05 February 2014

Power of Pawns

Lesson of the Week

Rezső Charousek (1873-1900)* emerged on the tournament scene at Nuremburg in 1896, where he defeated World Champion Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941) in the final round. Lasker still won the tournament, while Charousek finished 12th. The manner in which the young Hungarian defeated Lasker led the World Champion to declare, "I shall have to play a championship match with this man some day." However, a few short years later Charousek was dead from tuberculosis.

Before his entry into master tournaments in 1896, Charousek distinguished himself in games against the top players in Hungary and a few others, including the man who wrote the book on the endgame. Johann Nepomuk Berger (1845-1933) was the author of the first comprehensive treatment of the endgame, Theorie und Praxis der Endspiele (1891). In this game against Charousek, however, the Hungarian demonstrates the power of three connected pawns.

Black to move

Charousek played 41...Be3!

41...g3 also wins.

The game finished 42.fxe3 g3 43.Rd7 f2+ 44.Kf1 h2 0-1

One of Black's pawns will promote and the queen will rule the board.

*Rezső Charousek is usually called Rudolf in English language sources.

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