Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Not easy but ...

Every now and then you get an ending which is not easy but at the same time has a fairly short solution. Often it comes down to recognising the right idea, although this can be difficult after a long game.
I recently saw an example of this, as shown in the diagram. White had just pushed the pawn to d6, setting a big trap. If Black captures on b6 then d7 is winning, although the QvR ending after Rxh6 d8=Q can be hard to win.
I saw a more complicated line starting with 1. ... e2+ with the idea being that 2.Kxe2 allows lots of rook checks. Possibly the nicest line is 2. ... Rb2+ 3.Kd3 Rxb6! 4.d7 Rxh6 5.d8=Q Rd6+
However there is a far simpler line in this position starting with 1. ... Rd3. For some reason this did not seem obvious to me at the time, possibly because I was moving the rook towards the White King did not occur to me. But once I did see it, all the other complicated lines just fell away.

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