Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Friday chess puzzle #2: solution

I was surprised how quickly some of you solved last week's Friday puzzle from Asztalos vs Ban, Budapest 1956:

Asztalos vs Ban, Budapest 1956, Chess Tales Friday Puzzle

Obviously White can win Black's queen for his rook, but to win the game he also needs to get his king to the fourth rank first. So, the solution is:

1 Rh2+


1 ... Kg7; 2 Rg2+ Kany; 3 Rxg8 Kxg8; 4 Kg2 and the king reaches c4 with a straightforward win (see Chess Improvement #3: Your endgame databank).

But, Black has a clever defensive try:

1 ... Qh7;


2 Qxh7+ would be a mistake, as after 2 ... Kxh7, the Black king reaches c5 with the opposition, i.e. 3 Kg2 Kg6; 4 Kf3 Kf5; 5 Ke3 Ke5; 6 Kd3 Kd5; 7 Kc3 Kc5 with a standard drawn position

However, White can still win: 2 Kg2! and again the White king gets to c4 with a straightforward win: e.g. 2 ... Qxh2+; 3 Kxh2 Kg7; 3 Kg3 Kf6; 4 Kf4 Ke6; 5 Ke4 etc. or 2 ... Kg7; 3 Rxh7+ Kxh7; 3 Kf3

Stay tuned for this Friday's puzzle.

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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.