Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thanks Carl!

A month or two ago I attended Carl Gorka's lecture on "calculation VS ideas" in chess and this Monday I got to use an idea from the lecture in my round 8 game of the Melbourne Chess Club Championship to win a game I had no right to win!

Carl discussing a rook and pawn end-game at the MCC.

I misplayed the white side of a bogo/nimzo-Indian reversed (and was thoroughly outplayed in the middle-game), however after an inaccuracy I made it to the following end-game position with only the 30 second increment left to play with:

The position is drawn, however given I was playing with 30 seconds against my opponent's 40+ minutes I had to prove it. If black wants to put white under pressure the obvious way to try is to bring his King to the Queen-side and push the a-pawn, White can't stop black doing this by passively defending and has to create a supported passed pawn of his own on the King-side. 

A couple of years ago playing a position like this on increments would've been impossible, but I was fairly calm as I looked at the position in terms of "ideas" (as discussed in Carl's talk) rather than calculation, and I ended up winning after my opponent pushed too hard. I didn't need to calculate overly deeply, it was more a matter of "well he's going to do this and I'll have to do that and whatever is going to happen will happen..."

A tough loss to take no doubt for Gary who played the middle-game really well up until 19. Na4 which I think was "over-kill" in a pretty good position.

Carl ran a weekly end-game group at Melbourne Chess Club for years which helped a lot of people; currently FIDE Master Bill Jordan runs a weekly end-game study group at the MCC on Tuesday nights. Feel free to drop by, bring positions you find interesting and have a look through them!

You can watch Carl's lecture in full HERE.


  1. Nice article Paul. :-)

    The following incredible line, holds the draw for black: 51...a2! 52.Re1 (Other moves allow the Black's rook to save the day, eg: 52. Rg1 Re2+ 53. Kd6 Rf2 54. Ke7 Re2+ 55. Kf8 Rg2!! 56. Re1 Re2!=) 52...Kc4! 53. Ke7 Re2+! 54. Rxe2 a1=Q 55. f8=Q Qa3+! 56. Kf7 Qf3+ draws.

    Well played mate. Cheers, Gary :-)

  2. CHEEKY MONKEY CHESSApril 11, 2014 at 2:01 AM

    The Electric Eye finds a way through the darkness .