Main
Date: 18 May 2008 07:41:40
From: Sandra Mohammed
Subject: Can White win this position?
8/r4pkp/p1R2p2/1p6/1P6/6P1/P3PK1P/8 w - - 0 37




 
Date: 27 May 2008 16:44:03
From: Mapleleaf
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
Agree with the comments that a5 will be a big move by black. Had it not
been for this move white could try g4 (perhaps followed by an eventual
e4) and try to fix the f and h pawns and fight for control of f5 (ie. by
fighting to pressure f6 square). One advantage of this winning plan for
white is that it would also make it difficult for black's king to enter
the centre via the f6. (ie. after he pushes his pawn to f5)

The problem of course is 37. g4 a5! And due to activation of rook (and
threat to win a pawn) the battle for the king side is completely side
tracked.

There are three ways to counter the a5 "threat". As has been mentioned
37.a3 is one of them. The other two are 37.Rb6 and 37.Rc5...the idea of
those moves being that as soon as black pushes the a6 pawn white soon
captures b5.

The problem with both 37.a3 and 37.Rb6 is black can just play f5 himself
and now the idea of exploiting k side weaknesses for white (with lets
say g4 or e4) become very difficult.

The problem with 37.Rc5 is now black can centralize with Rd7 as white no
longer threatens the a6 pawn.

Of the three candidate moves I've talked about 37.a3 seems to be the
best and indeed Rybka gives a line where white wins a pawn after:

a3 f5 Rc5 Kf6 a4 bxa4 Ra5 Re7 Rxa6 Kg7 Rxa4

The problem is that black now plays Re4! and because of the pin its hard
to see how white now makes progress. I think an eventual check on blacks
king (eg. after an eventual f6 Ra7+) could get the pawn to fifth
rank..but hard to see how it advances further. Plus black doesnt need
to allow an opportunity like that since his rook has at least two
squares to avoid zug and maintain the pin... e4 and c4.

So I think the position is probably a draw, but, black has to defend
well, and may even be a pawn down in the process

Mapleleaf from FICS


Sandra Mohammed wrote:
> 8/r4pkp/p1R2p2/1p6/1P6/6P1/P3PK1P/8 w - - 0 37


  
Date: 27 May 2008 15:32:27
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 27, 4:44 pm, Mapleleaf <[email protected] > wrote:

> The problem of course is 37. g4 a5!

The move ...a5 is very obvious, not really
deserving of any exclamations, unless found
by a weak player.


> Of the three candidate moves I've talked about 37.a3 seems to be the
> best and indeed Rybka gives a line where white wins a pawn after:

It should be noted that even though Rybka is the
strongest chess program in the world, the author
himself has admitted that he put very little into its
endgame, as he felt the results would not be
sufficiently affected to justify the effort. In sum, it
is very likely that some other programs are better
in this phase of the game, or even some humans.

In fact, in the recent odds match between Rybka
and Roman Dzindzichashvili, the program failed in
the endgame in some fairly obvious (to humans)
ways. One of those failures was in a Rook ending
where there were pawns on both sides of the board,
as here.


-- help bot



 
Date: 19 May 2008 20:37:27
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
Sandra Mohammed <[email protected] > wrote:
> 8/r4pkp/p1R2p2/1p6/1P6/6P1/P3PK1P/8 w - - 0 37

Hi, Jason!


Dave.

--
David Richerby Perforated Artificial Tool (TM): it's
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ like a hammer that's made of plastic
but it's full of holes!


 
Date: 18 May 2008 15:08:06
From:
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 18, 3:41=A0am, "Sandra Mohammed"
<[email protected] > wrote:
> 8/r4pkp/p1R2p2/1p6/1P6/6P1/P3PK1P/8 w - - 0 37

I let Fritz8 dwell on this for about half an hour. It evaluates the
position at about +1.25 to +1.50 in White's favor (i.e. it considers
White to be ahead by the equivalent of 1.25 to 1.5 pawns). However, it
sees no clear path to a definite win.
Black's rook can become active if White is not careful, e.g. 1.Kf3
f5 2.Kf4 Re7!. And while Black's rook is tied down right now to
defense of the a-pawn, it looks like White's rook can't both keep
pressure on the a-pawn and accomplish anything else that's meaningful.
Still, I'd much rather play White than Black here. In general terms,
a good plan might be to keep Black as cooped up as possible. Specific
moves toward this end would start with 1.Kf3, followed by either
advance of the e-pawn, or if 1...f5, then 2.h4 so that if 2...f6
intending 3...Kg6, White can keep the king penned up with 3.h5!.


