08 November 2008


During my engine training this morning, I had another opportunity to employ the practical technique of simplification. Beginning from Reinfeld's Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations problem #332, I reached this position with Black and the move.

Black to move: think simplification

Rexe3+ forced the white rook off the board, eliminating all counterplay and creating an elementary king and pawn endgame. Black gives up a rook for a pawn, but leaves White with no remaining hope.

Inasmuch as I spend a lot of time teaching and coaching beginners, I often see players struggle longer than necessary. Being a rook ahead makes it possible to trade down to a simpler position. It is worthwhile to spend effort playing elementary king and pawn endgames until a one pawn advantage in most cases is a technical win that one can blitz through in a matter of seconds. In this case, Black's outside passed pawn renders the game elementary.

The Source

WCSAC #332 is in the section "Discovered Attack," but discovery becomes possible only if White plays the moves given by Reinfeld in his solution. Reinfeld's solution presents the continuation played in the source game: Burger - Evans, New York 1954.

Black to move

My chess engine chose a continuation different than Karl Burger's choice after I executed the key played by Larry M. Evans. There was no discovery, but the win still was relatively easy.


  1. Simplify - Rexe3 (or Raxe3) came to my mind, that I thought maybe there is other way. But you are right, it's a simplest one. I played once 2R vs. R and it was quite long exercise until I finally got him.

    The source - 1. ... Ne3 2. Rd1 Nxc1 then Qh1+ ).

    Saturday, 08 November, 2008

  2. Never leave comment as well as make a move in a hurry. As soon as I left home, I realized something is wrong with my solution. Returned - of course it is wrong. The answer is Nf4! -discovery attack with mate threat. Also in the reply to "Simplify" it's "then I thought" not "that I thought".

  3. After 1. ... Nd3 Rd1 2. Nf4

  4. Burger - Evans concluded 1...Nd3 2.Rd1 Qh1+ 3.Ke2 Nf4+ and Burger resigned. The discovery comes on the last move after the check that skewers the king to get to the rook.

    Continuing beyond the end of the game:

    4.exf4 leads to checkmate quickly
    4.Kf3 leads to 4...Qxg7+ 5.Kxf4 g5+ 6.Kf5 Qxb7-+

  5. I am proud to say Iable to service both of these men that night and many nightssince. He really didnt give memuch pain.
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    I am proud to say Iable to service both of these men that night and many nightssince. He really didnt give memuch pain.