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    A.J.'s R+P Endgame School   

 (Example/position # 08)


This is an endgame that I first analyzed several years ago. I annotated it and posted it here on my web site in 2002. (I also sent a copy to a few of my students.) But, amazingly enough, I never linked the page to my endgame school! (So it is doubtful that many of you have seen this page.)

When this was recently brought to my attention, I was flabbergasted. But then I realized it was no big deal, just a chance to do the game over. I could both improve it and fix a few of the problems. (Apparently, the old js-script page did not work so well.)  Tuesday;  June 08, 2004. 


 "The Passive Rook"

When I was preparing, my endgame school, a few years ago, I played through literally hundreds, if not thousands, of games ... looking for just that perfect game that illustrated just one point really well. This one game - much more so than any other game I found --- clearly illustrated the dangers of a passive Rook in the endgame. There are other games - especially in the endgame books - that show this point. But few really show it in the really clear and vivid way that this one game does. It should be studied over and over again, until the student feels he has absorbed all the lessons that this game teaches. 

This game was in Java-Script, but has been converted into a text score page. There are a few diagrams as well. But you will still want - or need - a chessboard in order to be able to follow this game fully. (You will NOT be able to study this game correctly without a board!)  

*******

  Click  HERE  to see this game, (UN-annotated); in the popular  Java-Script Re-play  format.  

  Click  HERE  to see an explanation ... of some of the more common symbols that I utilize in annotating a chess game. 


   GM Evgeny Vladimirov (2598) - IM Penteala Harikrishna (2500)   
 [E18] 
 Penta Media GM Tournament 

  Kelamabakkam, IND; / (Round # 08), 22.08.2000.  

[A.J. Goldsby I]

An outstanding endgame by White, which clearly demonstrates the danger  ... ... ...  
when one player has a PASSIVE ROOK in this phase of the game. 

 

A well-played game by both parties, but the complete ineffectiveness of the Black Rook, 
{stuck on the edge of the board, guarding a RP}; in the endgame proves to be his undoing. 

 

We are not interested in the opening here, in so far as this is my endgame school, and therefore the beginning phase 
of the game does not really concern us. (Let's just say that the opening here is adequate.) 
{Many web sites - or even endgame books - simply pick up the game from where the position for the R+P ending begins. I prefer NOT to do this as many students might like to see ... and, of course, study ... the whole game. I sincerely believe that studying WHOLE games is absolutely the best method for any really serious student.} 


 1.Nf3 Nf6;  2.c4 e6;  3.g3 b6;  {Diagram?}   
Black transposes to a Queen's Indian Defense.  

[ For more information on this opening, see MCO-14; or any other reliable opening manual. ]  

 

 4.Bg2 Bb7;  5.d4 Be7;  6.0-0 0-0;  7.Nc3 Ne4!;  8.Nxe4 Bxe4;    
 9.Nh4!? Bxg2;  10.Nxg2 d5!?;  ('!') ("=")   {Diagram?}    
Thus far, the opening has been fairly unremarkable ... and at this point, I see really no advantage at 
all for White, at least not in the current position. 

 11.Qa4!? dxc4!?;  12.Qxc4 c5!?;  13.Be3 cxd4;  14.Bxd4 Qc8!?;     
 15.Rac1 Na6;  16.Nf4 Qxc4!?; 
{Diagram?}       
This leaves White in command of the open c-file.  

     [ Maybe just 16...Qb7!?; instead? ]    

 

 17.Rxc4 Rfd8;  18.Be3 Nc5;  19.b4 Nd7;  20.Nd3 Bd6;  21.Rfc1, "~"  (Maybe "+/=")  {Diagram?}     
At this point, most computers see little or no edge for White. Yet the seeds for Black's defeat have already been sown. 
(White's command of the open c-file and slightly more space, especially on the Queenside.)  

     [ Also good was:  21.Rc6!? ]  

 

   White now sets about to create an isolated RP, and then tie Black's pieces down to it.     

The computer does not really understand this technique, as it correctly predicts few of White's moves. 
However, it does see White's advantage creep up the scale, but at a very slow - almost imperceptible - rate 
of increase (per move).  

 21...Kf8;  ('!?')  {Diagram?}    
Bringing the King closer for the coming endgame.  

     [ Maybe 21...Ne5!?; here? ]   

 

In this next phase of the game, both sides simply jockey for position.
(Vladimirov is also trying to exchange a set of minor pieces, while his opponent avoids doing it ... 
 if he can.)  
 22.a4! Ke7;  23.a5 Rdb8;  24.Rc6 bxa5!?;  25.bxa5 a6!?;  26.Rd1! Ba3;  27.Rc3 Bd6;  28.Rc6 Ba3;      
 29.Bg5+! f6;  30.Bc1! Bxc1;  31.Rdxc1 Rb5!?;  32.Rc7! Rd5;  {Box?}   {Diagram?}   
Is this forced?  (If Black plays {>/=} ...Kd8; then the move Nf4 also is good for White.)  

