Sunday, 19 June 2022

Stalemate tricks to know

 The diagrammed position came from a game in the recent ACT Secondary Schools Championship. White looked to be cruising to victory, and in this case, Black believed him. However I, and a couple of spectators realised that White had set up a stalemate trick, by defending the rook pawn from the side.

If you remove the Black rook, then Black has no moves to play. And in this position Black can try and do that with 1... Rxc4+. Capturing the rook is immediately stalemate, while moving the king to the a file runs into 2 ... Ra4+ followed by Rxa5 (or stalemate after the rook is captured). And attempts to run to to a6 after 2.Kb5 Rc5+! 3.Ka6 fail once again to 3... Rxa5+ with a choice between stalemate or 4.Kb6 Rh5 followed by Rxh7!

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