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Predrag Nikolic vs Robert Huebner
Interpolis 11th (1987), Tilburg NED, rd 12, Oct-02
Semi-Slav Defense: Romih Variation (D46)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-17-09  butilikefur: 55. f5+ Kxe5 56. f6 loses the quickest to 56...Ke6 but 56...Kf2 also wins for Black.

55. Bd4 is White's strongest move I think. Black is forced to attack the bishop as simply getting the rook on the f-file loses, i.e. 55. Bd4 Rg3 56. f5+ Ke7 57. f6+ Kf8 58. f7 Rf3 59. Bg7+ Ke7 60. f8=Q+ Rxf8 61. Bxf8 Kxf8 62. Kh7 wins.

<55...Rg4 56. f5+ Kd7 57. f6 Rxd4 58. Kf7> (not 58. Kg7 Rf4 59. g6 Ke8 60. f7+ Ke7 61. Kg8 Rf6 62. Kh7 Rxf7+; or 58. f7 Ke7 59. Kg7 Rf4 60. g6 Rf6 61. Kh6 Rxf7 62. gxf7 Kxf7 63. Kg5 Ke6 64. Kf4 Kd5 and Black wins)

<58...Kd8 59. g6> and White wins.

<55...Rd2 56. f5+ Ke7> (56...Kd7 f6 Rxd4 58. Kf7 transposes to the line with 55...Rg4)

<57. Bf6+ Kf8> (57...Ke8 58. Bg7 and Black cannot stop White's Bh6, Kg7, and g6; for example, 58...Rd7 59. f6 Rd5 60. Kh6)

<58. Bg7+ Kg8 59. Kf6> (59. f6 Rf2 [59...Rd7 60. Bh6 and Black is in zugzwang --> 60...Ra7 61. Kf5 Ra1 62. g6 Rf1+ 63. Bf4 with 64. f7+ Kg7 65. Ke5 Re1+ 66. Kd6 Rd1+ 67. Ke6; 60...Rh7 61. Kf5 Rd7 62. g6] 60. Bh6 Rf1 and White hasn't any way of breaking through - i.e. 62. Kh5 Rh1+ 63. Kg4 Rg1+ 64. Kf5 Kf7)

<59...Rd5 60. g6 Rxc5 61. Bh6> (Black is threatening 61...Rxf5+ 62. Kxf5 Kxg7 with a draw)

<61...Rc2 62. Ke5 Re2+ 63. Kf4 Rf2+ 64. Kg4 Rg2+ 65. Kf3 Rg1 66. Be3 Rf1+ 67. Bf2 Rd1> (67...Kg7 68. Ke2 Rc1 [68...Rh1 69. f6 Rh6 70. f7+ Kg7 71. Bd4+ Kf8 72. Bc5+ wins] 69. Bd4+ Kf8 [69...Kh6 70. Be3+] 70. f6 c5 71. Kd2 Rf1 [71...Rc4 72. Be3] 72. Bxc5+ Kg8 73. Be7 and White wins as Black's rook must remain on the f-file while White's king walks to e6)

<68. Ke4 Rd6 69. Bd4> and f6, Be6, Kf5 cannot be prevented.

I haven't looked at this in detail but if it were blitz I would play <55. Bd4 Rd2 56. f5+ Ke7 57. f6+ Kf8 58. Be5 Rd7 59. Bd6+ Kg8 60. Kf5> and I don't know how Black meets the threat of g6, Ke6, and f7.

May-17-09  krisxch: Hi.My move Bd4 is superior to Bd6 because it threatens F5 and stops Rf2 if 55 KD5 56 F5 wins
May-17-09  butilikefur: In the game, after 55...Kd5, I don't understand why White didn't play 56. f5 with one possibility being 56...Kxd4 57. f6 Ke5 58. f7 Rf2 59. Kg7 Ke6 60. f8=Q Rxf8 61. Kxf8 Kf5 62. Ke7. Does anyone see Black's winning line here?
May-17-09  TheaN: 56.f5! wins too easily. Strange to see Nikolic miss such a move, especially after the hard-to-find 55.Bd4. BTW, I thought f5 immediately.
May-17-09  kozo: <TheaN><searchofthetruth><butilikefur> 56.f5 Kxd4 57.f6 Kxc5 58. f7 Rf2 59.Kg7 Kd4 60.f8=Q Rxf8 61.Kxf8 c5 62.g6 c4 63. g7 c3 64.g8=Q c2 now we are at <remolino>'s ending. Normally to win in these endings white must check the king until it is forced in front of the pawn, advance the king, then repeat until the king is close. But now black never has to go to c1 because after it goes to a1 taking the pawn would lead to stalemate. eg. 65. Qg5 Kc3 66.Ke7 Kb2 67.Qb5+ Kc3 68.Qc5+ Kb2 69.Qb4+ Ka1 70.Qa3+ Kb1 70.Qb3+ Ka1
May-17-09  zanshin: I missed this one. I thought the immediate f5 might win - it doesn't ;-)

