Saturday, March 24, 2012

End Game Magic is Always Fun to See

2002 US Championship

White (FM Donny Ariel) has four pawns versus a Black (FM Levon Altounian) knight. Advantage White.

But how does that advantage get cashed in for a victory? That is the question.

White sees a plan of action.

47. Rxf4! Kxf4
48. f6 Rh8

Or 48....Be8, 49. f7 Bxf7, 50. exf7 Rh8, 51. Bf3!!

49. f7 Rf8
50. Bf3!!

White gets the killer move in even faster. A double deflection sacrifice. If 50. ...Bxf3, then 51. e7 wins right away, while 50. ...Kxf3, 51. g5 and the pawns steamroll.

50. .....Be8
51. fxe8=Q Rxe8
52. Bxb7 Rxe6
53. c6 Re7
54. Bxa6 Ke5
55. Bb7 Resigns

Very clever solution found by FM Ariel.


  1. The solution isn't hard to find if you remember that (generally) two connected passed pawns at the 6th rank are stronger than a single rook. Why? Because a rook can't stop them by itself.

  2. Now that you TOLD me that, NOW it is EASIER to see. Thanks JC