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Interesting Endgame

Black to move
This position is much more complex than how it looks. If you set up this position with black to move in Fritz, after depth 20 or so, the computer gets the evaluation wrong!!! This is fritz 9 with the use of tablebases!!.
The question is Can Black Draw?
This position was reached in my game against Marijan in the Stella Niagara Quick Open and I was black. I blundered with ...g5 here and resigned the very next move after Marijan played g4 (Zugzwang).
After much analysis I now know the true evaluation of this position. But I leave it to the readers to try and find it with/without computer help. I will post the full analysis in a few days time.
The game can be replayed at view game


  1. We discussed this variation:
    32.K:c4 h5. I remember I thought 33.h4, but later it seemed that this could not possibly be right. Actually it will arrive to the same position as in next variation with white on the move, and it seems it is a draw. The variation I would enter into is:
    32.K:c4 h5 33.g3 g5 34.h3 g4! (34…h4? loses) 35.h4 Kd6. Now white has to be careful. Trying to win with 36.Kc4? would lose. So the simplest:
    36.Kd4 Ke6 37.Kd3 Kd6 38.Ke3 Ke5 39.Kd3 Kd6 and we repeat the position. (black would lose on 39…f5? 40.e:f Kf5 41.Kd4!winning. So it seems it is a draw after all. What did I miss?

  2. It seems that even 32. f5 would draw. So game was drawn, but it is equal even before first move. 32...g5? as in the game was a disaster.
    I do not know why I was just exchangig piecess. But we gotd very instructive position at the end.
    Looking forward to your comments, Harish.

  3. In the diagram position in the blog, it is black to move. and black is already lost. A sample variation may be

    32...h5 33.h4 g5 (only reasonable move) 34.e5!! (this is the move that wins for white and even fritz does find it two moves earlier)34...fxe5 (again forced) 35.hxg5 Kd6 (forced) 36.Kd3! (White is aiming for the position with white king at e4 and black king at e6 with black to move. This is easy to obtain.). 36...Ke6 37.Ke4 h4 (forced since no other good move). 38.g6 Kf6 39.g7 Kxg7 40.Kxe5 Kg6 41.Kf4 Kh5 42.Kf5! And black is lost.

    Even with 36...Kd5 (instead of 36...Ke6) 37.Ke3! and black has no good moves. White simply uses his g pawn as decoy and wins black's e pawn and later the h pawn.

    Actually my real mistake in the game was to exchange your knight. The resulting pawn endgame is lost for black.

  4. 32...f5 alo loses. 33.exf5 gxf5 34.h3 h5 35.h4 f4 36.Kd4 and white will win the f and h pawns.

  5. First variation is surprisingly lost, yet 2nd variation I wish it is so simple:
    32...f5 33.exf5 gxf5 34.h3 h5 35.h4 Kd5! (not 35…f4 36.Kd4! and white wins) 36.Kd4 Ke5 and I do not see any progress. What we should investigate is 33.e5, which seems winning, but who can be so sure. We should look at those variations this coming Wednesday.

  6. 32...f5 33.exf5 gxf5 34.h3 h5 35.h4 Kd5

    I cant see ...Kd5. (did you mean ...Kd6 since white king is at c4 and exchange of knigts at c4). With ...Kd6 white penetrates with Kb5.

  7. Certainly it was 35...Kd6
    32...f5 33.exf5 gxf5 34.h3 h5 35.h4 Kd6!
    (You said: With ...Kd6 white penetrates with Kb5.)
    You are right. I missed the check at move 43.
    36.Kb5 Ke5 37.K:a5 Kf4 38.Kb4 Kg3 39.a4 Kg2 40. a5 f4 41.a6 f3 42.a7 f2 43.a8Q+
    I just thought it could be draw. Somehow I am still not convinced. Any addtional help from anyone...

  8. Yes that right. After queening with check, white can afford to sacrifice the queen for the pawn and then promote his other pawn to queen on b8. thereby controlling key squares on the diagnol on g3 and h2. and hence winning. we shall go over it on wednesday.

  9. As I said I am non cvonvinced. ILook at this variation. I think it is a draw in this way (unless I missed something again:
    32...f5 33.exf5 gxf5 34.h3 h5 35.h4 Kd6! 36.Kb5 f4!!! Now there are 3 sub variations:
    I. 37.K:a5 Kc5 38.Ka6 Kc6 and draw
    II. 37.Kc4 Ke5 38.Kd3 Kd5 and there is no progress for white
    III. 37.Kc4 Ke5 38.Kc5 Ke4 and I prefer black.
    I think this is great position, and I do not think we exhausted everything.

  10. In your first variation
    I. 37.K:a5 Kc5 38.Ka6 Kc6 and draw

    But 38.Ka4 (instead of Ka6)attacking the black pawn looks winning for white. Now black has no move and white will win the black pawn.

  11. It is strange, and you are right again. Somehow I do not see simple answer. Yet I try to find the way to draw, and still not convinced that whithe had forced win. Before you said you should not exchange knight, bu white night was much more active especially after taking a-pawn...

  12. It is very intresting game.I hva eplayed this game free time.I really like this game.Defense Game