Monday, June 25, 2007

White to move and win... YEAH RIGHT!

I’ve been spending a week going over this game by Lev Polugaevsky against Henrique Mecking which occurred back in 1971.

Polugaevsky,L (2640) - Mecking,H (2540) [D45]
Mar del Plata Mar del Plata (1), 03.1971

1.c4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.b3 Nbd7 6.Bb2 Bd6 7.d4 0-0 8.Bd3 Re8 9.Qc2 e5 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 Bxe5 13.Ne2 Qd6 14.Bxe5 Qxe5 15.0-0 Bd7 16.Nd4 Rac8 17.Qe2 Qd6 18.Qb2 a6 19.Rac1 Ng4 20.Nf3 Qb6 21.Rxc8 Rxc8 22.Rc1 Nf6 23.Rxc8+ Bxc8 24.Qc3 Bd7 25.Nd4 Ne8 26.a4 Qc7 27.Qxc7 Nxc7 28.a5 Kf8 29.Kf1 Ke7 30.Ke2 g6 31.Kd2 Ne6 32.Nxe6 fxe6

The following position occurs on White’s move 33.

What’s important to note here, is that in this game, white is winning …theoretically. Black’s bishop is “bad” in the "Silman" sense, while White’s bishop is active. Plus, Black’s pawns are all on the same color as the bishop. But here is where theory and practice part ways.

My coach had me set this position up and try to win it against the computer.

What should white do? What is the plan and what is Black’s counter plan? In the real game white won ( continuation posted below). It seems that fixing black’s pawns and getting all of white’s pawns on black’s squares was a strategy. Then, getting the bishop active behind Black’s fixed pawns was in order before an exchange of a king side pawn for a central one. White queens first and eventually, Mecking resigned.

Now, in my world, playing the same position against Fritz, my first three attempts were failures. I started with the fixing of the pawns, but I discovered Black’s first and foremost priority was to free the bishop with a central advance. I finally figured out a way to hold that off during my fourth attempt but the game ended up a draw with 3 fold repetition and bishops off the board and no way to penetrate.

Finally, I was able to 1) Fix the pawns, 2) hold the center, 3) eventually get my bishop to the other side and 4) advance my king to Black’s camp and get a passed pawn to queen.

Here are my moves:

33.f4 e5 34.g3 Kf6 35.Kc3 Bg4 36.Kb4 Bf5 37.Bf1 Be4 38.Bh3 Bf5 39.Bg2 Be6 40.Kc5 e4 41.b4 g5 42.h3 gxf4 43.gxf4 Ke7 44.h4 h6 45.Bf1 Kf6 46.Be2 Kf5 47.Kb6 d4 48.exd4 Bd5 49.Kc5 Bf7 50.d5 Kxf4 51.d6 Be8 52.Kb6 Ke3 53.Bg4 Kf4 54.Bd1 Ke3 55.Kc7 Kd2 56.Bg4 e3 57.Bh5 Bc6 58.d7 Bxd7 59.Kxd7 Kc3 60.Kc7 Kxb4 61.Kb6 Ka4 62.Be2 Kb4 63.Kxb7 Kxa5 64.Bxa6 Kb4 65.Kc6 Kc3 66.Kd5 Kb4 67.Ke5 Kc5 68.Kf5 e2 69.Bxe2 Kd4 70.Kg6 Ke4 71.Kxh6 Ke3 72.Bb5 1-0

Final position:

The rest of the “real game is here:

33.f4 e5 34.g3 Kd6 35.Kc3 Be6 36.Kb4 exf4 37.gxf4 Bg4 38.Kc3 Bf3 39.Kd4 Bg2 40.h4 Bf3 41.b4 Bh1 42.Be2 Bg2 43.Bg4 Be4 44.Bc8 Kc7 45.Be6 Kd6 46.Bg8 h6 47.Bf7 h5 48.Be8 Bc2 49.Bf7 Be4 50.f5 Bxf5 51.Bxd5 Bc8 52.e4 Ke7 53.Ke5 g5 54.hxg5 h4 55.g6 h3 56.g7 h2 57.g8Q h1Q 58.Qf7+ Kd8 59.Qf8+ 1-0



Anonymous said...

Very interesting. It makes me want to get a coach.

harvey said...


Good luck at the World Open!

Grandpatzer said...

Gives me warm fuzzy memories of our group lessons with a Russian-trained master.

hisbestfriend said...

Nice position, I am going to try this on my son. I am going to not try and screw him up too much though :-)

BlunderProne said...

Thanks all for the feedback and support.

I'll keep you all posted.

hisbestfriend said...

I think this is a great exercise. I am putting it on my list of things...

For some this may be handy, here is the FEN of the position

8/1p1bk2p/p3p1p1/P2p4/8/1P1BP3/3K1PPP/8 w - - 0 33