Daily Chess Improvement: Critical Decision Making Exercise!


White to move! Take your time to analyze this very complicated position. Then come up with the right continuation plan, not just one or two moves. A wrong decision and the game can be over right away.

Comments (3)
No. 1-3

White should start with Kf3 and bring the king away from the f2 pawn and the white king should run. The variation will go 1. Kf3 Rxf2+ 2. Ke4 dxc3 3. c7 f5+ 4. Ke3 Rbe2+ 5. Kd3 Rd2+ 6. Kxc3 Rc2+ 7. Kb3 Rb2+ 8. Kc4 Rfc2+ 9. Kd3 and the white king will run behind his kingside pawns, since now, white got rid of black's passed pawn, and then, white can focus on pushing the c-pawn to promotion.


It is a lot of explaining and I need to leave but bishop f4 looks great slowing down mate long enough to produce queening threats! Thank you for these endgame puzzles!!



Well, 1.c7 will just lose since 1....Rxf2 comes with check, and matter where the king goes, white will get mated on either 1st rank or on the h-file since black can cut off the g-file with a pawn on h5 when necessary. The same applies to 1.cxd4 to get to connected passers- black just mates after 1...Rxf2.

However, white probably also loses with 1.Qxd4 protecting f2, but black now wins the bishop on b8. Here is the best line I can see with this line:

1.Qxd4 Rxb8 2.Qc4+ Re6 3.f4 Kh8.

I just don't see how the pawn can help in this line- black can always retreat both rooks to the 8th rank to protect each other and block the c-pawn. Maybe there is a way to win this as white but I am not seeing it, and once the knight gets activated, black will probably double attack the c-pawn and win it along with the game.

I think white probably needs to look at 1.Kh3 to buy a tempo to be able to play cxd4 creating connected passers, but even this looks bad:

1.Kh3 Rxf2 2.cd4?? Rxh2+ 3.Kg4 Rbf2 and suddenly another mating net is created that I don't see a way out of.

So, this seems to leave...

1.Kh3 Rxf2 2.Qxd4 Rxh2 3.Kg4. Not sure about this yet- black has several replies, and the only one I can clearly calculate is

2......Rxb8 3.c7! Rc8 4.Qd8 looks winning. However, black doesn't have to take the bishop in the first place. I need to think about this a bit more.