Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Tragic Endgame
This post is a collaboration with Mr Andrew Crosby who is an expert in chess gambits.
Andrew usually plays them in his games with great success. In addition, he is an active member of our virtual Chess.com club taking part in our online tournaments and matches.
We also received assistance from Peter Gilruth who is a member of Nairobi Chess Club. Peter is an active and experimented chess player and has participated in many international tournaments.
While being the most common chess ending by far, rook endgames remain difficult to master. Nevertheless, queen endgames are even more challenging due to their inevitable complexity. It is extremely difficult for the human mind to evaluate the myriad of variations arising from the potential squares this powerful piece can move to.
Today’s game underlines the problems outlined above as Othman Moussa (UAE), playing the white pieces, fought for 127 moves. His struggle reflects the fact that the assessment of the position changed eight times between “draw” and “winning for black”.
The United Arab Emirates and Turkmenistan met in round 5 of the 33rd Chess Olympiad that took place at Elista (Russia) in 1998. Moussa played board 1 in the match that Turkmenistan won 4-0. It was a tragedy for him as he had a tangible advantage and prospects of winning the game as the following diagram shows after Kakageldiev’s (TKM) 85th move.
Keeping in mind that queen endgames are difficult and adding that the game lasted 127 moves, which means that most probably both players were running short of time, it’s easy to understand how demanding this game can sometimes be. Therefore, Fischer’s statement applies perfectly: “Chess demands total concentration!”
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