Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday puzzle


White to play and win.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bd7?

Richard

ejh said...

Possibly.....your reasoning?

Anonymous said...

It's the only route to e8 ;)

Richard

Anonymous said...

Isn't this a puzzle that Tal set and Spassky spent ages trying to work out, or something like that. Maybe Tal found the solution almost straight away.
Andrew

ejh said...

Indeed Andrew I suspect I have nicked it from the same source that you originally read it in....

Anonymous said...

Good puzzle. You'd think, with White having to move his Bishop first, that Black's king would be able to get in front of the White pawn for a draw. But it's not so.

I believe Richard is correct.

Angus.

Jonathan B said...

OK,

so I've worked out it's got to be a bishop move otherwise Black will just take the pawn.

That leaves just 7 moves but what I can't fathom is how White stops Black retreating on the dark squares. King to e3-f4-g5 something like that.

So I'm going to guess - Bg2 based on nothing more the Agatha Christie technique: it looks the least likely solution.

ejh said...

I think that's a common guess but how are you proposing to meet 1...Ke3?

Jonathan B said...

Well I'm not ... I don't see how to meet Ke3 at all. Even with the Bd7 tip.

Any clues or hints available?

Jonathan B said...

Oh wait,
is the start something like...

1. Bd7 Ke3, 2. h4 Kf4, 3. Kd4

and Black can't get nearer the pawn because f5, g4 and g5 are controlled?

ejh said...

Possibly, but what if the black king goes to another square on its second move?

Jonathan B said...

Well I've checked this with a computer now so no the answer. As a by-the-by it's surprising to me that Fritz gets Bd7 straight off. I thought it might be too far off for it. Not much else to analyse I suppose.

Anyway, if Black's King goes to another square, say e4, then you keep pushing the pawn up the board and then set up a similar blockade as I suggested in my last post but further up the board.

This is done by Be8 [ as referenced by Richard some time ago :-) ] which covers the light squares while you use the pawn to stop the King getting across on the remaining dark square.

So the pawn on h6 covers g7 while the bishop on e8 covers f7 and g6.

This is a great puzzle. Where's it from?

Anonymous said...

I thought I saw this in an old collection of chess puzzles from the Evening Standard by Leonard Barden? My copy is in descriptive notation and falling apart, so I must have won it as a junior!

Antony

ejh said...

My copy is also in descriptive and falling apart and now that I know somebody else has got it, I probably won't be taking any more puzzles from it....

Nophiq said...

1. Bf1!

and black King can't reach the pawn

Anonymous said...

There are some other good puzzles in there (one involving Mecking, I recall?) - but I promise not to give the answers :o)

Antony

Jonathan B said...

*nophiq*
I don't think Bf1 works if Black ignores the bishop and just marches his king to h8 via the dark squares starting with e3