chess

Share
Last week in this space, I gave a couple of badly played rook and pawn endgames from the British Championship. Today's position completes the trilogy. It occurred after Black's 65th move in the eighth round game between Brian Kelly (playing White) and Nicholas Pert.

Without Black's h-pawn, the position would be an easy win for White. The simplest way would be to play Ra8, a6, a7 then push the f-pawn to f7. After Black's Kxf7, White plays Rh8, queening his a-pawn or winning the black rook after Rxa7 by a check on h7.

The question is whether Black's h-pawn can run fast enough to distract White from that plan. Here's how the game went: 1.f6 h4 2.Ke6 Re4+ (otherwise 3.Ra8+ and 4.f7 wins) 3.Kf5 Ra4 4.Rg7+ Kf8 5.Rb7 h3! (5...Rxa5? loses to 6.Kg6 Ra8 7.Rh7) 6.Rh7 Ra3 7.a6 Kg8! 8.Rg7+ (Not 8.f7+? Kxh7 9.f8=Q Rf3+) 8...Kf8 9.a7 h2 10.Rh7 Rxa7 and a draw was agreed. After 11.Rxh2 Ra1, White can make no progress.

How much of this did White see when considering his move in the diagram position? He must have got as far as 5.Rb7, but may have been seduced by the pretty winning position after 5...Rxa5 6.Kg6.

Had he thought about 5...h3, he would probably have gone back to the start and looked at the other pawn push, which wins quite easily.

After 1.a6! h4 2.Ra8+ the h-pawn is too slow to create problems. 2...Kf7 loses to 3.a7 h3 (3...Ra5+ 4.Kf4 Ra4+ 5.Kg5 changes nothing) 4.Rh8 h2 (what else?) 5.Rxh2 and now 5...Kg7 6.f6+ or 5...Ra5+ 6.Kd6 Kg7 7.f6+ Kxf6 8.Rh7 with an easy win for White.

Finally 2...Kh7 (2...Kg7 3.f6+ is even worse) 3.f6 also lea- ves the white pawns romping home too fast. In such endings, everything must be worked out at the start. There is no room for guesswork.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Nursery Manager

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Nursery Manager Long term Ran...

Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Nick Clegg: We should to go to war on drugs, not on addicts

Nick Clegg
East German border guards stand on a section of the Berlin wall in front of the Brandenburg gate on November 11, 1989  

Twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall fell, Hungary’s PM thinks it is Western capitalism that is in its death throes

Peter Popham
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain