White to Play

Pete Tamburro on

Published in Chess Puzzles

This is one of my favorite endgames to give students because even strong players have taken a while to solve this. It’s actually pretty simple if you know one handy endgame principle. It’s White to Play and Draw.

Do you know the endgame principle that states that if one side with a king, rook pawn and bishop that is on the opposite color of the queening square cannot force the promotion of the rook pawn if the opposing lone king shuttles between the queening square and the square next to it? Here that would be a8 and b8. 1.Rd8+ Rc8 2.Rxc8+ Kxc8 3.Ba6 bxa6 and it’s a draw. If Black didn’t take the bishop on a6, then White would have taken the pawn on b7 with check and it’s still a draw. It’s a great teaching lesson because it shows how you sometimes in chess have to see and apply simple principles to more complex positions.


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