Friday, March 15, 2013

Elementary Chess Endings

I was talking to a friend the other day about our favourite chess ending. We spoke about quite a few old classics and each had our particular favourite. Hopefully we will see some more over the next few weeks in London at the Candidates' tournament, and with some great endgame players, I can't imagine there not be a few classics.

But after my post last week, I thought I'd share my favourite classic endgame. I have always liked pawn endgames, and I prefer endgames that actually happened in games compared to composed studies. One of the first endgames I was shown is still one of my favourites, Lasker-Tarrasch St Petersburg 1914.

It looks bad for white. Black has a pawn majority on the queen side, his king is nearer to the queen side than white's king and is also able to easily stop white's pawn from advancing far. Yet Lasker managed to draw this position and it was black fighting for that draw in the end!

1.h4! This wins time against the advance of black's queen side as Tarrasch can't allow white to play 2.h5 1..Kg4 2.Kg6!! Again winning time as white now threatens 3.h5 so black's next is forced 2..Kxh4 3.Kf5 and now white's king "shoulders" black's king in the race to the queen side.

The game finished 3..Kg3 4.Ke4 Kf2 5.Kd5 Ke2 6.Kxc5 Kd2 7.Kxb5 Kc2 8.Kxa5 Kxb3 Draw.

Study of classic endgames is good for anyone. I hope to bring some more favourite classics to this blog :)

No comments:

Post a Comment