Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Miraculous escape with 'Draw' swindle

In last night's game I had the White pieces and played e4. My opponent elected to play the center counter ... I exchanged pawns off immediately and played my usual line which is a sacrifice of the 'b' pawn for open lines and a big lead in development. At least, that is the theory but rather than me opening the position up, my opponent seemed to manage to close it down!

When you gambit a pawn in the opening then it is fair to say that every piece exchange really favours the opposition if neither side is making great progress. I desperately wanted to find a King-side attack, but couldn't calculate enough moves ahead! (Later on this evening I will check with Fritz 13 to see what I missed ...) I began to get concerned when my pin against his Queen came to nothing and he had the prospect of winning my 'c' pawn with Rook and Queen bringing up the rear. When I finally saw no hope of winning I traded Queens in the hope of finding a way to draw, but I overlooked the capture of my 'f' pawn which resulted in me going two pawns down ... I was practically ready to resign on the spot. Experience has taught me though that in many endgame positions a draw can be achieved through perpetual check in the right position. Miraculously I managed to win his 'f' pawn after a bit of a struggle. He was then hoping to Queen his 'h' pawn but I know no less than 3 ways of drawing when just the enemy 'h' pawn and the Kings are left on the board ...

1) Get your King to h1. This will result in stalemate (Stalemate).
2) Confine his King to the 'h' file in front of his pawn (Confinement & Stalemate).
3) Draw by perpetual with my Rook giving the checks. (Draw by perpetual, 50 move rule)

As can be seen from Chess Diagram 2, the Rooks never got traded, therefore the 3rd option above was available to me! This is a 'book draw' (see Chess Diagram 2).

(I found out after the game that my opponent was graded almost 200 Elo points above me at 1720 Elo. It paid me in grading points not to give up - even when 2 pawns down in the endgame!)

As usual, any comments welcome ...

Chess Diagram 1 - Center Counter Game

Note: In the previous diagram I stopped writing the moves down on move 51. due to being within my final 5 minutes of time control.

Chess Diagram 2 - Drawn Position

PGN Viewer courtesy of http://chesstempo.com/

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