Less Is More

 

In the following endgames, these players make full use of all their options to obtain the best possible result. Can you spot these surprising moves?

IMAGE( http://i.imgur.com/0LaKeBi.jpg )

Li, W. (2411) – Kveinys, A. (2533), Reykjavik Open 2013

White to move.

In this simple position, it looks like White should draw easily with his advanced pawn, but Black sets a trap. Can you calculate this variation to a draw?

Click below to see the solution:

Spoiler: Highlight to view

1. c6 Rh6+ 2. Kd7 Kd5 3. c7 Rh7+ 4. Kd8! Kd6

Now Black threatens checkmate if 5. c8Q??. The only way to draw is 5. c8N+!, promoting with check. The resulting endgame is a draw since the knight and king are not separated.

IMAGE( http://i.imgur.com/Q6tlloi.jpg )

Zhou, Q. (2130) – Pacey, K. (2208), Gatineau Open 2013

Black to move.

White’s king is stuck in the corner, allowing her certain stalemate possibilities, but Black finds an elegant way to realize his pawn advantage.

Click below for the solution:

Spoiler: Highlight to view

1. … Re3 Kh2! If now 2. Re1 Rxe1 3. fxe1Q stalemate. How does Black make further progress?

2. Re1! Rxe1 3. fxe1N and the ending is easily winning.

 

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