Chess Puzzle of the Week (29)

puzzle28

Last weekend I left you with this position. English GM Nigel Short had White here in the first round of the Bangkok Open against Ramesh Avinash (1834).

Nigel played 29. Rxe6, and Black, rather unsportingly, played Nb8 instead of either resigning or capturing the rook. White won a few moves later.

29… Kxe6 would have been met by 30. Qxd5+ Kxd5 31. Bc4#, a spectacular magnet combination.

The latest issue of The Problemist includes a fascinating article by RTCC London League star (and former RJCC member) Caspar Bates. The article, based on a lecture given to the British Chess Problem Society last November, looks at the idea of ‘the story’ in endgame studies.

puzzle29

Here’s one of the studies Caspar quotes in his article. As always there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that you have an extra bishop: the bad news if that the black a-pawn is about to promote, and there’s nothing you can to do stop it.

It’s White to play and draw in this endgame study composed by the great Leonid Kubbel (Smena 1916). Caspar drops a few hints. It’s short and sweet, and especially witty. Everyone thinks they’ve solved it after White’s third move, but you’ll need the fourth move to score full marks.