Thursday, January 02, 2014

The twelve rook and pawns of Christmas



Black to play

10 comments:

John Cox said...

Well, maybe I'm here before Roger for once. This is, er, some game where Smyslov was Black, isn't it? He managed to draw by activating rapidly, presumably starting with 1...Rd2.

Jonathan B said...

You're half right John.

... Rd2 was the move.

Smyslov wasn't Black though.

John Cox said...

Yes, on reflection the game I'm thinking of was different - the white pawn was on e3, and in some similar scenario at some point Smyslov went ...f4; exf4 Kf3, leaving himself dozens of pawns down but forcing perpetual. Probably in L&S.

Anonymous said...

Played by one of the all-time masters of Rook endings. I would have played .. Rd6 and lost, but it's a game that shows why authors tell us to activate the Rook at all costs in such endings, even losing a pawn with check.

RdC

AngusF said...

I didn't like ...Rd6 because of a4 and a5.

So: 1... Rd2 and if 2 Rxb6+ Kg5 3 Ke1 Rc2 and Black's king is threatening to come to f3 and to help the rook win the f2 pawn... Does that give Black enough?

Jonathan B said...

Lilienthal - Smyslov, 1941 by the sound of it - (which is indeed in L&S. There's an obvious similarity there.

Jonathan B said...

Well yes, that's the question. White's got a lot of pawns that can run up the board in the meantime.

Jonathan Rogers said...

That's the thing though - connected pased pawns run relatively slowly because one pawn is always waiting for the other! Which is why it can be possible to have effective counterplay with a lesser majority on the other side of he board.

Jonathan B said...

That's an interesting observation Jonathan. I hadn't thought about it before, but it makes perfect sense.

Roger Emerson said...

Actually it's Tarrasch v Rubinstein from Saint Sebastian 1911. After 1...Rd2 2 Rxb6+ Kg5 3.Ke1 Rc2 white might have done better pushing the a pawn, although it can get double-edged.