Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

2/29/20 - Bereolos-Goldin, 1999 US Amateur Team South

Some minor piece madness from my game against Darrin Goldin in the 4th round of the 1999 USAT South. After 45...Nxb5, White has two extra pawns, but still faces some technical difficulties because the far advanced e-pawn needs protection. One thing working in White's favor is that his bishop covers the queening square of the h-pawn, so Black can't bail out by sacrificing a knight for the e-pawn.

46.Nb4 Immediately activating the king doesn't work 46.Kg6 Ne5+ 47.Kf5 Nc6 48.Ke6 Nbd4+ 49.Kd6 Nf5+ 46...Nbd6? Here, Kg6 is a threat, which Black should have prevented with 46...Kf7! 47.Nd5? 47.Kg6! should win 47...Ne5+ 48.Kf6! Nf3 49.Ke6! with the point 49...Nxh4 50.Nd5! is mating 47...Kf7! 48.Bg5 Nf5 This was a good moment to disturb he knight on d5 48...Ke6 49.Nf4+ Kf7! and Black is holding 49.Kg4! Ng7? knights are often poorly placed on N2, especially against a rook pawn. This seems to be no exception. He should have just returned with 49...Nfd6 50.h4? With one Black knight poorly placed on g7, I should have dominated the other knight with 50.Bf4! and the following line illustrates the problem with Ng7 vs. an h-pawn 50...Ke6 51.h4! Kxd5 52.h5! Ke6 53.h6! 50...Ne5+! 51.Kf4 Ng6+ 52.Ke4

52...Ne6? Black is getting squeezed after 52...Ne8? 53.h5! or 52...Ke8? 53.h5 Nh8 54.Bf6, but covering f6 again holds 52...Nh5! 53.Nf6 (53.Kf5 Ng7+) 53...Nxf6+ 54.Bxf6 Nxe7= 53.Bf6! Ng7 54.Bxg7! Nxh4 55.Bf6 Around this point some grins began to appear on the faces of my teammates as in the same round in the same even the previous year, I had demonstrated the B+N mate. 55...Ng6 56.Kf5 Nxe7+ 57.Nxe7 Ke8 58.Ke6 Kd8 59.Be5 Ke8 60.Bc7 Kf8 61.Nf5 Ke8 62.Ng7+ Kf8 63.Kf6 Kg8 64.Kg6 Kf8 65.Bd6+ Kg8 66.Ba3 Kh8 67.Nf5 Kg8 68.Nh6+ 1-0

2/26/20 - BCE-55, Kmoch-van Scheltinga, Amsterdam 1936

The last couple of weeks, my BCE posts have featured positions with a knight trying to defend against a bishop. The ending from today's game sees the knight with the upper hand, although Fine did not use this example in the minor piece endings section of BCE. Instead, he looked at a potential pawn ending that could have arisen .

The 1936 tournament in Amsterdam was an 8-player round robin featuring some star power at the top. The reigning World Champion, Euwe, tied with Fine, while Alekhine trailed a half point further back having lost his individual encounter with Euwe. These were the only players with a plus score. The players in today's game finished at the bottom of the table, although the winner, Hans Kmoch, did have an influence in the final results as he handed Fine his only defeat. The tournament was a bit rougher for Theo van Schelting, who was a late substitute and ended up losing all of his games. After 31...Bxe3

Kmoch forced the exchange of rooks 32.Rc2 Bd4 33.Rxc3 Bxc3 34.Nc2 Kg7 35.Kf3 White could also immediately create a passed pawn with 35.a4 but chooses not to be concerned about ...b4 as the b-pawn is another Black weakness 35...Kg6 36.Ne3 h5 37.Nf5 Be1 38.h4 b4 39.Ng3 hxg4+ 40.Kxg4! Bc3 40...Bxg3 41.Kxg3 leads to BCE-55 41.Nf5 Be5 42.Ne7+ Kh6 43.Nd5 Bd6 43...Bc3 44.a4 44.Nxf6 Kg6 45.Ne4 Be7 46.Ng3 Bc5 47.h5+ Kh6 48.Nf5+ Kh7 49.Kg5 Bf8 50.h6 Bc5 51.Kh5 Bf8 52.Ng7 Bc5 53.Ne6 Be3 54.Ng5+ 1-0

