Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The twelve rook and pawns of Christmas

White to play


Anonymous said...

This is a dilemma position. Do you leave the pawn on a6 and use the idea of transferring the White King to b6 in order to re-activate the Rook? If so, then you run the risk of Black's Rook eating up all your pawns, then sacrificing for the a pawn, leaving you with R v two or three passed pawns.

Alternatively you play the pawn to a7, which imprisons your Rook apart from the trick of R-somewhere check with a8Q to follow. In this position the Black King is misplaced at f5 (should be on g7 or h7) and in the games that reached this position, all the players decided on the a7 plan and won.

Unzicker-Lundin from 1954 Olympiad is the one likely to be quoted in books. In that game White found a King safety square at h6 and then sacrificed the a-pawn to activate the Rook. The other three followed Unzicker's plan if not the exact moves.


John Cox said...

Roger gets up early and is good at database searching, isn't he? By contrast I've only just got out of bed and can't ever make my laptop turn on.

Still, I would have known what to do here. We've had this one before, haven't we?