Greater Worcester Chess Club, 19 Temple Street, Worcester, MA 01604

On the endgame

Click below to link to pdf for Tim's Thoughts on the endgame:

On the endgame pdf

The first game was a daily game I played with John Zizza, a new player interested in joining the club. Starting after the queen trade with 28. Rxe8+, we reached a rook-pawn endgame.
[Event "Let's Play!"] [Site ""] [Date "2021.01.03"] [Round "?"] [White "tantonel"] [Black "johnnyz0333"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "1727"] [BlackElo "1308"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [TimeControl "1/86400:0"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Nb3 Bb6 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. Bg5 d6 8. Bd3 h6 9. Bh4 Be6 10. O-O O-O 11. Qd2 Nd4 12. Nxd4 Bxd4 13. Rae1 Qd7 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. f4 Bd4+ 16. Kh1 f5 17. exf5 Bxc3 18. Qxc3 Bxf5 19. Bxf5 Rxf5 20. Qb3+ Qf7 21. Qxb7 Rf8 22. Qxa7 Qc4 23. c3 Rxf4 24. Rxf4 Rxf4 25. Kg1 Qc6 26. Qe3 Rg4 27. Qe8+ Qxe8 28. Rxe8+ Kf7 {Makes sense. Kicking the rook away and centralizing his king. The a-pawn poses the biggest threat for black.} 29. Re1 {I plan to just park the rook on the e-file and prevent the king from stopping the passed a-pawn.} c5 {This doesn't address the threat of the a-pawn. It is likely already a lost position, but I think there are at least better tries here.} (29... d5 30. b4 Re4 ({or perhaps} 30... Rg6 31. b5 ({maybe better is} 31. a4 Ra6 32. a5 Rc6 33. Rc1 Ke6 34. Kf2) 31... Rb6 32. a4 c6 33. bxc6 Rxc6 34. Rc1 d4 35. c4 Ke6 36. Kf2 Kd6 37. Ke2 Ra6 38. Ra1 Kc5 39. Kd3) 31. Rxe4 dxe4 32. Kf2 Ke6 33. Ke3 Kd5) 30. b3 {Not only is the king restricted from the e-file, but the rook has almost nowhere to go on the 4th rank.} Rg5 {without .. .c5, the black rook could swing over to the a-file, since it will need to stop the a-pawn} 31. a4 h5 ({Note that the rook trade no longer works because the black king is outside of the a-pawn's square:} 31... Re5 32. Rxe5 dxe5 33. a5) 32. a5 h4 33. a6 h3 34. g3 c4 35. b4 {tantonel won by resignation} 1-0
The second game was another daily with John Zizza. Despite winning the exchange early, the game felt even at times, and after 31. Kxe1 we reached an endgame where I had two rooks against a rook and bishop.

[Event "Let's Play!"] [Site ""] [Date "2021.01.10"] [Round "?"] [White "johnnyz0333"] [Black "tantonel"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A22"] [WhiteElo "1303"] [BlackElo "1732"] [PlyCount "90"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [TimeControl "1/86400:0"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. e3 c5 4. b3 Nc6 5. Bb2 Be7 6. Qf3 d6 7. O-O-O Bg4 8. Qg3 Bxd1 9. Kxd1 O-O 10. Bd3 d5 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. Nxd5 Qxd5 13. Bb1 Rad8 14. Bc3 b5 15. Qh3 g6 16. e4 Qd6 17. Nf3 b4 18. Bb2 Nd4 19. d3 Nxf3 20. Qxf3 f5 21. Re1 fxe4 22. Qxe4 Rf4 23. Qe3 Bf6 24. Ke2 e4 25. Bxf6 Qxf6 26. Kf1 Rf8 27. Re2 exd3 28. Rd2 Qc3 29. Bxd3 Qc1+ 30. Qe1 Qxe1+ 31. Kxe1 Re8+ {I start by taking the open e-file and forcing the king to one half of the board.} 32. Kf1 Kg7 { I'm planning to skewer the rook with ...Rd4 but this doesn't work if white can play Bc4+ with check.} 33. Re2 {freeing the king} Rxe2 34. Kxe2 Kf6 35. Ke3 Rd4 36. f4 {an excellent move restricting my king. I found it a bit tough to deal with since he has the pawn majority on the kingside.} h6 37. g4 g5 38. Be4 gxf4+ 39. Kxf4 Rd2 40. h4 Rxa2 41. g5+ hxg5+ 42. hxg5+ Kg7 43. Ke5 { Well-played by white so far, and I think he has chances, threatening to promote the g-pawn and take on c5 with the king. I can address the latter threat by cutting off the d-file.} Rd2 44. Bd5 {again allowing the king to sneak behind the bishop.} Rc2 45. Bc4 {A mistake, since after} ({Rxc4 bxc4 b3 the king cannot get into the b-pawn's square.} 45. Be4 Rc3 46. Kd6 Rxb3 47. Kxc5 a5 48. Kc4 Re3 49. Bd5 b3 50. Kd4 Rg3) 45... Rxc4 {tantonel won by resignation} 0-1