  
Date: 19 May 2008 22:54:32
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 19, 10:29 pm, SBD <[email protected] > wrote:

> > Not so fast there, fella. Fritz8 is a wee tad
> > better in the endgame than anybody who posts
> > here in rgc.
>
> Are you sure of that?

Let me put it another way: I am not aware of any
truly strong players who post here, whereas Fritz8
is, I suspect, 2500+ in the endgame. Granted, it
may not be a great strategist, but even in the
endgame there are sufficient tactics for computers
to strut their stuff; humans, as we all know, are
"suboptimal move" choosers. Maybe, there are
a few /lurkers/ here who can play strong chess,
but those cowards don't count. ; >D


-- help bot




  
Date: 19 May 2008 22:45:42
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 19, 10:28 pm, SBD <[email protected] > wrote:

> > I sure am glad I was not a member of that
> > particular old chess club; how boring, to
> > analyze "to death" such a dull position!
>
> Dull? There are no dull positions, only dull players.

Nonsense. Many positions offer precious little
to work with; thus, the hyper-aggressive player
is often described by pundits as attempting a
"more enterprising" line, to escape the drudgery.

In one sense, Rook endings can be the epitome
of this dullness, as so many of them ultimately
lead to draws-- and not always in exciting ways.
This particular ending has both sides with an
equal number of pawns, none of which are
passed, and even the two Kings are on the very
same side of the board; that's dull.

If you really want to obsess over a chess
position, then why not find something with a bit
more action? I could show you innumerable
such endings-- including some which have been
discussed at some length here in rgc.

Looking back over this thread one will note (or
go into denial of) the general lack of interest,
even by those very few who posted any replies
at all. In fact, I think it may have been SBD
himself who refused to devote any time to
real chess analysis, on account of what he
described as the position "not being worth it",
or something to that effect. Others tossed
out comments about "winning a pawn", but
not one showed how it was to be done. My
guess is that Fritz or whatever advanced a
pawn: ...f5, which later fell in *its* analysis;
obviously, not a forced variation.

One of the things I have learned from
playing at GetClub is that there are lots and
lots of dull positions... .


-- help bot







  
Date: 19 May 2008 19:29:27
From: SBD
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 19, 4:21 pm, help bot <[email protected] > wrote:


> Not so fast there, fella. Fritz8 is a wee tad
> better in the endgame than anybody who posts
> here in rgc.

Are you sure of that?


  
Date: 19 May 2008 19:28:28
From: SBD
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 19, 4:21 pm, help bot <[email protected] > wrote:

>
> I sure am glad I was not a member of that
> particular old chess club; how boring, to
> analyze "to death" such a dull position!

Dull? There are no dull positions, only dull players.


  
Date: 19 May 2008 14:21:25
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 19, 9:40 am, SBD <[email protected] > wrote:

> As TK noted, I was just giving a brief assessment as no one had
> answered.

It is quite possible that one of the main reasons
"no one" had answered is the use of Forsoothe
notation. Aye, had the query been posted in a
more common language, a wider variety of folks
would have been able to take a shot. I passed
over the post a couple of times, declining to
respond because I was not sure if I could even
"read" the notation correctly.


> I am not sure that computers don't overrate the doubled pawns here.
> The only problem with the doubled pawns in my opinion is the isolation
> of the h-pawn, which could become problematic. A weak player would
> shove pawns here and playing h5 too quickly might be fatal.

As White, a weak player might pursue the weak
h-pawn with his Rook, allowing Black to activate
his own.


> It is the kind of position in the old days of chess clubs that we
> would often analyze to death, and with great relish. Today, not to
> criticize, just an observation, people too quickly turn on Fritz......

