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  1. Standard member clandarkfire
    Grammar Nazi
    21 Jul '10 23:37 / 1 edit
    I found this Ending in Silman's How to Reassess Your Chess and found it quite instructive. Silman claim's that he calculated the final position before he ever played the first move, a feat which seems unthinkable at first. However, I thought it was instructive how easily he nullified any counterplay, and how this makes it easy to think 20+ moves ahead.
    (Silman was black)

    Before playing through the game, look at the board from black's perspective, and see if you can find a winning plan. (I've flipped the fen board so you see it from black's perspective)


    Here you go!

    *Invert Board*

  2. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    21 Jul '10 23:49
    Originally posted by clandarkfire
    I found this Ending in Silman's How to Reassess Your Chess and found it quite instructive. Silman claim's that he calculated the final position before he ever played the first move, a feat which seems unthinkable at first. However, I thought it was instructive how easily he nullified any counterplay, and how this makes it easy to think 20+ moves ...[text shortened]... 1 Bb5 17.Kc1 Ka2 18.Kc2 Ba4+ 19.Kc1 Bd1 20.Bg2 Bxe2 21.Kc2 Bd3+ 22.Kc1 b3 Bh1 Bf1
    [/pgn]
    Loved the book and the ending- I really believe that many players can raise their ratings simply by playing through the book's section on endings.

    If you don't mind, the ending reminded me of an ending from Paul Keres' Practical Chess Endings - a bishop ending from which I learned a great deal. When Smyslov is white and he loses in the ending, it is worth studying!

    I posted the whole game from chessbase, but Keres starts with black's move at 36 in his book.

  3. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    22 Jul '10 00:01
    Originally posted by clandarkfire
    I found this Ending in Silman's How to Reassess Your Chess and found it quite instructive. Silman claim's that he calculated the final position before he ever played the first move, a feat which seems unthinkable at first. However, I thought it was instructive how easily he nullified any counterplay, and how this makes it easy to think 20+ moves ...[text shortened]... 1 Bb5 17.Kc1 Ka2 18.Kc2 Ba4+ 19.Kc1 Bd1 20.Bg2 Bxe2 21.Kc2 Bd3+ 22.Kc1 b3 Bh1 Bf1
    [/pgn]
    I think the hardest part is the first few moves, especially the rook move. It's easier to visualize the pawns because they only have limited options anyway, but it takes a true and very deep understanding of the position to visualize where the rook and bishop need to go, and how they will dictate the flow and transition of play.
  4. Standard member randolph
    the walrus
    23 Jul '10 05:32
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Loved the book and the ending- I really believe that many players can raise their ratings simply by playing through the book's section on endings.

    If you don't mind, the ending reminded me of an ending from Paul Keres' Practical Chess Endings - a bishop ending from which I learned a great deal. When Smyslov is white and he loses in the ending ...[text shortened]... . Kf2 h5 49. Kg3 h4+ 50. Kf2 Bf5 51. Kg2 Kf6 52. Kh2 Ke6 0-1[/pgn]
    I'm probably oversimplifying, but it seems like white violates one of the basic rules of playing with a bishop here- put your pawns on the other color. I didn't look at nearly the depth that they would have in the game but isn't that one of the factors that makes the final position a loss?
  5. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    23 Jul '10 14:01
    Originally posted by randolph
    I'm probably oversimplifying, but it seems like white violates one of the basic rules of playing with a bishop here- put your pawns on the other color. I didn't look at nearly the depth that they would have in the game but isn't that one of the factors that makes the final position a loss?
    Good question- I'm sorry I didn't put Keres' analysis of the final position to show why. I moused the analysis into the game, and I'll try to play it from the final position. The essence is that white is in zugzwang.

    I think part of what caught Smyslov out in this case is that when you have to place pawns, the "opposite of your bishop" rule is only one of the factors dictating when and where to move your pawns, and sometimes you have conflicting needs, and you're shafted either way- especially when your opponent is also super-strong like Keres.

    The analysis starts at the 'bogus' move 54.