Pastimes
This position comes from a new book, Endgame magic, a fine collection of studies by John Beasley and Timothy Whitworth, published by Batsfords at pounds 9.99.

This one is from the "Frolics and fantasies" section. Composed by J Rusinek (who was also responsible for the magnificent under-promotion study given here recently) it is White to play and draw.

The obvious start is 1.d7 Rd6, and then 2.Ke8 or Ke7, but after 2...Kg7, it soon becomes clear that the d-pawn cannot be forced home and Black will gradually win with his extra rook.

The solution begins by jettisoning the excess baggage: 1.e5! (you must wait for the very end to see the reason for this) 1...Bxe5 (otherwise 2.g7 will follow) 2.d7 Rd6 3.g7! (to stop the black king from occupying the square) 3...Bxg7+ 4.Ke8 Kxh7 (if the bishop is allowed to live, White will draw easily thanks to his powerful d-pawn) 5.Be7 Nc7+ (the only way to stop the d-pawn) 6.Kf7 Rxd7 and the game is drawn by stalemate, one of the most spectacularly linear examples you are likely ever to see. Endgame Magic is full of such startling finishes, and with more than 150 studies in its 192 pages, provides excellent value. Its many diagrams mean you can even follow the answers without a board. Highly recommended.

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