Chess Puzzle of the Week (191): Solution

Last week I asked you how Black could win this position.

The answer is that Black has a miraculous win starting with the far from obvious 1… Kh6!

On the other hand, the very similar 1… Kf6?! allows White a similarly miraculous draw.

Consider Kf6 first.

1… Kf6?! 2. Nb4! g5 3. Nxa6 Bd6 (An idea which should be very familiar to you: the bishop dominates the knight.) 4. Kd4! (Precisely this square to gain a tempo by preventing Bc5+ while staying within reach of the black pawn.) g4 5. Nb4! Bxb4 6. a6 Ba5 7. a7 Bb6+ 8. Ke4 Bxa7 9. Kf4 and White will capture the black pawn.

If White tries the same sequence against Kh6, see what happens. 1… Kh6! 2. Nb4 g5 (2… Bd6 transposes) 3. Nxa6 Bd6! 4. Kd4 g4! 5. Nb4 Bxb4 6. a6 Ba5! 7. a7 Bb6+ 8. Ke4 Bxa7 9. Kf4 (Now you see the difference
between Kf6 and Kh6.) Black can now play Kh5 with an elementary win.

You can play the variations through yourself here.

In the game (Dominic Gibbs – Simon Lazarus Chessable English 50+ Championship 2022) Black actually played Bd6 and the game was drawn a few moves later.