2/25/20 - Gilliland-Bereolos, West Lafayette 1990

For a change of pace, here is some opening theory, albeit in what might be considered a dead variation. This game was played in a one day swiss sponsored by the Purdue Chess Club against Randy Gilliland. 1.f4 e5?! These days, From's Gambit is a rare bird. 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4 The line that has pretty much knocked the From's out of commission is 5.g3 g4 6.Nh4 Ne7 7.d4 Ng6 8.Nxg6 hxg6 9.Qd3 and Black has struggled to find compensation. One of the few examples that I found of a GM playing the From's in the past 7 years was a big opening round upset Maisuradze-Fier Tsaghkadzor 2017 which continued 9...Bf5 10.e4 Qe7 11.Bg2 Nc6 12.Qe3 Bd7 13.Bd2 Rh5 14.Nc3 Nb4 15.0-0-0 c5 16.e5 Bc7 17.Ne4 cxd4 18.Qb3 Nc6 19.Qxb7 Rc8 20.Nf6+ Kd8 21.Nxd7 Nxe5 22.Nxe5 Rxe5 23.Rhe1 1-0 5...g4 6.Ng5?! 6.Ne5 as played in the second game of the 1892 match between Bird and Lasker (the first game to ever feature 4...g5) is still considered as White's best choice here. 6...f5 7.e4 h6 8.e5 Be7 The most common move. One of the reasons that I revisted this game was that I found an old tournament bulletin from the 1995 Chessterton January Open where my game against Roger Blaine was analyzed (Roger played 5.g3). I believe the annotations were by Joe Alford and the variation 8...Bxe5 9.dxe5 Qxd1+ 10.Kxd1 hxg5 11.Bxg5 Be6 was mentioned. The equal assessment in MCO-12 was questioned because of White's extra pawn plus the bishop pair. The online engines of ChessBase's Let's Check seem to agree. MCO-13 changed the assessment to slight advantage to White and quoted analysis by Soltis 11...Rh5 12.h4 gxh3 13.Bf4) However, in limited practice, 8...Bxe5 has scored well for Black. 9.Nh3 gxh3 10.Qh5+ Kf8 11.Bc4 Rh7 12.Be3

MCO-13 stopped here with the assessment of unclear. Today's engines disagree and suggest guarding the pawn with 12.c3 as best. This move also cuts out Black's possibility of ...Bb4+. I guess because it was one of the first issues of Chess Life & Review that I ever received, I remembered that this line was discussed in Evans' column in the September 1978 issue. A reader submitted postal game Lach-Reilly continued 12.Qg6 Rg7 (Lach mentions that Soltis recommended 12...Bb4+ but it should just lead to a transposition) 13.Bxh6 Bb4+ (Reilly played 13...Nxh6 and White had the advantage after 14.Qxh6 Bb4+ 15.c3 Qg5 16.Qxh3) 14.Ke2 (14.c3 Qh4+ is the point). Evans comments that 14. Ke2 thwarts Qh4+ but after 14...Nxh6 15.Qxh6 Qg5 the difference between the position with Ke2 versus c3 in Lach-Reilly is seen. White doesn't have time to capture the h-pawn since 16.Qxh3 Qxg2+ is check so he probably must exchange queens with 16. Qxg5 Rxg5 and Black is better with his extra piece. 12...hxg2?! A seemingly natural move establishing a passed pawn on the 7th with tempo after only 12 moves, but opening the g-file appears to work to White's advantage. The engine's consensus is that Black is winning after 12...Nc6 13.0-0 Bg5 13.Rg1 Bh4+ 13...b5!? is a strange engine suggestion 14.Bb3 (14.Bxb5 Bb7 holding g2 is the point) 14...Bg5 15.Rxg2 Rg7 16.Bxg5 hxg5 17.Nc3 g4 18.Rf2 Qg5 19.Qxg5 Rxg5 20.Nxb5 Na6 21.0-0-0 Here, the positionn is still a mess. Black is probably better as White has only two pawns for the piece, but Black's army is completely uncoordinated. 14.Ke2 Rg7 15.Nd2? White can still save himself here with 15.Bxh6 Nxh6 16.Qxh6 Qg5 17.Qh8+ Ke7 18.Bd5! hitting the g-pawn and ready to block checks with Bf3. (but not 18.Qxc8? when Black has a mating attack 18...Qg4+ 19.Ke3 (19.Kd2 Qxd4+ 20.Bd3 Bg5+) 19...Bg5+ 20.Kd3 (20.Kf2 Qf4+ 21.Ke2 Qe3+ 22.Kd1 Qxg1+ 23.Bf1 gxf1Q#) 20...Qf3#)

