Moves we would all like to play (part 9)

A Herbstmann & L Kubbel, Troitzky Tourney 1937

White to play and draw

Enough of the vile and tasteless subject of ECF politics, it is time for some more chess on the blog. And what a piece of chess it is!

To understand this study, you have to know a little endgame theory. Of course, I am sure you know that K+2Ns v K is a draw. However, what you may not know is that, ceteris paribus, K+3Ns v K+N is a win for the stronger side. So Black can win this position, even if he has to under-promote his pawn to a knight, providing he keeps all the knights on the board and does not stalemate White.

1. Ng1 Ne3+ 2. Kh3 Nf4+

Here is problem no. 1 – if 2… e1=N 3. Nf3+! Nxf3 is stalemate.

3. Kh2 Ng4+

Problem no. 2 is that after 3… e1=N 4. Nf3+! Nxf3+ 5. Kg3, Black cannot defend both of his attacked knights.

4. Kh1

4…Nf2+

4… e1=N 5. Nf3+ Nxf3 stalemate is problem no.3

5. Kh2 e1=N

Now, however, it looks as though Black has squared the circle and has a theoretically winning material advantage. However…

6. Nf3+! Nxf3+ 7. Kg3

I am sure you have seen knight forks before, but have you ever seen three knights forked by a king? Black has to keep all three, if he is to win, and there is only one way to do so. Unfortunately,

7…Ke3

produces as delightful a stalemate picture as you will ever see!

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