Saturday, July 9, 2011

Czerniak Ending

According to Ha'aretz (18.3.38, chess column editor Moshe Marmorosh), Moshe Czerniak won the Jerusalem championship of 37/38 (Jewish year 5698) -- for the fourth time -- with a clean score (10/10). On 11.3.38 Marmorosh, in the same newspaper, gives an interesting pawn-and-knight ending which Czerniak won against Zilberman (ph. spelling):

This position is, objectively, better for Black: not only is he a pawn up but the White king is not in the best position to stop his pawns.  On  the other hand White's most advanced pawn is already on the sixth rank. 1. Ke2 [Fritz] is best, leaving Black better. But Czerniak always preferred to play actively, and probably didn't cherish his chances of holding the ending with defensive attempts of this sort. So he set a practical trap with...

1. Kd4! [Marmorosh's annotation] h5?? [Fritz]. 

Very natural -- and losing! Now White is winning despite the three advanced outside connected passed pawns. 

2. b5 h4 3. c5 h3 4. b6 cxb6 5. cxb6 h2 6. a7+ Kb7 7. Nc7 h1=Q 

Black even queens first, but...

8. a8=Q+ Kxb6 9. Nd5 Kb5 10. Qb7+ 1-0

 It is mate next move.

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