White to Play

Pete Tamburro on

Published in Chess Puzzles

Summer chess school lesson 15. This one is a toughie if you don't know a key defensive concept. Even your chess engine will be wrong! White has to figure out how to draw this against a passed pawn and active king. The first move decides the game!

This actually happened in Szekely-Barcza, Hungary, 1969: 1.Rxf5!! Rf1 1...a2 2.Ra5 Kc6 3.Kg2 Kb6 4.Ra3 Kb5 5.Ra7 and the king is harrassed by checks and the black rook can stay on the a-file if attacked by the king. 2.Kg2 a2 3.Kxf1 a1Q+ 4.Kg2 Qb2 5.Rf4 Qe5 6.Kg1 Qe2 7.Kg2 Qd2 8.Kg1 Ke5 9.Kg2 Qe2 Black can't do anything to break the fortress. The king can just move back and forth from g1 to g2.9...Qxf4 10.gxf4+ Kxf4 is a draw as well.½–½


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