Final touches can often be difficult

Chess Checks

The end games in chess are always complicated and need plenty of calculations when the players are left with queen and minor pieces. It then becomes quite a tedious job to virtually calculate immense possibilities before making any move and many a time, it can result in oversight or miscalculation.

In the game which follows, the players quickly enter an ending with queen and a rook with two minor pieces each. Even when the position appears evenly balanced, White advances a pawn on the queen side when a sharp knight move in the centre could have maintained the balance. It is Black then who seizes initiative and romps home the victor.

White: Dragan Paunovic (2495) – Black: Zoltan Almasi(2655)
Cacak, 1996
Catalan Closed variation
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.d4
White can play 4. Bg2
4. ..Be7 5.Bg2 0–0 6.0–0 Nbd7 7.Nc3
White should have also seriously considered 7.Nbd2
7. .. c6 8.Qb3 b6 9.cxd5
White can develop the bishop with 9.Bf4
9. .. cxd5 10.Bf4 a6
If 10...Nh5 11.Bd2 Bb7 12.Rfc1 Rc8
11.Ne5. If 11.Rac1 b5 12.a4 b4 13.Nb1 Ne8  
11...Nxe5 12.Bxe5 Nd7
Black does not want any of White’s pieces to occupy the central square e5.
13.Rac1. Does not look like a good move. If 13.Bf4 Bb7 14.Rac1
13...Nxe5 14.dxe5 b5.  Black had a better move in 14. ..Bb7
15.Rfd1. If 15.e4 d4 16.Rfd1 Ra7
15...Ra7 16.e3
White can also look at 16.e4 d4 17.Ne2 Rd7 18.Rd3 Qb6 but it will lead to an unclear position
16...Rc7 17.Ne2 Bd7 18.e4 Rxc1 19.Nxc1
If 19.Rxc1 Qb8 20.exd5 Qxe5 21.Nc3 b4
19...Qb8 20.exd5
If 20.f4 Qa7+ 21.Kh1 dxe4 22.Bxe4 Rc8 23.Qf3 Qc7
20...Qxe5 21.Nd3 Qd6 22.Nf4
White can also think about 22.Bh3 and if 22.Re1 Bf6
22...e5 23.Nd3 f5
Better is 23. ..f6
Diagram 1
24.a3. If 24.Nxe5 Qxe5  25.d6+ Be6  26.Bd5 Bxd5  27.Rxd5 Qe1+
24. ..e4 25.Nb4. If 25.Nf4 a5
25...Kh8
If 25...Rc8 26.Nxa6! Qxa6 27.d6+ Kf8 28.dxe7+ Kxe7 29.Qb4+ Ke8 30.Qd4 Rd8 31.Qxg7 with a better position for White
26.f3
If 26.Rc1 Bf6 27.Rc2 h5
26...exf3 27.Qxf3 f4 28.g4
If 28.Nd3 fxg3 29.Qxg3 Qxg3 30.hxg3 Bd6 31.Kh2 h5 32.Re1 h4 33.Ne5 hxg3+ 34.Kg1 Bf5 And if 28.gxf4 Rxf4 29.Qe3 Bd8 and Black is better in both cases
28...Bf6 29.Nd3 Bd4+ 30.Kh1 Be3 31.h3 Qf6
If 31...a5 32.b4 axb4 33.axb4 Be8
32.b4 Rc8 33.Rf1 Rf8
A crowded ‘f’ file
34.Nc5
If 34.Qe4 Bxg4 35.Qxe3 fxe3 36.Rxf6 Rxf6 37.hxg4 e2 38.Kg1
34...Bc8 35.Qe4
A mistake! Correct is 35.Rd1 Rd8 with an unclear position
35...Bxg4 36.Ne6
If 36.hxg4 Qh4+ 37.Bh3 Qxh3 checkmate and if 36.Qxe3 fxe3 37.Rxf6 Rxf6 38.hxg4 e2 39.Nd3 Rf1+ 40.Kh2 Rd1 41.Kg3 Rxd3+ 42.Kf2 Rg3 43.Bh1 Rg1 44.Kxe2 Rxh1
36...Re8 37.Re1
If 37.Qxe3 fxe3 38.Rxf6 gxf6 39.hxg4 e2
37...Bxe6 38.dxe6 g6 39.Rd1 Rxe6 40.Qa8+
If 40.Rd8+ Qxd8 41.Qxe6 Qd1+
40...Kg7 41.Qb7+
If 41.Bd5 Rd6 42.Qg8+ Kh6
41...Re7 42.Qf3
If 42.Qc6 Qxc6  And if 42.Rd7 Qa1+
42...Rc7 43.Qe4 Kh6 44.Bf3 Rc3 45.Qb7 Qh4 46.Bg2 Bf2 47.Qd7
If 47.Qxa6 Rxh3+
47...f3
White resigned for if 48.Qd2+ (48.Bf1 Rxa3) 48...Be3 49.Qxc3 fxg2+ 50.Kxg2 Qf2+ 51.Kh1 Qf3+ 52.Kh2 Bf4+ 53.Kg1 Qxc3.
Diagram 2
White to play and win
1.Bb5 Qxb5 2.Rxh7+ Kxh7 3.Qh5+ and White wins.

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