<krisxch: Bd4 is superior to Bd6 because it threatens F5 and stops Rf2>

I think that pretty much sums everything up. After 55.Bd4

click for larger view

[+5.16] d=19 55...Ke7 56.f5 (0:01.46) 10271kN (Rybka 3)

If 55.Bd6

click for larger view

[+0.51] d=27 55...Rf2 56.Kh7 Rh2 57.Kg8 Rg2 (0:01.10) 1993kN

May-17-09  butilikefur: Hello <kozo>. After your line: <56.f5 Kxd4 57.f6 Kxc5 58. f7 Rf2 59.Kg7 Kd4 60.f8=Q Rxf8 61.Kxf8 c5 62.g6 c4 63. g7 c3 64.g8=Q c2>, if White plays <65. Qg1 Kc3 66. Qc1> Black is lost. I don't see the need for this line <65. Qg5 Kc3 66.Ke7 Kb2 67.Qb5+ Kc3 68.Qc5+ Kb2 69.Qb4+ Ka1 70.Qa3+ Kb1 70.Qb3+ Ka1> or why White must keep checking Black. What stalemate is Black threatening?
May-17-09  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane):

P Nikolic vs Huebner, 1987 (55.?)

White to play and win.

Material: B+2P for R. The strategic struggle obviously focuses on White’s 2 connected passed Ps and the stop square f5. Generally, Black cannot sacrifice R for B+P, because most of the resulting K+P endgames are won for White. Thus, White has all the winning chances. Unless R or B carries a burden, they permit both players to temporize, reducing zugzwang possibilities. Thus, only active measures are likely to provide a win. Note: the present position of Bf5 supports both Pf4 and Pg5, particularly the advance of Pg5.

Wow. I have nothing more to contribute, so I am posting, just so nobody thinks I died today :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has the exchange for a bishop and two pawns and threatens 55... Rf2 preventing f5+, which right now fails because of 55.f5+ Kxe5 56.f6 Ke6 57.f7 Ke7 - +. Therefore, 55.Bd4:

A) 55... Rg4 56.f5+

A.1) 56... Kd5 57.f6

A.1.a) 57... Rxd4 58.f7 Rf4 59.Kg7

A.1.a.i) 59... Kxc5 60.f8=Q+ Rxf8 61.Kxf8 Kb4 62.g6 c5 63.g7 c4 64.g8=Q c3 65.Qa2 + -.

A.1.a.ii) 59... Ke6 60.f8=Q Rxf8 61.Kxf8 Kf5 62.Ke7 + -.

A.1.b) 57... Kxd4 58.f7 Rf4 59.Kg7 Kxc5 60.f8=Q as in A.1.a.i.

A.1.c) 57... Rf4 58.f7 Kxd4 (58... Ke6 59.Bf6 + -) 59.Kg7 is similar to A.1.a.

A.2) 56... Ke7 57.f6+ Kf8 (57... Ke8 58.f7+ Ke7 59.Bf6+ Kf8 60.Bg7+ Ke7 61.f8=Q+) 58.Be5 followed by Bd6 and f7, winning.

A.3) 56... Kd7 57.Be5 Ke8 58.Bd6 Rg1 59.f6 Rf1 60.Kg7 followed by g6 and f7.

B) 55... Rg3 56.f5+

B.1) 56... Kd7 57.f6 Rf3 58.f7 Ke7 59.Bf6+ Kf8 60.Bg7+ Ke7 61.f8=Q+ + -.

B.2) 56... Ke7 57.f6+ Kf8 58.f7 Rf3 59.Bg7+, etc.

B.3) 56... Kd5 57.f6 Ke6 (57... Kxd4 transposes to A.1.b) 58.f7 Ke7 (58... Rf3 59.Bf6 + -) 59.Bg7 + -.

C) 55... Ke7 56.Bg7 (or 56.f5 Kf8 57.f6 Rg3 58.f7 Rf3 59.Bg7+) Rf2 57.f5 Ke8 58.f6 Rf1 59.Bh6 Rf2 60.Kg7 Rf1 61.g6 wins.

Let's check.

May-17-09  MarbleSkull: 55. Bd4 (preventing Rf2) ...Kd5 56. f5 seems winning for white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <johnlspouge: ... nobody thinks I died today :) >

That would be rather inconsiderate and unforgivable on your part...

May-17-09  Udit Narayan: The continuation was simple enough, but 55. Bd4 seemed pretty innocuous to me. I don't like endgames.
May-17-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this endgame position, white's advanced connected passed pawns, supported by the white queen and dark-squared bishop seems too much for black's overburdened king and rook. It's too early to give up the bishop with 55.f5+?? Kxe5 56.f6 Ke6 57.f7 Rf2 and black wins. However,

Candidate #1:


gives black a real problem, because it gains a critical tempo by preventing 55... Rf2. (Another idea is 55.Bd6 56. Rf2 Kg7, but the most direct method should be investigated first.) The threat is f5+ followed by fast promotion of the f-pawn. The following line illustrates black's dilemma:

A. 55... Kd5 56.f5! Kxd4 57.f6 Kxc5 (Ke5 58.f7 Rf2 59.Kg7 wins quickly) 58.f7 Rf2 59.Kg7 Kb4 60.f8/Q+ Rxf8 61.Kxf8 c5 62.g6 c4 63.g7 c3 62.g8/Q c2 (This position would be drawn with the king on a3.) 63.Qg1 followed by Qc1 and black wins by a tempo.

