Difficult Endgame

Can you find white's winning first move? This is a very difficult puzzle and requires a deep analysis.

8/K2P3p/6P1/5P2/4p3/5P2/3r1P2/k7 w - - 0 1

Comments (10)
No. 1-10
Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Well done, Alena. That last section is extremely difficult to get through because of the several "only winning moves" white has to find, in particular 7.Ke4 and the need to manuever to keep the black king off the d-file so that the rook can't safely skewer the king and new queen from in between them.

Alena
Alena

7.Ke4 Rd4
8.Kf3 Kc4
9.e6 Rd5
10.e7 Rxf5+
11.Ke4 Rxf2
12.Ke3 Rh2
13.e8=Q

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

A more testing defense for black is 6......Rd7+, and is the main line of the puzzle- it forces white to play more accurately.

Alena
Alena

V-4

1.Kb6 Rxd7
2.Kc6 Ra7
3.gxh7 Rxh7
4.fxe4 Kb2
5.e5 Kc3
6.Kd5 Kd3
7.e6 Ra7
8.f4 Ra5+
9.Kc6 Ra6+
10.Kb5 Rd6
11.Kc5 Rd4
12.e7 Re4
13.f6 Kc3
14.f7 Rxe7
15.f8=Q
It's a winning position for white.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

This is very good, Alena. Now consider V-1 immediately above. There are two things you need to do now- first lets take you actual line 1.Kb6 Rxd7
2.Kc6 Ra7
3.gxh7 Rxh7
4.fxe4 Rh2
5.f4 Here, you had black putting the rook behind the f-pawns at f2 on move 5, now consider what white must do if black puts the rook on h4 instead to attack the backward f-pawn that way. Also, can you see why it had to be 5.f4? In short, 5.f4 forces black to capture at f4 thus gaining a critical tempo because it comes under attack. Finally, you need to tie up one very major loose end in this line, and that is where black plays 4......Kb2!- a much more tenacious defense than 4.....Rh2 is. That line after 4.....Kb2 is the heart and beauty of this puzzle.

Alena
Alena

V-1

1.Kb6 Rxd7
2.Kc6 Ra7
3.gxh7 Rxh7
4.fxe4 Rh2
5.f4 Rf2
6.Kd5 Rxf4
7.Ke5 Rh4
8.f6 Rh1
9.Ke6 Kb2
10.e5 Kc3
11.Kf5 Rf1+
12.Kg5 Rg1+
13.Kh6 Kd4
14.e6 Re1
15.f7 Rxe6+
16.Kg5 Re5+
17.Kg4 Re4+
18.Kg3 Re3+
19.Kf2 Re4
20.f8=Q
It's a winning position for white.

V-2

1.Kb6 e3
2.gxh7 exf2
3.h8=Q+ Kb1
4.Qh1+ Kc2
5.Kc7 Rd3
6.d8=Q Rc3+
7.Kd7 Rd3+
8.Ke8 Rxd8+
9.Kxd8
It's a winning position for white.

V-3

1.Kb6 hxg6
2.Kc7 Rc2+
3.Kd8 gxf5
4.Ke8 exf3
5.d8=Q Kb2
6.Qb6+ Ka3
7.Kf7 f4
8.Qa5+ Kb3
9.Qd5+ Kb4
10.Qxf3
It's a winning position for white.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

When white brings the king to the b-file, black has time for three different moves- you found Rxd7 and hxg7, but there is third move black has the time to play- e3, and it is the critical one white has to find a way to defeat as a defense.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Alena, 1.Kb7 is wrong. You overlook a much better move for black at move 1. However, in a more general sense think about the position and how it might evolve. In one sense, I could eliminate 1.Kb7 almost immediately because of the capture at d7 occurring with check, though I also struggled a long time with black's first move even though I had thought of the right one pretty early on. So, black is going to have to find a way to draw this only the rook and king against connect passed pawns at some point, so the question is how does white find the time necessary to prevent the black king getting into the action for the typical double attacks on the backward pawns that allows a defense in such endings at times?

Alena
Alena

Yes, Yancey it was a very tough puzzle. The first move wasn't obvious at all.

V-1

1.Kb7 Rxd7+
2.Kc6 Rg7
3.gxh7 Rxh7
4.fxe4 Rh2
5.f4 Rh4
6.Kd6 Rxf4
7.Ke5 Rf3
8.Kf6 Rc3
9.e5 Rc8
10.e6 Rf8+
11.Kg6 Rg8+
12.Kf7 Rg4
13.e7 Rb4
14.e8=Q
It's a winning position for white.

V-2

1.Kb7 hxg6
2.Kc8 Rc2+
3.Kd8 Rxf2
4.fxe4 gxf5
5.e5 Re2
6.Kc7 Rc2+
7.Kb6 Rb2+
8.Kc5 Rc2+
9.Kb4 Rd2
10.e6 Rd6
11.e7 Rxd7
12.e8=Q
It's a winning position for white.

V-3

1.Kb7 Rxd7+
2.Kc6 Ra7
3.gxh7 Rxh7
4.fxe4 Rh2
5.f4 Rf2
6.Kd6 Rxf4
7.Ke5 Rh4
8.f6 Rh1
9.Ke6 Kb2
10.e5 Kc3
11.Kf5 Rf1+
12.Kg5 Rg1+
13.Kh6 Kd4
14.e6 Rf1
15.f7 Rf2
16.Kg7 Re2
17.f8=Q Rxe6
It's a winning position for white.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Was this too difficult?



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