The Dresden Endgame: Richard Polaczek vs Peter Gilruth

It was a reunion of sorts when Richard Polaczek and Peter Gilruth met at the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden. They played chess in the ’80s in Nairobi when Richard lived there as a teenager.

Dresden had been the scene of an endgame when it was bombed in 1945 to break final German resistance. The battle in 2008 also became memorable since Peter Gilruth defeated his much higher rated opponent in a fierce endgame battle.

Peter Gilruth has been a strong force in Kenyan chess and his deep connection with Kenya spans several decades. More about that after I have chatted with him for over a dish of roganjosh with naan and cold beer. For now, let’s hear Peter retell the story of the battle of Dresden.

“When Kenya was paired against Belgium, and I knew that I had to play Richard, I was up for the match since we had played before in Nairobi when he used to live there. I had also remembered a game when he thrashed me.”  Continue reading in the game analysis below!

As indicated in the analysis, Richard had a winning advantage, but 39. Bb7 threw it all away just before the time control. That might have rattled him into making a few inaccurate moves in a row (43. f3, 44. Bxf3, 45. Bg4). Peter took full advantage and wiped out the memory of his earlier trashing with a famous win.

That’s all from me (and Peter) for today. Keep battling COVID-19 by following the WHO Guidelines and keep battling those endgames for a famous win like Peter Gilruth!

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