Saturday, November 07, 2009


I hate throwing away "won games." It's worse than getting completely slaughtered -- and is much more psychologically devastating.

Here's a good example.

I am playing black and the winning move (against a much higher ranked opponent) is right in front of me.

See it?

1. . . Re2+ is decisive. Black's key worry (indeed, only worry) in the f6 pawn.

1. . . Re2+ nips it in the butt. The white king cannot retreat to the d-file (shaded area).

2. Kd7 (for example) is met with 2 . . . Rf2!. And white's last pawn is gone. (White cannot play 3. Rxf2 because of 3 . . . h1 = Q.)

But Black can't retreat to the f-file either.

If so, white's king is trapped there and black has free reign to advance his queen-side pawns to promotion. (ex. 2. Kf7 is met with 2. . . c4).

How is the white king "stuck" on the f-file?

If White moves to the g-file (ex. 3. Kg6 it is met with 3 . . . Kg2+!).

No matter where White moves (ex. 4. Kf7) Black's next move is 4 . . . Rg8!.
And either way the h-pawn queens (5. Rxg1 hxg1=Q).