Chess Puzzle of the Week (172): Solution

Vasily V Smyslov 64 #39 1936
White to play and win

Last week’s endgame study was taken from The Life and Games of Vasily Smyslov Volume 1 by Andrey Terekhov (Russell Enterprises Inc). You can now read my review here. It’s very highly recommended for anyone with an interest in chess history.

The main line of the solution runs like this: 1. Bb1! a1Q+ 2. Kb5 Bg3 (2… Bxh4 3. g7 Bd8 4. Nc4 wins) 3. g7 Bb8 4. g8B! (4. g8Q? Qa4+! 5. Kc5 Qb4+ with either stalemate or a perpetual check) 4… Bf4 5. Bga2 imprisoning the black queen.

Congratulations to everyone who managed to solve this!