Chess Puzzle of the Week (30)

puzzle29

Last week I left you with this endgame study composed by the great Leonid Kubbel. White to play and draw.

We start by playing:

1. g4

Black has only two choices. 1… a2 loses to 2. Kg2 a1Q 3. Bg3#, so there’s no choice:

1… Kxh3

Now what? We have to play for stalemate:

2. Kh1 a2
3. Bg1

Black must promote, but what to choose? Promotion to a queen or rook is immediate stalemate. After 3… a1N 4. Bb6 leads to a draw, while after 3… a1B, White has 4. Bd4 Bxd4 with another stalemate.

puzzle30

This week, for a change, some strategy rather than tactics. Black to move.

A two part question:

a) which move did Black play here?

b) can you guess the identity of the conductor of the black pieces?

(No, it wasn’t me, nor was it anyone with any connection at all with either RTCC or RJCC.)