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R v R+B: Rudd v Gormally

August 6, 2013

Last night, I played through some of the games from the latest round of this year's British Championships. One game, or rather one ending, which caught my eye was being IM Jack Rudd and GM Danny Gormally.

Black to move

I don't know Jack: I do know though that he plays incredibly fast, often having used up very little time in a whole game- in a unique, and somewhat perverse way, begging the question to me 'would he be even stronger if he thought for longer?. I do though know Danny, from when he played in the 2006 Olympiad for the team that I captained. As I saw this ending appear on the board, I felt fairly certain Danny would win- due to a combination of Danny's fighting spirit, Jack's speed, and the difficulty of defending this 'drawn' ending. [if I knew how to search Chessbase properly, no doubt statistics would be available: my guess is that the R+B player wins more than he draws].

The crucial position came up many moves later:

White clearly can't play 1 Ka3?? (1…Ra2 mate) so it is a choice between 1 Kb1 and 1 Ka1. Which to choose?

It is not at all obvious, at least to me, and Jack made the wrong choice. The solution is below.

(Readers might like to work out how to defend, and what is wrong with the other move)




2 Ka1 [] is necessary. After 2 Kb1 it is mate by 2…Kc3, Ba2+c4-d3- a typical pattern. The difference is that after 2 Ka1! Kc3 doesn't work because of 2 Rb2!! and a forced draw. Stalemate or repetition.




From → Chess

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