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William N Watson vs John Eric Littlewood
London (1991)
Spanish Game: Closed. Bogoljubow Variation (C91)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: If you capture with the ♔ I'll play 40. Bc5+ and trade off ♗s and ♖s. I would be much more sanguine about my chances in the endgame if the ♙ on g6 weren't there.

I think we've established that white doesn't have a win by force in my line, but you'll have to agree there were a lot of near misses, for both sides.

Dec-30-06  The17thPawn: Agreed. I guess the lesson is master strength players and above usually have very good reasons for their moves even if another line looks promising. We can play out the ending if you wish or simply call the draw. Either way is fine with me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: With unbalanced material I don't think a draw is a likely outcome. It's probably a win for one side or the other, but it's likely to go on for another 10 or 20 moves.

You said earlier that you "Look forward to playing this out as I think it will definitely add to my endgame knowledge." I don't want to rob you of your fun, so I'll leave the choice up to you.

If you want to continue, let's try to speed it up. Assuming that after 40. Bc5+ you play 40...Kf7, I will play 41. Rxf8+ Rxf8 42. Bxf8 Kxf8 43. f4. If you accept that continuation, your 43rd move is next.

Jan-01-07  The17thPawn: <al wazir> Thank you my friend I would enjoy the endgame play. Bye the way Nxd7 was stronger as confirmed by Fritz 9. I waited to play my King move before plugging in the knight move as I wish to improve and having Fritz play for you accomplishes nothing. Apparently, my lack of calculation past five moves did'nt let me see that even though blacks pieces get a bit tied up the avoidance of exchanges gives black a slight advantage. I don't know what Fritz will think of my play after we finish but I'm betting the exchanges I allowed won't be evaluated favorably. I accept your line and will attempt some queen side play with 43...Na5
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I'm not sure I agree that you won't learn anything by using an engine, but I do think it's beside the point -- it's a little like hiring a GM to make your moves for you. Since I never play anything but 5-minute chess (aside from this), I seldom use chess programs.

You wrote that "master strength players and above usually have very good reasons for their moves." Well, yes, but masters can miscalculate too. Sometimes a sacrificial attack fails abjectly. But (usually) doesn't choose those games for its puzzles, so the Puzzle of the Day makes the pros look more infallible than they really are.

Yes, I thought that 39...Nxd7, was stronger, as your ♖ would probably be freed to attack my queenside ♙s. I also thought that 34...Nc4 was stronger than 34...Nc6, but I didn't look at it in any detail.

My move is 44. Kf2.

Jan-02-07  The17thPawn: 44...Nc4
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 45. b4.
Jan-02-07  The17thPawn: 45...Nb6
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 46. f5.
Jan-02-07  The17thPawn: 46...Nd5
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 47. c4.
Jan-04-07  The17thPawn: 47...bxc4
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 48. b5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <The17thPawn>: Are you still there? I've decided to call a halt to the proceedings; this has gone on long enough.

Black wins with 48...g5, followed by 49...Nb6. This blocks the advance of white's b-♙ while defending black's own ♙ on c4.

Then black's ♔ marches over by way of c5 to take the b-♙. (He can always force the opposition, preventing white's ♔ from defending it; the only tempo white has is g3.) If necessary, his ♘ can go to d7 to keep the f-♙ from promoting. Then the black ♔ and ♙ push white's ♔ down to the bottom of the board. In the final position,

click for larger view

Black wins regardless of whose move it is. Black can always avoid stalemate by moving the ♘.

I've gone back over the moves and, though white could have prolonged the game by avoiding exchanges and possibly gotten a draw, I don't see any way for him to win.

Thanks for being a good sport, and congratulations on your successful analysis!

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Had forgotten this one from nearly 15 years ago, but still counts as already known. 3/3 with 4 already known this week. Odd result but not bad.
Feb-28-21  mel gibson: The first move was easy but the followup was debatable.

