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Friday, March 26, 2010

Q&P Endings

Browsing the April 1982 issue of Chess Life I came across Pal Benko’s endgame column where he discussed some of these endings. Back in the August, 1981 issue he had analyzed the ending from Czerniak-Ivkov (Belgrade 1954) and had stated that with accurate defense, a Q vs. Q+RP endgame should be drawn. IM Dr. Anthony Saidy had disagreed with him. So Benko took another look at the Czerniak-Ivkov game.

I’m not going into a long analysis of the endings shown here because there’s no need to. The results of these endings can be examined using the Shredder Endgame Database. My goal was just to see how accurate Benko’s analysis was.

Czerniak-Ivkov Belgrade 1954
Black to move
Benko said of this position if Black can’t force a perpetual White’s P will queen. He went on to add that unfortunately Black can’t get a perpetual because his K is in the way. Here’s the result from the Shredder Endgame DB

Benko is correct. Black loses in all variations.

Benko went on to examine Shamkovich-Wirthensohn (Bled 1980). White to move

1.Qf6 was the move played and as you can see, it’s the only move that wins. What’s interesting is that after 1. … Kc7 Benko gives White’s 2.Qg5 an “!” That’s incorrect.

As you can see that move only results in a draw. As Benko pointed out proving anything was impossible because there were just too many possibilities. At least there was in those days.

BTW I noticed in the same issue one could buy the Fidelity Electronics Elite chess computer. It’s rating was estimated to be 1990-1950 at 40 moves in 2 hours. The price? $995.

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