Wednesday 21 June 2023

Increasing levels of jerkitude?

 The diagram position is *not* from one of my games. However it is pretty close to the finish I played recently. The position of the pieces on the queenside are as played, but I have modified the kingside pawns for the purpose of making this post.

White to play and lose

In the real game I had basically calculated this ending position about 15 moves before. My opponent then resigned before I had a chance to queen the kingside pawns. But after the game there was a discussion about whether I should just get a boring queen, or the slightly more exciting rook. Then someone asked if I could get a bishop or even a knight. In the real game the answer was no (as a pawn was promoting on f1 or h1) but in this position Black can actually win with all 4 promotions. But to under-promote for the win may be taking it a little too far. So If I was to rank the promotions in terms of 'jerkitude' it would be (after 1.g4 gxf4 2.f5 g3 3.f6 g2 4.f7) 4 ... g1=N 5.f8=Q Ne2# at the top, followed by 4 ... g1=B 4.f8=Q Be3#, then 4 ... g1=R# with 4 ... g1=Q# being the least "jerk" move.

BTW this position does not appear to be original, as Chessbase said this position had been investigated 7 previous times in their online search database!

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