Daily Chess Improvement: Intermediate Endgame Understanding!

SusanPolgar

White to move! How should white proceed? Please post as far as you can see. This is not a one-two move endgame.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

The rook is far away from the king, and can only interpose between the white queen and the black king at b8. So, where could the white queen double attack from here- the answer is h7, so the ideal first move here is the check that gets the white queen closer to that square:

1.Qf7+ Ka8

If black plays 1...Kb8, then 2.Qg8+ and 3.Qh7+ wins the rook on b1.

2.Qa2!

This is the hard move to find in this puzzle, and I didn't find it immediately. The idea is to limit the rook's checks by guarding the b1 square while threatening 3.Qxa6- this allows Kb6 double attacking the black pawn and threatening mate on the back rank with Qg8 if black checks from c1:

2...........Rb4

Every other move is a shorter mate- the threat, like I mentioned above, is 3.Qxa6- the black rook leaves the b-file, then 3.Qxa6 is followed by mate on the next move. So, the only real alternative was 2....Rc1, but then white has 3.Kb6 4.Qg8+ Rc8 5.Qg/h/f7 and mate follows.

3.Qxa6 Kb8
4.Qa3

This forces the rook to move, and brings into the play the exact same kinds of threats that existed at black's 2nd move- if black plays the check from c4, then white plays 5.Kb6 again threatening mate on the back rank:

4............Rc4
5.Kb6 Kc8

Again, the same threats as above prevented black from keeping the rook on the c-file with a move like 5.....Rc8- for example: 5.....Rc1 6.Qf8 Rc8 7.Qf7 wins. Also, 5.....Rc7 loses the rook to 6.Qd6. However, now....

6.Qa6 wins the rook with a double attack. All in all, I think was a mate in 12 total moves- white will have to recorral the king, but that is trivial.


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