Monday, March 13, 2006

Highway to Heaven

Here's a position from a blitz game showcasing the pure pleasure of pushing a passed pawn on an open road to promotion.

Two rooks for a queen is considered a fair deal, but only when the rooks are connected and coordinated. White has a two-pawn advantage on the kingside, but it is the passed pawn on e5 that is his ace. Black's knight on d1 can escape only through the b2 square as the c3, e3, and f2 squares are controlled by white while the white knight has already made a claim on the queening square e8.

Played continued 1. e6, Nb2 2. e7, Rd1+, 3. Kh2, Nd3 attacking the queen but also cutting off the rook's retreat to d8. Finally, I couldn't have missed 4. e8 (Q) checkmate.

There's no brilliant play involved here, sports fans, just illustrating the sheer pleasure of unhindered pawn promotion that sometimes come our way.