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It’s Your Move: daily chess puzzle 65

July 30, 2015

White to play: evaluate 1 Kd8, heading for g6

Teschner 651

Darga-Spassky, Amsterdam Interzonal 1964


1 Kd8? throws away the advantage: …Bc4!! forces 2 Bc4, when it is stalemate. In the game, white managed to avoid playing this move, regrouped, and beat Spassky after a further thirty moves.

The ending is very interesting, and readers may wish, as I did, to explore it further for themselves, before reading on. It took me a while to find the winning steps.
Teschner 652

I haven’t heard of Darga (who won in the games of puzzles 60 and 61; being able to draw against Spassky indicates he was a really strong player). Wikipedia tells me he tied first for World Junior Champion in 1953, became a GM, before retiring and becoming an IBM programmer. This victory over Spassky is given as his best game, and some analysis of it can be found here

The winning line is instructive: take your time, improve your pieces, zugzwang and principle of two weaknesses all come into play. (On the principle of two weaknesses, the two are the weak pawn on g6, and white’s passer, which forces Black’s king  to defend the d6-d8 sqaures.

Step 1: improve the king

The king is re-routed to c3, to protect the c4 pawn, to release the Bb3 from its defensive duty.

Teschner 653

Step 2: improve the bishop

The bishop is rerouted to b5, from where it resumes control of c4, but also threatens to come to e8, biffing the g6 pawn.

Teschner 654

Step 3: add to the strain on Black

Teschner 656

This is one typical position. Sometimes White has to fiddle around with waiting moves, such as Kc3-b2, to get the right pressure, but eventually Black gets into zugzwang or similar difficulties.

Exchange one advantage for another

Teschner 655

The above is a key type of position. White plays d6+ Kd6 Bf5, exchanging the d passer for a g passer: the resultant ending is won, partly because the g pawn is less central, straining both Black’s pieces.

Darga actually won in a different, but similar way, of eventual zugzwang, but also with the key exchange of d for g pawn tactic. I have lightly annotated the whole game here. It is a very interesting game, throughout its stages, and some of my comments are more in the nature of queries. My readers might wish to analyse this game, and the ending, and maybe post their conclusions by replying to this blog post.

From → Chess

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