Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Miss Easy Tactics! with Justin III

[Our pedagogical series in which we look at a portion of a game I played the previous weekend in which some obvious tactic is overlooked. Readers are invited to practice their skill by seeing if they can spot what was missed.]

Horton - Abos Rosico, Huesca Provincial Championship 2007. Last round, top board. Having missed a few wins on the way (which would not, as it happens, have affected the final placings) White instigated the following sequence:
1.h5 gxh5 2.g5 a4 3.g6 a3 4.Rf8 a2 5.Ra8 Ra3 6.Rxa3 Kxa3 7.g7 a1=Q 8.g8=Q.
At this point a draw was agreed. But there is something terribly wrong here. What is it?

The game is given below. (Report, in Spanish, with photos).


Anonymous said...

Surely Black can promote on a1 instead of playing Ra3. He still has time to get the rook back to cover g8 and the passed h and b pawns still need to be stopped even if he has to sac the rook on

Paul R

Anonymous said...

ignore the previous post - it is silly

chesslayer said...

This endgame is easy to win by playing f4 whenever you want. Because the next move f5 opens "f" column and allows white tower to check the black king and control the promotion square of the "a" pawn.
This move was suggested by Martínez in the post-mortem and Fritz 8 coincides with him.

Justin, I think you played much better during the game... However, I was quite lucky to save that position. So congratulations for your great performance in this tournament.

All the best,

Antonio Abós

(I wish I understood English better...)

Jonathan B said...

Tower is a much better name than Rook methinks.

ejh said...

Antonio is right that 1.f4 is stronger but it doesn't appear to lead to a clear win. There is something much stronger, for one of the players, at some point in the sequence.

chesslayer said...

OK, Now I can see what you were trying to say!

48,...Rh3! -+
followed, of course, by 49,...Rh4+ and 50,...Rb4 which stops the promoting pawn. And black have to lose their rook with Rxa2.

Don't know how I could miss it! But I was about to move the logical 48,...Ra3; so I did it and I didn't think that it could be any other possible move.

So 48.Rf8 loses!I'm surprised! I was only looking for a draw then!

Anonymous said...

After 48 .. Rh3 49 f3 looks strong.

How about trying to make d5 work in the start position? ( instead of h5)

ejh said...

49.f3 Rg3, surely?

But yes, 1.d5 (or 44.d5, if you prefer) looks very strong : better than 44.f4 because it leads to a clearly won endgame.

God, I play endgames badly. I know how to get into good positions, but then the specific details almost always elude me.

There's a report here with a somewhat out-of-date photo since Antonio is on the left and his opponent is not me.

yemon choi said...

I'm still missing something: after 48. Ra8 Rh3 49. Kf4 what is Black's winning plan?

49 ... Rh4+ 50. Kg5 Rg4+ 51. Kxh5 Rxg6
52. Rxa2+ Kxa3 53. Kxg6 and now isn't White winning?

ejh said...

He is: but Black doesn't have to play the check on the 49th move.

yemon choi said...

He is: but Black doesn't have to play the check on the 49th move.

Oh, of course, my stupid. I take it you mean something like 49 ... Rh1 and advance the h-pawn, with ...Rg1+ and takes g-pawn whenever necessary?

KnightMare Returns said...

It does not appear to be that clear cut. The Idea 4...Rh3!! followed by 5...Rh4+ and 6...Rg4 allows black to stop the g pawn. But on 4...Rh3 White has
5. d5!! Rh4+
(if 5...exd5 6.Kxd5 and black has no check to get behind the pawn)
6. f4 Rg4
7. d6! dxe6
7... Rxg6 and black can't stop the pawns)
So after 5. d5!! black's best seems to be 5...Ra3 returning to the game idea.

ejh said...

Except winning rather than drawing this time.