16 October 2014

Superficial Analysis

Correcting Errors

There is no substitute for calculation. Intuition can be helpful in chess and sometimes even helps humans see some things that computers miss. However, a quick glance and reliance upon intution can mislead.

In yesterday's post, "The Final Transition," I offered the view that an exchange of bishops that had not taken place was necessary to avoid because it would have given White a clear win. I was wrong. That position is still a draw.

Black to move

In the game, Black played 47...Bb4+.

I stated in "The Final Transition" that 47...Bxd4+ was a losing move for Black. I saw at a glance 48.Kxd4 axb3 49.axb3 and judged this position as "hopelessly lost" for Black.

Black to move

White does indeed win after 49...Kb4 50.Kxd5 Kxb3 51.Ke5 Kc4 52.Kf6 Kd5 53.Kg7 Ke6 54.Kxh7

Black to move

However, Black has another option: 49...Kc6!

After 50.b4 Kd6 51.b5 Black has 51...g5!

White to move

When White wins the h-pawn, Black will be able to trap the White king on the h-file. In the diagram presented above for the line that began 49...Kb4, White had a reserve tempo with the pawn. In this last position, that is no longer possible.

I had stated in "The Final Transition" that intermediete students would find the position in the first diagram above instructive. Although I have corrected my own understanding of the consequences of the bishop exchange, I still believe the position will be useful. It will the lesson with my chess students today.

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