Tuesday 4 July 2023

Taking the only chance

White to play

The final round of the 2023 Belconnen Cup at the Eastlake Gungahlin Chess Club saw a tricky King and Pawn ending on the 2nd board. In the diagrammed position White pushed the b pawn, with the plan of distracting the Black king long enough so as to stop the king side pawns. It turned out that (a) the plan worked but (b) Black missed a winning idea.

The line that was played was 1.b6 Kc6  2.b7 Kxb7 3.Kxd5 Kc7 4.Ke5 Kd7 5.Kf6 g4 6.Kg5 h5 7.Kxh5 f5 8.Kg5 Ke6 9.Kf4 Kf6 10.e4 fxe4 11.Kxe4 Kg5 12.Ke3 1/2/12

While watching the game I wondered if moving the h pawn first was better, as the king does not need to move to c6 straight away. The the threat of g4-h4-g3 is hard to meet for White. In the post mortem the brains trust of GCC members could not find a win, but with some computer assistance, it turns out that the win was there.

1...h5!! 2.b7 Kc7 3.Kxd5 g4 4.Ke4 h4 5.Kf4 f5! 6.e4 g3 7.hxg3 h3! 8.Kf3 fxe4+ 9.Kf2 Kxb7 10.Kg1 e3 -+

Other first move tries for White are equally bad, so in the end, he did well to save the half point.

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