Sunday, 23 August 2009

A real problem

Milan Ninchich sent me the following position from this years ANU Open. It was from his game against Jeremy Reading, and those who played in the tournament may remember the game, as it went for 100 moves, and delayed the start of Round 3. This position was after move 59 and it has the following stipulation. White to play a move that looks winning, but only draws. Black to reply with the only move that doesn't lose, and finally White to come up with the only idea that saves the game. In real life both players had to solve this problem with 30 seconds each on the clock, and as a result both White and Black got their first challenges right, but White slipped on on challenge 3 and Black (Reading) eventually won. (I'll post the solution in the comments section in a day or two, unless Milan beats me to it)


Mario said...

Bc5 jumps out at you straight away: Black can't play Qe8 because then the queen check picks up the rook... Jeremy did well to spot e3 that quickly. Took me a while to see it!

Jeremy said...

I don't think I actually found the move e3 - more of a lucky move to complicate things.

My thought process was more like "Oh my God! I have been winning this game for a while and I am 3 pawns up. Now what have I done - there is nothing I can do to save the rook. I have no time left. Lets just play e3 and see what happens. Maybe I could get the Rook and Bishop for the Queen? I am so screwed - and I was winning too!"

The interesting part is the way that it ends up being a draw. Neither Milan nor I saw it.

Jeremy said...

I sent it to put on Susan Polgars blog and she posted it! For more discussion of the solution check it out.