Many endgames are capable of being calculated right to the end. This endgame, a study by R.K. Guy, is a real mental gymnastic. Can you figure it out all the way to the end? Obviously, White needs to save the pawn. How?
We thought we would do endgames for a bit as it is a too neglected area of chess. Although there is no mating attack in most endgames, it can still be as challenging as finding a forced mate. Take this endgame between Wood and Klein in Brighton, UK, back in 1938. White has just played 1.f4, relying on the idea that 1…exf4 2.Bxc3 would be an easy win. If Black doesn’t take then 2.f5 threatens to force a passed pawn through to win. The White king, he figured, can always be on b1 or c2, and Black can’t force the pawn through because he has the dark squared bishop. At least, that was the thought process. Klein came up with an idea for Black on how to deal with all this. It’s your challenge to find it.
The material is even, and White has a very nicely posted knight; however, Black, in Pantzke-Pakula, 1955, played one move and White resigned! You’re Black. Your move!
We have a mate in three for you here. The first thing you should notice, which is not uncommon in chess compositions, is that the Black king is not in check, yet can only move into check with the king. That should be a central factor in your figuring out this problem as the key is how you then want that Black pawn on d7 to move and then figure out how get that king to a square where you’ll be able to deliver the decisive blows. That’s our last hint: in one of the three variations in the solution, the king is not being mated on e4. Hmmmm….
We had a position last time out with a nice understated move that was the best way to win. Today, we have a position that Richard Reti, the winner of that game, criticized because, although it was interesting to the general public, did not meet Reti’s standards of beauty for chess play. You decide.
White is clearly winning here, and there are many paths to victory. White was Richard Reti who defeats Carl Carls at Baden Baden in 1925 by playing one move which causes Carls to resign on the spot. Please remember that Reti liked playing moves of elegant simplicity that masked a hammer of power behind them. There’s more than one mate here. Try and figure out which one Reti picked.