Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Grass Arena III


"J Healy v R Elwell, coffee house game, London 1980. White (to move) is a pawn down so would like to advance his rook pawn to queen. Black, however, is ready to stop the pawn in the nick of time by R-KR1 and R-QR1. What should white play?"


Following on from last Saturday, here's another John Healy chess problem via Leonard Barden via thegrassarena.net.

6 comments:

ejh said...

I think this is 1.Re8 although if 1...Rh3 (or 1...Rf4) 2.a7 Rxf3+ 3.Ka4 Rf1 4.a8Q Ra1+ 5.K moves Rxa8 6.Rxa8 Black might be able to fight on a bit with three pawns against a rook. In a coffee-house game, anyway.

Jonathan B said...

I recently failed to win a 3 pawns against rook (I had the rook) endgame. Actually at one point at least it could have been said that my opponent failed to win it.

Jonathan B said...

Re8, btw, is the solution given by Barden (with Kxe8/a7 as the follow up)

Ian B Gibson said...

I spotted 1.Re8 almost immediately, although I'm sure I wouldn't have done (and may well not have got the answer at all) without the description of the position that was given in the problem.

So this was a very useful exercise for me, since it was a clear lesson in the importance of having a plan and being aware of both sides plans in determining the best move (rather than attempting to find the best move 'out of nowhere', like I generally do in my own games).

So, thanks!

Anonymous said...

ejh: In your line you shouldn't play 4.a8Q - 4.Re3 is much better.

ejh said...

It is, thanks. I thought about finessing with 3...Rf4+ and if White moves up the board to escape the checks then 4.Ka5 Rf5+ before going to f1 (White can't play 4.Re5 in the place of 6.Re3) but 5.Kb6 and White's king gets at the pawns.