Sunday 29 March 2015

It can be a cruel game

Today's Street Chess saw a number of interesting games, some of which highlighted how cruel chess can be. In the diagrammed game, White is two pawns up and under normal circumstances this would be a straightforward win. But the poor position of the White rook allowed Black to force a draw, by using the threat of mate to drive the White king into a position where it could not escape the checking rook. 1.Kf1 Kf3 2.Ke1 Ke3 3.Kd1 Kd3 4.Kc1 Kc3 5.Kb1 Rh2! was the first part of the dance. In the actual game White then moved the rook, allowing the draw after Black checks on h1 and h2. But even after 6.a4 Black still draws with 6. ... Rh1+ 7.Ka2 Rh2+ 8.Ka3 Rh1! where the theme is repeated, just this time while turned 90 degrees. 9.Ka2 is forced when 9. ... Rh2+ leads to a repetition.

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