Stockfish 13 says:

30. Bxf6

(30. Bxf6 (♗g5xf6 ♗e6xf5
e4xf5 ♕c6xf6 ♗c2-e4 g6-g5 ♗e4xa8 ♖c8xa8 b2-b4 ♗f8-g7 b4xa5 ♕f6-f7 c3xd4 e5-e4 ♕d1-d2 ♕f7-e7 a5-a6 ♔g8-f8 ♕d2-c2 ♗g7xd4 ♕c2-c6 ♖a8-d8 a6-a7 ♗d4xa1 a7-a8♕ ♗a1-e5 ♕c6xe4 ♖d8xa8 ♕e4xa8+ ♕e7-e8 ♕a8xe8+ ♔f8xe8 ♖h3-e3 ♔e8-d7 ♖e3xe5 ♔d7-d6 ♖e5-e1 ♔d6-c6 f5-f6 ♔c6-b6 f6-f7) +9.26/38 336)

score for White +9.26 depth 38

Feb-28-21  Walter Glattke: 30.Bxf6 Bxf5 31.Rh8+ Kf7 32.gxf5 Kxf6? 33.fxg6 wins /32.-Qxf6 33.Qh5+ Ke7 34.Rh7 Bg7! / 31.Rxa5 Qxf6 32. Bb3+ Be6
Feb-28-21  Brenin: This game, as the slightly easier position after Black's 30th move, was kibitzed at considerable length as a Friday puzzle 15 years ago. In today's position, it's not hard to see 30 Bxf6, threatening Rh8+, as 30 ... gxf5 allows White's Q to join the attack after 31 gxf5 or g5. After 30 ... Bxf5, the next few moves 31 Rxa5 Rxa5 (31 ... Qxf6 better?) 32 Bb3+ Be6 33 Rh8+ Kf7 are clear. Seeing the quiet but deadly 34 Qf3 at the start of the combination was beyond me, Black having too many plausible responses, though I expect (at least, hope) I would have found it OTB having got there.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a pawn up.

Black threatens gxf5 and dxc3.

The first idea that comes to mind is 30.Bxf6 gxf5 31.gxf5, clearing the path for the queen, threatening fxe6 and collecting three pawns for the knight. So, 30.Bxf6:

A) 30... gxf5 31.gxf5 Bxf5 (31... Bc4 32.Qg4+ and mate next) 32.Rg3+ (32.exf5 Qxf6) 32... Kf7 33.Bxe5

A.1) 33... Bxe4 34.Qh5+ Ke7(6) 35.Bxe4 Qxe4 36.Re3, followed by Rd1, looks winning for White.

A.2) 33... Bg6 34.Qf3+ Ke8(7,6) 35.Bxd4, with four pawns for the knight and the better position, looks winning.

B) 30... Bxf5 31.exf5 Qxf6 32.g5

B.1) 32... Qxg5 33.Rg3 looks very good for White. For example, 33... Qd8 34.Rxg6+ Kf7 35.Qh5 with the double threat Qh7+ and Rd6+.

B.2) 32... Qe(g)7 33.f6 followed by Rxa5 and Bb3.

B.3) 32... Qf7 33.Rxa5 as above.

B.4) 32... Qc6 33.Rxa5 Rxa5 34.Bb3+ Kg7 35.f6+ wins decisive material.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Tawnyowl i kestrel Bxf6 haggle a change muggins boffin i teflon pan guv tawnyowl vigils bags mucked it ok keys dip pilk loquacious i kestrel quarantine watery i kestrel face chou juvenile its gees kestrel mitz vouched it ok bam bap flock i detrimental i kestrel addups glints and ibsons dug acme method Bxf6 chopper;
Feb-28-21  Refused: 30.Bxf6 is the natural starting point.
a)30...gxf5 31.gxf5 Bxf5 32.Rg3 Kf7 33.Qh5+ Kf6 33.exf5 looks really unpleasent for Black.

b) 30...Bxf5 here I had some problems with the evaluation of the position. I'd really like to have Bb3+ but the Knight is taking the fun out of it. Thus I hacked it away 31.Rxa5 Rxa5 32.Bb3+ Be6 33.Rh8 Kf7 34.Qf3 Bxb3 and here I went astray with the inferior 35.Bxe5?? which looks promising but is no more than a draw, while 35.Bd8+! kills

Feb-28-21  RandomVisitor: After 17.Nf1 black was doing ok, not so well later on...

