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Mikhail Botvinnik vs Mikhail Tal
Tal - Botvinnik World Championship Rematch (1961), Moscow URS, rd 19, May-05
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation. Normal Defense (E81)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-10-06  talisman: what about 60.k-g5 for B?
May-31-09  dzhafner: I think the problem with 60 Kg5 is something like this.

60 Kg6 ... Rb6
61 Kh5 ... Nd4
62 Bd3? ... Ke7?
63 Rd5? ... Kf6?
64 Bc4? ... Nxb3

the b pawn looks weak and white even needs to worry about the possility of mates on the h file. I think its pretty lost.

Jun-16-09  talisman: <dzhafner> thanks!
Feb-13-12  Helios727: Starting with the final position and after:

76. Kxg4 c2
77. Rc8 Kd2
78. Rxc2 Kxc2

click for larger view

Will not black be forced to sacrifice the rook for the pawn and settle for a draw?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: 76.Kxg4 c2 77.Rc8 Kd2 78.Rxc2+ Kxc2 79.Kh4 Kc3 80.g4 Kd4 81.Kg5 Ke5 82.Kg6 Rg3 83.g5 Kf4 wins.
Mar-12-12  screwdriver: Nice finishing analysis Sastre. It's always nice to know the finishing touches. Tal's endgame was solid as he showed in these championship games.
Jul-12-17  Toribio3: Building bridge is never fun by awesome Tal!
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: While playing thru some Tal games, I occasioned upon this one. I’ve arrived at the position mentioned.

< This is Tal's view AS BLACK > < He just played 59. ..N(e5)d2+ >

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< talisman: what about 60.k-g5 for B? >

The question seems to be..
“What about 60.Kg5 to support Bxf5?”

I appreciate DZ Hafner’s helpful contribution [supporting analysis] , but this position requires no calculation to make the correct choice quickly. Just take a good look at the board! < Don’t calculate! Just LOOK! >.

Black just moved the knight with discovered check. White has no capture or reasonable block for the rook check, and must move the king to either g5 or e3.

White is a pawn down, about to lose a second [the B pawn], after which black’s C pawn is elevated to the status of “Passer”. So let me ask a simple question. How far away from the queening square [C1] would you like your king?

Keep in mind… The black rook commands the half open B file and the 5th rank. The king stands on a wall of checks, must pick a direction, and thereafter can't cross that wall. If he goes behind the pawns he could be effectively locked out of the game while black crowns his new bride. So I ask again.. How far away would you like your king?

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < Helios727: Will not black be forced to sacrifice the rook for the pawn and settle for a draw? >

[ Sastre: 76.Kxg4 c2 77.Rc8 Kd2 78.Rxc2+ Kxc2 79.Kh4 Kc3 80.g4 Kd4 81.Kg5 Ke5 82.Kg6 Rg3 83.g5 Kf4 wins.]

[diagram 1]

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Sastre’s analysis is technically correct, and is given in a move by move sequence, but there’s an easy alternate way to figure it. All players should learn these ideas:

[diagram 2]

click for larger view

The white pawns were added to visually form a square. Endgame books call this “The Rule of Square”. A lone king can catch a lone pawn before it queens if inside the pawn square, or can get in it ON THE MOVE. So in this diagram if white is to move, he can catch the g3 pawn with 1.Kb3

It should now be clear from diagram 1 that white must sidestep out of the way, when black can play Kc3 and he is IN the square. In fact, he could play Kb3 and still catch the pawn. This means white must escort the pawn on it's quest to queendom. SO..

Premium Chessgames Member

king sidesteps to h4, then -h5, -h6, -h7 thats 4 king moves plus 5 pawn advances, for a total of NINE moves to escort the pawn to promotion. BUT the white king can capture the pawn in SIX moves or less. The rook can guard the back rank or G file in one move.

Then there are other tricks:

[diagram 3]

click for larger view

Here we have the position after 1.Kh4 Kc3 2.g4 Kd4 3.Kh5? and now black can play Rh3+! pushing the king back in front of the pawn.

and then there's the dreaded mate against the wall:

[diagram 4]

click for larger view

As can be seen from these illustrations, some basic endgame understanding stops that wanna-be queen in a cold minute!

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