53 ( +1 | -1 ) Whoopsie Endgames.I enjoyed a a fun game as black on board #5944769 but felt I let slip a golden opportunity to get a good scalp.
Apart from avoiding the blunder which cost me a sizable lead, does anyone please have any tips on how I could have played the endgame better and any other general endgame principles that I may have neglected?
p.s. I did offer a draw on or about move 60 and was unsure about the etiquette of renewing my offer?
160 ( +1 | -1 ) Indeed, your lead was quite a comfortable oneYour advantage should have been kept by 34. - Bd3 with the idea of Bc4, and all of your Q-side tokens protect each other. So you can decide depending on his moves which of your pawns can start to run best. (Of course, 35. Re6 has to be answered by 35. - g6.)
After you lost your advantage with a piece up, the endgame with two pawns up looks won as well, but after 39. - a5 one of these pawns was lost. What about 39. - Rd8 and 40. - Rd7 protecting both of your extra pawns? And then bring your King into play to support your rook and those two extra pawns. He may manage to win one of these pawns (after it has been pushed forward "too far"), but that should give you a chance of trading the rooks. The endgame 4 pawns vs. 3 pawns is in your favour because his King first has to care for your extra pawn - in the meantime you sweep away his K-side pawns.
One golden rule for rook-endings is "the rook should be BEHIND the pawns", finally he gave you the chance to do so (wRa1, bRa3, bPa2), it still looks won after that, but I am not too sure. One pawn ahead often isn't enough in a rook-endgame. With his move #68 is was a definite draw.
I don't understand his final remark written in capitals (= SHOUTED): "YOU ONLY HAD TO OFFER A DRAW". You offered a draw before and showed him that it's okay for you, he refused (I don't know why, but that's his business). So normally it's his turn to offer the draw next. I wouldn't have renewed my offer as well because it may look like I am begging for the half point. It is his turn to do so, maybe a comment "Are you really trying to win this position?" is appropriate.
159 ( +1 | -1 ) Draw offers...My attitude is, if you really think it's a dead draw, ignore the usual courtesies and offer again. But if you think maybe there is some play in the position, however small, then keep shtoom. I once offered a draw in a position I felt confident about holding (though my opponent had the initiative, a superior pawn position and plenty of ways to try and extract something from the position), and upon my opponent's refusal played on until I knew the game was dead - a further 19 moves - then offered again. The second offer was accepted, no problem. w (Position after move 30, the first draw offer) If your offer is a test to gauge your opponent's feeling about the game, or in the hope that he will accept in a position marginally worse for you, then it is discourteous, I reckon, to repeat the experiment. Your next offer (assuming the enemy hasn't made one himself in the meantime) ought to imply your genuine belief that not only is the game level, but also that there is no meaningful play left. *** As for the ending itself: you maintained a considerable edge despite losing matreial for quite late in the game. The position with R+2p vs R ought to have still been more or less winning, but you seemed to insist upon your opponent winning one of them, whereupon all your winning chances vanish, pretty much. I'll look into it more closely later on. Cheers, Ion
334 ( +1 | -1 ) Seems it was pretty much a draw......earlier than I thought. After the 30th move, Black is winning: N+2P ahead. Now is the time to consolidate. w Position after 31.Bxa3. 31...Be4 is fine: a good, well protected square for the B. But I might have been inclined to move the rook first, as the g6 square isn't bad for the B for the time being, either. Given the big material plus, you might consider giving up some of it to reach a simpler endgame. One possible line is to give up the Exchange: 31...Nc4 32.Bxf8 Kxf8 (32...Nxe3 first is tempting, but I think the K takes is better) 33.Kf2 (so as not to commit the rook) 33...a5 34.Ra1 Bc2 (or 34.Rc1 a4). It looks very difficult for white to come up with counterplay here). This is the line I would probably play here. *** 32...Rc8 or ...Ra8 seems preferable to ...Rf7, which seems an awkward square from which to progress further. I'd go for ...Rc8, allowing White to win the a-pawn if he wants, whilst pushing the c-pawn as hard as I could. White can, of course, eliminate both passers: 33.Bxd6 cxd6 34.Rxa7 Rc3 with this possible continuation: 35.Kf2 Rc2+ 36.Kg1 Rg2+ 37.Kf1 Rxh2 with 38...Rg2 39...Rxg3 to come. Black doesn't mind the loss of his back d-pawn, and the piece + 2P advantage persists with much less material on the board. *** 36.Ra6 d4? Just seems to lose a piece and a big chunk of your advantage. I like 36...Rd7, with the same idea (...d4) in view, but taking a good deal of the sting out of White's neat counteraction. If White waits with, say, 37.h3, then ...d4 38.Re6 Bg6 holds, whilst if at once 37.Re6 then any of 37...Kf7, ...Bg6, or ...f5 looks OK for Black. *** 40...Rb8? is counterintuitive. I like 40...Ra8, getting behind the passed pawn (the more likely candidate than the d6 pawn). 