click for larger view


<70/55 8:23:20 0.00 17...Qc7 18.Nf3 Rfb8> 19.b4 Nc4 20.N3d2 a5 21.axb5 axb4 22.Rxa8 Rxa8 23.cxb4 Bxb5 24.Nxc4 Qxc4 25.Bd2 Qd4 26.Qb1 d5 27.exd5 Bxf1

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Flight off ancy pure bf6 now let the fire come what best no?
Feb-28-21  RandomVisitor: 30.Bxf6 wins because black does not have a response that holds the position, for example:

click for larger view


<40/66 3:05:09 +9.72 30...d3 31.Qxd3 Bc4 32.Rh8+> Kf7 33.Rh7+ Ke8 34.Qd1 Rc7 35.Rxc7 Qxc7 36.Ne3 Qd6 37.Qf3 Be7 38.Bxe7 Kxe7 39.Qg3 Ra6 40.b4 Nb3

40/65 3:05:09 +10.37 30...Bxf5 31.exf5 Qxf6 32.Be4 g5 33.Bxa8 Rxa8 34.b4 e4 35.bxa5 Bg7 36.Qb3+ Qf7 37.Qxb5 dxc3 38.Qc6 Rd8 39.a6 c2 40.Rf1 Qf6

40/60 3:05:09 +11.97 30...Kf7 31.Bxe5 gxf5 32.gxf5 Ke8 33.fxe6 Qxe6 34.Bg3 Bg7 35.Qh5+ Kf8 36.e5 Nc6 37.Re1 Ra7 38.Bf5 Qd5 39.Bxc8 d3 40.Rd1 d2

39/65 2:52:35 +11.86 30...Nc4 31.Rxa8 Rxa8 32.Rh8+ Kf7 33.g5 Qa6 34.Kh2 Na5 35.Qf3 Ke8 36.cxd4 Kd7 37.d5 Re8 38.dxe6+ Qxe6 39.Rh7+ Kc6 40.Ne3 Qg8

39/70 3:05:09 +12.84 30...Qd7 31.cxd4 Nc4 32.Rh8+ Kf7 33.Rxa8 Rxa8 34.g5 exd4 35.Nxd4 Bg4 36.Qc1 Rc8 37.Qf4 Bd6 38.e5 Rxh8 39.Bxh8+ Kg8 40.exd6 Kxh8

39/70 3:05:09 +13.63 30...gxf5 31.Rh8+ Kf7 32.g5 Ke8 33.Qh5+ Kd7 34.Qh7+ Kd6 35.Rxf8 Qd7 36.Bxe5+ Kc6 37.Rxc8+ Rxc8 38.Qh6 Nc4 39.Bxd4 Nd6 40.exf5 Bd5

Feb-28-21  RandomVisitor: An argument can be made that moves other than 30.Bxf6 also win:

click for larger view


49/76 4:54:24 +10.79 30.Bxf6 d3 31.Qxd3 Bc4 32.Rh8+ Kf7 33.Rh7+ Ke8 34.Qd1 Rc7 35.Rxc7 Qxc7 36.Ne3 Qd6 37.Qf3 Ra6 38.g5 Nb7 39.Rxa6 Qxa6 40.Nxc4 bxc4

<48/82 4:54:24 +8.66 30.Rxa5> d3 31.Bxd3 fxg5 32.Rxa8 Rxa8 33.Qc1 Bxf5 34.exf5 e4 35.Bc2 Qf6 36.Bxe4 Re8 37.Bd5+ Kg7 38.fxg6 Qxg6 39.Rf3 Re5 40.Qd1 Be7

<48/75 4:54:24 +8.55 30.Nxd4> Qd7 31.Nxe6 Qxe6 32.Rxa5 Rxa5 33.Bb3 Rc4 34.Bxf6 Qxf6 35.Qd5+ Kg7 36.Bxc4 Ra1+ 37.Bf1 Qe7 38.Rf3 Ra7 39.b4 Rd7 40.Qxb5 Rb7

<48/79 4:54:24 +5.75 30.Bh6> dxc3 31.bxc3 Rd8 32.Qf3 Nc4 33.Rxa8 Qxa8 34.Nd4 Rd6 35.Nxb5 Be7 36.Nxd6 Nxd6 37.Qd1 Qb7 38.Be3 Nf7 39.Qb1 Qxb1+ 40.Bxb1 Kg7

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