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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chess Puzzle: Would you resign as White?

Can White draw this game?

Hello Everyone,

Here is a nice position from a simultaneous game. Henri Grob played many chess games for several years against the readers of Swiss newspaper Neue Züricher Zeitung. He started playing against the readers in 1941.

In 1956, one of the readers, as White, trusted the Master and resigned Game Number 1889 game against Grob.

You can see in the position above that:
  • It seems White cannot stop at least one pawn from Queening
  • The White King just does not have the time to walk over to the Black pawn on g file and try to queen his own pawn
Could the reader have drawn as White against Grob?

---- Don't scroll down for the answer before thinking a bit -----

Meanwhile, you can also check out the Grob attack which is a fancy opening as 1. g4! Also, here's a little more about the newspaper. Zürcher Zeitung, edited by Salomon Gessner, from January 12, 1780, was renamed to Neue Zürcher Zeitung in 1821. It was known for its intellectual emphasis in content.

And, back to the puzzle. Yes, White can draw this game. Here are the answers:

  • 1. Nc3+ Kb3 2. Kd3 a4. 3. Nb1 a3 4. Nd2+ Ka2 5. Kc2 Ka1 6. Nb3+ =
  • 1. Nc3+ Kb3 2. Kd3 a4. 3. Nb1 a3 4. Nd2+ Kb4 5. Kc2 =
  • 1. Nc3+ Kb3 2. Kd3 a4. 3. Nb1 Ka2 4. Kc2 a3 5. Nd2 =
The White King and Knight can work together to prevent the Black pawns from Queening on the Queen side. And, if the Black King decides to march off to the g-file then it doesn't work either.

Hope you enjoyed this puzzle.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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