After 18.Bd5! there is disagreement amongst the Let's Check engines as to Black's best move here, but they all give the cold 0.00 of equality. However, as Sadler points out in Game Changer, engines often bail out to a repetition in positions that may have very long term possibilities. I don't know if that is the case here, but there are certainly ways to keep the game going. I explored some of the suggested lines and didn't find better than a draw, but the position is far from dead. Fritz quickly goes for the repetition 18...Qg4+ 19.Bf3 Rg8 20.Qh7+ Rg7, but certainly Black can try for more than that. One version of Stockfish suggests a queen sacrifice 18...Nc6 19.Rxg2 Qxg2+ 20.Bxg2 Rxg2+ 21.Kf1 Rxh2 but now White gives perpetual check starting with 22.Qg7+. Another version of Stockfish finds a way to keep going for quite a while with 18...Bf2!? and here there are certainly alternatives along the way in this line that again ends with a perpetual: 19.Kxf2 Be6 20.Rxg2 Qf4+ 21.Ke1 Qc1+ 22.Kf2 Rxg2+ 23.Bxg2 Qxc2+ 24.Nd2 Qxd2+ 25.Kg1 Qxd4+ 26.Kh1 Nd7 27.Qxa8 Bd5 28.Rg1 Nxe5 29.Re1 Bxg2+ 30.Kxg2 Qd5+ 31.Kf1 Qh1+ 32.Ke2 Qe4+ 33.Kf1= 15...f4

This should be killing with the twin threats of ...fxe3 and Bg4+ 16.e6 16.Rxg2 Rxg2+ 17.Kd3 Qe8 18.Qxh4 Bf5+ 19.Kc3 fxe3 20.Rf1 exd2 21.Rxf5+ Kg7 22.Qe4 d1Q 23.Qxg2+ Kh8 24.Rf7 Qxf7 25.Bxf7 Nc6 26.d5 Qd4+ 0-1 was Grcic-Neeman, Belconnen 2003 16...Qg5?! I must have had some worries about 16...fxe3 17.Raf1+ gxf1Q+ 18.Rxf1+ but White has given way too much material after 18...Bf2 19.Ne4 Qxd4 17.Qf3 Qg4 18.Bxf4 Qxf3+ 19.Nxf3 Bf6 20.Bxc7? White could still hope to carry on with 20.Kf2 collecting the g-pawn, but Black's extra piece should tell.20...Rxc7 0-1

2/19/20 - BCE-223, Midgley-Thomas, 1915 Lancashire Championship

This week's BCE position again has a lone knight in the defense. This time against a bishop and two pawns. This would normally be trivial except one of the pawns is a wrong-colored rook pawn and the pawns are blockaded. The blockade would normally mean a draw, but in the given case the White pieces lack space and the solution is an excellent example of how a bishop can dominate a knight because of its ability to lose a tempo.

What I found more interesting was Fine's reference for this game. Instead of his normal practice of quoting game positions by players and location, here it is Analysis by W. Ward. From a game in Lancashire, 1915) I did some research to see if I could discover more. A search of the database did not find the position. Checking the British Chess Magazine I finally discovered the position in the September 1915 issue (p. 308) which identifies the players and cites analysis by Ward published in The Field. Furthermore, in the November 1915 issue (p. 376) there is a letter from Mr. Ward which has the analysis that appears in BCE. Further research unearthed the entire game in the January 1916 issue (p.16) of American Chess Bulletin. Again, analysis by Ward in The Field is cited. Unfortunately, I was only able to find The Field digitized up until 1911, so I was only able to get second hand reporting of Ward's original analysis.

From the reports in the British Chess Magazine (August 1915, p. 275) and the American Chess Bulletin, this was the finals of that year's Lancashire Championship with four players. BCM reports that Houghton and Thomas tied for first with 2.5, but ACB says each player played six games. Perhaps it was a double round robin, but the scoring was based on the individual 2-game matches. I'm not sure of the strength of these players, I didn't find games by either of them in the database. From this game and the result of the tournament, I would say that Mr. Thomas was the stronger player. I also found a match listing where he played the top board for the City of London Chess Club. However, in the February 1916 issue of the British Chess Magazine there is a note on page 56 regarding a simul given by Blackburne in which Mr. Midgley was the only winner, so he was not a total pushover.

