Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Always double check


White to play and Draw

One criticism of younger players is that they are very slow to resign. Nonetheless this is starting to change where I play chess, and as an added bonus, the "offering a draw in a lost position" has almost completely disappeared. 

The side effect of all this is that in recent times there have been a few junior players who have resigned prematurely. In most cases they were certainly worse, but there was no harm looking for a few tricks before tipping the king. However the following position was a more drastic example. 

White had gone from an even ending to a difficult one in the space of a few moves, and eventually ended in this position. At first glance he is going to lose his h pawn and the f pawn will promote for Black. After some thought he resigned (which confused his opponent), missing the saving idea. 1.Kxh7 Kg4 2.Kg6! threatens the f pawn, and sets up an escort for the h pawn. Both players can race their pawns towards the back rank, but they queen on successive moves, leaving a drawn ending. 

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