The last game was a daily game with Donna. I felt better in the middlegame, but sacrificed a pawn for a dubious attack, after which Donna forced some trades and got to an endgame which looks better for white, starting after the queen trade with 40 Nxf6.
[Event "Let's Play!"] [Site ""] [Date "2020.12.07"] [Round "?"] [White "dacp"] [Black "tantonel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E20"] [WhiteElo "1597"] [BlackElo "1696"] [Annotator "User"] [PlyCount "141"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [TimeControl "1/259200:0"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Bd2 O-O 5. Nf3 d5 6. e3 b6 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Rc1 Re8 9. Be2 Bb7 10. O-O Nbd7 11. a3 Bf8 12. Bb5 c6 13. Ba4 b5 14. Bc2 Nb6 15. Ne5 Nc4 16. Nxc4 bxc4 17. Ne2 Ba6 18. Bc3 Rb8 19. Ng3 g6 20. h4 h5 21. Ne2 Ng4 22. g3 Be7 23. Qd2 Bxh4 24. Nf4 Bg5 25. Bd1 Bc8 26. Bf3 Bf5 27. Rfe1 Nf6 28. Qd1 Bg4 29. Bxg4 Nxg4 30. Qa4 Qf6 31. Qxa7 Bxf4 32. exf4 h4 33. Qd7 Rxe1+ 34. Rxe1 Nh6 35. Re8+ Rxe8 36. Qxe8+ Kh7 37. Qe5 Kg7 38. a4 hxg3 39. fxg3 Ng4 40. Qxf6+ Nxf6 {My king is already outside the pawn square of the passed a-pawn, so my knight wiill need to make its way over there to help.} 41. a5 Nd7 42. Kf2 Kf6 {Centralizing kings and hoping to keep white's king from terrorizing my kingside pawns while the king rushes over to deal with the a-pawn.} 43. g4 Ke6 {I'm currently controlling the important squares to keep white's king out, other than h4.} 44. Kg3 Kd6 {I don't see a way to keep white's king away, so I hope I can win the a-pawn and push the c-pawns in time.} 45. f5 {I think this is a mistake.} g5 {I feel like this is an only move, completely shutting out the king. The pawns split by two files control the 4th rank, and being locked with white's pawns, prevent any intrusions. The downside is having to put my pawn on a dark square, where it will likely come under attack from white's bishop.} 46. Kf3 Kc7 47. Bb4 Kb7 48. Be7 f6 {I had calculated up to here and figured this gave me chances. The knight is locked down for a while, but hopefully can spring into action at a time when I'm able to promote before white can take the f-pawn, get out of the way, and promote on f8. It will be tricky though.} 49. Ke3 Ka6 50. Bd8 {Somehow, I didn't see this move. A great multi-purpose square for the bishop.} Kb5 {hoping to prevent the king from coming in while staying in the a-pawn's square.} 51. Kd2 c5 {creating a passed pawn of my own on the d-file.} 52. dxc5 {I felt this was a turning point and considered several options, each following a different principle.} d4 {going with the theme of restricting the opponent's king by controlling the d3 and c3 squares.} (52... Nxc5 {with a theme of endgame tactics. White cannot take on f6 because of} 53. Bxf6 Ne4+ 54. Ke3 Nxf6) (52... Kxc5 {with a theme of king activity}) 53. Kc2 Kxc5 54. b3 c3 {again, trying to limit the opponent's safe squares. Despite the hole on d3, white cannot leave the c-pawn's square:} 55. a6 (55. Kd3 Kb4 56. Kxd4 c2) 55... Kc6 56. b4 {Things looks bad. I considered resigning here, but thought maybe I can find something. It turned out better than I thought, but it wasn't enough to hold a draw.} Nb6 {this may be the only move, protecting the a8 square, allowing ...Kxb5 if b5+} ({The threat here is} 56... Nb8 57. b5+ Kd7 58. a7) 57. Bxf6 Nd5 58. Bxd4 Nxb4+ 59. Kxc3 Nxa6 60. Be3 {At best, I have a draw since the g-pawn will fall.} Nc5 {I'm not sure whether I had a draw before, but this is now lost. The bishop cannot take the pawn, and I thought the position after Bxc5 was a draw. I figured that I could keep the opposition and prevent the king from advancing to the 4th rank. What I failed to consider was that my king is tied down to the f-pawn's square, so white's king can outflank mine on the queenside. Donna shows me the error of my ways in expert form.} (60... Kd5 61. Bxg5 Nc5 {Probably gave me better chances.}) 61. Bxc5 Kxc5 62. Kb3 Kd5 {While I didn't consider Kb3, I thought taking \"diagonal opposition\" might help. If I could keep diagonal opposition on d5 and c6 I might be ok.} 63. Kb4 Ke5 (63... Kd6 64. Kc4 Kc6 65. Kd4 Kd6 66. Ke4 Ke7 67. Ke5 {is completely lost.} Kf7 68. f6 Kf8 69. Kf5 Kf7 70. Kxg5 Kf8 71. Kg6 Kg8 72. f7+ Kf8 73. g5 Ke7 74. Kg7) 64. Kc5 Kf4 {Instead I hope for a queen versus knight pawn draw. I can never remember which of these are draws and when. I know even theoretical wins can be tricky if black can threaten to promote. My pawn is not nearly advanced enough and white's king is too close, as we'll see...} 65. f6 Kxg4 66. f7 Kh3 67. f8=Q g4 68. Kd4 g3 69. Qh6+ Kg2 70. Ke3 Kg1 71. Kf3 {dacp won by resignation} (71. Kf3 g2 72. Qc1+ Kh2 73. Kf2 Kh3 74. Kg1) 1-0