Space in the Pawn Endgames

The EICC in Armenia produced plenty of quality chess. One interesting endgame attracted my attention:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "EICC 2014"]
[Site "Yerevan"]
[Date "2014.03.12"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Golod, Vitali"]
[Black "Cheparinov, Ivan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E92"]
[WhiteElo "2573"]
[BlackElo "2681"]
[Annotator "Dejan Bojkov"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/2p5/1p3k1p/1Pp5/6KP/1P6/P7/8 w - - 0 50"]
[PlyCount "140"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "ARM"]
[Source "Chess Today"]
[SourceDate "2009.03.11"]
[TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"]

{White has two major advantages. One of them is obvious- he has more active
king. The second one is a bit less obvious. It is the extra space. In pawn
endgames the latter is often the reason for a faster passer and a timely
promotion.} 50. a4 $4 {[%csl Rb3][%cal Yf6e5,Ye5d4,Yd4c3,Rc3b3] A hasty
decision which will cost White more than a half point! The b3 pawn is
discovered in a moment when the black king is close to the center.} ({Vitali
Golod should have improved his king first with:} 50. Kh5 $1 {thus keeping the
black king passive. Only after:} Kg7 {White should proceed with:} 51. a4 {
Which grabs extra space on the queen's side. The game then will follow:} Kh7
52. Kg4 Kg6 {and here one more space winner is the move:} 53. h5+ $1 {Both
candidates on b5 and h5 are very close to the promotional squares. The logical
sequence of moves leads to zugzwang after:} {Black cannot escape neither in
case of:} Kg7 (53... Kf6 54. Kf4 Ke6 55. Ke4 $1 {[%csl Rb5,Yb6,Rh5,Yh6][%cal
Ge4f5,Gf5g6,Gg6h6,Ge4d5,Gd5c6,Gc6c7,Rb5b6,Rh5h6] Which gives Black a sad
choice which pawn to abandon:} Kf6 ({Or:} 55... Kd6 56. Kf5 Kd5 57. Kg6 Kd4 58.
Kxh6 Kc3 59. Kg6 Kxb3 60. h6 c4 61. h7 c3 62. h8=Q $18 {and the extra space
counts.}) 56. Kd5 Kg5 57. Kc6 Kxh5 58. Kxc7 Kg4 59. Kxb6 h5 60. a5 h4 61. a6 h3
62. a7 h2 63. a8=Q $18 {[%cal Ra8h1] Just in time. White uses his advantage in
space.}) 54. Kf5 Kf7 55. Ke5 Ke7 56. Kd5 Kd7 57. a5 $1 bxa5 58. Kxc5 Kc8 59. b6
$18 {as the pawn on a5 falls. Please note, that in this line the white pawn on
h5 secures a clear deflection of the black king on the queen's side and
deprives the second player from the rook pawn draw resources.}) ({There is a
second winning attempt. It is the straightforward march for the queen's side
pawns with:} 50. Kf4 {but it fails to-} Ke6 51. Ke4 ({White cannot repeat the
position as after-} 51. Kg4 c6 $1 {Cheparinov can create a passed pawn in time-
} 52. bxc6 ({Or:} 52. a4 cxb5 53. axb5 Ke5 54. Kh5 Kd4 55. Kxh6 Kc3 56. Kg6
Kxb3 57. h5 c4 {In comparison to the line from above White misses his two
extra tempos and the queens are promoted simultaniously-} 58. h6 c3 59. h7 c2
60. h8=Q c1=Q $11) 52... Kd6 53. Kh5 b5 $11 {as} 54. Kxh6 $4 {even loses-} c4
55. bxc4 bxc4 56. Kg6 c3 57. h5 c2 58. h6 c1=Q) 51... Kd6 52. h5 c6 53. bxc6
Kxc6 54. a4 b5 $11 {when Black gets timely counterplay on the queen's flank.})
50... Ke5 51. Kh5 Kd4 52. Kxh6 Kc3 53. h5 Kxb3 54. Kg7 c4 55. h6 c3 56. h7 c2
57. h8=Q {White succeeded to promote first but is in trouble as his pawns on
the queen's flank will be lost.} c1=Q $17 58. Qa8 Qa1+ 59. Kg6 Qxa4 60. Qf3+
Kb4 61. Qf4+ Kxb5 62. Qxc7 Qe4+ {The tables have turned and even though this
position is defendable and Golod managed to keep the balance for a while he
succumbed to the pressure at the end. Indeed, fatigue and frustration did not
cheer his fighting spirit.} 63. Kg7 Qd4+ 64. Kh7 Kb4 65. Qc2 b5 66. Qb1+ Kc5
67. Qf5+ Qd5 68. Qf2+ Kc6 69. Qe1 Kd7 70. Qa5 Qc5 71. Kg6 Ke6 72. Qa6+ Ke5 73.
Qf6+ Ke4 74. Qh4+ Kd3 75. Qh3+ Kc2 76. Qg2+ Kb1 77. Kf7 b4 78. Qe4+ Kb2 79.
Qe2+ Qc2 80. Qe5+ Qc3 81. Qe2+ Ka3 82. Qa6+ Kb3 83. Kf8 Qc5+ 84. Ke8 Qc4 85.
Qg6 Ka4 86. Kf8 b3 87. Qe8+ Qb5 88. Qa8+ Kb4 89. Qe4+ Ka3 90. Qe3 Qb4+ 91. Kg7
Ka2 92. Qe6 Qc3+ 93. Kg8 Qd3 94. Qf7 Qd8+ 95. Kh7 Qd4 96. Qe6 Ka3 97. Qa6+ Kb4
98. Qb7+ Kc3 99. Qc7+ Kd2 100. Qh2+ Kc1 101. Qc7+ Kd1 102. Qg3 b2 103. Qf3+ Kd2
104. Qg2+ Kc3 105. Qc6+ Qc4 106. Qf6+ Kc2 107. Qf2+ Kb1 108. Qe1+ Qc1 109. Qb4
Qc7+ 110. Kg8 Qg3+ 111. Kh7 Qd3+ 112. Kg8 Ka2 113. Qa5+ Qa3 114. Qd2 Qg3+ 115.
Kh7 Qh4+ 116. Kg8 Qg4+ 117. Kh7 Qe4+ 118. Kg8 Kb3 119. Qd1+ Kc3 0-1

1 comment:

Franklin Chen said...

Ouch, that must have been quite a painful loss for White. Late in a game, in fatigue, it is too easy to somehow forget to stay active and restrict the opponent's activity. I keep on doing that myself, unfortunately.