Endgame Study by Grigoriev (1932) Reviewed

The Russian chess master Nikolay Grigoriev (1895-1938) won clear first place in the following Moscow City Championships:

  • 1921-1922
  • 1922-1923
  • 1923
  • 1924
  • 1929

He drew five of the seven games of the match he played against Alexander Alekhine in 1921 (A. A. won two). It was labeled a “training match.”

But Grigoriev is better known as a composer of endgame studies, especially pawn end games. The following is taken from one of his studies, as recorded in the book Practical Chess Endings (by Chernev) and reviewed on the Fireside Chess site page “End Games.”

Relates to Grigoriev (1932) chess endgame study

Black to move and possibly avoid losing

Those are surely not words used by Grigoriev, “possibly avoid losing.” With best play, white apparently wins this endgame. But it is not a cook or an invalidation discovery that I found in this study or chess puzzle. It’s a trap that can be set up by the defender.

Grigoriev gives Kd1 for black, the obvious move. But white wins after the following:

2. Kd4    c1(Q)

3. Kd3   . . . (black has no escape from the mating net)

A Chess Trap Set by the Defender

Look again at the position above. Consider the less obvious move by black: Kd2.

Now look at an obvious sequence a careless attacker might pursue as white:

2. Kd4   Kd1    How similar this looks to the main line, except . . .

3. Kd3 (?) . . . White could have won with Kc3!

3. . . . .  c1(N)+  This knight fork draws the game for black.

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End Game Draw

With the move, can black draw?

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