Weekly endgame study | November 09, 2009 0:48

Weekly Endgame Study (143)

Weekly Endgame StudyEvery week we present you an endgame study selected by IM Yochanan Afek: player, trainer, endgame study composer and writer. A week later the solution is published. Good luck solving!

Y. Afek

White to play and draw

Next week the solution.

Solution last week

E. Zakon

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Yochanan Afek's picture
Author: Yochanan Afek

IM Yochanan Afek is a chess player, trainer, endgame study composer and writer. His complete selection of studies can be found here.



Frits Fritschy's picture

White to play and draw, I guess.

Peter Doggers's picture

Yes, sorry, corrected.

Jens Kristiansen's picture

Hopla! Incredible! The most unlikely move is the key!
I did spend some time pondering over the position in the diagram, but that one i did not get.
Give us some more, Afek!

Mark's picture

Thank you, master Afek and Mr. Zakon !

Study # 142 really struck me by its beauty:

- its main variation (shown next to the solution diagram) shows a classic manoeuver where the queen seems to be climbing a stair in order to reach the 7th rank without any loss of time

- the initial move is surprising (White's king gets away from the action), and the necessary answer to h7-h6 (played at any moment) is even more surprising: Kb1 (the king returns to its initial square, which looks like a waste of two moves when black is about to promote a pawn: quite elegant)

- in some variations (when the black king moves to g1 and f2) the white queen visits 4 near-corners of the board: a7-h7-b1-g1: this impressively broad movement is the only one that allows white to get rid of both the h7 and the g2 pawns:

e.g. 6.... Kg1 7.Qc7 Kf2 8.Qa7+ Kf1 (otherwise 9.Qg1) 9. Qxh7 g1Q 10.Qb1+ Kf2 11. Qxg1+

- in all variations where black plays h7-h6, the whole queen manoeuver is moved down one rank (from 7th to 6th) and the decisive pin is narrowed down one file (from Ka1+Qb1 to Kb1+Qc1): see the side variation given next to the solution diagram

- in one variation, the queen actually has to move DOWN the "stair" (b7-c7-c6-d6) in order to capture the h7 pawn after it moves to h6:

1.... Kg1 2.Qe7 h6 3. Kb1 Kh1 (3.... Kf1/Kf2 4.Qf6+ Ke2 5.Qb6 Kf1 6.Qxh6 g1Q 7.Qc1+; 3.... Kh2 4.Qd6+ Kh1 5.Qxh6 g1Q+ 6.Qc1) 4. Qb7 Kh2 5. Qc7+ Kh1 (5.... Kg1 6. Qb6+ Kh2 7.Qd6+ Kh1 8.Qxh6 g1Q+ 9.Qc1) 6.Qc6 Kh2 7.Qd6+ Kh1 8.Qxh6 g1Q+ 9.Qc1

- finally, in order to solve this study you have to know the basic endgame technique of K+Q versus K+pawn on the second rank (b, d, e or g files), which you need in case the black king ever takes the h3 pawn (this pawn actually hinders the white queen, because it prevents her from checking on h4, so it is precisely by not taking the h3 pawn that black forces white to come up with the elegant variations seen above). The basic endgame technique goes as follows:

1.... Kxh3 2.Qf2 Kh2 (otherwise 3.Qg1) 3.Qh4+ Kg1 4.Kb1 Kf1 5.Qf4+ Ke2 6.Qg3 Kf1 7.Qf3+ Kg1 8. Kc1 etc. (the white king comes closer until black loses the g2 pawn; this strategy is recommended even when black takes the h3 pawn as late as move 7 in the main variation:)

7.... Kxh3 8. Qc1 Kh2 9.Qf4+ Kh3 (9.... Kh1 10.Qh4+) 10.Qf2 Kh2 11.Qh4+ Kg1 12.Kb1 etc.

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