Not so fast there, fella. Fritz8 is a wee tad
better in the endgame than anybody who posts
here in rgc. The problem lies in deciding if say,
a position score of +1.13 means "White barely
wins" or means "White draws with more room
for error than Black". In essence, the program
is useful for handling tactical problems with
great accuracy, while strategic assessments
are then less likely to completely miss the
boat.

I sure am glad I was not a member of that
particular old chess club; how boring, to
analyze "to death" such a dull position! Why
not instead attempt to analyze the Fried Liver
Attack or the Wilkes Barre? At my chess
club, we discovered a way to refute the entire
King's Gambit... but some guy from Brooklyn
stole our idea. (No biggie, since we also have
refuted the Ruy Lopez, the Queen's Gambit,
and of course, the Caro Kan.)


-- help bot





  
Date: 19 May 2008 12:53:51
From:
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 19, 1:49=A0pm, [email protected] (Andy Walker) wrote:
> In article <[email protected]=
m >,
>
> =A0<[email protected]> wrote:
> >> >> 8/r4pkp/p1R2p2/1p6/1P6/6P1/P3PK1P/8 w - - 0 37
> >> [...]
> >> > =A0 Black's rook can become active if White is not careful, e.g. 1.Kf=
3
> >> >f5 2.Kf4 Re7!.
> >> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A01 Kf3 is not careful enough; =A01 ... a5 activates the r=
ook.
> > =A0True, but at the cost of a pawn: 2.a3! (much better than 2.Rxb5?!
> >axb4 3.Rxb4 Rxa2) 2...axb4 3.axb4 and after almost any black move,
> >4.Rxb5. [...]
>
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 I think you have the rook on the wrong square! =A0It's on =
c6
> in the original, so 1 Rb6 is the alternative to 1 a3 to prevent
> 1 ... a5, but 1 a3 keeps the R more active.

Oh, bloody hell, you're right. I hate Forsyth notation.

> =A01 Kf3? a5 2 a3? axb4
> 3 axb4 Ra4 and it's Black playing for the win. =A0[2 Rb6 axb4 3 Rxb5
> Rxa2 is a safe draw.]
>
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 White has no need to hurry; =A0as long as his pawns are ke=
pt
> protected, there is no counterplay, and no way for Black to swap
> off pawns [... h5 is just another weakness]. =A0As SBD comments,
> White seems to win a pawn at some stage; =A0whether that's enough to
> win the game is another matter, but it looks very possible, given
> Black's enforced passivity. =A0But since "all R&P endings are drawn",
> we would need to look in depth at some concrete lines.
>
> --
> Andy Walker
> Nottingham



  
Date: 19 May 2008 12:26:48
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 19, 9:40 am, SBD <[email protected] > wrote:

> As TK noted, I was just giving a brief assessment as no one had
> answered. I didn't mean to offend anyone, but hey, if I offended some
> "Illinois Nazi," to quote Belushi, I really don't care.

It looked more like a troll posting, and if so, he
got a nibble or two.


> But Walker's answer is better. I really doubt there is " a win" here
> so long as black is careful in the conversion - at some point white
> will probably win a pawn but not the game.
>
> I am not sure that computers don't overrate the doubled pawns here.
> The only problem with the doubled pawns in my opinion is the isolation
> of the h-pawn, which could become problematic. A weak player would
> shove pawns here and playing h5 too quickly might be fatal.
>
> It is the kind of position in the old days of chess clubs that we
> would often analyze to death, and with great relish. Today, not to
> criticize, just an observation, people too quickly turn on Fritz......

Mr. Kingston's problem is not that he too quickly
turns to Fritz; it is that he quite often "analyzes"
the *wrong position*. As we have seen so many
times before, TK just can't quite get a handle on
things. Obviously, Fritz8 would not have made
this type of careless error-- but TK would (and did).

Mr. Walker was correct. By keeping Black's
Rook tied down to defense, White can bring his
King forward, with potentially deadly
consequences. But one small slip by White and
we are looking at an "all Rook endings are drawn"
scenario.


