Friday, October 23, 2009

Prospect Sweeps Elk Grove

After losing its first two matches, Prospect bounced back with a sweep of Elk Grove High School on October 22.

An Important Drawing Technique

Question #1: How does Black save a 1/2 point?

Answer #1: 1...Ka1!, because 2. Qxc2 is stalemate. The winning technique for White if Black had a pawn on the b, d, e, g files would be to repeatedly force the Black king in front of the Black pawn and bring White king to help. However, when Black has a c-pawn or f-pawn, Black can move into the corner because it will be stalemate if White captures the pawn.

The weaker side can also draw with an a-pawn or h-pawn if the stronger side's king is too far away. After 1...Kh1, White cannot bring up his king to help because Black will be stalemated.

These are important positions to keep in mind when deciding which pawns to exchange earlier in the game. The weaker side will want to leave himself with the pawns that give him the best chance to draw.

In Moskwa v. Rosca, Black missed the drawing possibility with the c-pawn and White got the win. However, White could have earlier avoided the exchanges that left Black with the possibility.

In Gonzalez v. Nair on 2nd Board, Black went for a quick queen side expansion. White had a choice between ignoring Black plan while completing his development and grabbing space for himself on the other side of the board or countering Black’s expansion immediately It seemed that White had a hard time making up his mind. When he did try to slow down Black's advance, he wound up giving him targets that he otherwise would not have had.

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