Canada has lost an interesting chess star, FM Kevin Gentes. He was the best player in Manitoba from the 1980s on. I remember him because we were juniors at the same time; he was a master, I was a fresh immigrant to Canada. My family arrived on the prairies in 1980.
Once, Kevin stopped by Saskatoon before heading to a big tournament in Edmonton. The top player in Saskatchewan, Robert Sasata, arranged a match for us. Easy rating points for Kevin, right? Wrong! I actually held him over two games.
Sadly, Kevin never submitted the match form to the Chess Federation of Canada. That's because he was a wild spirit. I had no idea Kevin was a well-known Winnipeg delinquent. With more discipline, he could have been an IM.
Sometimes there are escape routes in chess endgames, if you're aware of them. Here White is losing his bishop because black wants to promote his d2 pawn to a queen. But, White isn't sweating about it: he eliminates both the e and d pawns and runs to the a1 square. Why? Because black's bishop can't check on a1, the white king is safe there and the black a pawn is useless.
1. Kxe4 Bxd1 2. Kd3 and Kxd2 next and then a quick trip to a1. Draw!
NCM Vas Sladek
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