-- help bot




  
Date: 19 May 2008 11:00:10
From: SBD
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 19, 12:49 pm, [email protected] (Andy Walker) wrote:

> White has no need to hurry; as long as his pawns are kept
> protected, there is no counterplay, and no way for Black to swap
> off pawns [... h5 is just another weakness]. As SBD comments,
> White seems to win a pawn at some stage; whether that's enough to
> win the game is another matter, but it looks very possible, given
> Black's enforced passivity. But since "all R&P endings are drawn",
> we would need to look in depth at some concrete lines.

Another good observation but I would note that the idea is to lose a
pawn at the precise time when activity can be gained for it. You are
correct, simply losing a pawn and remaining passive will lose. But
I've had games where I gave up as many as two pawns for rook activity
and was able to draw. If white's K-side pawns were connected, I might
be more pessimistic.

Another thing the author of the original post could do - and I didn't
mention it before as it seems obvious - is to play several games
against another person or the computer and see if the position can be
saved. That makes the losing moves a bit more evident, giving you some
idea whether there is a win.

And "no need to hurry" is good advice for 99% of all superior endings!


  
Date: 19 May 2008 07:10:14
From:
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 18, 7:59=A0pm, [email protected] (Andy Walker) wrote:
> In article <[email protected]=
com >,
>
> =A0<[email protected]> wrote:
> >On May 18, 3:41^ am, "Sandra Mohammed"
> ><[email protected]> wrote:
> >> 8/r4pkp/p1R2p2/1p6/1P6/6P1/P3PK1P/8 w - - 0 37
> [...]
> > =A0Black's rook can become active if White is not careful, e.g. 1.Kf3
> >f5 2.Kf4 Re7!.
>
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 1 Kf3 is not careful enough; =A01 ... a5 activates the roo=
k.

True, but at the cost of a pawn: 2.a3! (much better than 2.Rxb5?!
axb4 3.Rxb4 Rxa2) 2...axb4 3.axb4 and after almost any black move,
4.Rxb5. Giving White a passed queenside pawn seems like a bad idea.
Black has much better drawing chances if all the pawns are on the same
wing, so I would think he'd want either to liquidate the queenside
pawns entirely, or leave it status quo on there.

> I think I would play 1 a3, so that 1 ... a5 allows 2 Rb6 winning
> the b-pawn. =A0

As I've just shown, 1. a3 need not be played immediately; White can
and should wait for ...a6-a5 first, IMO.

> It's not easy for Black; =A0a passive defence allows
> White to advance K and pawns, winning the f-pawn, while a K advance
> probably just gets driven back. =A0Whether White wins with best play
> would take more analysis than I currently feel the position is
> worth, but in a real game I would certainly be playing on ....

Agreed. Even with sub-optimal play, White has little chance of
losing this, IMO.


   
Date: 19 May 2008 17:49:57
From: Andy Walker
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
In article <[email protected] >,
<[email protected] > wrote:
>> >> 8/r4pkp/p1R2p2/1p6/1P6/6P1/P3PK1P/8 w - - 0 37
>> [...]
>> > Black's rook can become active if White is not careful, e.g. 1.Kf3
>> >f5 2.Kf4 Re7!.
>> 1 Kf3 is not careful enough; 1 ... a5 activates the rook.
> True, but at the cost of a pawn: 2.a3! (much better than 2.Rxb5?!
>axb4 3.Rxb4 Rxa2) 2...axb4 3.axb4 and after almost any black move,
>4.Rxb5. [...]

I think you have the rook on the wrong square! It's on c6
in the original, so 1 Rb6 is the alternative to 1 a3 to prevent
1 ... a5, but 1 a3 keeps the R more active. 1 Kf3? a5 2 a3? axb4
3 axb4 Ra4 and it's Black playing for the win. [2 Rb6 axb4 3 Rxb5
Rxa2 is a safe draw.]

White has no need to hurry; as long as his pawns are kept
protected, there is no counterplay, and no way for Black to swap
off pawns [... h5 is just another weakness]. As SBD comments,
White seems to win a pawn at some stage; whether that's enough to
win the game is another matter, but it looks very possible, given
Black's enforced passivity. But since "all R&P endings are drawn",
we would need to look in depth at some concrete lines.

