Daily Rome Shot 676

From a friend in Rome.

Open in new tab for larger.  It’s nice.  Right click…

Please use my links when using Amazon?  The income is important, especially as we get to the end of a month.  Thanks in advance.  US HERE – UK HERE

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White to move and win… in a while.  This is a great puzzle.  A little hard.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

I’ve been switching out colors for variety.  Does it make a difference?

Think about that over a wonderful beer by the traditional Benedictine monks of Norcia.

The Catholic Thing is sponsoring a new online course that begins on 1 March, just a couple days away.   They have in the past tackled the Dante’s Divine Comedy and The Confessions and City of God by St. Augustine.  This new course is on St. Thomas More’s Utopia.   It will be a four-week course. Utopia shows an additional side of More: his Christian humanism in a very rich work that contains elements of both idealism and satire over human follies. The very title of his book captures that ambiguity. It describes what many would like to think would be perfection — a “utopia” here on earth. But in Greek, as the learned More well knew, “utopia” means literally “no place.” As any real Christian knows, there’s no heaven on this earth, and attempts to create one often lead to hells.  Click HERE and follow the simple instructions to register.


The Pro Chess League returns to action tomorrow from both the Capybaras and Maniac Shrimps.


Inspired by the photo yesterday of flowers at my usual vendor on the Campo de’ Fiori, one of you kind readers sent a donation specifically for flowers for the apartment during my upcoming April/May ’23 Roman Sojourn.  Thanks, WH!   I’ll have to start a separate Remembrance Memo for Flower Donors.

Meanwhile, here’s a shot of flowers from my October Sojourn.  Long-lasting alstroemeria.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    That photo! Wow!!

  2. WVC says:

    Is it Pa5?

    [a5 … and … then what?…]

  3. Dustin F, OCDS says:

    Since it’s white’s move, white is ahead of the king in the race for the last rank. Sample line as follows:

    1. a5 Ke7
    2. a6 Kd8
    3. a7 Kc8
    4. a8 -> queen (with check).

    This results in a queen and bishop endgame, which is a win for white barring any blunders.

    If white were back on the a3 square, this would still be playable with white, but I think the right move would be Kd5. Have to go for opposition on the king to keep him away from the a file pawn.

    [On the other hand, consider that black has a bishop which, if it finds the right diagonal, can cut off the pawn’s advance. That losing race by the black King isn’t black’s only option.]

  4. DvdH says:

    The view from Villa Borghese!
    Saw it for the first time last year. Beautiful!

    [Terrazza del Pincio – not too far from Villa Borghese, however.]

  5. WVC says:

    If black moves his king to clear the bishop, then a6, but if he moves his bishop to f8, then Kd5?

  6. Dustin F, OCDS says:

    I see it now – black bishop can camp on that diagonal, and black king can keep track of the other pawn. Hmm – need to think about this more.

  7. Dustin F, OCDS says:

    Here’s another line:

    1. a5 Bf8
    2. Kd5 Bh6
    3. a6 . . .

    From there, if Bh6, then

    4. a7 Be3
    5. a8-> queen

    On the other hand, if 1. a6 Be3, leave the king there to guard e3, and continue to push the pawn.

  8. Neal says:

    1. Kd5 defends d4 and c5 against the bishop attacking the pawn run.

  9. My take.

    Great puzzle.

    Promote that a pawn!

    Try visualizing whether the pawn can outrace the enemy black King. The “square of the pawn” is useful. However, black has that bishop sniper for the dark squares. White has a resource in its King which can defend squares that would allow black’s bishop to attack a7.

    Something like this might happen.

    White to move and promote.

    1. a5 (the “square” is now smaller) Bf8 (in order to go to the g1-a7 diagonal on c5)
    2. Kd5 (defends c5 from the bishop) Bh6 (because white’s king no longer defends e3 on that g1-a7 diagonal)
    3. g5+! (if Kxg5 it blocks the bishop from going to e3) Bxg5 (now it has only one way to get to a7: e3)
    4. Ke4 (prevents Be3) Bh2 (because it now has to get to that diagonal on f2)
    5. Kf3 Be1 (to attack the patient pawn)
    6. a6 … and black should resign

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