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Alexander Wittek vs Henry Bird
Vienna (1882), Vienna AUH, rd 17, May-31
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation (B46)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: A very difficult K+P ending for Wittek as Bird appears to be able to build a fortress. Both players seem to have played this ending extremely accurately. Bird uses his <d> pawn to generate counterplay.

He must always be aware that if he loses his <a> pawn, he will not be able to generate counterthreats quickly enough to prevent Wittek's own <a> pawn from queening.

I first thought Wittek's winning chances lay on the Q-side so <45.Kd3!?> was a better move, but I have been unable to find a forced win.

[a] <45...Kc7> 46.f5 d6 47.Kd4 Kd7 48.Kc4 ( [a1] 48.<c4?!> is premature 48...dxc5+ 49.Kxc5 Kc7 50.Kb4 Kd6 51.Kxa4 Kc5 52.Kb3 =) <48...Kc7> 49.Kb4 dxc5+ 50.Kxc5 Kd7 51.Kb4 Kd6 52.Kxa4 Kc7 53.Kb4;

[b] <45...g6> 46.f5 gxf5 47.exf5 Ka6 48.Kd4 Kb5 49.c4+ Ka6; and now either:

[b1] <50.Ke3> (appears only to be a draw) Kb7 51.Ke4 Kc7 52.Kd4 Kb7 53.Kc3 d6 (hoping for the pawn to be captured after which c5 will draw) 54.Kb4 (if 54.Kd4 Kc7=) 54...dxc5+ 55.Kxc5 Kc7 56.Kb4 Kb6 57.Kxa4 c5=

[b2] <50.Kc3> Ka5 51.Kd2 Ka6 52.Kc2 Kb7 53.Kc3

and now:

[b21] <53...d6> 54.Kb4 dxc5+ 55.Ka5 Kc8 56.Kb6 Kd7 57.Kxc5 Kc7 58.Kb4 Kd6 59.Kxa4 appears to lose for Black.

[b22] <53...Kc7> appears to hold a draw, <54.Kb4> Kb7 55.Kxa4 Ka7 56.Ka5 Kb7 57.Kb4 Ka6 58.Kc3 Ka5 59.Kb3 Ka6 60.Kb4 =

Can anyone find the way through for Wittek?

In the actual game continuation, Bird avoids the last trap of: <47...dxc5?> which loses to 48.Kh5 c4 49.Kg6

Apr-04-08  Knight13: So is 9...Nxc6 really the better option? YES.
Jan-20-09  WhiteRook48: didn't they ever hear of "Rook pawn draws?"
Feb-19-09  WhiteRook48: endgame perfection by Bird
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I think Wittek missed a win with 20. Kh1 when if 20. ... Ng6 21. f4 Qg4 22. f5 but I haven't checked it on a computer.
Jan-08-10  zanshin: <Richard Taylor: I think Wittek missed a win with 20. Kh1 when if 20. ... Ng6 21. f4 Qg4 22. f5 but I haven't checked it on a computer.>

<RT> Here's some Rybka 3 comparing your suggestion vs Rybka's vs the move actually played. If it's any consolation, yours was better than the move played.

click for larger view

[+1.90] d=17 20.Qf8 Kh7 21.Qxf7 Rf6 22.Qe8 Re6 23.Qf8 Rf6 24.Be7 Rxf8 25.Bxg5 Ne6 26.Be7 Re8 27.Bd6 Ra5 28.Kg2 g6 29.Rb8 Kg8 30.f4 exf4 31.gxf4 Nc5 32.e5 (0:18.55) 125711kN

[+0.99] d=17 20.Kh1 Rg6 21.Bb2 a3 22.Bxe5 h4 23.Bd6 Ne6 24.Qxg5 Nxg5 25.e5 hxg3 26.fxg3 Ne4 27.Rd4 Nxd6 28.exd6 Re6 29.Kg2 g6 30.Bd3 Ba6 (0:34.03) 232837kN

[+0.55] d=16 20.Rd6 h4 21.Kh1 Rg6 22.Rxg6 Nxg6 23.Qd6 Qg4 24.Qd3 Qe6 25.Bc5 Nf8 26.Qd6 Qxd6 27.Bxd6 hxg3 (0:15.32) 104680kN

Aug-09-16  Straclonoor: I want to add some analysis. Wittek could won in pawn ending Analysis by Stockfish 090815 64 POPCNT: (20.19): 45.f5 Ka6 46.Kd3 Kb5 47.Kd4 Ka6 48.c4 Kb7 49.Kc3 Kc7 50.Kb4 d6 51.cxd6+ Kxd6 52.Kxa4 Kc5 53.Kb3 Kd4 54.a4 c5 55.a5 Kxe4 56.a6 Kxf5 57.a7 g5 58.a8Q Kf4 59.Qd5 g4 60.Qxc5 f5 61.Qd4+ Kf3 62.c5 g3 63.c6 g2 64.c7 g1N 65.Qxg1 Ke4 66.c8Q

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