(1) Russell,Hanon (2063) - Shi,Jason (1959)
5th CASH SHOWDOWN (3), 18.06.2011
[Karsten Muller]

This is the position that I submitted to German grandmaster Karsten Müller (author of [among other books] Fundamental Chess Endings with Frank Lamprecht and Bobby Fischer, The Career and Complete Games of the American World Chess Champion). White is a pawn up, but it is not clear how he can make headway.

[I asked the German grandmaster if the basic endgame concept of "opening a second front" might apply here, viz., is 1.h4 a playable alternative? Without giving any lines, he thought it should be considered. The point is that after 1...gxh4 2.Nxh4 Black has to be careful that he doesn't lose the h-pawn. ]

1...Be8 2.a4 Bf7 3.d4?
[According to Müller, this advance violates the important endgame principle "Do not rush..." He suggests 3.Nf3 Bg8 and only now 4.d4 e4 (4...exd4 5.exd4 Nc4 6.Bd3 Na5 7.Ne5 Kc7 8.Bg6 Kd6 9.Bf7 Bh7 10.Bh5 Bg8 11.Bg6 Be6 12.Bf7+- ) 5.Ne5 Kc7 6.Bg6 Be6 7.Bh5 Kd6 8.Bf7 Bc8 9.Bg8 Bb7 10.Bh7 Ke6 11.Bf5+ Ke7 12.Bd7 Kd6 13.Bc6 Bc8 (13...Bxc6 14.bxc6 Nxc6+ 15.Nxc6 Kxc6 16.a5+- ; 13...Kc7 14.Bxb7 Kxb7 15.Nf7 Nc4 16.Nxh6 Nxe3 17.h3+- ) 14.Nf7+ Ke6 15.Nxh6+- ]

3...e4 4.h3 Bg8 5.Bc8
After the game was over, several others joined a post-mortem and the piece sacrifice 45.Bxe4 dxe4 46.Nxe4+ Ke6 was suggested. Müller thought that in view of the active position of the black king, White has no real winning chances. In fact both players at this point were in severe time pressure and so...

5...Bf7 6.Bf5 1/2-1/2