B. 55... Rd2 56.f5+ Kd7 57.Be5 Re2 58.Bd6 Ke8 (Re8 59.Kg7 is no better) 59.f6 Rf2 60.Kg7 and black can not prevent g6 followed by the promotion of the f-pawn.

B.1 56...Ke7 57.Kg7! (57.f6+? Kf8 58.Bd5 Rf2 59.Rf2 Bd6+ 60.Kg8 holds) Rxd4 58.f6+ Ke6 59.f7 Rf2 60.f8/Q Rxf8 61.Kxf8 Kf5 62.Ke7 wins

C. 55...Rg3 56.f5+ Ke7 57.Be5 Rf3 58.Bd6+ Ke8 59.f6 followed by Kg7 and g6 wins for white.

D. 55...Ke7 56.f5 Kf8 (Rg3 57.Be5 transposes to line C) 57.f6 Rg3 58.f7! Rf3 59.Bg7+ wins.

E. 55...Rg4 56.f5+ Ke7 57.f6+ Kf8 (Ke6 58.f7 Rf4 59.Bf6) 58.Be5 and there is no defense to Bd6+ followed by f7+

This seems to do it - no need to investigate 55.Bd6.

No need for insanity - good technique seems to do the trick.

May-17-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <In this endgame position, white's advanced connected passed pawns, supported by the white queen and...> I transformed the white king into a queen - I really don't have the proper credentials for that!
May-17-09  Samagonka: This was the easiest Sunday puzzle so far for me. I quickly understood that the key to the solution lied in promoting the f & g pawns but I was just too lazy to work it all the way out to the end.
May-17-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <butilikefur> wrote <I haven't looked at this in detail but if it were blitz I would play <55. Bd4 Rd2 56. f5+ Ke7 57. f6+ Kf8 58. Be5 Rd7 59. Bd6+ Kg8 60. Kf5> and I don't know how Black meets the threat of g6, Ke6, and f7.>

After 56.... Ke7 in the above line we reach this position:

click for larger view

This is where white must be accurate: after 57.f6+? Kf8 58.Be5 black improves with 58... Rf2 59.Bd6+ Kg8 and black has a solid blockade of f7 and it's unclear how white makes progress. (This was intended to be the parenthesized note in line B.1 of my solution post, but I messed it up.)

From the diagrammed position 57.Kg7 is a clear win.

May-17-09  triangulation: Ok I think I got the first move on this one. 55. Bd4! this stops rf2 and black cannot prevent f5.

If 55...Kd5 then 56. f5 Kxd4 57.f6 Kxc5 then 58.f7 rc2 59. Kg7 Kd4 60. f8=Q Rxf8 61. Kxf8 c5 62. g6 c4 63. g7 c5 64. g8=Q c3 and game over with 65. Qh2 followed by 66. Qc2

There are other variations which I think I've worked out but am too eager to see the solution to write down.

But then again this is a Sunday, so what do I know.

May-17-09  triangulation: oops I think I pushed the black pawn a square back. Well in that case I didn't even check the other variations. Guess better luck next sunday.
May-17-09  WhiteRook48: 55 f5+?? looks like I'm acting 900 in a blunder
May-17-09  JG27Pyth: Classy puzzle. I established the obvious "puzzle move" -- 55.f5+ was no good and then I fizzled. An ending I should probably study closely. (But not right now ;) ...what is it about procrastinating endgame study?
May-17-09  randomsac: This game convinces me that I really need better endgame practice. I figured the passed pawns would win it for white. But I couldn't find the best way of advancing them.
May-17-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <remolino:> claimed <SearchOfTheTruth: 56.f5 does not win, black gets his pawn to c2 in time after white queens, in all variations, a theoretical draw> This "theoretical draw" only applies when the supporting king is close enough to control the queening square. As <butilikefur> and others have pointed out, this does not apply here with white to move:

click for larger view

Either 63.Qg5 or Qg1 followed by Qc1 wins for white. Note that black king on d3 or e3 also loses to 63.Qg5 (+). But put the black king on a1, a3, b1, b2, c1, c3, d1, d2, e1, or e2, and the position would be a draw because of the stalemate resource mentioned.

May-17-09  johnlspouge: < <agb2002> wrote: <johnlspouge: ... nobody thinks I died today :) >

That would be rather inconsiderate and unforgivable on your part... >

...and I always avoid unnecessary inconsideration :)

May-17-09  zzzzzzzzzzzz: weird move.
Jun-01-09  patzer2: After 55. Bd4! White is able to force a winning passed pawn and provide us with a solution for the difficult Sunday, May 17, 2009 puzzle.
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