Sunday, October 9, 2011

Prospect v. Palatine: Pieces Before Pawns

Prospect beat Palatine 57-11 in its second match of the season.  Although normally one of the toughest teams in the conference, Palatine lost many of its upper boards from last year to graduation.

It's always nice when a principle I write about in one post is perfectly illustrated in a game from the next match.  In my last post, I stressed the need to improve the position of pieces before pushing pawns in the endgame.  That principle arose again on third board where Palatine's Karan Patel had White against Prospect's Ekrem Genc.  At first glance, it appears that the Black rook can pick off the White pawns at its leisure, however, White can still draw the game with 46.Kf4!  After 46...Rg8 47.Ke5 Rxg7 48.Kd5 Rb7 49.Kc5, the White king has just enough time to protect the b-pawn.  Since the Black king is to far away to help, the game will be drawn after Black is forced to give up his rook to stop the pawn from queening.

In the game, however, White pushed with 46.b6? which leaves the White king with insufficient time to come to the aid of either of the pawns.  White lost after 46...Rg8 47.b7 Rxg7+ 48.Kf4 Rxb7. 

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