"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.
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.
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.
Re8, btw, is the solution given by Barden (with Kxe8/a7 as the follow up)
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).
ejh: In your line you shouldn't play 4.a8Q - 4.Re3 is much better.
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.
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