--
Andy Walker
Nottingham


  
Date: 19 May 2008 06:40:26
From: SBD
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 18, 6:59 pm, [email protected] (Andy Walker) wrote:

> 1 Kf3 is not careful enough; 1 ... a5 activates the rook.
> I think I would play 1 a3, so that 1 ... a5 allows 2 Rb6 winning
> the b-pawn. It's not easy for Black; a passive defence allows
> White to advance K and pawns, winning the f-pawn, while a K advance
> probably just gets driven back. Whether White wins with best play
> would take more analysis than I currently feel the position is
> worth, but in a real game I would certainly be playing on ....

As TK noted, I was just giving a brief assessment as no one had
answered. I didn't mean to offend anyone, but hey, if I offended some
"Illinois Nazi," to quote Belushi, I really don't care.

But Walker's answer is better. I really doubt there is " a win" here
so long as black is careful in the conversion - at some point white
will probably win a pawn but not the game.

I am not sure that computers don't overrate the doubled pawns here.
The only problem with the doubled pawns in my opinion is the isolation
of the h-pawn, which could become problematic. A weak player would
shove pawns here and playing h5 too quickly might be fatal.

It is the kind of position in the old days of chess clubs that we
would often analyze to death, and with great relish. Today, not to
criticize, just an observation, people too quickly turn on Fritz......


  
Date: 18 May 2008 23:59:27
From: Andy Walker
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
In article <[email protected]m >,
<[email protected] > wrote:
>On May 18, 3:41^ am, "Sandra Mohammed"
><[email protected]> wrote:
>> 8/r4pkp/p1R2p2/1p6/1P6/6P1/P3PK1P/8 w - - 0 37
[...]
> Black's rook can become active if White is not careful, e.g. 1.Kf3
>f5 2.Kf4 Re7!.

1 Kf3 is not careful enough; 1 ... a5 activates the rook.
I think I would play 1 a3, so that 1 ... a5 allows 2 Rb6 winning
the b-pawn. It's not easy for Black; a passive defence allows
White to advance K and pawns, winning the f-pawn, while a K advance
probably just gets driven back. Whether White wins with best play
would take more analysis than I currently feel the position is
worth, but in a real game I would certainly be playing on ....

--
Andy Walker
Nottingham


 
Date: 18 May 2008 06:45:25
From: SBD
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 18, 2:41 am, "Sandra Mohammed"
<[email protected] > wrote:
> 8/r4pkp/p1R2p2/1p6/1P6/6P1/P3PK1P/8 w - - 0 37

Seems unlikely, unless black is very weak.


  
Date: 18 May 2008 16:24:33
From:
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?
On May 18, 2:58=A0pm, Chess F=FChrer <[email protected] >
wrote:
> "SBD" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>
> news:[email protected]m...
>
> > On May 18, 2:41 am, "Sandra Mohammed"
> > <[email protected]> wrote:
> >> 8/r4pkp/p1R2p2/1p6/1P6/6P1/P3PK1P/8 w - - 0 37
>
> > Seems unlikely, unless black is very weak.
>
> I don't think the question was =A0"Can an idiot troll make a useless post
> here" If it was, then your response would have been appropriate.

Whatever the question was, your post is gratuitously rude, even
insulting, toward Dr. Dowd, and is hardly an appropriate response. He
simply gave his opinion, in a straightforward manner that was neither
useless, nor idiotic, nor troll-like. Someone calling himself
"F=FChrer," who gives his domain as "newworldorder.org," does not
exactly win any points for tactfulness.


  
Date: 18 May 2008 18:58:54
From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Chess_F=FChrer?=
Subject: Re: Can White win this position?

"SBD" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]m...
> On May 18, 2:41 am, "Sandra Mohammed"
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>> 8/r4pkp/p1R2p2/1p6/1P6/6P1/P3PK1P/8 w - - 0 37
>
> Seems unlikely, unless black is very weak.

I don't think the question was "Can an idiot troll make a useless post
here" If it was, then your response would have been appropriate.



Personally, I think it's won for White. Black's rook is relegated to the
defense of the a-pawn and his weakened kingside pawns are a problem.