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Entombed pieces

Posted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:35 pm
by MartinCarpenter
Thought this might theme well with the shortest game thread in terms of gruesomeness. The position below reached (not in my game!) in a recent evening league game. (The Q side pawns may be subtly wrong somehow.).

I've seen dead bishops before, but I've never seen two dead rooks at once before :) Perhaps thankfully, I wasn't watching closely enough to see quite how the kingside situation arose but a reasonably serious game.



From an aesthetic point of view a slight shame that white resigned after g3 f3 rather than completing the construction with h4, g4 ;)

Re: Entombed pieces

Posted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:05 pm
by Roger de Coverly
MartinCarpenter wrote: I've seen dead bishops before, but I've never seen two dead rooks at once before
There are a few examples of the Kf1, Rg1, Rh1, f2, g2, h3 structure to be found in databases, given that even under-8 tournaments get archived these days. Mostly from white playing Rab1 in support of a possible king side attack and then having to shelter the King on f1.

There are far more examples without the pawns. Here's Steinitz giving it a go in the one of the first recorded examples.


Re: Entombed pieces

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:18 pm
by John Cox
I would have thought g4 would have been a rather more tenacious effort than g3, although spoiling the aesthetic effect, as you say.

Re: Entombed pieces

Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:02 pm
by John Foley
I am seeking a game in which a player swaps off a queen in exchange for a rook, a minor piece and a pawn, ideally in the opening. The purpose is to illustrate the equation Q=R+N+P or Q=R+B+P. Any suggestions gratefully received.

Re: Entombed pieces

Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:50 pm
by Roger de Coverly
John Foley wrote:I am seeking a game in which a player swaps off a queen in exchange for a rook, a minor piece and a pawn, ideally in the opening. The purpose is to illustrate the equation Q=R+N+P or Q=R+B+P. Any suggestions gratefully received.
You could take a look at old Morphy games or games in general from that period. What these demonstrate is that particularly in the opening, the nominal equivalence of material values is just a working guide and that issues of development can be far more important.



Oddly, Morphy is the only player to this day who is recorded as playing 7. Ndb5, which computer engines score as completely winning. Other moves such as 7 Ncb5 and 7 Na4 have been played in recent years, but are just scored as better for white.

Searching for more recent examples comes up with this piece of chaos arising from a c3 Sicilian. Computer engines favour White, but a few players have ventured into it since 1997, very possibly by accident.


Re: Entombed pieces

Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:37 pm
by Leonard Barden
John Foley wrote:I am seeking a game in which a player swaps off a queen in exchange for a rook, a minor piece and a pawn, ideally in the opening. The purpose is to illustrate the equation Q=R+N+P or Q=R+B+P. Any suggestions gratefully received.
Try Bobotsov-Tal, Varna 1958.

Re: Entombed pieces

Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:44 pm
by Jonathan Rogers
Ilyin-Zhenevsky v Lasker 1924 or 1925 (famous Sicilian-type position where Lasker, as Black, suddenly plays ...Qxa2, then takes a bishop on b2 and surrenders it for a rook because his queen is trapped. Levelish but unbalanced position and Lasker wins smoothly, probably because White spent all his time wondering whether Lasker had blundered or not).

Re: Entombed pieces

Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:51 pm
by Ian Thompson
John Foley wrote:I am seeking a game in which a player swaps off a queen in exchange for a rook, a minor piece and a pawn, ideally in the opening. The purpose is to illustrate the equation Q=R+N+P or Q=R+B+P. Any suggestions gratefully received.
Are you looking for games where the exchange leads to a balanced position, as you've said Q equals R+N/B+P, or are you looking for games where the pieces overpower the queen, as in the examples people have given so far?

Re: Entombed pieces

Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:47 pm
by Matt Fletcher
Here's a recent (ish) draw:



And a win for the Queen


Re: Entombed pieces

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:01 pm
by John Foley
Thanks to those who have submitted games in this forum and elsewhere. The forum really is a formidable resource for answering questions quickly. I pay tribute to RdC coming up to his 10,000th post for the games of Morphy. Also thank you to Leonard Barden from reminding me of Tal's Varna masterpiece: at first it was a queen sacrifice for only two pieces, but he picked up the exchange and later the game. In response to Ian Thompson, I was indeed looking for where the Q=R+B/N+P was balanced, but this seems to be a rarity.

Bobotsov-Tal, Varna 1958.

Re: Entombed pieces

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:30 pm
by Matt Fletcher
Hi John

I've found ~2000 games in my database between players of 2400+ strength where that material balance is achieved for at least one move before move 25, of which

43% are wins for the Queen,
33% draws and
25% are wins for the pieces

So a draw is a reasonably common result once that balance has been reached - but a win for either side is about twice as common.