Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Peter Pelts pushed a pretty pawn to promotion


  A. Karklins - Pelts, Oak Brook, 1990

Black to play and win

FIDE Master Peter Pelts hasn't played much since the mid-1990's.  He was in good form at the 1990 Illinois Open, when he beat the formidable Andrew Karklins in a nifty pawn ending.

Can you find Black's only winning move?

And is it better to have an outside passed pawn or protected passed pawn?  (The correct answer, as always, is "Depends on the position.")

1 comment:

Frederick said...

Black cannot allow 1.b4! shutting down the queenside and stopping Black from penetrating there with his king. So the solution must be 1...b5! and if 2.a5 (2.axb5 Kc7 followed by Kb6, Kxb5, etc.), b4! 3.Kc2 Kc6 4.Kb3 Kb5. I haven't worked it out until the end, but I assume that Black eventually wins through zugzwang since White must worry about Black's protected passed e-pawn forever. But even if White turned out to have some weird draw, Black MUST play this way, since otherwise White sets up a blockade and draws.