Sunday, January 03, 2010

The twelve puzzles of Christmas

Ebersz, 1942

White to play and draw


Anonymous said...

This looks like one of those positions where White's first move is the key to the solution.

The only way White can defend is by maintaining the opposition. Since Black has a move in hand (...d5), White has to be able to take the opposition after Black uses up his spare move.

So not 1.Kf4? taking the direct opposition because the immediate ...d5 forces White to retreat. Also not 1.Kf3? which loses to 1...Ke5 2.Ke3 d5 and again White must give way.

White has to take the distant opposition with 1.Kf2! so as to meet 1...Kf5 with 2.Ke3 and 1...Ke5 with 2.Kf3.


an ordinary chessplayer said...

After the suggested 1 Kf2 d5, no? 2 Kf3 Kf5 3 Ke3 Ke5 4 Kd2 Kf4 5 Ke2 Ke4 6 Kd2 Kf3 etc.

I propose 1 Kg4. Then 1...Ke5 2 Kf3 Kd5 3 Ke3 Kc5 4 Ke4 d5+ 5 Ke5 seems to hold.

Studies of this type are a little old-fashioned because of the tablebases. But those of us who don't use engines can still benefit.

Anonymous said...

I think 1.Kf2 d5 is OK for White as long as he keeps his distance: 2.Ke2 Ke6 3.Kf2 Kd6 4.Ke2. If Black advances to e5 or f5, White opposes on e3 or f3. If Black comes round the queenside, White shuttles between a2 and b2. There's no way through.

After 1.Kg4, how about 1...d5 and if 2.Kf4 then 2...Ke6. Now White is losing.


an ordinary chessplayer said...

I can only agree.

ejh said...

A little reminiscent of the Short - Ni Hua ending from the London tournament, perhaps?

Anyway, indeed, it's 1.Kf2! and I took the puzzle from Averbakh and Maizelis, Pawn Ednings, Batsford, 1974.