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thats what I saw
I assumed that @zrylam was going to push a pawn, but I thought that it would have been the g-pawn . . . . that way my Rook would be cut off from charging down that file.
While his e-pawn does threaten my f-pawn (and also the possibility of promotion to a Queen) , it is of no concern to me at this time, because the next few moves by White are going to put Black in a continously forced situation, where Black will not have the time to advance his e-pawn.
Starting with the move suggested by @mattattack99 in Post #261 and confirmed by @jetfighter13 in Post #262, which is to put the Black King in check and skewer his Queen.
After the Queen exchange and subsequent recapture by the Black King, another check of the Black King by my Rook and the skewer of his Rook, as predicted by IM pfren in Post #260. At this point Black will not be able to avenge his Rook because he will be forced to capture the b-pawn that is about to Queen.
Therefore, my official move is . . . . . . 41.Qh6+
NOTE: I am aware that the moves I described above are not "true" skewers because the pieces being captured are of equal value, as opposed to a lesser ranked piece creating a situation where it can capture a higher ranked piece. But because White was being put in the situation where he is forced to leave his pieces open to an exchange, I figured that I would use a bit of poetic licence and refer to the moves as a 'skewer'.
Also, Black does not necessarily have to follow the moves I outlined above, but because they are the 'lesser-of-two-evils', I am pretty sure that he will have to go that route. Of course, @zrylam is an excellent player, so he may have something up his sleeve that I did not anticipate.
I'm concerned that an IM has pointed out an error - not because he's kibitzing but because I still can't quite see the tactic that wins the Rook...
He wins the rook, because after Q x d6, K x d6, R d1, the kind will grab the pawn, then R x d8 and the rook is won. When k x d8 then Pawn b8 til queen.
As anticipated in Post #263, and outlined by @John_D in Post #265, the next best logical move for White would be to exchange the Queens.
Not only does this move solidify the fact that the game is truly coming to an end by reducing the pieces on the board to their lowest common denominator. It will leave White ahead with a Rook, and Black with nothing but pawns.
So instead of waiting 24 hours to make my move, I will make it now . . . 42.Qxd6+
In the above diagram, Black can recapture the Queen with his Rook, but then the b-pawn walks in for another Queen. Black really has no choice but to take White's Queen with his King. Unfortunately, this puts the Black King and his Rook on the same file, and the we all know what the White Rook thinks about that.
Hmm, I see now, I had a plan but there seems to be a problem with it...
The game is pretty much just playing itself out now. White has a couple of obvious deadly moves to make, and while Black is not exactly 'forced' to respond in a particular way, Black really has no choice but to make predicatable moves to try and keep himself alive as long as possible.
So, as already predicted several moves ago, my official move is . . . . 43.Rd1+
White's next move will be to capture the d8-Rook. With a pawn about to promote itself into a Queen on the b8-square, the Black King will have little choice but to go after the b-pawn, leaving White's Rook free to escape with it's prize.
Everything is playing out as I expected, but the problem will soon become apparent...
 Actually I'll delete this because I want to see how it works out :)
I can see where you go @Zylam. That is a good move. It will be interesting how it spins out.
There is nothing Black can do anymore.
Shhhh, they're not done playing. Earlier it was a draw
I have to confess that I had a wave of panic pass over me when I saw the Black King sitting on the e7-square instead of the c7-square. But it quickly passed when I realized that @zrylam is having the same problem that he has been having for the last couple of moves . . . . that being . . . . . his King is always ending up on the same rank/file as another one of his key pieces. The end result is that he is being set up for another ‘skewer’ and the subsequent loss in tempo for him to be able to initiate an attack of his own.
If his pawn had been one square closer to promotion than it is now, then I would have had to alter my plans, but since he is ripe for another ‘skewer’, then I can continue as previously outlined.
Therefore, my official move is . . . . . . . 44.Rxd8
P.S. Applause for @zrylam for coming up with an alternate line that is both feasible and realistic. The end result of the game will still be the same, except that I will finish with a Queen instead of a Rook, however, it is a good attempt at trying to squeeze out that last chance for a win or draw. His move is akin to a sports team making that last desperate play, at the end of a game, before the clock finally runs out.
No need to worry about making comments as to how you think the game will play out. If anything, it is welcomed, to create a discussion as to 'why' moves are being made, and the logic and thinking behind each move.
I know, and you all would have likely seen it anyway, but I wanted the end to be suspenseful just for myself I guess :p
So yeah, black's idea is e2 obviously, but white has Re8+ anyway because if Kx then white queens with check.
I know what you mean. I think we all know what the end result of the game is going to be, it is just a matter of how we are going to get there. Black is not necessarily forced to go any particular route, and his options are certainly limited, but he has shown how creative he can be with coming up wiith alternative options. It will be interesting to see if he can pull another rabbit out of his hat.
As for white coming out on top since move 35, when choosing a plan (may read, course of action) in chess, it's worth considering the idea of minimizing your opponent's play. Sure you evaluate material difference, and activity, and all that. But look at who is getting play of their own. Play can be any potentially winning idea, a passed pawn, an attack, an opponent's weakness etc.
Move 35 white offers the d pawn. Now materially this makes sense to capture it, you trade a passed pawn for the h pawn and get your rooks on an open file. But you have to calculate more than 1 move :) After the exchange, at a glance white looks better. He has the passed b pawn, and has infiltrated, two methods of "play." It's unfortunate that Kf6 gave up the pawn immediately, but lets say even after Ke8 or f8, this isn't a safe way to draw. (And with the passed pawns I assume black was hoping for a draw). Also black's queen was much better on f4 where it menaced a perpetual in many lines I believe. Again this is "play" for black. On d6 the black queen isn't doing anything in that sense.
So on the ledger under "play", white certainly got the better of that exchange (2 to 0), and there was no reason black couldn't simply move back to g8 on move 35.
Now would I have calculated this to "the end" if it were my game? No way. But again, in principal it's just not a safe course of action for black. So there's my contribution as a kibitzer :p
Just for completeness:
yeah play till mate.
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