     [ Not  32...Rxa5?;  as  33.Nc5, ''  {Diagram?}  will cost Black material. ]   

 

Over the next 5-10 moves, White will make considerable progress.  
(He will trade the Knights, one pair of Rooks, and tie Black's remaining Rook down to the defense of the Queen's RP.)  
 33.Nc5 Rb8?!;  (A desperate bid for counterplay?)  {Diagram?}   
Either this is an oversight, an error, or perhaps an inaccuracy ... caused by the approaching time control.  

Whatever the reason, the move looks to be a gamble - of a bad sort.  

     [ Much better was:  >/=  33...e5{Diagram?}   just trying to hang on.    
        But after:  34.e4,  ('')  {Diagram?}   White maintains a very solid edge. ]    

 

 34.Nxd7!?,  ('!!')  (hmmm)   {See the diagram ... just below.}     
This looks logical, yet the computer likes the immediate capture on the a6-square instead. 
(I mention this only in the interests of accuracy.)  

 

 ************** 

   White just captured Black's Knight on d7. (eg_19-pos1.gif, 29 KB)

 ************** 

 

Perhaps White missed a move here?
Or perhaps Vladimirov saw the capture on a6 ...  but thought that it would allow too much counterplay? 
Or ... with the possible time control coming up at move forty, (or 45); White might have already been short of time?
Who knows, or can say for sure?  

In the end, the way the game was actually played ...  
turns out to be far more interesting to the student, than if White had captured on a6 here. 
(I also do not entirely trust the computer, {yet};  Fritz 8.0 does not understand certain composed endings ... 
 that lead to Byzantine and very complicated draws.)  

     [ The move of Nxa6 does seem to be an improvement ... 
        but perhaps White {thought} he saw something that I cannot see here. 

        After Nxa6,  Fritz 8.0  gives the following continuation:  

        >/=  34.Nxa6! Rb2{Diagram?}   
        Trying to activate the Rooks.  

           ( Or 34...Ra8;  35.Nb4! Rd2;  36.a6, ''  {Diagram?}      
              with a very large advantage for White in this position. )     

        35.e4 Rdd236.Nc5 Ra237.a6,  ''  (Maybe "+/-")  {Diagram?}    
        with a nearly overwhelming edge for White here - in this line.   
        (This would be a difficult line to calculate in time pressure. And after ...Kd8; Rxd7+, Rxd7; Nxd7, 
          ...Kxd7;  White might have thought the game to be drawn. But after ...Kd8; White has 38.Nxe6+!)  

        One thing that IS certain in these lines ... 
        Black has a great deal more piece play, than he ever achieves in the actual game!  
       {Perhaps this is a good reason for White to entirely avoid these lines?} ]   

 

 34...Rxd7;  35.R1c6! Ra8;  36.Kg2!,  ''   {See the diagram ... just below.}      
Getting ready to bring the King into the game. The advice is somewhat over-used, yet it remains very true.   
("In endgames with reduced pieces, the King is a FIGHTING piece ... and should be used aggressively.") 

 

**************

   White just played his King to the g2-square. (eg_19-pos2.gif, 29 KB)

**************

 

 Please note this position ... we are coming up on the R+P ending that we want to devote deep study to. (!)   

     [ Another idea is:  36.f3!?{Diagram?}    
       and then bring the White King to the center of the board.  
       (Via the route of f2, e3; etc.) ]   

 

The next phase of the game is fairly easy to understand. White swaps one set of Rooks. Than, in an effort to coax the second player into creating a new weakness, the first party hurls his King-side Pawns forward. When Black decides not to cooperate, White grabs the center  ...  and then simply marches his King all the way over to the Queen-side.   
 36...Ra7;  37.Rxd7+ Kxd7;  38.Rb6 Ke7;  39.h4! Kd7;  {Diagram?}    
Note how Black's Rook is almost completely frozen in place ... and therefore - virtually useless.  

 40.h5 Ke7;   {See the diagram - just below.}        
All Black can do in this position is to temporize. 
This means simply making Pawn moves, or even moving his King back and forth.  

 

**************

   Black just played  ...Ke7;  here. (eg_19-pos3.gif, 29 KB)

**************

 

In the meantime, the second player has to hope and pray that White cannot find a winning plan. 

     [ </=  40...Ra8?41.Rb7+ Kc642.Rxg7,  ''   (Maybe "+/-")  ]  

 

Now White, having first forced his opponent's Rook into almost total bondage, marches his King over to the Queen-side. 
(The second player is helpless, and can only watch events unfold.) 

 41.e4! Kd7;  42.Kf3 Ke7;  43.Ke3 h6!?;  44.f4 Kd7;  45.Kd4 Ke7;   {Diagram?}    
Again - all Black can do is sway back and forth, like a reed shaken in the wind. White is almost 
completely free to do  whatever he wants here.  

     [ </=  45...e5+??46.fxe5 fxe5+47.Kxe5, "+/-" ]   

 

 46.Kc5 Kd7;   {See the diagram, just below here.}      
Black has many ways to play this position ... but all roads here will lead {only} to Rome. (and a loss) 

 

**************

  Black just played his King to the d7-square.  (eg_19-pos4.gif, 28 KB)

**************

 

White enjoys a free hand here  ...  but please note that this situation did NOT arise be accident! 
(The first player planned this all the way.)  

