Sunday, 5 June 2016
It looks easy but it isn't
The first clue that something was amiss was that White was doing a lot of thinking. Then it was observed that all the captured black pieces seemed to be on the wrong side of the board. It slowly dawned on the spectators (those that came late anyway) that they were looking at the board the wrong way round.
In fact Black is going *up* the board, with the King on h1 (not h8!). Suddenly the best move for White isn't so obvious, made all the more difficult by the unnatural location of the pawns.
With best play it turns out that the game is a draw. Black has to break the pin with Kg1 and White has nothing better to check the king back into the corner and keep the queen on f3. However White tried the practical Ke1 and Black chose the obvious, but fatal d2+. After Kf2 it was all over. Black did get hist queen with d1(Q) but Qxg2 was the instant reply, ending the game. Under-promoting to a knight (with check) is appealing but Kg3 is good enough (but not Kf1 which is of course illegal).
The post mortem was just as fun as there were a number of illegal moves suggested, and legal ones overlooked.
BTW the drawing line after Ke1 was Kg1! as Qf2+ Kh1 forces Qf3 (not Qf1 gxf1!) and then Kg1 is a repetition.