Kings take centrestage in end game

Chess Checks

 In the early stages, the Kings remain cosseted in their castles and the other pieces have to protect them but once most pieces are exchanged, it is the Kings who decided the eventual outcome of the game.

In the game which follows, it is the White King who marches into the enemy territory boldy to settle the game in his favour.

 White Alexander Alekhine – Black: Effim Bogoljubow
World Championship Match, 1929
Queen’s Gambit
 1.d4 d5 2.c4
The Queen’s Gambit, which even till today is one of the most popular Openings in Chess
 2. ..c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5
If 6.Nh4 Bc8 7.Nf3 Bf5 8.Ne5 e6 9.f3 Bb4
10.Qd2 c5 11.e4 Qxd4 12.Nxc4 Bg6 13.Nd6+ Ke7 14.Nxb7 Nc6
 6...e6 If 6...Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Qc7 e5

 7.Bg5
If 7.f3 Bb4 8.h4 c5 h6  9.dxc5 Qd5
 7...Be7
A rather dull looking move! Black could have played  7...Bb4 8.f3 h6
 8.f3
Difficult to understand this move by White! He has opened up his King side rather unnecessarily when he could have played 8.e3 or 8.Nxc3
 8. ..h6 9.e4

An interesting move!
 9. ..Bh7
If 9...hxg5 10.exf5 exf5 11.Bxc4 0–0 12.h4
 10.Be3 Nbd7 11.Nxc4 0–0 12.Be2 c5 13.dxc5 Bxc5 14.Bxc5 Nxc5 15.b4 Na6
He is more or less forced to retreat to the side of the board. If Black tries to exchange queens with 15...Qxd1+ 16.Rxd1 Nxa4 17.Nxa4 b5 18.Ncb6 axb6 19.Bxb5 it is White who gets advantage.
 16.Qxd8  However White is more than willing to swap queens  16. ..Rfxd8 17.Na2
Interesting move! White is intending  18.Na5 Rb8 19.Nb7
 17...Nb8 …Sc6-d4 Retreating all the way back to aim for the d4 square
18.Kf2  If 18.b5 Nbd7
18...Nc6 19.Rhd1 Nd4

If 19...Rxd1 20.Rxd1 Rd8 21.b5 Rxd1 22.Bxd1 Nd8 23.Nd6
20.Rac1 Kf8 Vacating the square for the White bishop to change his diagonal with the intention of playing 21. ..Bg8 or for that matter even 21. ..Ne8
21.Bf1 Ne8 22.Nc3 If 22.Na5 Rab8 (22...b6 23.Nb7 Rd7 24.Bb5 Rxb7 25.Rxd4) 23.Nc3 b6 24.Rxd4 Rxd4 25.Nc6 Rbd8 26.Ke3 R4d6 27.Nxd8 Rxd8 28.Nb5
22...f6 23.Na5 Rab8
If 23...b6 24.Nb7 (24.Nb5 Nxb5 (24...bxa5 25.Nxd4 Bg8 26.b5) 25.Rxd8 Rxd8 26.Nc6 ab5) 24...Rd7 25.Bb5 Rxb7 26.Rxd4 Rc7 27.Ne2 Rxc1 28.Nxc1 Rc8 29.Nd3
24.Nb5 Nxb5 25.Rxd8 Rxd8 26.Nxb7
A spate of exchanges and White nets a pawn 26. ..Rb8  If 26...Rd2+ 27.Ke3 Nbd6 28.Kxd2 Nxb7 29.Rc8
27.Nc5 Ke7 28.axb5 Nd6 29.Ra1 Nc8 30.Bc4 Bg8 If 30...e5 31.Be6 31.f4 Bf7 32.e5 fxe5 33.fxe5 Rb6 34.Ke3 Be8 35.Ra5 Bd7 36.Kd4 Be8 37.h4 Bd7 38.Be2 Rb8 39.Nxd7 Kxd7

Both the Kings have come out to fight
40.Bf3 Rb6 41.Kc5
Diagram 1

The White King has marched all the way into enemy territory
41. .. Rb8 42.h5 Kd8 43.Bc6
White is in total control now!
43. ..44.Ra3 Kf7 45.Be4
This is one bishop who is distinctly stronger than the opponent’s knight on board 45. ..Ke7 46.Kc6 Kd8 47.Rd3+ Ke7 48.Kc7 and Black resigned as 48... Rxb5 49.Kxc8 (49.Rd7+ Kf8 50.Bg6 Nb6 (50...Ne7 51.Rd8 checkmate) 51.Rd8+ Ke7 52.Re8 checkmate)   
Diagram 2

White to play and win 1.Bxf6+ Kxf6 2.Be2+ Ke5 3.Bxc4  and White wins.

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