Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Outside pawn

Cameron R - Scoones D
Nanaimo Open 1980

The scrappy position in the first diagram arose during a time scramble in the late stages of a game in which I had been on the attack for many moves. My opponent, a local expert, had historically been an easy point for me, and I wanted to keep the streak going. Needless to say, he too wanted to win this game and break the streak. Although I did not realise it, I had already missed two opportunities to put my opponent away cleanly. With most of my former advantage gone, my clock ticking down, and my rook under attack, it was time to start playing chess again.

Not much choice for the first move:
Getting the rook off prise and setting up a powerful pin on the knight. If White had seen what was coming, he might have opted for 38.Kxd4 here. In that case Black takes the exchange with 38...Ng2 39.Rxg2 Rxg2 40.Ke3 and now the best way forward is the simple 40...Rxb2. Another possibility was 38.b4, but that too would not help much. Because of his time shortage White decides to remain passive and see what happens.
38.Rc1 Ng2 39.Rcf1 Ne3 40.Rc1 Ng2 41.Rcf1
Black has repeated the position in order to make time control – a well-known technical device.
Also possible was 41...a5, fixing the queenside pawns, but it makes no difference. With the time control over it had become clear that the pin on the knight will eventually land White in zugzwang. When his spare moves run out he will have to bail with Rxg2 and the extra exchange will leave Black with only minor technical problems.
42.b4 a6 43.Rc1+ Kd6 44.Rcf1 (second diagram)
Black's strategy has paid off; he could now play 44...Kd7 and let White's spare moves run out as noted. But there is another way to win.
44...Ne3! 45. Rc1
Also a standard technical device. If there is any chance that Black will repeat moves and allow a draw, White should make it as easy as possible for him to do so. Thus he returns the rook to the same square.
45...Nd5 46.Rcf1 Nxb4 47.Kxd4
Not much choice. If 47.Rc1 then 47...Nd5 and Black wins the knight immediately.
47...Nd5 48.Ke4
Here Black could play to win a piece with 48...b5, but there is a simpler way of persuading White to resign.
48...Rxf4+ 49.Rxf4 Rxf4+ 50.Rxf4 Nxf4 51.Kxf4 Kd5!
Black's king dominates the centre and 52...b5 will give him an outside passed pawn. White's position is hopeless and so he resigned here.


Craig said...

what program do you use to make your diagrams?

Dan Scoones said...

I'm using ChessBase 8 with black and white diagrams instead of colour.

Craig said...

i'll try it out thank you...on my blog i go to chessgames.com and set up a diagram and copy it. the black and white cb8 diagrams look nicer...thanks!

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Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
National master (Canada) since 1984. B.C. Champion 1977 and 1984. Runner-up 1991 and 2002. B.C. Open Champion 1972 and 1982. B.C. U/14 Champion 1964-65-66. Mikhail Botvinnik once wrote that publishing your analytical work forces you to be accurate because it exposes you to criticism. Hence this blog.