Sometimes, when I go to the pub, I get more than just good beer. Several months ago, in the company of John Beasley and another study enthusiast, John showed us an original endgame study that he had received for publication. The study has now been published in another place and so I am now free to present it here. Mr Beasley likes others to solve if they wish to, and we did indeed have a go at this elegant rook ending by Gordon Davies. As the solution that follows indicates, we didn’t really get very far before the central point of the study had to be demonstrated to us, though the beer was very fine!
British Chess Magazine, 2011
White to play and win
1.a7 Kh5 Black hides his king to avoid the threat of a check followed by a promotion, but a bolt-hole can become a tomb. 2.Rg8! White traps the Black king. 2.g4+? Kh4 0-1; 2.Kh3? Rh1+ 3.Kg2 Ra1 repeating; 2.Re8? Rxa7 3.Rxe5+ Kg4 0-1 2...Rxa7 Of course, the threatening pawn must be removed. If pushed now, Black’s pawn can be stopped – 2...b3 3.a8Q Rxa8 4.Rxa8 b2 5.Rb8 1-0 3.Kh3 Threatens mate. 3...Ra3 It was from this point that we could not see a way forward, so the next move came as a nice surprise. 4.d4! 4.d3? Rxd3 and White has nothing left to fight with. 4...Re3 The pawn cannot be taken – 4...exd4 5.e5 Re3 6.e6 1-0 and of course 4...cxd3?? 5.g4# 5.dxe5 White's pawn now comes in second, but it is mate when it does. Which is why 5.d5? doesn’t work - 5...c3 6.Rc8 b3 0-1 5...c3 5...b3 leads to the same mate. 6.e6 c2 7.e7 c1Q 8.e8Q#
nd now I have the pleasant job of presenting a brand new study by a brand new composer. It is by Frank Muessig, one of our German readers, and it is for you to solve.
White to play and draw
1.Nf4! A sacrifice to stop the mate threat. Other defences to the mate threat lose - 1.Ne5+? Kh5! 2.Qxb7 g2+ 3.Kh2 Bxe5+ 4.Kxh3 Rg3+ 5.Kh2 Rg7+ 0-1; 1.Qxb7? g2+ 2.Qxg2+ hxg2+ 3.Kxg2 Rxg6 0-1; 1.Nh4? Kxh4 0-1 1...Kxf4 Black must capture the proffered knight, or lose – 1...g2+ 2.Nxg2 hxg2+ 3.Kxg2 Kf5+ 4.Kf1 Ke6 5.Bxa7 Rf8+ 6.Ke2 Bd6 7.Qxb7 1-0; 1...Kf3? 2.Qxb7+ Kxf4 3.Be3+ Kxe3 4.Qb3+ Kf4 5.Qf7+ Ke4 6.Qxg8 g2+ 7.Kg1 h2+ 8.Kxg2 1-0; Capturing the bishop doesn't help either - 1...Bxf4? 2.Qxg8+ Kh4 3.Bxa7 1-0 2.Bh2! White must sacrifice another piece. 2.Bxa7? g2+ 3.Kg1 h2+ 4.Kxh2 Bxa7 5.Qxa7 (5.Qxg8 g1Q+ 6.Qxg1 Bxg1+ 7.Kxg1 Ke3 0-1) 5...g1Q+ 6.Qxg1 Rxg1 7.Kxg1 Ke3– 0-1 2...gxh2 And Black must capture it. 2...Kf3? 3.Qxb7+ Kg4 4.Qd7+ Kg5 5.Qd5+ Kh4 6.Qxg8 Bf4 7.Bxg3+ Bxg3 8.Qh7+ 1-0; 2...Kg4? 3.Bxg3 Kxg3 4.Qxb7 Rg4 5.Qxb8+ 1-0 3.Qxb7 draws, with stalemate of White one possibility. For instance - 3...Rg1+ [or 3...Rh8 4.Qe4+ Kg5 (4...Kg3 5.Qg6+ Kf3 (5...K else 6.Qf6+ 1-0) 6.Qf6+ 1-0; 4...Kxe4 stalemate!) 5.Qg6+ Kxg6 stalemate! (5...K else 6.Qf6+ 1-0) ] 4.Kxh2 Rg8 5.Qf7+ Kg5+ 6.Kxh3 Rh8+ 7.Kg2 Rh2+ 8.Kf3 Rh3+ 9.Ke4 Rh4+ 10.Kd5 Rh5 11.Qg7+ Kf4+ 12.Kc6 Rf5 13.Qb2 Be5 14.Qf2+ =
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