80 Schmittdiel 56
Beliavsky..Foiser 25 Eingorn-Mikhalchishin 167 Kengis-Yuneev 14
Beliavsky-Gurevich,M 65 Ermenkov-Castro 74 Keres 100
Beliavsky-Ivanovic 159 Ernst-Stohl 113 Kharlov-Emst 15
Beliavsky-Karpov 44 Euwe-Alekhine 116 Khasin-Filipenko 160
Beliavsky-Kotronias 112 Filipenko-Scherbakov 39 Khivitsky-Vasiukov 69
Beliavsky-Kupreichik 48 Fischer-Larsen 29 Kholmov-Ruik 58
Beliavsky-Lobron 158 Flear,G-Chandler 26 Kholmov-Vasiukov 122
Beliavsky-Yusupov 154 Furman-Zhukhovitsky 45 Korchnoi-Barcza 42
Belkadi-Pachman 22 Garcia,G-Vladimirov 31 Kozlov-Mikhalchishin 53
Belov-Savon 69 Gavrikov-Kharitonov 17 Kron-Baburin 42
Benjamin-Tseshkovsky 162 Gelfand-Karpov 92 Kuglin-Gapanovich 25
Bennan 46 Gelfand-SaIov 35 Kupreichik-
Briedis-Timoshenko 47 Gelfand-Timman 78 Mikhalchishin 9
Brodsky-Magerramov 86 Geller-Fischer 36 Kveinys-Djurhuus 30
Bronstein-Romanishin 61 Geller-Mikhalchishin 28 Larsen-Torre 51
Bronstein-Tukmakov 176 Geller-Novikov 179 Levenfish-Botvinnik 83
Bronner-Hulak SO Geller-Stein 12 Ljubojevic-Spassky 134
Capablanca-Lasker,Ed 37 Georgadze,T-Gulko 96 Lticke-Heinatz,T 25
Capablanca-Lasker,Em 84 Georgiev,Ki-Ljubojevic 95 Magerramov-
Cekro,E-Todorovic 117 Ghitescu-Rajkovic 72 Annageldiev 150
Chandler-Karpov 155 Glek-Dautov 47 Magerramov-
Chaunin-Friedman 49 Gligoric-Szabo 38 Makarychev 13
Chekhlov-Kationok 141 Goldin-Malishauskas 58 Maiorov-Legky 91
Chekhov-Eingorn 60 Golombek-Keres 23 Mamatov-Tseitlin 43
Chemin-Mikhalchishin 59 Guliev-Tukmakov 38 Martinez-Cobo 120
Chiburdanidze-Flear,G 10 Gulko-Romanishin 124 Matanovic-Uhlmann 108
192 Index ofGames and Composers

Matsukevich-Lein 99 Polgar,G-Barcza 119 Tal-Bronstein 158

Mikhalchishin 113 Polgar,J-Spassky 90 Tal-Rukavina 27
Mikhalchishin-Anikaev 137 Polgar,Zsu-Larsen 19 Tal-Zaitsev 100
MikhaIchishin- Polugaevsky-Korchnoi 99 Teed 16
Azmaiparashvili 98 Polugaevsky-Mecking 110 Timman-Nikolic,P 21
Mikhalchishin-Bareev 28 Popchev-Cvitan 144 Timman-Romanishin 170
Mikhalchishin-Bareev 172 Portisch-Pritehett 148 Timman-Sveshnikov 18
Mikhalchishin-Basin 70 Pritehett-Beliavsky 105 Tomaszewski-
Mikhalchishin-Buturin 178 Pytel,B-Hoidarova 110 Wojtkiewicz 95
Mikhalchishin-Chemin 128 Radulov-Beliavsky 100 Tringov-Stein 27
Mikhalchishin- Ree-Ftacnik 16 Troger-Bertok 25
Czerwonski 174 Ricardi,P-Garcia,G 46 Tseshkovsky-
Mikhalchishin- Rogers-Shirov 32 Novostruev 17
Holzmann 115 Romanishin-Balashov 143 Tukmakov-Illescas 117
Mikhalchishin-Kluger 50 Romanishin-Dvoretsky 11 Ubilava-Matulovic 99
Mikhalchishin-Losev 60 Romanishin-Gipslis 149 Uhlmann-Drimer 35
Miles-Gheorghiu 68 Romanishin-Razuvaev 65 Urzica-Tseshkovsky 29
Miles-Polugaevsky 164 Rozentalis-Nijboer 67 Vaganian-Hellers 64
Mitrofanov 98 Rozentalis-Smagin 46 Vaganian-Portisch 20
Mnatsakanian- RUZele-Gelfand 94 Vaiser-Djuric 87
Vladimirov 67 Saidy-Fischer 131 Van der Wiel-Seirawan 55
Mnatsakanian-Vogt 22 Salov-Short 41 Van Riemsdijk-Brendel 76
Najdorf-Gheorghiu 184 Sanz-Polgar,Zsu 23 Vaulin-Groszpeter 47
Nei-Averbakh 146 Sax-Hecht 52 Velimirovic-
Nenashev-Lputian 36 Schooren- Marjanovic 169
Nijboer-Peebu 89 Van der Sterren 100 Veselovsky-Varavin 52
Nikolic,P- Schmidt,D-Pytel 73 Vuksanovic-Petrovich 135
Liang Jinrong 15 Schneider-Romanishin 101 Vyzhmanavin-Smyslov 63
Nikolic,P-Vaganian 127 Selesniev 47 Wojtkiewicz-
Novikov-Gavrikov 74 Shirov-Akopian 36 Khalifman 104
Novikov- Short-Vaganian 40 Wolff-Browne 177
Mikhalchishin 145 Smyslov-Averkin 43 Yakovich-Itkis 94
Novikov-Oll 62 Smyslov-Tal 130 Yakovich-Savchenko 89
Olafsson-Ivanchuk 138 Sokolov-Ivanovic 101 Yanofsky,D-Fischer 152
PekarekMPetrosian,A 14 Spassky-Beliavsky 101 Yurtaev-Serper 142
Petrosian,A-Monin 96 Speelman-Chandler 39 Yusupov-Ljubojevic 31
Petrosian,T-Benko 111 StAhlberg-Fine 118 Yusupov-Timman 97
Piket-Thkmakov 64 Stol12-Nimzowitsch 27 Yusupov-Wegner 180
Piskov-Dvoirys 46 Suetin-Stein 139 zaichik-Mikhalchishin 125
Plaskett-zak 109 Szabo-Korenski 107 Zaja,I-Ermolinsky 116