Sunday, July 6, 2014

Caro-Kann Endgame Win vs William Champion

To be a champion you have to beat a champion. In my ICCF Master Class tournament I defeat William R. Champion in the 5...exf6 Caro-Kann Defence. Viktor Korchnoi only played it a handful of times, but the line is sometimes named after him because he drew with it vs the world champion Karpov. In my game, I was trying to beat a Champion! The variation begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 encouraging White to capture 5.Nxf6+. In other games Champion chose 5...gxf6 or 4...Nd7. The point after 5...exf6 is that Black has open lines in the center and an extra pawn to attack kingside.

Due to the pawn structure, this variation has a very predictable problem for Black in the endgame. On the kingside White's three pawns can block Black's four pawns, but on the queenside White can establish a passed pawn. The extra pawn may be blockaded, but in reality White often wins directly with it or trades that pawn for a win elsewhere on the board. William Champion was a active player whose rating was near 2200 and dipped lower at the end of his career. With this win, I had 1.5 points out of 2 games.

Sawyer (2157) - Champion (2100), corr ICCF 1994 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ exf6 [I often played 5...gxf6 myself.] 6.Bc4 [The alternative 6.c3 has a higher winning percentage, but both have about the same performance rating.] 6...Qe7+ 7.Qe2 Be6 8.Bxe6 Qxe6 9.Bf4 Qxe2+ 10.Nxe2 Na6 [I was amazed Black allowed me to enter an ending with a 4-3 pawn advantage on the queenside.] 11.c3 0-0-0 12.0-0-0 Bd6 13.Bxd6 Rxd6 14.Rhe1 Re8 15.Nf4 Rxe1 16.Rxe1 g6 17.Re7 Rd7 18.Rxd7 Kxd7 19.Kd2 Nc7 20.c4 Ne6 21.Ke3 b6 22.d5 Nxf4 23.Kxf4 cxd5 24.cxd5 Kd6 25.Ke4 f5+ 26.Kd4 g5 27.Kc4 a6 28.a4 f4 [28...Kc7 29.Kd4+=] 29.Kd4 f5 [29...h6 30.f3 b5 31.axb5 axb5 32.Ke4+/-] 30.f3 h5 31.h4 gxh4 32.Kc4 [Another way to win is 32.a5! bxa5 33.b3 h3 34.gxh3 h4 35.Kc4 Ke7 36.Kc5 Kd7 37.d6 a4 38.bxa4 a5 39.Kd5 Kd8 40.Ke6 Ke8 41.Kxf5+-] 32...b5+ [Or 32...Kd7 33.a5 bxa5 34.Kc5 a4 35.d6+-] 33.axb5 axb5+ 34.Kd4 1-0



You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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