Saturday, January 10, 2009

Najdorf-Czerniak 1929 Match, Game 8

(A. P. : How opposite-colored bishops' endings are won... and lost.)

Najdorf, Miguel - Czerniak, Moshe [C10]

Warsaw Match (Game 8), Oct. 1929

[Annotations: Czerniak]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Nxf6+ Nxf6 7. Bd3 b6? Required first was ...Be7, ...0-0 and only then ...b6. 8. Ne5 Qd5 9. Be2! Bb7 10. Bf3 Ne4 A mistake. (What should have been played is 10... Qa5+ 11. Bd2 Bxf3! 12. Qxf3 Qd5 with an equal game.) 11. O-O Rd8 12. c4! Qxd4 13. Qa4+!

13... c6 The best defence. (13... Ke7 loses because of 14. Nc6+) 14. Nxc6 Qd7! Again, the best. (After 14... Nc5? there would come 15. Nxd4+ Nxa4 16. Bxb7 Rxd4 17. Bc6+ with a won game.) 15. Bxe4 Rc8! 16. Rd1!

Very good. (After 16. Qxa7 Bxc6 17. Qxd7+ Bxd7 18. b3 Black, although a pawn down, can still defend himself.) 16... Bxc6 17. Rxd7 Bxa4 18. Rxa7 White has achieved a decisive advantage. 18... Bd7 19. Be3 Rxc4 20. Bxb6! Rxe4 21. Rd1!

Threatening mate in four: 22. Ra8+ Bc8 (if 22...Ke7 then it is mate in three) 23.Rxc8+ Ke7 24.Bd8+ Ke8 25. Bf6#.) 21... Bd6 Black gives up a rook, but that doesn't improve the situation.
After 22.Ra8+ Ke7 23.Rxh8, 24.Bd8# is threatened. 22. f3? White needlessly complicates the game. The simple Ra8+ wins immediately. Difficulties arise after the text move. 22... Ra4 23. Rxd6 Rxa7 24. Bxa7 Ke7 25. Bc5 Rc8 26. b4 Kd8 27. a4 Ra8 28. a5 Kc7 29. Rb6 Bc8

Black threatens, by the exchange of rooks (...Ra6), to force a draw through the presence of opposite-coloured bishops... 30. Bf8! g6 31. Bg7 Ra6 32. Be5+ Kd7 33. Rb8 Ra7 34. Kf2 Rb7 35. b5! Rxb8 36. Bxb8 f6 37. a6 e5 38. Ke3 Ke6 39. Kd3? Kd5!

White's last move was very weak. The king should stick to the dark squares. Now ...Bd7! or ...Kc5 is threatened. 40. a7 Bb7 41. Bc7 Kc5 42. b6 Kd5 43. Kc3 f5 44. Kb4

44... g5? The decisive error. It was necessary to place all the black pawns on light squares and maintain the draw by ...Ba8-b7-a8, etc. 45. Kb5 e4 46. fxe4+ fxe4 47. g4! e3 48. Bg3 Ke4??

A fatal oversight. (The game could be prolonged by 48... Ba8, but even then White would win...)

Black resigned without waiting for the opponent's reply.

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