Saturday, December 28, 2013

The twelve rook and pawns of Christmas

White to play


Anonymous said...

I would have definitely played rf2 otb, but I wouldn't have been 100% sure it was winning.

Paul C

Jonathan B said...

Interesting. Somebody of similar strength suggested the same idea on Facebook.

His plan was to go

1 Rf2 (or Rf3) b4
2 b3 King retreats
3 white king penetrates

Thinking based on the observation that black's rook retreating allows the f-pawn to run which 'should' lead to a winning king and pawn endgame.

This is almost what actually happened in the game, but misses a detail that Levenfish and Smyslov seem to think is very important.

A certain chesser who had many great processors suggests Black missed a chance to save the game.

Which is not to say that Rf2 is wrong, but it's not what was played in the game.

John Cox said...

I don't know what was played in the game but I do know this is Rubinstein-Lasker, right? (or possibly vice versa) Possibly as featured in that absurd novel - Zugzwang, was it called?

Jonathan B said...

Good spot John. It's Lasker-Rubinstein. A rare example of Rubinstein losing a rook endgame

Jonathan B said...

Justin points out that autocorrect has struck again.

*Predecessors* not processors in my post of 29/12

John Cox said...

Oh no! I thought 'great processors' was an excellent gag. Don't tell me it was a typo and not even Freudian!

Jonathan B said...

I'm afraid the truth is mundane.

But I shall steal my accidental joke for use at some point in the future.

John Cox said...

You will, Oscar, you will.

Jonathan Rogers said...

Gosh, I knew that as well! It is documented by kasparov in vol 2 of the great processors (see what I did there?) when discussing a very important save by Botvinnik against Euwe in 1946. That endgame, which Euwe thought to be analogous to the Lasker game, turned out to be slightly but crucially different. These being the days of adjournments, Botvinnik had found the difference in the quiet of his study, or something.