40...Ra8 41.Rxd6 a4 42.Rd1/d2 (take your pick) a3 43.Ra1/a2 Kf7... Note that if White elects to place his rook on the back rank, you do not, an you value your life, advance the pawn to ...a2. You want, need, and must have this square available to the black king. The game might continue 44.Kf2 Ke6 45.Ke3 Kd4 46.Kd3 Kc4 47.Kc3 ... White is maintaining the 'opposition'. How to continue? Try 47...Re8 with a view to 48.Rxa3?? Re3+ 49.Kb2 Rxa3 50.Kxa3 Kd4 with an easy win. If 48.Kb3 Kb4 and exchanges on a3 still lead to a winning pawn ending for Black. *** White has the draw by move 42, though of course it's one he has to fight for, but 42.Rd8+ doesn't help. Better is 42.Rd7 or 42.Ra6 then 43.Ra7 getting behind the passed pawn, and then sealing off the K along the 7th rank. Black's only chance then is to bring his K out via ...h6. It's not easy to see that that will acieve a whole lot! *** For better or for worse, you had to play 44.(f5+) Kxf5 45.Rxg7 a4. If 46.Rxh7 a3 47.Ra7 a2, and white has to give up the rook for the a-pawn. So White will have to forgo the h-pawn for now (46.Ra7), whereupon Black retains some winning chances (I want to research this position further...) *** After that, White seems always to have enough to draw, although he doesn't always take the simplest route to it! At move 53, the WK could go after the a pawn, and there isn't a lot Black can do about it. Though in the game continuation Black emerges with 3P vs P, White's position is so active, and Black's so cramped, the latter can't realise his extra material. 60.Rh2+ Rh5 61.Rg2 probably would have drawn the game at once, being a good moment to make the offer. Black has to vary if he wants the win, but he hasn't a vast range of options! *** An interesting exercise, and no doubt others will find improvements to this brief (!) analysis. Cheers, Ion
70 ( +1 | -1 ) I made the same assumption......when I first glanced at the game. But it was when I started moving pieces around that it quickly became apparent that things weren't so simple! Tricky things, rook endings. Mind you, the 2-pawn deficit means that White is always fighting just to draw the game. Without those extra pawns against him, he would have found the draw a lot easier to achieve! It is one of those positions though, that seen ahead, look like a good place to head for. I've had that happen a number of times. A position that seems fine 3 or 4 moves ahead can look pretty dismal once you've reached it. Cheers, Ion
162 ( +1 | -1 ) A further look...... at the position at 44.f5+(!) does seem to indicate that White has the draw, even if he has to fight for it. b After 44...Kh6 45.Ra7 Ra2 it is already becoming difficult to see how Black can make progress. A possible line is (this is by no means forced; both sides can vary, though you need to take care): 46.h4 a4 47.g4 a3 48.g5+ fxg5 49.hxg5+ Kxg5 50.Rxg7+ Kxf5 51.Ra7 (The h-pawn is taboo) 51...h5 52.Ra4 h4 (Still taboo...) 53.Kh1 h3 54.Ra5+ Ke4 55.Ra8 Kd4 56.Rd8+ Kc3 57.Rc8+ Kb3 58.Rb8+ Kc4 59.Rc8+ Kd3 ("Gimme, gimme shelter...") 60.Ra8 h2 61.Rd8+ Kc2 62.Rc8+ Kb2 63.Rb8+ Kc3 64.Rb3+!! Kd4 65.Rd3+! and Black can never escape the checks, as White keeps checking along the 3rd rank, or the b-file if Black tries to escape via a4. What if Black had tried 64...Kc2, then? 65.Rc3+ still does the business. Suppose Black goes all cunning: 64. ... Kc2 65.Rc3+ Kb2 66.Rb3+ Ka1 67.Rb1+ Kxb1 Stalemate. Or, 64...Kc2 65.Rc3+ Kd1 (even cunninger) 66.Rc1+ Kd2 67.Rd1+ etc. Unfortunately, 44...Kxf5 still seems to lead to a draw with best play. However, 44...Kxf5 45.Rxg7 h5 is preferable to the trappy 45...a4, as after 46.Ra7 Ra2 47.Rxh7 actually is playable, and is OK for White. After 45.Rxg7 h5 the game might go 46.Rc7 Ra2 47.Rc5+ Kg4 (...f5 might be preferable) 48.Rc4+ Kg5 (Not 48...Kh3 49.Rh4#!) 49.Kf1 a4 50.Ke1 f5 51.Rh4 a3 52.Ra4 Rxh2 53.Rxa3 Kg4 54.Kf1 Rh3 55.Kf2 f4 56.Ra4 Rxg3... Now, these R+(f-pawn) +(h-pawn) are extremely difficult to win, and in many cases the attacker finds himself unable to make progress. This is one of those "book draw" cases where there is no obligation on the attacker to offer a draw or to accept a draw offer. The defender has to prove he can hold - and it ain't easy. For a precedent, there is (I think) a famous game between Fischer and Keres in which Fischer, with R+RP+BP tried to find a win, but Keres's technique was enough to keep him out. After 44...Kxf5, White has 45.Rd5+ which seems also sufficient to draw. Cheers, Ion