Daily Chess Improvement: Tricky Chess Endgame!

This was a game between Pridorozhni, Aleksei - Bareev, Evgeny

White to move! Is this a win, draw, or loss? How should white proceed?

Comments (3)
No. 1-3
Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

I just looked the game up, Pridor0zhini played 1.h6 and lost the game. Not easy to find 1.Nd7 in a rapid game. Indeed, I was convinced Space Alien was wrong about Nd7, but they weren't wrong.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Space Alien is correct- white has only 1.Nd7 to draw- it threatens Nc5 forking the king and pawn. Black can prevent the knight reaching c5 by just keeping the bishop on the a3/f8 diagonal, but then white can interpose the knight at e5 at the critical moment blocking up the a1/h8 diagonal, giving his h-pawn time to queen. Black can try to drive the knight away from that diagonal from d6, but then the knight can then make it back to queen side to stop black's pawn. The most critical line looks like this:

1.Nd7 Bb4 2.h6 a3 3.Ne5! Bd6 4.Nd3+! Bf8 5.h7 Bg7 6.Nc1+ Kb2 7.Nd3+ Kb1 8.Nb4!=

SpaceAlien
SpaceAlien

Black wins UNLESS white moves Nd7. Then it is a draw.



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