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Monday, August 8, 2011

Daily Chess Puzzle 33.

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{A real masterpiece. Starting from a game-like position, both sides must play
accurately but White has the last laugh as he forces either perpetual check or
a pin-stalemate. There is an attractive thematic try in which White makes the
mistake of winning the h4-pawn, which destroys the final stalemate. Although
there are a lot of four-rook studies around at the moment, no serious
anticipation could be identified. Solving appeal is high as the analysis is
fairly straightforward and so the theme of the study is not obscured by dense
thickets of variations.} 1. e7 Rf1+ $1 (1... Re5 {1...Re4 is similar} 2. Rh8+
Kd7 3. e8=Q+ Rxe8 4. Rhxe8 b1=Q 5. Rxb1 Kxe8 6. Rb2 {followed by Kg2 is a draw.
Black cannot improve his position and exchanging rooks leads to a drawn pawn
ending.}) 2. Rxf1 Ra1 3. Rhf6 $1 (3. Rh8+ $2 {is the thematic try:} Kxe7 4.
Rh7+ (4. Rhf8 $2 b1=Q {wins for Black here because the f8-rook is under attack
and so White cannot take on b1, while continuing to check fails because the
black queen controls f5:} 5. R8f7+ Ke6 6. R7f6+ Ke5 7. R6f5+ Qxf5 {
and Black wins}) 4... Ke6 $1 {Black's king must stay on the e-file so as to
have the white rook under attack if White doubles rooks on the f-file.} 5. Rh6+
Ke5 $1 6. Rh5+ Ke4 $1 7. Rxh4+ (7. Rhf5 b1=Q 8. R5f4+ Ke5 9. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 10. Kg2
Rb2+ $1 {wins}) 7... Ke3 8. Rhf4 Rc1 $1 {reaches essentially the same position
as in the main line after 8...Kd3. However, White then loses because the
stalemate defence of the main line is not available.} ({but not} 8... b1=Q $2
9. R4f3+ $1 Ke2 10. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 11. Kg2 {drawing})) 3... Rc1 $1 {
The most dangerous move.} (3... b1=Q 4. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 5. Kg2 {
draws because the rook is not attacked on f6 and the continuation} Rb2+ 6. Kg1
Rh2 7. Re6 Rxh3 8. Re2 {is an immediate draw.}) (3... Kxe7 4. Kg2 b1=Q 5. Rxb1
{is also drawn}) 4. Rf8+ Kxe7 5. R8f7+ Ke6 6. R7f6+ Ke5

If Black plays his king to the b-file by} 6... Kd5 7. R6f5+ Kc4 8. R5f4+ Kb3 {
then} 9. Rf8 {draws}) 7. R6f5+ Ke4 $1 {Black's king does not have to stay on
the e-file in this line, but the result is the same whether he ends up on c3,
d3 or e3, and this move sets a trap.} 8. R5f4+ $1 (8. Rb5 $2 Rxf1+ 9. Kg2 Rf2+
$1 {wins for Black} ({but not} 9... b1=Q $4 10. Rxb1 Rxb1 $11)) (8. Kg2 $2 {
is too soon; after} b1=Q 9. R1f4+ Ke3 10. Rf3+ Kd4 11. R3f4+ Kc3 12. Rf3+ Kb4
$1 13. R3f4+ Rc4 {the checks come to an end}) 8... Kd3 9. Kg2 $1 {
Now is the right time for this move. Black has nothing better than to promote.}
b1=Q 10. R1f3+ $1 {The same manoeuvre can be played when the black king is on
any square on the third rank, except b3 (in that case R1f3+ can be met by ...
Rc3!), but then White draws by Rf8, as in the note to Black's 6th move.} Kc2
11. Rc4+ Kd2 (11... Kd1 12. Rxc1+ {draws}) 12. Rd4+ Ke2 ({Certainly not} 12...
Ke1 $4 13. Re3#) 13. Re4+ $1 Qxe4 {
Stalemate. Now we see why White had to avoid winning the h4-pawn.} 1/2-1/2

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