In our subject game, Midgley seemed to be trying to draw by trading pieces at every opportunity, which is generally not a good idea. White found himself in a lost ending after 51...Kxc4

52.Nxe5+ Kd4 53.Nc6+ Kxe4 54.Kc2 Kf3 55.Kd3 Bc5 56.a5 bxa5! 57.Nxa5 Kg3 58.Ke2 Kxh3 59.Kf3 Kh2 60.Nb3 Bb6 61.Nd2 Kg1 62.Ke4

62...Kg2 It seems like Thomas might have started seeing ghosts around here. He decides to collect the g4 pawn instead of just rolling the pawn home here or on the next several moves with ...h3. I guess we should be thankful as otherwise this game might have been completely lost to history. 63.Nf3 Bd8 64.Ne1+ Kg3 65.Ke3 Kxg4 66.Kf2 Bb6+ 67.Kg2 Black faces some technical difficulties now as White can draw if he manages to sacrifice his knight for the g-pawn. He can accomplish this by taking the pawn directly or taking the h-pawn in a situation where Black has to capture with the g-pawn. In addition, numerous stalemate tricks abound. 67...h3+ 68.Kh1 Kg3 69.Nd3 Bd4 70.Nc5 g4! 70...Bxc5?= 71.Ne4+ Kf4 72.Ng3 Be5 72...Kxg3?= 73.Ne2+ Kf3 74.Ng1+ Kg3! 75.Ne2+ Kh4 76.Kg1 Bd6 77.Kh1 Bg3 78.Kg1 Bc7 79.Kh1

79...h2? Black has been failing to find a plan over the past several moves and finally loses patience. This move should have cost him the half point. Instead, Black should bring his bishop to f2, which pens in the White king while taking away some key squares for the knight, particularly g3. After that he can bring the king in.7 9...Bd6 80.Kg1 (80.Ng1 g3) 80...Bc5+ 81.Kh2 Bf2 82.Kh1 Kg5 83.Kh2 Kf5 84.Kh1 Ke4 85.Kh2 Kf3 80.Nd4! activating the king with 80.Kg2? allows Black to keep the knight a bay with a couple of accurate moves 80...Be5! 81.Nc1 Kg5 82.Nd3 Bg3! 80...Kg3 81.Nf3! Kf2 capturing the knight either way is stalemate, but Black could have tried to bait White into trying another stalemate trap with 81...Kh3!? 82.Nxh2? (82.Ng5+! Kh4 83.Nf3+ Kg3 84.Nxh2 is the way to draw) when Black wins with 82...g3! 82.Nh4? 82.Ne5! g3 83.Ng4+! Kf1 84.Nxh2+ 82...Bg3 83.Nf5 Be5? 83...Bf4! was necessary in order to stop the White knight from attacking the g-pawn; then 84.Ng3 Ke3 85.Nf5+ (85.Nf1+ Ke2 or 85.Nh5 Be5 leave the knight dominated) 85...Ke4 86.Ng7 puts the knight badly out of play 86...Be5-+

84.Nh4? White misses the same drawing mechanism he did on move 82. 84.Nh6! g3 85.Ng4+! Kf1 86.Nxh2+ 84...Bf4 85.Ng2 Bd6 86.Nh4 g3 87.Ng2 Be7 Finally reaching the starting position of BCE-223, in the game White lost quickly after 88.Nh4 Bg5 89.Ng2 Ke2 0-1

2/16/20 - The Longest Game

Last month I wrote about the rook endgame in game 6 of the first Kasparov-Karpov match. In that analysis, I proposed that in Timman's recent book, The Longest Game, he identified the losing moment one move too early. In the preface to the book they had an email address to send corrections, so I sent in my analysis. I received a very quick answer with a response forwarded from the legendary Dutch GM himself! He did not find fault in my variation, which improved on analysis by Yusupov. However, he had an improvement at the beginning of Yusupov's line. After 48...Kd4

49.Kb1 (in the game Kasparov played 49.f4) Instead of Yusupov's 49...Rb8+, Timman replied that 49...Ke4 is stronger threatening to penetrate the kingside. He said that he didn't include the variation because here White has nothing better than to transpose to the game with 50.f4. I looked at the alternative of activating the rook with 50.Re2+ Kf3 51.Re7, but the following variation wins for Black 51...g5 52.Re6 Rh8 53.Rf6+ Kg2 54.h4 g4 55.h5

