Tired of termites? Sick of CJ? Fed up with the Forum? Yeah, so am I. Time for some chess on the chess blog. And what a worthy cause it is!

Chessbase have recently published a superb interview with Hungarian chess legend, Lajos Portisch. You can find the two parts here and here. Portisch was part of the chess elite for some 30 years, and belongs to the great generation that dominated the 1960s and 70s. He is not a fan of computers, and still prefers to analyse on a wooden chess set – clearly a man of taste and culture! Among the many interesting ideas he expresses in the interview is the suggestion that the time-limit be changed, so as to reduce the time allowed for the opening – which, after all, is 90% preparation nowadays – and extend that allowed for the endgame.

This splendid suggestion has prompted John Saunders, the acting editor of Chess, Britain’s leading chess magazine, to propose the creation of a new campaign group: The Campaign for Real Endgames, (CAMRE). And, in view of Portisch’s excellent suggestion regarding time-limits and endgames, John suggests Grandmaster Portisch as Honorary President of the new organisation. I wholeheartedly endorse this splendid idea, although naturally, I think we should install Ulf Andersson as Honorary Life-Vice President Emeritus.

The only correct way for the President of CAMRE to analyse an endgame! (photo: Chessbase)

I am currently in negotiations with John, to see how we can ensure that every member of CAMRE receives a copy of my new book, The Greatest Ever Chess Endgames, which has just appeared… Meanwhile, here is an example of the President of CAMRE’s own endgame virtuosity, as he downs a Soviet chess legend, from a equal-ish-looking position.

White: Keres, Paul
Black: Portisch, Lajos
Moscow 1967

41. Nf1 Bf8 42. Ne3 Kd6 43. Nb4 Nc5 44. Kf3 Bh6 45. h4 Nd3 46. Nd1 Bc1 47.Ke2


Not 47…Nxb2? 48.Nxb2 Bxb2 49.Kd2 and Black can make no progress, because the K+P ending after the exchange on b4 is a draw, despite Black’s two extra pawns. However, 47…Bxb2 looks strong, although it is not mentioned by most commentators.

48. Kf3 g5 49. hxg5 Bxg5 50. Na2 Ke6 51. Nf2 Kf6 52. Nd1 Nd3 53. g3 Kg654. Kg2 Bd2 55. Kf3 Kg5 56. Ke2 Be1 57. Kf3 Bd2 58. Ke2 Be1 59. Kf3 Kf6 60. Kg2Kg6 61. Kf3 Kg5 62. Kg2

h4 63. gxh4+ Kf4!

An unusual winning idea, conceding an outside passed pawn, to create a central one.

64. h5 Kxe4 65. h6 Nf4+ 66. Kf1 Bh467. Nb4 Bf6 68. Ke1 Kf3 69. h7 Bg7 70. Nc2 Nd5 71. Kd2 Nf6 72. Ne1+ Ke4 73.Nf2+ Kf5 74. Ng2 Nxh7 75. Ne3+ Ke6 76. Ne4 Bh6 77. Ke2 Bxe3 78. Kxe3 Nf6

Black has reached a knight ending with an extra pawn, which proves winning.

79.Ng5+ Kd5 80. Kf3 Nh5 81. Ne4 Nf4 82. Nf6+ Kc6 83. Ke4 Nd3 84. Ng4 Kd6 85. Nh6Nxb2 86. Nf7+ Kc5 87. Nxe5 Nd1 88. Nd7+ Kd6 89. Nf6 Nxc3+ 90. Kd4 Nb1 0-1

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