Monday, February 13, 2012


Last week I left you with this teaser. Appropriately enough, there was a split in opinion. So let's go through what actually happened.

34... Qa1+

I'm a big fan of prophylaxis. So why didn't I employ it here? I should be playing to my strengths, right? Well, this was approaching 3pm on a 4NCL Sunday and the trains were up the creek. I had an offer of a lift to Nuneaton from somebody who had already finished and I knew that, were I to carry on playing past 4pm, I'd lose it. Cabs are expensive, I'm a student. Bite me. The team were going to lose, so I could afford to be selfish.

But yet the engines say this is the best way to play. Mind you, they're fairly selfish too.

35. Kf2 Qb2+ 36. Kg3 Qxc3 37. Qe8+ Kh7 38. Qxf7

Again, there are two clear-cut options here. One is to nab e3 and deprive white of their passer but, in so doing, lose a6. The sequence goes 38... Qxe3 39. Qf5+ Kg8 40. Qc8+ Kh7 41. Qxa6. The other way to play is to simply stop any perpetual fruit. Something like 38... Qe5+.

Split or steal?

 Hope that the b pawn will be decisive

Keep the tension this time

Blue or Red Pill? Index


Jonathan B said...

OK, I looked long enough to get a gut feeling+little bit of analysis.

My first thought was I wanted to centralise my queen with ... Qe5 but then I thought I wanted rid of the epawn which could cause problems later on and take control of some potentially important squares (f5, for example, if White advances with e3-e4)

After ... Qxe3/Qf5+ Kg8/Qc8+ Kh7/Qxa6 I liked ... b5-b4. My pawn's rolling and while my king is obviously potentially open on the light squares there's no check this move.

Then I thought, why does White take the pawn? Can't he just go ...Qxe3/Qf5+ Kg8/Qc8+ Kh7/Qf5+?

Because of that possibility I decided to play ... Qe5. If I were you, though, I wouldn't take my word for it that that's the best choice.

Anonymous said...

I'll bag the pawn on e3. Yes, there will be a few checks to deal with but the queen seems to deal with them: Qf5+ Kg8 Qc8+ Kf7 Qb7+ Qe7, for example. Or Qf5+ Kg8 Qc8+ Kf7 Qf5+ Ke7 and that's the end of the perpetual banana. For now.

PJM said...

Bear in mind I'm replying to this from my phone in the Mendips. If white repeats after Kh7, I think black simply goes to f7 instead. It's more vulnerable there but is in pole position for a race to the c file should the queens come off.

PJM said...

It's also worth bearing in mind that, given the transport situation, I wanted to win within an hour - maybe 12 moves or so.