Sunday, June 26, 2005

Pins & Needles

(EyesOfBlue vs. NN)
FICS Online Game
White to move and win.

Back ranks are dangersous -- often very! Here is no exception. The white queen and rook are beaming down the e-file. If the black e4 pawn was not there, white would mate on the next move (1. Rxe8+ Rxe8. 2. Qxe8#). But we don't always get everything we want... and there is indeed the black pawn on e4. But can white still exploit this position?

You bet! Keeping in mind that the pawn on e4 is virtually locked there (it can't capture to the d-file or the f-file without costing black the game), white's winning move is easy. 1. Rxd3!. As we mentioned above, black doesn't dare retake the rook with his pawn or checkmate will ensue.