Daily Rome Shot 502, et al.

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Health report: As you may recall, I suspect that I had “Omicron”.  I didn’t get tested, but the symptoms were consistent.   I didn’t lose taste.  I’ve been holding myself out of circulation for some days now.  I figure I can get around a bit.  Today is a regular chess club day.  I will have to make a determination whether or not to go.  Prudence suggests just a little longer.

However, on this sunny day, with cardinals and others singing all around the place, and after my repast of English breakfast tea and buttered toast with Patum Piperium (thank you sender!) I’m feeling rather shack-wacky and ready to get out.

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the first match between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fisher in Iceland.  Fischer lost on a blunder.

Today, 12 July was a rest day.

Speaking of 1972, and speaking of 1962, a date we venerate around here, I am presently reading the account of the Candidates tournament…

Curacao 1962: The Battle of Minds that Shook the Chess World

This is a fascinating account of the tournament with lots of personal anecdotes about the players, what sort of people they were, their interrelationships.   Represented were Benko, young Fischer, Keres, Filip, Korchnoi, Geller, Petrosian, and Tal.  It was here that Fischer told Sports Illustrated that the Soviets were conspiring to draw to make it hard for him, mathematically, to emerge victorious.  Involved with this mess are the wives of Victor Korchnoi and Tigran Petrosian who were very thick with the Soviet handlers and were pressuring the rapid and easy draws.

So, here’s an easy endgame puzzle.  Black to move and win.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Fiachrius says:

    With some help from the king, the A pawn makes it down the file to promote just in time to capture white’s promoted pawn. This was today’s puzzle on the uschess app too.

  2. _Dan_ says:

    A classic case of counting tempi! Black needs 7 tempi to queen (Kxc5, Kb4, Kxb3, a4, a3, a2, a1=Q) and white needs the same 7 tempi (Kxh4, Kg4, h4, h5, h6, h7, h8=Q). Since it is black to play, black queens first and covers white’s h8 queening square with his new queen thus securing victory.

  3. JonPatrick says:

    A rare puzzle that I actually got without needing hints. I like endgame puzzles as it is part of my game I need to work on, besides the opening and middle game.

  4. Imrahil says:


    x. … Kxc5. White has three options:

    1. x+1. b4 is an obvious win for black because of … axb4 and queening in three further moves (white needs four moves for the king to prevent that and even seven to get its own queen on the h file). So,

    2. x+1 Kxh4 Kb4, x+2 Kg3 Kxb3 and run! x+3 h4 a4, x+4 h5 a3, x+5 h6 a2, x+5 h7 a1Q. x+6 (e.g.) h8Q QxQ followed by the king+queen against king endgame, or x+6 Kg4. (I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work either when the h pawn just stays in place with the king protecting it, jumping in its place by moving to an adjacent field and back. The white king easily strolls towards h to capture, and any danger or white king blocking is prevented by the black queen.)

    3. x+1 Kf3 Kb4, x+2 Ke3 Kxb3, x+3 Kd2 Kb2. The white king cannot now come nearer, so nead to run back to capture the remaining black pawn that stands in the way, while black easily queens on a1.

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