Outclassed in the Endgame

Round 1

I played against Paul, thought about avoiding the Tromp by playing ..e6 before ..Nf6, but then played ..Nf6 and immediately began regretting my choice.

The subplot in this game are the computer evaluations. Fruit will say I am =+ at times, even close to -+, but then will change it’s mind and its back to =.

Unfortunately in this game, I managed my clock much more weakly than my opponent and flagged on move 43 when I realized I had made a fatal blunder, had debated between 43..h4 and 43..Bc3?, but chose the wrong one, and then flagged as I realized I had just made a losing blunder.

After the game, we blitzed it once quickly (he had 20 minutes still), but it ended weird because he tried to promote the h-pawn, up a piece, and I drew it (wrong colored bishop), but I don’t know how he threw away his center pawn. But he said it was simply won by promoting the other pawn instead, so we looked at that, and I added to this game basically how it goes (except that he plays it even more decisively).

Anyway, if you go back to where I had blundered and play the 43..h4 instead, Fruit thinks it’s only +=, but then changes it’s mind as it is played out. So clearly, even engines don’t grok endgames instantly on a PC in the year 2012. It was largely because of computer evaluations that I decided to give this opening one last go against Paul.

I spent a lot of my remaining time on move 31. Again, I wanted to play 31..h4! instead of my 31…Ke7 which I sorted of blurted out just because I felt I had to play something to keep up the rythmh of the game. I pointed this out to Paul after the game, and he could see where it basically draws the game.

31…h4, 32.g4 Ke7, 33.Bc8 Kd8! I hadn’t noticed this finesse until a move or so later in the game. Let’s say play continues 33..Bf5, then when White eventually plays Rxh3, Black will be able to sneak in …Bg1, and if the rook moves, then Bxh2. This is the idea which I missed, and I feel sure I would have found it if this hadn’t been G/90, or if I had managed my clock much better up to this point. It sucks, but G/90 is largely a clock management endeavor it is not quite true chess. Imre Barlay commented after the game (80 yrs old) how there aren’t many great endgames anymore since they did away with adjournments. Endgames are calculation, and calculation, finding ideas suffers at G/90 for sure, IMHO.

I may have even seen this idea for a split-second, and then thought that I have to account for his king coming over, but then my rook would simply be free and his not. It’s frustrating to simply have to decide on a move in this situation for sake of time, since the positions were very concrete in so many different instances, so shouldn’t really be guessing.

That line on move 31 is drawing, but Black has to play it agressively, and can give up a clear pawn to maintain solid drawing-changes. It’s almost like another game, the endgame, a second game.

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5 thoughts on “Outclassed in the Endgame

  1. Any particular reason you don’t like 2 … e6 against the Tromp? (Especially if you were considering playing it on move 1…)

  2. Is there something totally bad about 3 … QxB that I’m missing?

    (The “main line” there is 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 e6 3. e4 h6 4. Bxf6 Qxf6 – you’re a tempo up on that if he grabs it right away).

    You’ll have to know some stuff in the Torre as well (anything other than 3. e4 will basically transpose to it). What do you play against 2. Nf3 right now?

  3. Heh, me too (I normally play 1 … Nf6 2. c4 Nc6) – need to pick up some QID stuff for myself vs 2. Nf3. *laugh*

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