Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A Win is a Win.... right?

(Black to Play and Win)
(EyesOfBlue vs. NN)

Sometimes people just hand you games. "Hey... didn't really need to win, how about you queening that pawn?" That is kind of what went down here.

I probably shouldn't be too obnoxious. First of all everyone has bad days... GMs and patzers alike. Second, rook endgames can be tricky -- with one move costing a person the game. That's the story here.

1... Rc8 is the correct move. The black rook prevents the pawn from queening. Of course it must now lay there and guard that key square, but the white rook is equally trapped on the 7th rank. Additionally, the black bishop is free to help out the black king and pawns on the kingside or go after the pesky pawn on the c-file. (The one move to avoid would be to bring the king to the 8th rank. (1... Rc8 2. h4 Kg8?? 3. Rd8 and white must either lose its rook or allow the pawn to queen!).

1... e5?? This was the move actually played. 2. Rd8 wins. Surprisingly white then played 2... Rxd8. A surprising move, because while technically a win P,P,P, R vs P,P,P, B endgames are often not mere child's play. Queen vs Bishop games however are... and this is what black got! 3. cxd8=Q. Needless to say black soon lost.