Endgame Corner

Analysis by Christian Westrap

One of the most important decisions that a player has to make in a rook endgame is whether to trade rooks and enter into a pawn endgame.  Pawn endings are notoriously tricky and the 2 examples that follow show that this decision is not always as straight-forward as it looks.

The first position occurred in K. Smith vs J. Weatherlake in the recent Highcliffe A vs Poole A match.  Ken has just played 29. Rc2-f2, offering black the chance to simplify into a favourable pawn endgame.  John, in time trouble, incorrectly decided to refuse the swap but the question still remains as to whether this pawn ending was winning for black?  The endgame that would have ensued is complicated, interesting and surprising!

The second position is simpler but interesting nevertheless.  Here the game in question was A. Manson vs C. Westrap from the 1st round of the Highcliffe Swiss, played this year.  I had just simplified into this ending and with my last move 34… Rf6-e6, I offered a rook exchange which, at the board, I felt sure Andy had to refuse.  The pawn ending looked to me to be completely winning but as I analysed at the board I became less and less sure…

To see the analysis of both games, and the conclusions, click here!


Opening Traps

By John Jenkins

Everyone loves a good opening trap!  In this section we will look at some well-known and lesser well-known traps that can ensnare an unwary opponent and gain a decisive advantage after only a few moves.  To start with a position from the popular Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez.  Black has just played 4…Ne7 which leaves the pawn on e5 undefended.  Should white take the bait…

Many thanks to our club Tournement Director John Jenkins for sending this position in.  If you have an interesting opening trap to send in then please let us know and we will feature it on the website!

To see the analysis of this game from move 1 and the outcome of white’s capture, click here!


Puzzle Corner

A classic mating attack from the great Mikhail Tal.  White has sacrificed a lot of material to reach this position.  How does he finish black off?

To see the solution, click here!


This endgame puzzle features in Dvoretsky’s excellent ‘Endgame Manual’.  White’s task is, of course, to checkmate the black king.  Be warned, it is trickier than it looks though!  You need to Make sure the black king doesn’t escape while avoiding any perpetual checks from the queen.

To see the solution, click here!


Members Games

Here we will show some games played by our members.  If you have played an interesting game or have any chess related stories that you would like to share, then please let us know!

Games included so far:

A. Tyler vs R.Ursell

K. Smith vs J. Coles (analysis in progress)

C. Westrap vs D. Holmes

R. Halse vs D. Popovic

To see the games, with a few added comments, click here!