Showing posts with label Endgames. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Endgames. Show all posts

February 28, 2012

Chess Fortress?!

While watching my husband's game in Bundesliga this weekend, I was stunned by another encounter, between Anish Giri and Markus Ragger. The game went on for 113 moves and I was shocked to see that Black was not able to make any progress from a position which looked to me, at the first glance, completely winning!

March 4, 2011

Two beautiful endgames

Today was an endgame day for me, quite interesting I must say. Underneath you have two beautiful diagrams, I hope you will not remember them immediately:) They are both famous, especially the second one, but it's always great to see again such brilliant miniatures.

December 22, 2010

Endgame tablebases

Like many other chess players, I am also following the live games of the World Women Chess Championship on the Official Website.
After Ruan Lufei has lost her second game against Hou Yifan, I started to analyse the rook endgame, which was again very interesting to check:) For the entire analysis of the game, you can visit Chess Vibes.
There are many critical moments in a game and the players have to be extremely focused all the time. Many chances suddenly appear and you have to be sharp enough to see them. But it's very difficult to calculate very deep some positions, with so many lines to be checked. The endgame tablebase (more about it at the end of today's post) doesn't have this problem, engines never get tired and thus, we can come up with the following analysis:

Ruan Lufei vs Hou Yifan

Hou Yifan played a great game, got a big advantage with Black, but after a few small inaccuracies, the following position appeared on the board:

White to play and draw!

Here Ruan Lufei played 48.Kg6? when after 48...Ra6 Black is winning.
Instead, White could have played 48.Kf6! with a draw that it is almost impossible to see, for humans. But nowdays, when endgame tablebases exists, it's easy for us to give a correct solution. If it would only be that simple for the players...
If Black goes after 48.Kf6
48...Ra6 49.Ke5 Rb6 50.Kd4 b3 51.Re1 with a draw.

Instead, on move 48 Black goes:

48...Rb5 49.Re2 and here Black has two options: taking on h5 or playing b3. Let's take a look at 49...b3 first.
49...b3 50.Rb2 Rb6 51.Ke5 Kf7 52.Kd4 Kf6 with the following position:

White to play and draw

53.Rg2! Rb5 54.Kc3 Kf5 (if 54...b2 55.Rb2 and draw) 55.Kb2 Kf4 56.Rg6 Rh5 57.Kb3 with a theoretical draw.

Let's go back to move 49 when Black could have played 49...Rh5 resulting in the position below:

White to play and draw

50.Ra2! Ke8 51.Ke6! Kd8 52.Kd6 Kc8 53.Kc6 Kb8 and now:

 54.Ra6! Rh4 55.Rb6 Ka7 (55...Kc8 56.Ra6 back and draw) 56.Rb7 Ka6 and the last and final drawing move:

57.Rb8! Rc4 58. Kd5 Rf4 59.Kc6 with a well fought draw for White!

An endgame tablebase is a computerized database that contains precalculated exhaustive analysis of a chess endgame position. The tablebase contains the game-theoretical value (win, loss, or draw) of each possible move in each possible position, and how many moves it would take to achieve that result with perfect play.
So far, all positions with 6 pieces (including kings) have been solved. Whenever you want to be sure of your analysis or to check an endgame with 6 pieces, you can go here!

Research on seven-piece tablebases is ongoing and may be completed by the end of 2015. Which makes me wonder: Chess will eventually be solved?!

December 18, 2010

Hou Yifan vs Koneru Humpy

Round 5 Match 1:

Picture taken from the official website

While watching the games from the World Women Chess Championship live on internet, I've got interested in the game analyzed below, between Hou Yifan and Koneru Humpy. We even commented it on facebook with Anish Giri and Parimarjan Negi:) It's always exciting to follow such games, where the stress, pressure and the stake might give a completely different turn to a chess game.
Many times in such situations, the winner is not the one who is stronger chesswise, but the one who handles stress better, the one who makes less mistakes, the one who is psychologically tougher.

A critical moment in the game occured in the following position:

Black to move
Can Black save the game?

The answer is given in the analysis below; it was not the only moment when Humpy could have given the match a different turn (to view the lines, click on the moves):

Of course, sitting comfortably at home, without anything to lose, it's much easier to be objective. It's much easier to analyse from outside of the system than from inside, because we get the whole picture.
Wondering if the chinese federation has a psychologist to help players perform better...I cannot overlook the fact that all the chinese players (and you can even see that they dominate the WWCC!) look very stable and balanced on the outside. You cannot read any emotions on their faces, you have no clue what they are thinking about! That doesn't mean they are robots, definitely not! For sure the stress for them is even higher due to higher expectations. But they manage to keep their emotions under control, showing on the outside only determination and a winner attitude.
We can learn a lot from them, especially how to take our loses less tragically. They probably understood that: "Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success." - Napoleon Hill

November 30, 2010

Remco Heite - Final Round

The winner in the Remco Heite Tournament, Wolvega, was decided just in the very last moment, in the critical final round. There were 3 players with the same number of points: Anish Giri, Erwin l'Ami and Luke McShane. Since Erwin and Anish drew in their last encounter, McShane would be clear first, in case of a win against Loek van Wely. Playing with Black, McShane got a slight edge in the middlegame, which resulted in a clear better endgame. Van Wely, however, continued to defend stubbornly, and in the diagrammed position, he has a clear way to defend (In Loek's defence, he hardly had any time on the clock and after 66.Kf3 Rxf2+ 67.Rxf2 exf2 68.gxf5+ Kxf5 69.Kxf2 Kf4, he resigned). How can White's play be improved? 

White to play and draw