Friday, January 23, 2009

Chess is so cruel...sometimes...

For every chess player, chess can be so cruel sometimes. A "good" example is an unfortunate blunder which occured in the 4th round of the Corus Group C tournament last Tuesday. In the game between ex-English prodigy - GM David Howell against Dutch GM - Friso Nijboer, the Dutchman blundered in a highly drawn position with his opponent having 6 seconds left!

To add more salt to the wound, Howell reveal later that he is about to offer a draw immediately if Nijboer has play the correct move. Below are the critical position !

GM David Howell (2622) - GM Friso Nijboer (2560)
Corus C, Round 4, 20.1.09

Black to play

In the position below, black can always sac his bishop to capture white's h-pawn. According to endgame theory, the position with a rook+knight vs rook is generally drawn. The only thing the defending side should do is to avoid his king being confined near the edge.

59... Rc3, 59...Ra3, 59...Rb3 and 59...Re3 will all lead to a draw but unfortunately the Dutchman play 59...Kg7?? 60.Rg6+ 0-1 black resign because he will lost the bishop on g4. what a tragedy !

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