White to play
Houska - Berry, 4NCL 2015
I like Chess Today. In fact I like it enough to more or less forgive it for having become Chess a Few Weeks Ago, some time back.
It’s certainly no fun reading news of Carlsen’s World Championship win after the kind of delay that you would consider a bit poor even for a print magazine. On the upside, there’s plenty of material that’s not time-sensitive and CT chief Alex Baburin seems to be catching up a bit now. The puzzle at the head of today’s blog arrived in my inbox last Friday in what was nominally CT's 11th of May edition. Hopefully we’ll be level pegging in the not too distant future.
Anyhoo, today’s position. White to play. Houska went 32 a4, ended up here five moves later
White to play
at which point she is, according to Chess Today, absolutely lost.
That White is going down seems entirely plausible. Outside Passed Pawns and all that. What’s less obvious - at least to me - is that White has a win in our starting position.
King and pawn Index
32 a4 is dodgy because of the tactical reply .. c5 as in the game. An engine test suggests the very reasonable try of Kc4, where .. Ke4 appears to fail a counting test.
If Black retreats with .. Kd6, the .. c5 resource is no longer available, so a4 can now be played. If Black is unable to create a passed pawn of his own, the White e pawn is likely to enable a win.
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