Two WCC Games With Beautiful Endgame Insights

Post date: Aug 01, 2010 4:11:10 AM

For a brief moment, I believed that I was almost at chess parity with my good chess friend Ken Henkelman. I was winning almost 1/3 of our games, and I earned a significant number of draws. But matters have returned to normal in recent days. Ken has been playing some really excellent chess - my record in our last eleven games is something like 2-8-1, but I did achieve a draw in our last game! Many of Ken's victories involved a "grind it out" endgame victory, where Ken had a Bishop and pawns vs my Knight and pawns, or Ken enjoyed a one pawn advantage in some gambit game (either Blackmar Diemar Gambit or Albin Counter Gambit). We played two games today - the first game illustrates Ken's recent inexorably successful chess style.

The second game features a remarkable defensive tactic that sacrifices a rook pawn in the end game but leads to positional improvement for me and a solid draw. I present these two games for your consideration.


Casual Game - Barnes & Noble Bookstore

Blackmar Diemar Gambit vs French Defense

July 31, 2010

WHITE (DeVries) BLACK (Henkelman)

-1- e4 e6

-2- d4 d5

-3- Nc3 Bb4

This variation has not been working well for me

in recent games - after the game, I resolved to

try -3- P x P at my next opportunity.

-4- Be3 P x P

-5- a3 B x N

-6- P x B Bd7

I have a Bishop for Knight exchange, but Ken

has one pawn advantage and I have doubled


-7- f3 Bc6

This position is characteristic of many recent

games with Ken Henkelman.

-8- Be2 Qh5 check

-9- g3 Qf6

-10- P x P B x P

-11- Bf3 B x B

-12- Q x B ? Nc6

I think N x B was a better move for White on Move 12.

I could later castle with Rook on f file, prepared to

put pressure on Black Queen.

-13- Rb1 Q x Q

-14- N x Q 0 - 0 - 0

-15- 0 - 0 Nf6

-16- Bg5 h6

When I made my 16th move, I thought it was strong.

It turned out to be of considerably less strength.

-17- B x N P x B

-18- Rf2 ? Rd5

This was likely my losing move - -18- c4 was necessary.

-19- c4 Ra5

My 19th move was one move too late.

-20- Rb3 Rd8

-21- Rd3 e5

Ken's 21st move forces a pawn exchange because of Black's pawn fork threat.

-22- P x P R x R

-23- P x R N x P on e5

-24- N x N P x N

-25- R x P R x P at a3

-26- Rf6 h5

-27- Rf5 R x P at d3

-28- R x P at e5 h4 !

Beware of Greek Gift sacrifices.

-29- P x P at h4 Rd4

-30- c5 R x P at h4

I keep putting up a gallant fight, but this game is over.

-31- Re8 check Kd7

-32- Ra8 a6

-33- Rb8 Kc6

-34- Rc8 a5

-35- Ra8 a4

-36- Kg2 Rc4

-37- Ra5 b6

-38- P x P P x P

-39- Ra6 Kb5

-40- Ra8 Kb4

-41- Rb8 b5

-42- Kg3 a3

-43- Ra8 Kb3

-44- h4 a2

-45- h5 Ra4

Black's 45th move is totally decisive

-46- R x R K x R

-47- h6 a1 = Queen



Casual Game - Barnes & Noble Bookstore

Gucco Piano vs Scicilian Two Knights Defense

July 31, 2010

WHITE (DeVries) BLACK (Henkelman)

-1- e4 c5

-2- Nf3 Nc6

-3- Bc4 Nf6

-4- d3 g6

-5- Bg5 Bg7

-6- c3 0-0

-7- 0 - 0 d6

-8- h3 a6

-9- QNd2 Be6

-10- Rc1 Qd7

-11- Kh2 h6

-12- B x N B x B

I think White's 12th move was a wise decision.

-13- Re1 d5

-14- P x P B x P

-15- Ne4 !? B x B

An interesting White move on Move 15

-16- N x B check P x N

-17- P x B QRd8

-18- b3 Qd3

-19- Q x Q R x Q

-20- Re3 KRd8

-21- R x R R x R

-22- Rc2 ? f5

( -22- Ne1 might have been better for White)

-23- Ne1 Rd1

-24- Nf3 f6

-25- Rd2 R x R

-26- N x R Ne5

-27- f4 Nd3

-28- g3 Kf7

-29- d3 Ke6

-30- b4 Kd6

Ken is getting his King in much better position (at least temporarily).

-31- Kg2 b5

-32- Kf3 Nb2

-33- P x P c4 x b5 P x P a6 x b5

-34- P x P check K x P

-35- Ke3 Nc4 check

-36- Kd3 !! N x RP

White gives up the rook pawn for positional improvement. The White Knight

later becomes a tremendous defensive piece. Black is one pawn ahead in

a Knight + pawns vs Knight + pawns endgame, but it does not help him.

-37- Nb3 check Kb6

-38- Kd4 Nc2 check

-39- Kd5 Ne3 check

-40- Ke6 g5

White moves his King deeper into Black territory, while the White Knight

provides great defense.

-41- K x P at f6 P x P

-42- P x P Nd5 check

-43- K x P N x P on c3

-44- Kg6 Nd5

-45- f5 Nf4 check

-46- K x RP N x RP

We are down to Knight + 1 pawn vs Knight + 1 pawn endgame, but

Black must accept draw to prevent White from queening his pawn.

-47- f6 Nf4

-48- f7 Ne6

-49- Kg6 b4

-50- Kf6 Nf8

-51- Ke7 Ng6 check

-52- Kf6 Nf8