Thursday, August 23, 2007


It looks simple, but some care is needed to avoid a draw. Remember that a King and Knight cannot mate, and so how the pawns are managed plays a crucial part in the outcome. Looking ahead, there is also a possibility of stalemate on a8. Black played 46...f4, seeking simplification in hope that his lone pawn on the kingside will detain the knight in that area. Black's best chances also lie in getting his pawn as close as possible to a queening square. Both 47.g4 and 47.gf4 are playable here. In post-game analysis, I concluded that 47.g4 would be the simpler way to win, leaving my A pawn to the mercy of the Black King while I move my King over to the kingside and mop up both pawns, leaving me with a passed G pawn rather than a rook pawn and a better King position. Anyway, the game went 47.gf4 gf4 48.Nf3 Ka8 49. Kb6 Kb8 50. a5 Ka8 51. a6 Kb8 52. a7+ Ka8( Diagram 2).

It would have been a draw if the Knight and pawn were not in the picture. Now, a bit more imagination is required to win this game. Taking the F pawn with either the King or Knight will result in a draw. However, a Knight on c7 equals a mate. What to do? Simple math, my boy. It will take three moves for the Knight to get to c7 while it will take the F pawn as many moves to promote on f1. However, it is White's move, and he gets there first. So, 53.Ng5 f3 54.Ne6 f2 55. Nc7#.


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