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  1. 09 Sep '12 17:19
    After a few mistakes on both sides in a sharp Modern Benoni line, my opponent and I reached this position in a recent game on RHP:



    White has lost every single one of his pawns(!), but black doesn't have a lot of material left to support his pawns either. Still, both the kingside and queenside pawn chains present great danger. It was by far the most interesting endgame I've played on this site.

    The actual game ended up drawn, but I'm not sure if there could be improvements both for white and for black. Which side would you rather take? Was there any plan that we missed?

    Here's the full game:

  2. 09 Sep '12 20:41
    Originally posted by danilop
    After a few mistakes on both sides in a sharp Modern Benoni line, my opponent and I reached this position in a recent game on RHP:

    [fen]2R5/5p1k/3p1bp1/p6p/1p1N1K2/8/8/8[/fen]

    White has lost every single one of his pawns(!), but black doesn't have a lot of material left to support his pawns either. Still, both the kingside and queenside pawn chains pre ...[text shortened]... h6 Kf2g2 61. Ke5xf5 h1=Q 62. Rh6xh1 Kg2xh1 63. Kf5g4 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
    Your position appeared after 45...Bf6. Looking quickly at it, I did not notice any
    significant improvements before 55 Rxb2, which leads to a drawn position.
    White does not seem to have enough time to capture enough of Black's pawns
    before at least one pawn can be close to promoting.

    (This assessment has not been corroborated by any chess engine.)
  3. 09 Sep '12 22:33
    I wonder if exchanging my knight for his bishop was actually the correct plan. Maybe trying to keep both pieces on the board could cause more trouble...
  4. 10 Sep '12 00:33
    Originally posted by danilop
    I wonder if exchanging my knight for his bishop was actually the correct plan. Maybe trying to keep both pieces on the board could cause more trouble...
    Which piece seemed more useful, White's knight or Black's bishop?
    Black's bishop on e5 supported his advanced passed pawn on b2 and could
    help support the advance of his kingside pawns, while White's knight would
    find it hard to handle advanced passed pawns on both kingside and queenside.
    In my view, it seemed necessary for White to exchange his knight for
    Black's bishop sooner or later.

    As for the general question, "Did White have a forced win after 45...Bxf6 ?",
    I doubt it. Perhaps a chess engine could show me what I have overlooked.
  5. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    10 Sep '12 01:34 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by danilop
    After a few mistakes on both sides in a sharp Modern Benoni line, my opponent and I reached this position in a recent game on RHP:

    [fen]2R5/5p1k/3p1bp1/p6p/1p1N1K2/8/8/8[/fen]

    White has lost every single one of his pawns(!), but black doesn't have a lot of material left to support his pawns either. Still, both the kingside and queenside pawn chains pre h6 Kf2g2 61. Ke5xf5 h1=Q 62. Rh6xh1 Kg2xh1 63. Kf5g4 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
    I have not really tried to play this game out, but black is 1 point ahead in material in the diagram. So I think it would be very good play for white to draw against a grandmaster. Of course, that is not the case and black may have made a mistake to allow the draw. However, after looking at first move by white with the knight now attacking the unprotected rook pawn and the knight pawn, one of the pawns must fall making the material equal and therefore it looks more drawish since no pawn is advance far enough that it can not be stopped. I am kind of tired now and will leave it at that and say be happy with your draw.
  6. 10 Sep '12 03:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    I have not really tried to play this game out, but black is 1 point ahead in material in the diagram. So I think it would be very good play for white to draw against a grandmaster. Of course, that is not the case and black may have made a mistake to allow the draw. However, after looking at first move by white with the knight now attacking the unprotected ...[text shortened]... t be stopped. I am kind of tired now and will leave it at that and say be happy with your draw.
    I think that's the kind of position (and the kind of game) in which the point system stopped mattering long ago. It's more about calculation than anything. Can white come up with an attack or set up a blockade before black's advanced pawns become an unstoppable threat? In the game, black's pawns arrive just in time to make white force a draw. Given an extra tempo or two, either side could habe won.

