I love this puzzle!

May 23, 2014, 9:26 AM |






More travails of a (wanna-be) improving chess player...


Love might be a bit strong ....
I recently saw the following puzzle and for some reason I find it very charming.  It isn't particularly difficult, but I find it to be rather instructive.
This is just an excellent reminder for me that oftentimes you don't have to force the issue.  In this case, White can completely deprive Black of any meaningful moves.  Having done that, White doens't have to go to great pains to finish the job off --- the opponent is completely tied up!
This idea of doing much by not working hard goes for other things in chess. For example, if you have pinned a piece and your opponent doesn't break the pin it is often advantageous to leave the pin in place.  It's doing work without you having to resolve the issue. Capturing the pinned piece, even to win material, might be best delayed.
In the above puzzle, why work hard to get a passed pawn?  It isn't necessary to worry about how to win a pawn or anything.  White just leaves his rook in place and forces the issue with the move of the humble pawn.