     [  Another way for Black to go down in flames was:  46...f5!?{Diagram?}   
        Seemingly more active, {than the text};  ... but, really pointless in the long run.  

        47.exf5! exf548.Kd5 Kf749.Ke5 Rc750.Rxa6 Rc5+51.Kd6 Rc3 
        52.Rb6 Rxg353.a6 Ra354.Kc6,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?}   
        White wins easily from here. ]   

 

White now finds an interesting move ... and a maneuver ... that allows him to penetrate Black's seeming solid defense.   
 47.Rd6+! Ke7;  48.Kb6! Ra8;  {Diagram?}      
This appears to be forced.  

     [ After the moves:  </=  48...Kxd6?;  ('??')  49.Kxa7 Kc550.Kxa6 Kc6 
        51.Ka7 e552.fxe5 fxe553.a6 Kc7{Diagram?}       
        Everything loses here.  

           ( Or 53...Kc5!?;  54.Kb7 Kd4;  55.a7 Kxe4;  56.a8Q Kf3;       
              57.Kc6! e4;  58.Kd5 e3;  59.Kd4+ Kf2;  60.Qf8+ Ke2;          
              61.Qf5!,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?}  and Black's cause is hopeless. )      

        54.g4, "+/-"  (tempo)   {Diagram?}       
        and Black must give ground ... and lose the game.  

        PLEASE NOTE:  White's earlier pawn thrusts, beginning with h4, made these 
        K+P endings relatively simple wins. ]   

 

*********************************************************************

The final phase of the game sees the first player win Black's QRP; and then advancing his asset in for promotion.  

Black attempts counterplay ... but it is all too little, too late. 
 49.Rc6 e5;  50.f5 Rb8+!?;  51.Kxa6 Rb4;  52.Rb6 Rxe4;  53.Kb7 Rd4;      
 54.a6 Rd7+;  55.Kc6 e4!?;   ('?')  {See the diagram - just below.}
     
This move is actually an error, but it is hard to criticize Black ... his position was completely lost here.  

 

 ************** 

   Black's last move was inaccurate, but it no longer mattered.  (eg_19-pos5.gif, 29 KB)

**************

 

This is a good place for a diagram.  
(Black's passed Pawn looks dangerous here, but this is all a mirage.)  

     [ Maybe Rd6 was better ... but Black will still lose from this position. 
        >/=  55...Rd6+56.Kc5 Rd157.a7 Rc1+58.Kb5 Rb1+;       
        59.Kc6 Ra1{Diagram?}    Black is running out of moves.   

            ( Or if: 59...Rc1+;  then  60.Kb7, "+/-"  with a relatively easy win. )      

        60.Rb7+ Kf861.Rb8+ Ke762.a8Q,  ("+/-")   {Diagram?}       
        and Black could give up the lost cause - and simply resign here. ]   

 

 56.Rb7!,  ("+/-")   {See the diagram, just below.}    
 
Black resigns.    

 

**************

  The final position of this instructive game. (eg_19-pos6.gif, 29 KB)

 ************** 

 

     [ After the moves:  56.Rb7! Rxb7{Diagram?}   
        This is virtually forced.  

           ( Not </= 56...e3?;  57.Rxd7+ Kf8;  58.Rd1, "+/-"  {Diagram?}    
              and the WR catches the Pawn. )      

       57.axb7 e358.b8Q e259.Qa7+ Kf860.Qe3, "+/-"  {Diagram?}   
       and White will stop the Black e-Pawn, and just in the nick of time. ]   

 

White's endgame technique here is very fine, simply superb. What is normally an extremely difficult ending 
is made to look very easy ... the sign of a true master.  

This is an endgame that should be studied very slowly and very, very carefully. The aspiring student should play 
over it dozens of times ... (again and again and again); until he (or she) feels that they have completely learned 
and absorbed ALL the ideas and technique exhibited here.  

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  (All games, the HTML code was {initially} generated by the program,  ChessBase 8.0.)  

  (The diagrams on this page were generated by the program,  Chess Captor 2.25.)  

 ******* 

 

  Game originally annotated in 2002. (And then posted on this web site.)   
Copyright  ()  A.J. Goldsby, 2004.
All rights reserved. 

 

  1 - 0 


This is the FULL version of this game.  (I have not shortened it for publication.)

This game is actually a departure from my normal method, 
  I developed    this version    of this particular game
, primarily as a teaching tool -  and for this website!!!  

*******

 If you would like a full copy of this game/endgame   - in the  ChessBase  format - 
  to study on your own computer, please  drop me a line


 Click  HERE  to return/go to my  "Geo-Cities"  web site.
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***

  (Page {first} posted on my web-site, Tuesday;  February 11th, 2002.)  Last update:  Wednesday;  June 09th, 2004.  


 Copyright, (c) A.J. Goldsby I 

   A.J. Goldsby, 1994 - 2004.  Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2005.  All rights reserved. 


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