    I'm happy with the draw, no doubt about it: it was a hard fought game against a worthy opponent, and he had a clear advantage in the middlegame. I was just wondering if either side missed any chances. 🙂
  7. 10 Sep '12 03:34
    Originally posted by danilop to RJHinds
    ...Can white come up with an attack or set up a blockade before black's advanced pawns become an unstoppable threat? In the game, black's pawns arrive just in time to make white force a draw. Given an extra tempo or two, either side could habe won. ...
    How could White have quickly developed a mating attack with only a rook
    and a knight to overpower Black's bishop and pawns? Black's king could
    have easily taken shelter behind his pawns. Since White has no pawns to
    use to break down Black's pawn structure, White might consider sacrificing
    his knight for some of Black's pawns, but then White's rook against Black's
    bishop and pawns would hardly be a decisive advantage in the attack.
    I think that the idea of White achieving a quick mating attack is a fantasy.

    And how easily were White's king, rook, and knight supposed to blockade
    Black's six pawns supported by a king and a bishop? Even if White could
    achieve such a blockade, White would be too tied up to try anything active
    to attack Black. As long as Black kept a bishop, it seems unlikely that he
    could be forced into Zugzwang.

    In my view, the endgame would most likely become a struggle of White's
    king and rook against Black's king and three pawns, and the outcome would
    depend on how advanced and coordinated were Black's pawns and king.
  8. 10 Sep '12 04:05 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    How could White have quickly developed a mating attack with only a rook
    and a knight to overpower Black's bishop and pawns? Black's king could
    have easily taken shelter behind his pawns. Since White has no pawns to
    use to break down Black's pawn structure, White might consider sacrificing
    his knight for some of Black's pawns, but then White's rook ag he outcome would
    depend on how advanced and coordinated were Black's pawns and king.
    A mating attack is a pipe dream, sure, unless black gets really careless. The blockade is less unlikely - not against the 6 pawns, of course, but maybe after capturing some of them.

    I do agree with your other post: black's bishop seems to be better than white's knight, and the exchange looks like the best alternative for white.

    I feel that 51. Kd5 might have been innacurate: it wins another pawn at the expense of some valuable tempi. Maybe I should have tried 51. Kf3 followed by Nxe5? It's rook vs. four pawns instead of three, but with my king in a better position...
  9. 10 Sep '12 12:46
    The selected position is I think not at it's critical moment.
    That moment happened just a few moves before.


    In the game White played 44.Nf3 Rxd4 45 Nxd4 taking it to the posted position.
    I think here is an important crossroad.

    I always look at these things with a 'what would I do OTB' view.
    (and then create a wee OTB situation. Today it's a league match, tomorrow
    maybe a fight for the heavy weight crown, next week an off hand game
    v a complete stranger in a pub.)

    Surprised (but then again no) that RJ tried to evaluate it using the point system
    (Rook =5 Bishop =3 etc.). It's not one them positions where ROTs help.
    Black's last move in the posted postion was Rxd4 (giving up a 5 for a 3)
    is just one example how misleading the point system is.

    It's what you feel, see and have experience with.


    I'm not liking White, if that Bishop gets out it will be at least be equal to a Rook
    (that is a Bishop = 5 pts RJ.)
    If the Bishop gets out then the White f6 pawn has to fall and then the
    those Kingside pawns look a real menance.
    Black will be chopping that Bishop on d4. He has too. It's a good move.

    Then I am looking at that posted position (in my mind)


    And I'm not liking that at all.
    All the winning chances are with Black, White (me) will have to play some
    pretty exact moves to draw it . (and this is me in an ending) 🙁
    Sac the Knight for the Queenside pawns, the Rook will pick up the d-pawn
    when the Bishop takes the Knight.

    Bishop and three connected pawns v a Rook.
    He has the wrong Bishop for the h-pawn....

    That Gulfeld game where a Bishop and 3 pawns outplayed 2 Rooks.
    Remember the Rooks offering themselves for free to the Bishop 'please take me'
    and the Bishop refusing to take them.

    (experience and what you have seen are better than ROTs, sometimes
    they too can lead or influence you the wrong way but I'd rather go with those
    than a Rook = 5 etc.... )

    No. OTB me (and it helps greatly if you know yourself.)
    I would not see the posted position.

    I'm transfixed by not letting the Bishop out.
    (again that me. I see an idea and sometimes simply refuse to let it go.)

    There is a plausible, easy to see trick, tuck inside is a not so easy to see trick.
    (based on OTB experience and the blunders players make.)
    So not exact analysis. I'm not White playing a GM.
    I'm White playing a normal Joe in a league match in a club room next to a disco.

