THIS is How You Play a Knight Ending!

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So I’m looking at some high level games in the Caro-Kann from this year and I see this game between Kulaots and Kuzubov from the Keres Memorial from January of this year, played in Tallin, Estonia.

First thing I notice is that after the 3.e5 Advance Variation

Kuzubov plays 3…Bf5 instead of the more modern 3…c5, which has been played by Nakamura among others.

After move 33 the following position is reached:

Now, I want you to be honest and tell me in the comments how long you think you would play on for if you were Black. You’re up a pawn, but all the pawns are on the same side. I know a lot of people would just agree to a draw here after playing perhaps a handful of moves and go home.

Three moves later and in this position White decides to trade rooks:

That leaves us with this position after each side has completed 37 moves:

Surely it’s time to go home now, right? Or is it…

Black now begins a series of long maneuvers seeking to gradually improve his position. I once heard Ben Finegold say in a lecture that one of the things that separates GM’s from everyone else is the willingness to just shuffle pieces waiting for their opponent to make a mistake.

It takes another  92 moves, but Black grinds White down.

Here is the game:

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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