Moves we would all like to play (part 13)

Herman Mattison, Rigasche Rundschau 1914

White to play and win 

With the wrong RP, White’s hopes centre exclusively on promoting his e-pawn, whilst Black needs only to give up his rook for the e-pawn, in order to draw.

1. Be3+ Kb7 2. e7 Rxa3!

Now Black threatens both 3…Rxe3+ and 3…Ra8. There is only way way to prevent both moves.

3. Ba7!!

Now after 3…Kxa7, White wins by 4.Kf4 Ra4+ 5.Kf5 Ra5+ 6.Kf6 Ra6+ 7.Kf7. He can also win by 4.Kd4, with the analogous idea 4…Ra4+ 5.Kd5, etc, but not 4.Ke4? Ra1! when Black draws. Even after the text, however, Black has a few more shots in his locker.

3…Ra1! 4. Kf4! 

Once again, not 4.Ke4? Kxa7 drawing. The text prepares to meet 4…Re1 with 5.Be3 winning.


Once again, Black finds a way to pose problems. Now moving the king to the g-file allows 5…Re1, and moving it to the e-file allows 5…Kxa7. So…

5. Bf2!!

A beautiful echo of move three.

5…Rxf2+ 6. Ke3! Rf1 7.Ke2 and wins

A beautifully elegant miniature by the strong Latvian OTB master and study composer, who extracts a great deal of content from just six pieces.

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