Chess Puzzle of the Week (54)

puzzle53

Last week’s puzzle was taken from Winning Chess Puzzles for Kids Volume 2 by Jeff Coakley, one of my regular sources of chess entertainment.

If you place the black king on c2 it’s checkmate. If you place the black king on a2 it’s stalemate. If you place the black king on e2 White can mate by playing Qf1.

My pupils know that my three favourite things are chocolate, ice cream and pawn endings. Online chocolate and ice cream present a problem, so here’s a pawn ending.

puzzle54

Your first question: what were the first four moves (for both players) of this game?

Your second question: the game continued 39. a5 Kf6 40. Kh4 and White soon won. What are your thoughts on these moves?