By Donny Gray
Last time we discussed how even if a bizarre position never makes it to your game exactly, just knowing the concept of the problem goes a long way in your quest for chess knowledge. One of the examples we looked at is shown below.
Of course, no matter which pawn black decides to capture, white queens!! This concept of sacrificing pawns to queen one is good to know even if the exact position does not occur on your board.
Now let’s look at a real game where something similar happened. This position came about in a radio consultation game in Russia 1964. Warning: if you look at this position, you may never look at an endgame the same again. You will be looking for ways to sac pawns! But this is a good thing, so carry on.
First, let us take a look at what not to do.
Yikes. White is losing. Not good.
Again not good. This is getting out of hand quickly.
How about we try the ole pawn sac idea we have been talking about?
1.b6!! Wow! Not only are we sacrificing a pawn, but our rook as well.
On to the variations.
And white wins easy!
And black is in the middle of a nightmare that he won’t wake from.
This is what was tried in the game.
If black wanted to continue the game, it would have gone something like this:
8.Qg7 with a fairly easy win. Black wanted no part of this so he resigned.
Also, in my last column I said I would show anyone’s “mate-in-one” composition. No one had anything to report past 30, so as promised here is my “mate-in-one” that has 38 solutions.
Break down of the mates are as follows:
The queen has 7 mates
The rook on b5 has 9 mates
The bishop on e3 has 10 mates
The 2 knights have one each for 2 mates
The pawns have 10 mates
All for a total of 38 distinct mates!!
One interesting thing about this position is when I put it on Rybka to solve. Now Rybka on my super 6 core is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of the astronomical rating of 3200. Rybka thinks for about 5 seconds as trying to decide which mate to choose and then selects h8-Q mate. One wonders why, when presented with a position that has 38 solutions, he chooses h8-Q mate, and why it takes 5 seconds to do so!
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