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   A.J.'s "N+P" Endgame School, Study No. # 01  

When I saw this game,  I knew I had to have it for my endgame school. (The whole of the game is too uneven for annotation.) 

 Alexander Zakharov (2525) - Alexander Petrushin (2430) 
    USSR, 1973.  

1.e4 c5;  2.Nf3 d6;  3.Bb5+ Bd7;  4.Bxd7+ Nxd7;  5.0-0 Ngf6;  6.Re1 e6;  7.c4 Be7;  8.Nc3 0-0;  9.d4 cxd4;  
10.Nxd4 Rc8;  11.b3 a6;  12.Bb2 Qa5;  13.Qd2 Qh5;  14.Rad1 Bd8;  15.h3 Ne5;  16.Qe2 Ba5;  17.f4 Ng6;  
18.Qxh5 Nxh5;  19.f5 Ngf4;  20.Kh2 d5;  21.exd5 exd5;  22.g3 dxc4;  23.gxf4 cxb3;  24.Nd5 Bxe1;  
25.Rxe1 Rfe8;  26.Ne7+ Kh8;  27.axb3 Nxf4;  28.f6 gxf6;  29.Ba1 h6;  30.Ndf5 Kh7;  31.Kg3 Rc1;  32.Rxc1 Ne2+;   
33.Kh4 Nxc1;  34.Nd5 Re6;  35.Kh5 Nxb3;  36.Nxf6+ Kh8;  37.Bb2 Re2;  38.Kxh6 Re6;  39.Kg5 Re2;  
40.Bc3 Rc2;  41.Be5 Re2;  42.Nd7+ Rxe5;  43.Nxe5 a5;  44.h4 a4;  45.h5 a3;  46.Ne7 f6+;  47.Kxf6 Kh7;  
48.Nf5 a2;  49.Ng6 Nd4;  White Resigns, 0-1.  

Ok ... this is the game. I refuse to analyze it in detail, that might take a month. (It was also a VERY spotty struggle!!)  

However! We have reached an extremely interesting ending after Black's 45th move here. 
 {See the diagram just below.}



eg_aj-ns01.gif, 08 KB


Black could be better here ... or can White find a way to force in his KRP from this position? 

 FEN:  (7k; 1p3p2; 8; 4NNKP; 8; pn6; 8; 8) 
I must admit that when I first looked at it, I thought that White was probably lost, it is not easy to stop Black's RP. 

 46.Ne7?   {Diagram?} 
A pity ... White misses a chance for a real "once in a lifetime" K.O. 
(Believe it or not, the move 46.Kh6, wins in all lines.)   




     [  >/=  46.Kh6!! f6  {Diagram?}    
       This must be the best defense, Black tries to win a tempo off one the White Knights ... 
       as well as creating a "run to daylight." (Black wants to run to the Q-side.) 


            a).  (</=)   46...Kg8?!;  {Diagram?} 
                   Nothing will save Black, but this is an error. (Albeit, a minor one.)  
                   White's next play threatens a mate in just one move. 

                   47.Nd7! Nd4!48.Ne7+ Kh849.Ne5 Nf5+[]  
                   This looks silly ... but it is actually forced for Black in this position!!!   

                        (</= 49...a2???; 50.Nxf7#.)      

                   50.Nxf5 f6 {Diagram?}   
                   Again - this is forced. 
                   (Pushing the RP allows the mate pointed out after Black's forty-ninth move.)  

                   51.Kg6! fxe552.h6! a253.Nd6! a1Q;  
                   Materially, White is lost. And it is not that often that you promote (your pawn) first   
                   and lose this badly. However, it is White to move, and now everything will happen with check. 

                   54.Nf7+ Kg855.h7+ Kf8 56.h8Q+ Ke757.Qd8+ Ke6 58.Ng5#{Analysis Diagram.}   
                   An almost unbelievable finish.   (Take a look at the position - just below.)  


eg_aj-ns02.gif, 08 KB

                     To me this mate is as spectacular as a fireworks display, and as beautiful as any glorious sunset 
                     that I have ever beheld.  


            b).   </=  46...a2??;  {Diagram?}    
                   This move is a blunder, but it is not what I would call an obvious one - not at all.  

                   47.Ne7! a1Q48.Nxf7#{Analysis Diagram.}    
                   This would be an insignificant mating pattern, except for a few small details. 

                   A mate with two Knights and a King (in the endgame) is probably very rare, I have never seen more    
                   than a handful of possible examples from actual games in my whole life.  


eg_aj-ns03.gif, 08 KB


                   Take a close look at the above mate.   (It is a VERY basic mate, {see # Z} or mating pattern.)  

                   I was once showing a friend/student a few pointers right before a (rated) tournament over 20 years ago. 
                   A master walked up and told me that this mate could  NEVER  occur in a REAL game of OTB chess!!! 


        We now look only at the moves that the computer says are best. 

        (Basically, Black must continue to run away with the King, or be mated as in the variations given above.)   
         47.Nf7+ Kg8[]48.Kg6 Kf849.h6 Ke850.h7 Kd7 51.h8Q,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?}   
         White should win easily. ]   






 Now White loses ignominiously. 
 46...f6+;  47.Kxf6 Kh7;  48.Nf5 a2;  49.Ng6 Nd4!;  ("-/+")     {Diagram?}    
White RESIGNS.  (0-1)   


The first player cannot stop the coronation of Black's a-Pawn. 
 (Nor can he effect the promotion of his own foot soldier.)  

A curious game, and a sad story, ... of what  "might have been." 


  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2005. All rights reserved.  


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   (Page {first} created for my web-site, January, 2005.)   First, main posting:  Monday;  February 14th, 2005.   Last edit: 09/12/2005

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