Daily Chess Improvement: Critical Decision Making Exercise!

This was a game between Abrahamyan, Tatev - Zierk, Steven in St Louis

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
Firstsun
Firstsun

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.

Surpriselover
Surpriselover

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!!

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

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.



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