Monday, November 25, 2013

Blue or Red Pill? XXIV

Black to play

No more rook and pawn action from Chennai to report. Nothing going on for me at Hampstead this weekend either. Why don't we have another BORP? ?

The closest I came to the prince of endgames was in the last round. We reached a position where the best my opponent (White) could do was end up a rook down in a rook ending.  That's the kind of rook ending I like! He didn't play that way, though. Actually he didn't play any way. Instead he let his clock run for six and a half minutes and when I pointed out his flag had fallen he said, "OK, I resign".

Some people are funny, ain't they?

Whatevs. With that win I finished 3rd-4th (again) with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 bye (again). One point away from first, half a point away from a share of second and some cash, so yet another near miss. Still, given the strength of my opposition on the Sunday I'm not too disappointed.  Particularly since (a) I didn't choke the last round this time and (b) that last-round win was my first ever victory against somebody rated over 200 ECF.

Adam, don' t you think it's time to introduce these to your tournaments?

Anyhoo, rook endings.

Up top we have another pair of positions from or inspired by Minev. In both cases Black is to move. In one we see Black about to force a win in Smyslov - Donner, Palma de Mallorca 1967. In the other we have a theoretical draw.


A point for Jan Hein

A game of chance it might be, but this is the win

Rook and pawn Index
BORP? Index


Anonymous said...

Quite a tricky one where one of the usual rules of thumb gives the wrong solution.


John Cox said...

Well, Black is definitely not winning the Vancura position, which is enough to answer the question. I'm not quite sure at first glance how he's winning the other one, though a wild guess says he'd better start with a rook move.

AngusF said...

Blue pill (first position) for me.

I've forgotten the details of the Vancura defence (looked at not many months ago) but reckon it's probably relevant that in the first position the defending rook isn't attacking the pawn.

So: can Black move his rook to b1, play Rb2+ and then either a2 (if the White king goes to the first rank) or Rb3+ (if the White king goes to the third rank). In the latter situation, the Black king will come over to help the pawn to queen.

Jonathan B said...

Red Pill - the one with the rook attacking the pawn - is indeed the draw.

Curiously 1 … Rb1 doesn't seem to win though in blue pill.

One of the problems of doing these well in advance is that by the time they appear I've often, like this time, forgotten the solution and have to work it out for myself again.

Bear with me.

Anonymous said...

I've played through the solution twice, once with the Shredder table-base and then with the actual game. That starts as R+2 v R where Donner gives up one of the pawns to reach the diagram. In the game, it seems far simpler than it does on the tablebase where you can choose the longest defence.

In those days, they had the process of adjournment, in other words pausing the game for analysis. Whether they adjourned in the middle of the ending is something you would have to consult contemporary reports to establish.