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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


      In all my years of chess I’ve never had a game end in stalemate, but it finally happened a couple of days ago.  I do recall a club game of some years ago where I set up a stalemate but my opponent saw it and avoided it.  In an online blitz game as Black I played the Budapest Gambit and won my P back without much trouble and eventually we reached a R and P ending that was rather drawish.  However I eventually misplayed the ending and we arrived at the following position where White has just played 58.a7

      I replied 58…Kb7 to get my K to a8 blocking the P and hoping I could at least hinder White's progress with my R.  Now the correct winning procedure for White is to play 59.Kd7 and the advance of his e-Pawn is assured.  Instead he played 59.Rd7+ to which I replied 59…Ka8 setting up the stalemate. A few moves later we reached the following position:

Correct for White is 62.Kd6 Rh6 63.Rd8+ Kxa7 64.Kd7 and the P queens. Instead he played 62.Kd8?? and now according to the Shredder endgame database the game is a draw because of the stalemate threat. 62…Rh8+ 63.Kc7 Rc8+ 64.Kd6 Rc6+ Reaching this position:

The game is drawn. White can never avoid the R checks;  if he tries by 65.Ke7 then 65…Rxe6+  It took White several moves before he realized the win had vanished so he finally took the R. A lucky escape.

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