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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:20 pm
Posts: 155
Location: Eckental / Germany
 Post subject: How good is your endgame?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:26 am 
If you want to test your endgame skill, please set up the following position which is from a real game:

White: Kf7, Re7, Pf6
Black: Kh7, Ra6

White to move.

Try to solve this endgame position without moving the pieces, as you would have to in a tournament game. If you can do this successfully, you are a real endgame master. I will give you the solution later, so that you won't see it right away.

I always thought that Capablanca was one of the best endgame players, but when I went over his games with Alekhine in the World Championship Match 1927, I discovered that he had made a lot of bad moves in his endgames.

There were

- 4 inaccurate moves
- 7 bad moves
- 2 outright blunders

That's quite a lot for a world champion, isn't it?

Of course I was also interested in Alekhine's endgame play. He made

- 7 inaccurate moves
- 7 bad moves
- 1 outright blunder

So I think that Capablanca's and Alekhine's endgame play was more or less equal, but Alekhine was better in the opening and middle game and that's why he won the match.

Going back to the above position:

The game was Capablanca vs. Vera Menchik. Hastings 1929/30 (Menchik was the female world champion).

Capablance played

56. Rd7?? (correct is 56. Kf8 Kg6 57. f7 Kf6 58. Kg8 or 56. Kf8 Kh8 57. f7 Ra8+ 58. Re8 Ra7 59. Re1 Kh7 60. Rh1+ Kg6 61. Kg8)

If you solved this correctly, you are a better endgame player than Capablanca.

The game continued:

56. - Ra8 57. Re7 Ra6?? (Here Menchik missed her chance to draw against a former world champion by playing 57. - Rb8!) 58. Kf8 Kg6 59. f7 Ra8 60. Re8 Ra7 61. Re6 Kh7 62. Ke8?? (62. Re1!) Ra8 63. Ke7 Ra7?? (Kh7!) 64. Kf6 (1 - 0)

It would be interesting to know whether a Lasker had played this position correctly.

What would Botvinnik have done if this position had occurred in one of his games?

I am sure he would have adjourned the game and made a thorough analysis.

A good engine can play it correctly even without tablebases. So could Karpov. If anybody is entitled to be called a "chess machine" it is him and not Capablanca.


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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:51 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Michigan, U.S.A
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:53 pm 
is it king f8

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