Friday, January 03, 2014

The twelve rook and pawns of Christmas

White to play


Jonathan Rogers said...

Am I here before Roger and John, or am I actually third and it is simply that all our comments are awaiting moderation?

Why would anyone want to moderate us? But I digress.

This is a Capa endgame, I think against Tartakower, from 1924, and is another example of a passed pawn with an active king being as dangerous as - in this case, more dangerous than - a larger pawn majority on the other side of the board.

I actually used to give this to juniors as a coaching lesson in the 1990s. Now you know.

Jonathan O'Connor said...

This is the famous Capablanca-Tartakower game, as given in Chernev's book 62? Instructive Games.

From memory, Capablanca played 1.Kg3 Rxc3+ 2.Kh4 Rf3 3.g6 Rxf4+ 4.Kg5, and then hid his king on f6 using the f5 pawn as protection.

Anonymous said...

Other than the named basic endings, I think this position is probably the most famous R+P ending there is.

Paul C

Jonathan B said...

Apologies for the delay in moderation today.

I left my phone at home and have had to wait until lunch time to use works computer.

You're all correct, of course.

Unknown said...

How about trying to find an improvement on Tartakower's play? 2...Rf3 is probably the culprit. How about leaving it on c3 and trying to create some queen's side threats with a6 followed by b5? 3 g6 b5 4.axb5 axb5 5 Kg5 b4

An Ordinary Chessplayer said...

Deservedly famous. There was a similar finish in Marshall - Blanco, Havana 1913, which Capablanca annotated for the tournament book. But aesthetically Capablanca's endgame is more like an endgame study, and Marshall's endgame is more like one of my hackish efforts.

@Roger Emerson - White can also win on points. I think 2...a6 3.Rd7 planning Rxd5, Rxf5+, Rxb5 if it is there. If 3...c6 then Kg5-f6 is back on.