Cxb

Black must take on b5. If 43...Sg8 White can play simply 44 b6, threatening Hc7+. To give up the c6 pawn is fatal, but White also wins after 44... ^b8 45 Hc7 Hg6 46 ^d3.

If his king were at b8, Black could ignore the breakthrough and play 43... Hg8. In this case he could achieve a draw by precise play. Here are the variations:

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43...fig8 44 <4>b4!? O 2xg2 45 &a5 2b2! 46 i>b6 2xb5+ 47 <4>xc6 2b2 48 h4 2h2 49 h5 e4! 50 2xf4 &a7!! © 51 i>b5 © Bb2+ 52 <i>c4 2h2 53 2f7+ <i?a6 © 54 2f6+ <4>a5! 55 h6 e3 56 <4>d3 e2 57 &d2 <4>b5 58 c6 <^b6 with a draw.

© 44 bxc6? is not promising for White because of 44...Sxg2; likewise 44 Bf6?! cxb5 45 <i>b4 2xg2.

© The only saving move! The king leaves the 8th rank, and White will not succeed in driving it back again.

© The most dangerous try. The game is also drawn after 51 Bf7+ <4>a6 52 Hfl ^a7 53 ^c7 <&>a6 54 Bal+ <&>b5 55 c6 Bxh5 56 Bh7+ 57 c7 <i>c4.

0 But not 53...<4>b8? 54 <4>b5 e3 55 Be7 and Black must resign.

A line that looks even more dangerous is one where White combines two threats: the advance of his passed pawn on the kingside and a sortie by his king on the queenside. But in this case too Black manages to defend himself:

43...Bg8 44 h4 Bxg2 45 h5! Bh2 46 sl?b4! 2b2+ 47 ^a5 Bxb5+

48 ^a6 O e4! © 49 h6 © Bxc5 50 h7 Bh5 51 <&>b6 0 <&>c8 52 <&>xc6 Bh6+ 53 ^d5 e3 and White has to take on f4, with a draw!

49 ^b6 Bb5+ 50 ^xc6 Bbl 51 h6, as does 48...2bl 49 h6 2hl 50 h7 followed by 2 f8+.

© Or 49 2xf4 2xc5 50 2h4 <4>c7 51 h6 Bel 52 <4>a5 Bal+ 53 ^b4 Ba8.

© Or 51 Bf8+ &c7 52 hSW Bxh8 53 Sxh8 e3 54 Be8 ^d6 55 <&>a5 <&c5! and it is White, not Black, who now has to find a way to save the game.

Up to now we have been looking at variations with the main idea of taking the king to b6. We must also see what happens if the pawn advances to b6. In this case too Black must play precisely in order to save the position. Here are a couple of variations:

44 b6 Bxg2 45 h4 Bg6 46 h5 Bh6 47 Bf5 e4 48 si?d4 e3 49 Bxf4 Bxh5 50 Be4 Bd5+ 51 ^c4 Bdl 52 Bxe3 Bcl+ 53 <&>d4 Bdl+ 54 Bd3 Bel 55 Bf3 Bdl+ 56 ^e4 Bel+ 57 Be3 Bel and so on.

For a correct assessment of the rook ending with pawns at b6 and c5 against a pawn at c6, it should be kept in mind that, if White manages to put his rook on c7, forcing the black rook to stay on the 6th rank, he wins easily by bringing his king to a6. Here is a sharp variation:

44 b6 Bxg2 45 h4 Bg6 46 ^b4!? B e6! (the only move; White was threatening to take his king to a6, play b6-b7, then move his rook to the a-file and thus mate the black king) 47 h5 (if 47 ^a5 there follows 47...e4 48 ^a6 Be8 49 b7?? e3, and White is short of one tempo to give mate) 47...e4 48 Bxf4 e3 49 Bfl e2 50 Bel Be4+ 51 ^c3 Be5 52 ^d4 Bxh5 53 Bxe2 Bh7! and the game must end in a draw (Diagram 88).

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We will now return to the game. 44 <&>b4

44 h4 was weaker; by playing 44... Sh8

45 <&>b4 Hxh4 46 c6 (if 46 <&>xb5 or

46 <&>a5 Black holds the draw by 46... Sh6!) 46...f3+ 47 <&>c5 fxg2 48 Hg7 b4 49 <4>b6 Hh8 50 Hxg2 b3 Black would quickly equalise.

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