The Tale of Five opinions

| 24 | Endgames

Here's an interesting read which isn't really actually my article. Reading it on, I was simply enthralled, and loved it. So, i'll just edit it a bit and let you all enjoy it too! All good things should be shared, shouldn't they? Here goes.


In a chess tournament, the following position was occurred.


(Before scrolling down, try and solve this yourself first! Who should win? Post your solution as a comment before you view the answer below which you have to highlight to see! This way, you can see how you fare against others!) 


An amateur, strolling around observing games, caught this interesting position from the corner of his eye. Glancing at it briefly, he gave a curt smile and turned around, whispering to his friend: "Why doesn't White just resign? The Black a2 pawn is going to promote, and there's just no way White can stop it!"


His friend, a stronger player, scrutinised the position, and disagreed: " Come on, wake up! White plays 1. Rh7! a1Q 2. Rxb7+ Ka3 3. Ra7+ Kb2 4. Rxa1 Kxa1. Its such an obvious win for White!"


Meanwhile, at the board, the White player, an expert player, was deep in thought. After a long think, he shook his head sadly, stopped the clocks, stretched out his hand to his opponent, and RESIGNED! He then went on to explain, "Its quite hopeless, really. After 1. Rh7! you play 1. ... Ka5 2. Rxb7 Ka6 3. Rb8 Ka7 and I cant stop you from getting the queen."


His opponent, an even stronger player, accepted his resignation here and then, and to the horror of the White player said "Actually I was about to resign myself. I saw that 1. Rh7! Ka5 you simply play 2. Rh8! The a-pawn is lost and the game is over! So actually you were winning."


The question is: what did Fritz say when someone showed him the above position? What was the fifth opinion? (Think again here before looking at the solution!)


Well, Fritz said: 1. Rh7! a1Q! 2. Rxb7+ Ka3 3. Ra7+ Kb4! 4. Rxa1 STALEMATE! DRAW! Amazing, isn't it?


Hope you had some fun reading this article! Maybe a lesson to learn is "not to come to conclusions too easily" and resign prematurely! (Its not rare even at top level chess! I mean, Topalov resigned against Carlsen when he could have won- recent example!) Another would probably be to try and find saving graces, especially when you think you're losing! Look for stalemates and try to keep them in mind whenever you're material down and you'll often find some truly amazing resources!



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