55...Rb8+ 56.Ka2 (56.Ka1 Rb4!) Rb2+ 57.Kxa3 Rxf2 58.Rxh6 Kxg3 -+

However, after further analysis, I am once again going to dare to respectfully disagree with the esteemed GM. I have been unable to crack the following defense, which at first blush seems totally passive. 50.Rc2 Kf3 The first point is that Black can't yet activate his rook 50...Rb8+ 51.Ka1 Rb2 (51...Rb3 52.Rc7 Kf3 53.Rxg7 Kxf2 54.Rg6) 52.Rc7 Rxf2 53.Rxg7 Rxh2 54.Rg6 and White draws by Vancura's method even without the g3 pawn. 50...a2+!? 51.Ka1 would at first glance only help White, but having the king on the first rank can be important in some variations. 51...Ra7 and now White should activate his rook with 51.Rc4+ Kf3 Rf4+ If he waits with 52.Rd2? as in the main line, then the difference of the White king position is revealed in the line 52...Kf3 53.Rc2 Ra6 54.Rc7 g5 55.Rf7+ Kg2 56.h4 g4 57.h5 Ra4 and Black queens with check in the pawn ending after 58.Rf4 Rxf4 59.gxf4 Kxf2 51.Ka2! The key move, sheltering the king with the a-pawn and leaving the back rank before activating the rook. The variations below will illustrate its importance. 51...g5 Black eventually has to push his kingside pawns to make progress. Some alternatives a) 51...Kg2 52.f4+; b) 51...Ra7 White just waits with 52.Rd2; c) 51...Re8 52.Rc7 g5 53. Rc6; d) 51...Ra6 52.Rc7 g5 53.Rf7+ Kg2 54.h4 g4 55.h5 Ra5 with the king off of the back rank, White doesn't have to fear the pawn ending (55...Ra4 56.Rf4) 56.Rf4! Kh3 57.f3 Kxg3 58.Rxg4+ Kxf3 59.Rg6 Rxh5 60.Rc6= is again Vancura's draw; 52.Rc6 Rh8 53.Rf6+ Kg2 54.h4 g4 55.h5 Reaching the same position as in the variation after 50.Rh2+ except the White king is on a2 instead of a1.

Here Black lacks the resource Rb8+. As we saw in earlier variations White will play Rf4 to tie Black to defense of the g-pawn and it seems that Black can do is reach Vancura's position.

2/12/20 - BCE-217b

This week's BCE position features limited material with a lone knight defending against bishop plus pawn. Still, this type of ending is much more subtle than it might appear at first glance. The assessment can change depending on the position of the bishop. The following position presented by Nunn in Secrets of Minor Piece Endings is an excellent illustration of this.

White must find a series of only moves to bring home the point. The main line runs 1.Bg3! Nf6 2.Kc7! Kc5 3.Bd6+! Kb5 4.Be5! Nd5+ 5.Kd6! Nb6 6.Bd4! It is still too soon to advance the pawn 6.c7? Ka6! 7.Bd4 Nc8+! 8.Kd7 Kb7! 9.Bc5 Ka8! 10.Kxc8 stalemate, a theme we saw in the game Martinovsky-Bereolos. 6...Na8 with the knight relegated to the corner the win is now pretty simple. 7.Kd7 Kc4 8.Bf2 Kb5 9.Be3 Kc4 10.Kc8 Kb5 11.Kb7 and captures the knight next move.

2/5/20 - BCE-497

A somewhat simple BCE position this week, but it is a followup to the rook versus knight ending we saw last week in Neumann-Steinitz. One might argue that this position doesn't qualify as a correction since Fine uses the phrase "and if" before the losing 3...Kb8? I decided to include it because Fine gives the move 2...Ne7 two exclamation points. BCE is one of the few chess books I have that doesn't include definitions of ! and ?, but lavishing two exclams makes one think that it is the only move. Especially, since Fine begins his examination of alternatives with the phrase "but not"

I also thought this example could be greatly improved by White playing 2.Rb3!? to reach the following position

Here, 2...Ne7! is the only drawing move. Instead 2...Nd6? loses 3.Kb6! Nc4+ Now this isn't a fork 4.Kc5 Ne5 5.Re3 Ng4 5...Nd7+ 6.Kc6 Nb8+ 7.Kb6 Nd7+ 8.Kc7 threatening the knight and Ra3+ 6.Re4 Nf6 7.Rf4 Nh5 7...Nd7+ is similar to the previous variation 8.Kc6 8.Rf5 Ng3 9.Rf3 Ne4+ 10.Kb6 and wins. Alas, Benko decided not to change Fine's analysis.