Speelman's Agony: An early g-pawn push

by Jonathan Speelman
4/20/2020 – Our columnist JON SPEELMAN looks at two fascinating games and shares two very nice problems from the pages of the wonderful Dutchman Tim Krabbe's Chess Curiosities | Send in your own games! | Jon welcomes submissions from readers. If your games are selected for the Agony column, not only will you get free detailed commentary of your games by one of chess’s great authors and instructors, and former world no. 4 player, but you also win a free three-month ChessBase Premium Account!

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Agony & Ecstasy #120

This week's material — a pair of fascinating games and two additional items — was sent by Tim Gluckman, who is in his early seventies and plays for Lewisham Chess Club in Southeast London. The additional items are two very nice problems from the pages of the wonderful Dutchman Tim Krabbe's Chess Curiosities.

As Tim explains:

In 2019 I gave two talks on endgame studies. One of them (11.2019) was at the ISIS prison (next to Belmarsh) in the Woolwich area. It was part of a 'Chess in the Community' project. Apparently, the seven prisoners present were genuinely interested in the positions: the first was a Shinkmann classic with six white pawns on the a-file; the second by Gurgenidse is one in which the rooks become pawns and seem to move backwards.

We start with the games which are both from the London League Division 3. All notes are by me, but when analysing the first I happened to start without an engine and decided to carry on in two phases: firstly seeing what I could glean about the extremely complicated positions on my own tod, and then adding the addictive comfort of the engine in a second pass.

 

Select an entry from the list to switch between games


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Jonathan Speelman, born in 1956, studied mathematics but became a professional chess player in 1977. He was a member of the English Olympic team from 1980–2006 and three times British Champion. He played twice in Candidates Tournaments, reaching the semi-final in 1989. He twice seconded a World Championship challenger: Nigel Short and then Viswanathan Anand against Garry Kasparov in London 1993 and New York 1995.

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