Thursday, 17 May 2018

Study 149

Árpád Rusz
Problemist of Ukraine
1st Prize


We have a symmetric initial position, so why shouldn't the key move also be symmetric? It seems so natural to push the passed pawn... 1. d7? Kd1!! Black keeps the symmetry. 1... Rc3? 2. Re8 Rd3+ 3. Kc6 =; 1... Re3? 2. Rc8 Rd3+ 3. Ke6 = 2. Rc8 2. Re8 Red2+ 3. Ke6 Rc6+ 4. Ke7 Rc7 -+ 2... Rcd2+ 3. Kc6 Re6+ 4. Kc7 Re7 -+

So the key should be a rook move. But where to place the rook?

Thematic try: 1. Rh8? Rc3 2. Rh4 Re8 3. Rd4+ Ke3 4. Rd1 Rd8

Position X'

5. Ke6 The white king has to choose the longer flank... 5... Ke2 6. Rd4 Re3+ 7. Kf7 Rd7+ 8. Kf6 Now both black's king and one of its rooks are on the longer flank where there is more space to manoeuvre.

8... Re8 This is the quickest win. 9. Rd5 Re4 10. Kf5 Rh4! -+

The real key is a surprising move to the other corner:
1. Ra8!! After the rook was oddly placed in front of the passed pawn, now white seems to break another principle: "In rook endgames, it is usually better to choose the longer flank." 1... Re3 The other rook was "pinned": 1... Rc3 2. Ra2+ = 2. Ra4! 2. d7? Rd3+ 3. Ke6 Rc6+ 4. Ke7 Rc7 -+ 2... Rc8 2... Rd3+ 3. Rd4 = 3. Rd4+ Kc3 4. Rd1! White has managed to transfer the rook behind its passed pawn! 4... Rd8

Position X

5. Kc6! The white king can choose the shorter flank! Compare with the similar position from the thematic try. 5... Kc2 6. Rd4! 6. Rd5? Rc8+ 7. Kb7 Rc4! 8. d7 Rb3+ 9. Ka6 Ra4+ -+ 6... Rc3+ 7. Kb7! 7. Kb6? Rb8+ -+ 7... Rd7+ 8. Kb6 Now both black's king and one of its rooks are on the shorter flank where there is less space to manoeuvre.

8... Rc8 9. Rd5 Rc4! Now the white rook cannot move. 10. Kb5 Now black doesn't have a move like 10... Rh4! from the thematic try! 10... Rc3 11. Kb6 Ra3! 12. Rd4! 12. Kc6? Rda7! 13. d7 R3a6+ 14. Kc5 Ra5+ 15. Kd4 Rxd5+ 16. Kxd5 Rxd7+ -+ 12... Kc3 13. Rd1 Kc4 14. Kc6 Rda7! An interesting counter-play. Both black rooks also choose the a-file just like the white on the first move. 15. Rc1+ Pushing the pawn would be fatal: 15. d7? R3a6# 15... Kb4 16. Rb1+ Ka5 16... Kc4 17. Rc1+ perpetual check

17. Rb5+ 17. d7? Rc3+ 18. Kd6 Rd3+ -+ 17... Ka6 18. Rb6+ Ka5 19. Rb5+ Ka4 (19... Ka6 20. Rb6+ perpetual check) 20. Rd5 = All black pieces end up misplaced on the a-file while the white ones are in dominant positions. Draw!

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Peter Siegfried Krug said...

The initial position and keymove 1.Ra8!! is great.
Congratulation to this find!

Marius said...

1.d7? Kd1!! is great too. 👏👏