    You have to be honest with yourself in these sistuations.
    There is more chance of me playing working class Joe in the above conditions
    than me playing a GM with more TD's than there are players.



    Sorry Danilop, my contribution was no help what so ever.
    Keep bumping up the thread eventually someone will run it through an engine
    and you will get x amount of moves that would never see the light of day
    in the real world.
    Good post though, my team won the league match and in the pub afterwards
    I pulled this gorgeous blonde, we ran off to Holland together.
    I'm in Holland now typing this......I can log onto Chesscube. 🙂
  10. 10 Sep '12 12:46 / 1 edit
    **posted twice*** don't know how?
  11. 10 Sep '12 12:46 / 2 edits
    ***now three times*** 🙁
  12. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    10 Sep '12 12:59
    Originally posted by greenpawn34


    Sorry Danilop, my contribution was no help what so ever.
    Most certainly not true, GP! To me, the thought process someone uses when assessing and evaluating the position has more value and meaning than the position itself.

    When good players talk about a position and share what they think is important, what is not important, and then paint in broad strokes to create a picture of what could happen in the game, we all learn.

    Sometimes it is easy for people to immediately start looking at sequences of moves (I blame computers for this), when they would be better served to look abstractly at the position to figure out "what's going on?".

    When we understand the salient features of a position, the moves come much easier, and moves that are unusual and otherwise superficially dismissed become relevant and attractive. Counting points misses the point sometimes.
  13. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    10 Sep '12 19:31
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Most certainly not true, GP! To me, the thought process someone uses when assessing and evaluating the position has more value and meaning than the position itself.

    When good players talk about a position and share what they think is important, what is not important, and then paint in broad strokes to create a picture of what could happen in the gam ...[text shortened]... cially dismissed become relevant and attractive. Counting points misses the point sometimes.
    When I start analyzing a chess postion that I have no other information about, I start with the point system to determine if either side has an advantage in material. Then I look at other factors important to the position, such as advantage is space, king safety, and if there and any threats. As I pointed out the initial position had a material advantage for Black, however with White's first move his threat was enough to equalize the material and the remaining positiion contained nothing noticeable that was going to be too difficult for white to parry. The idea that the well established point system should be ignored is ridiculous.
  14. 10 Sep '12 21:03
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    When I start analyzing a chess postion that I have no other information about, I start with the point system to determine if either side has an advantage in material. Then I look at other factors important to the position, such as advantage is space, king safety, and if there and any threats. As I pointed out the initial position had a material advantage f ...[text shortened]... te to parry. The idea that the well established point system should be ignored is ridiculous.
    "The idea that the well established point system should be ignored is ridiculous."
    --RJHinds

    I assume that the 'well-established point system' refers to: pawn=1, knight=3,
    bishop=3, rook=5, queen=9. GM Larry Kaufman regards that as significantly
    flawed and, after database research, he has come up with a new point system.
    But RJHinds already knows it's 'ridiculous', so I shall not describe it here.
  15. 11 Sep '12 00:51 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    The selected position is I think not at it's critical moment.
    That moment happened just a few moves before.

    [fen]2R4b/5p1k/3p1Pp1/p6p/1p1B1K2/8/3r4/4N3 w - - 0 1[/fen]
    In the game White played 44.Nf3 Rxd4 45 Nxd4 taking it to the posted position.
    I think here is an important crossroad.

    I always look at these things with a 'what would I do OTB' together.
    I'm in Holland now typing this......I can log onto Chesscube. 🙂
    That's a lovely mate. Great post. 🙂

    I'd love to play that OTB in a league match, but I'm too much of a chicken to do it in CC. (Actually, it might have been too much for me OTB too. I'm boring like that. 🙁)

    I looked at 44. Ba1 before deciding against it, but I confess I didn't even analyse 44... Rd1. I was worried too worried about another plan by black:



    In this position (before 43. Ne1), black's rook is entombed in the queenside. It's unable to help the h8 bishop free itself. One might even say that the a2 rook isn't worth 5 points in that position, but that's beside the point. 😉



    After 43. Ne1 Rd2, however, the rook is back in the game in its full 5-points glory, which brings white all sorts of trouble. It could go for a double attack on the bishop and knight, as you pointed out. But there's another plan which made me give up on 44. Ba1 and try my luck in the ending instead: