White to Play

Pete Tamburro on

Published in Chess Puzzles

Summer chess school lesson 16. This is about as practical as you can get. In fact, it was from Stean-Hartson, Brighton, 1972. The rook on the 7th is key, but there is more work to do, including calculating.

Here we go! 1.Re7 Re4 [1...Rxh2 2.e6 Rg2 3.Rxf7+ Kg8 4.Kxg6 Rxg3+ 5.Kf6 Ra3 (5...Rf3 6.f5 Ra3 7.Rg7+ Kf8 8.e7+ Ke8 9.Rg8+) 6.Rg7+ Kh8 7.e7]2.e6 Rxe6 3.Rxe6 fxe6 [As with many rook and pawn endings, the side a pawn up wants to make a transition into a won king and pawn ending, but, before you do that, you have to make sure you win the K&P ending. As you can see here, it involved a pawn sacrifice and a calculation to not only see who queened first, but whether White could make use of the first move with a new queen.] 4.h3 Kf7 [4...h4 5.Kxh4 Kh6 6.Kg4 Kh7 7.Kg5 Kg7 8.h4 Kf7 9.Kh6 Kf6 10.g4 Kf7 11.g5] 5.Kh6 Kf6 6.g4 and wins! White queens first and that makes all the difference in the world as White gets to force a trade off. 6...h4 7.g5+ Kf5 8.Kg7 Kxf4 9.Kxg6 e5 10.Kh5 e4 11.g6 e3 12.g7 e2 13.g8Q e1Q 14.Qg5+ Kf3 15.Qg4+ Ke3 16.Qe6+ Kf2 17.Qxe1+ Kxe1 18.Kxh4 1–0


Send questions and comments to



Paul Szep Mike Peters Hagar the Horrible The Lockhorns Signe Wilkinson Wumo