Beginners have to spend long time at the board studying positions and most importantly understanding them.
In the game which follows, the game peters to a King and Pawn ending, which is always complex. Black has to take a few hard decisions, even though both have identical number of pawns and all the pieces have exited the board. It is a battle of Kings and it is their position which eventually decides the outcome of the game.
White: Petr Marusenko (2406) – Black: Alexandra Kosteniuk(2324)
Monarch Assurance 8th, Port Erin ,1999
1.e4 c5 The Sicilian Defence
2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7
The Sicilian-Moscow variation
4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 Nc6 6.Nc3 g6 7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bg7 9.Be3 Nf6
Smooth going so far with players strictly sticking to well researched Opening lines
10.f3 0–0 11.0–0 a6
Black can also seriously look at 11. ..Rc8
There was no need for Black to hurry with the exchange. He could have simply moved either one of his rooks to 12. ..Rc8
A good pawn advance on the queen side
14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.cxd5
A few quick exchanges of minor pieces
16. ..Rfc8 Finally Black gets his rook into position
17.Rac1 White has to challenge for the control of this open file
17. ..Rxc1 18.Rxc1 Rc8 19.Rxc8 Qxc8
An equal looking pieces with all the piece leaving the board, barring the queens
20.Qc3+ White decides to force the exchange of queens also
20. ..Qxc3 21.bxc3 Kf6
If 21…f5 22.Kf2 (22.exf5 gxf5 23.f4 Kf6 24.Kf2 e5 25.dxe6 Kxe6)
22.Kf2 e6 If 22…Ke5 23.Ke3 g5 24.g3 f5 25.f4+ (25.exf5 Kxd5 26.g4 Ke5 27.a3 a5) 25…gxf4+ 26.gxf4+ Kf6 27.Kd4 fxe4 28.Kxe4 Kg6
Here it is a difficult decision for Black to take- whether to capture with the pawn or the King. Capturing by the pawn maintains a good pawn structure for him but then the King also has to have mobility in the ending. If 23…fxe6 24.Ke3 e5 25.Kd3 Ke6 26.c4 Kd7 leads to more or less a balanced position (26…b4 27.Kc2 a5 28.Kb3 Kd7 29.Ka4 Kc6 30.Kxa5 Kc5 31.h4 h6 32.Ka6 Kc6 33.g4) 27.cxb5 axb5 28.Kc3 Kc6 29.Kb4 Kb6 30.a3 g5 also leads to equality
Another dilemma! If 24…d5 25.Kd4 dxe4 26.fxe4 Kd6 (26…f6? 27.Kc5 Ke5 28.Kb6 Kd6 29.Kxa6 Kc6) 27.e5+ Kc6
25.f4+ Ke6 26.g4
If 26.Kd4 f5 26…f6 Not the best of moves. Black could have maintained parity with 26…d5 27.Kd4
27.Kd4 A strong King move!
27. .. g5 28.f5+
Pushing the King backwards!
28. .. Ke7 29.c4 bxc4
If 29…b4 30.c5 a5 31.Kc4 (31.Kc4 dxc5 32.Kxc5 Kd7 33.Kb5 Kd6 34.Kxa5 with a win for White
If 30…Kd7 31.Kd5 a5 32.a4 h6 33.h3
31.Kd5 Kd7 It is a lost battle for Black
32.a3 If 32.h3 a5 33.a3 a4 34.Kc4 Kc6 35.Kb4 Kb6 36.Kxa4 Kc5 37.Kb3 Kd4 38.a4 Kxe4 39.Kb4 d5 (39…Kd5 40.Kb5+-) 40.a5 d4 41.a6 d3 42.a7 d2 43.a8Q+
32…a5 33.a4 1–0
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– GM Susan Polgar