We all love happy endings! Therefore we can all take great pleasure from Malcolm Pein’s column in today’s Daily Telegraph.
Malcolm Pein on…Happy Endings
I write in praise of the magazine EG, founded in 1965 by British endgame study composer and luminary John Roycroft. The latest issue includes the study below, composed by Árpád Rusz, of Hungary, which was awarded second prize by the judge John Nunn in a study competition run by The Problemist.
White to play and win
The obvious move loses. After 1.a8Q+ Kg1 2.Rc1+ Qf1+!! 3.Rxf1+ Kxf1 White is unable to prevent Black promoting after 4.Qb8 Rf2+ 5.Kg5 a1Q or 4.Qf3+ Rf2.
1.Rc1+ Qf1+!! (Not 1…Kg2 2.a8Q+ Qf3+ 3.Qxf3+ Kxf3 4.Rc3+ Ke2 5.Ra3 Rh7 6.a6 wins)
2.Rxf1+ Kg2 If you don’t want to know the answer, look away now.
3.Rh1!! (If 3.Ra1 Rh5+ 4.Ke4 Rxa5 5.Kd4 is a draw and 3.a8Q+?? Kxf1 wins for Black)
3…Kxh1 (3…Rxh1 4.a8Q+ Kh2 (4…Kg1 5.Qg8+ Kf1 6.Qxa2) 5.Qb8+ Kg2 6.Qb2+ wins)
4.a8Q+ Kg1 (Or 4…Rg2 5.Qh8+ Kg1 6.Qa1+ Kh2 7.a6)
5.Qg8+ Kf1 (The key difference is that now the white queen can wrest control of a1. If 5…Rg2 6.Qh8 Rf2+ 7.Ke4 Rf1 8.Qg8+ Kf2 9.Qxa2+)
7.Qa1+ Ke2 8.a6
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A study-like episode from last week’s Vezerkepzo GM tournament in Budapest.
In Plat-Bodi, Black sacrificed a rook to reach this position and lost after 57…Be3? 58.Nc5 a3 59.Nd3+ Kb3 60.Rf3 Bd2 61.Nc5+ Kb2 62.Na4+ Ka2 63.Kc4 Bc1 64.Rf2+ 1–0
Black draws after 57…a3 58.Nf4 a2 59.Nd3+ Kc3 when his bishop holds off the enemy king and the knight is fully occupied guarding b2. For example, 60.Ke4 Kb3 61.Rc1 Ba5 62.Kd4 a1Q+ 63.Rxa1 Bc3+.