Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Stonewall

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VIDEO: The Stonewall - Part 3: The World Champ Attacks!

by GM Eugene Perelshteyn
After quickly reviewing a few more opening lines, GM Perelshteyn brings his video series on the Stonewall to a conclusion by showing an epic battle between two World Champions! In this game, the reign Watch Video »

The Bishop's Show: Wrap-Up -

The Bishop's Show: Wrap-Up -

The Bishop's Show: Wrap-Up

Submitted by WIM energia 

Last week we analyzed bishop endgames where a king played a major role. We studied a pattern where the bishop sacrifice cleared the way for the king. Today we will continue with the topic of king activity in bishop endgames but will look at different ideas. We will not be able to cover all of the ideas associated with king activity but concentrate on a few important ones. The first two examples will feature bishop sacrifice from a defensive point of view. The other examples will include the themes of pawn breakthrough and king's entrance into the opponent's position through the squares of the same and opposite color of the bishop.
The strategy explained in the next two examples works for positions where there is a passed pawn on one side but where the defending side has a majority on the other side. The defending side can try to stop the passed pawn but it will take time and resources, where the attacking side can use the deflected defender's pieces to run with the king to the other flank and collect pawns there. Or the defending side can sacrifice the bishop for the passed pawn but come with the king to the other flank where the attacking side has a pawn minority.
In the first example, the b5-pawn looks impressive, however the d-pawn can potentially move forward and create a passed e-pawn. Black takes the correct decision and eliminates the b-pawn right away; in return he gets a passed pawn and active king. Notice how all the white pawns on the kingside are on the opposite color squares from the bishop, so when the king comes up to collect them the bishop can only watch.
Ruck Petit, Monique (1935) vs. Carvajal, N. (1800)
Luzern ol (Women) | Luzern | Round 4| 1982 | ECO: D79 | 1/2-1/2
Below, the scenario is similar to the first example. White has the king supporting the passed pawn on the kingside, while black has the king in the centre and potential passed d-pawn. The h-pawn is far advanced and black has little choice but sacrificing the bishop for it. The complications arise when black is trying to get into white's position with the king. White's bishop and the c3-pawn cover the entrance squares, so black has to be precise in his implementation.
The defending side should aim to keep many pieces on the board when the attacking side's king is active. This is so because with less pieces on the board the significance of the king activity increases. Take for example, the next position. The knight on d8 is not the most active piece but it defends the key c6-pawn thus  black must not trade the knight but instead rely on tactics to preserve it.
Rakhinshteyn, Fima vs. Bellomo, Joe
Toronto op | Toronto | Round 5| 1995 | ECO: A28 | 1-0
In the next two examples white's active king invades the black position because the pawn structure is fixed and black cannot cover all the weak entrance squares. In the first position black loses the kingside pawns but gets the passed d-pawn. White is ready to sacrifice the bishop for the pawn and to get three passed pawns for the bishop. Because the black king is far away, the bishop cannot stop all three of them. To get to the bishop endgame white had to exchange the bishop for the knight first - a similar idea from the previous example.
Szabolcsi, Janos (2340) vs. Glatt, Gabor (2278)
HUN-chT 0607 | Hungary | Round 6| 4 Mar 2007 | ECO: E60 | 1-0
62. Bxd5!? cxd5 63. Kd4 Kc6! ( 63... Ke6?! 64. Kc5 g5 65. f4 ( 65. Kb5 d4 66. Kc4 Bb6 67. h3 g4 68. fxg4 fxg4 69. h4 Kf6 ) 65... gxf4 66. Bxf4 Bc3 67. Kb5 Bd4 68. a5 ) 64. Ke5 Kc5 ( 64... Kb7 65. Bd6 Kc6 66. Ke6 Bd2 67. Be5 Kc5 68. Kf6 d4 69. Kxg6 d3 70. Kxf5 Kc4 71. Bc7 Kb3 72. g4 hxg4 73. fxg4 Kc2 74. Bg3 ( 74. a5 ) ) 65. Kf6 d4 66. Kxg6 d3 67. Bf4 Kd4 68. Kxf5 Kc3 69. g4 hxg4 70. fxg4 Kc2 71. g5 Bd2! ( 71... d2 72. Bxd2 Kxd2 73. g6 Bc3 74. h4 ) 72. Bxd2 Kxd2 73. g6 Kc3 74. g7 d2 75. g8=Q d1=Q 76. Qg3+ Kb2 77. Qf4 Qh5+ 78. Ke4 Qe2+ 79. Kd5 Qg2+ 80. Kc5 Qc2+ 81. Kd6 Qg6+ 82. Kd5 Qg2+ 83. Kd4 Qg7+ 84. Kd3 Qg6+ 85. Qe4 Qa6+ 86. Ke3 Qh6+ 87. Qf4 Qe6+ 88. Kf2 Qb6+ 89. Qe3 Qf6+ 90. Ke1 Ka1 91. Qa3+ Kb1 92. Qb4+ Ka1 93. Qe4 Qc3+ 94. Kf1 Qf6+ 95. Ke2 Qa6+ 96. Kd2 Qd6+ 97. Ke1 Qc7 98. Qd4+ Ka2 99. h4 Ka3 100. Kd1 Qg3 101. Kc2 Qg2+ 102. Kc3 Qb2+ 103. Kc4 Qb4+ 104. Kd5 Qb7+ 105. Kd6 Qb8+ 106. Ke7 Qc7+ 107. Ke6 Qc8+ 108. Kf7 Qc7+ 109. Kg6 Qc6+ 110. Qf6 Qe4+ 111. Kg7 Qg4+ 112. Kh6 Kxa4 113. h5 Ka3 114. Qd6+ Ka2 115. Qd5+ Ka3 116. Kh7 Qg3 117. h6 Qg4 118. Qe5 Ka4 119. Qf6 Ka3 120. Qg6 Qd7+ 121. Kg8 Qd8+ 122. Kg7 Qe7+ 123. Qf7 Qg5+ 124. Kh7 Qg4 125. Qg7 Qe6 126. Qg3+ Ka4 127. Qf4+ Ka3 128. Kg7 Qe7+ 129. Kg6 Qe8+ 130. Kg5 Qg8+ 131. Kh4 Qh7 132. Kh5 Qd3 133. Kh4 Qh7 134. Qf3+ Ka4 135. Kh5 Kb4 136. Qg4+ Ka3 137. Qg6 Qd7 138. Qg3+ Ka2 139. Qf2+ Ka3 140. Qf3+ Ka2 141. Qe4 Qf7+ 142. Kg4 Qg8+ 143. Kh3 Qc8+ 144. Kg3 Qg8+ 145. Kh2 Ka3 146. h7 Qg7 147. Qa8+ Kb4
The last example features an active king for white and a "bad bishop" for black. The bishop is locked behind the f6-pawn. First, white improves the king position and then temporarily sacrifices a pawn (or even two pawns in some variations) to get the king in. White would not be able to win this endgame without a zugzwang idea. The bishop on g7 defends the f6-pawn and can do so only from the g7 or the h8-square. The king has to stay on b7 because it guards the c6-square. On the other hand, the white bishop can freely move on the a3-f8 diagonal winning tempos to put black into a zugzwang.
In summary we looked at positions where king activity plays a key role in bishop endgames. We covered a combination of ideas including bishop sacrifice from the defensive point of view, pawn breaks and exchanges that lead to the bishop endgame. On this note we are wrapping up bishop endgames and moving on to endgames where many pieces are present.