This is one of the most remarkable endgame studies in the literature. Composed by Anatoly Kuznetsov in 1964, it is White to play and win. It is extraordinary enough that a bishop and knight can win against bishop and two pawns, but to achieve it from such a natural looking position is a major achievement.

It is, of course, a great help to the solver to know that White can win the position. The only hope must be to trap the black bishop somehow, so the first move has to be 1.Bd3 - otherwise Black will just set his man free by playing g5. But that seems to leave Black with two good moves: 1...Bg8 and 1...Kb7. It turns out that they come to much the same thing.

After 1...Bg8, apparently setting free the bishop, White plays 2.Be4! with the threat of Ne7+. The black bishop has a seven-square diagonal available to it, but any move between g8 and a2 loses the bishop to a discovered check from the knight. Indeed, after 2.Be4, Black has no alternative but to scurry back and hide with 2...Bh7. Now comes 3.Ne7+ and we should begin to see the idea. If Black's king ever goes to c7 or b6, White plays Nd5+ followed by Nf6 winning the bishop. After 1.Bd3 Kb7 2.Ne7, we would have reached an exactly similar situation.

So back on the main line after 3.Ne7+, we continue 3...Ka7 and now White has to be careful. 4.Kf2 Ka6! 5.Ke3 Kb5 6.Kd4 h4 7.Ke5 Kc5 8.Kf6 Kd4 leads only to a draw. Instead, White plays 4.Bd3! keeping the king locked in an extraordinary force-field. There follows 4...Kb7 5.Kf2 Kb8 6.Ke3 Kb7 7.Kd4 h4 (the best moment to try this advance) 8.Ke3! Kb8 9.Kf3 Kb7 10.Kg4 Kb8 11.Kg5! (Kxh4 would be a blunder because of g5+) 11...h3 12.Kh6 h2 13.Be4 and White wins. Black loses all his men and White mates with bishop and knight.

Most extraordinary of all, this concoction only won third prize in

a composing tournament in 1964. The top two prize-winners must have been very unusual indeed.

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