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Test your chess: daily chess puzzle # 177 part 2

March 9, 2015

White to play and win

(Actually, more of a discussion)

 

A moment ago, I posted the solution to what happens if Black plays Qd5: white exchanges on g5 and sacs on f7, and the troops storm in.

Reitstein says that since it is just heavy pieces, it is hard to see how White can press home his positional superiority, and indeed it is. Black might for instance play 1…a5 and then shuffle his rooks around.

Breaking down Black's defences is a task for an engine, not a human, and I would recommend playing this position first as white, then as black, against one. I have, and (I) failed to hold as black (2) failed to win as white (3) failed to understand the subtleties, of which there are plenty.

The engine (Stockfish) gives the initial position as a winning +1.5. I don't understand how it wins, but it exploits its space advantage superbly. First, it improves the king, putting it into safety on the first rank, by Re2 and Ke1, then it fiddles around with its Q and Re2, with often there being little tictacs depending on black's precise piece placement.

The position reminds me somewhat of Carlsen's win against Anand earlier this year, in a similar rook and queen ending, in which Magnus did a Ra1-a3 lift over the king side, then also hit Vishy's weak c pawn. Similar precise magic appears here: well worth personal study: I intend to look at it again, to try to understand what is going on,

 

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