Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Real-Life Study

In the 1936 championship of Tel Aviv, the game between Y. Taub and S. Weil reached the following position.

Here are Czerniak's annotations (source: HaSachmat, vol. 1 no. 1., Sept. 1936, p. 5).

White's position seems hopeless. Black is a pawn up and has a better position.

1. c5! Bxd5 Perhaps slightly better is 1... dxc5 but even then Black's victory is very doubtful, e.g. 2. e4! c4 3. Bd4! Kf7 4. Bc3! a4 5. Rf1+ and Black must be careful or he might even lose.

2. cxd6!! Rxc1! Other moves draw immediately. For example: 2... Rd8 3. Rc5 or 2... Be6 3. Rxc8+.

3. d7 Rh1+ 4. Kg3 Rh3+! A honorary mention to both. This looks more like a study than an actual ending. 5. Kf4 Rf3+ 6. Ke5 Rf5+ 7. Kd6 Rf8 Black's rook is finally in its correct place. But the quiet is decieving.

8. Kxd5 Kf7! The only move to save the game. 8... a4 9. e4 Kf7 (too late!) 10. e5 Rd8 11. Bc5!! and the threat of e6+! wins. We see how merely changing the move order can decide a game.

9. Kd6 Forced loss of a tempo. If, e.g., 9. Bc5 Rd8 10. Kd6 Kf6! 11. e4? Rxd7+ and Black wins.

9... a4! At the right moment! If instead 9... Rd8 10. e4 a4 (again -- too late!) 11. e5 Re8 12. Bc5! h5 13. Kd5!! followed by e6+.

10. e4 a3 11. e5 Re8!! The point. White has no time to play Bc5 and Kd5 because Black queens. 12. dxe8=Q+ Kxe8 13. Kd5 Drawn (1/2-1/2)

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