# Stalemate Tuesday (3)

Stalemate – your faithful friend in lost positions
GM Robert Hovhannisyan

One of the most obvious and difficult things to do as part of your chess preparation is to practice daily. You may mention that you play online daily, and you might add the number of games played to make a convincing argument. That could work under on condition: you play those games with a clear purpose. This week I have 2 puzzles that challenge you to think outside of the box. It is what achieving stalemate requires. On we go!

Puzzle #1 – White to move and win

Puzzle #2 – White to move and win

Once you are here, scroll down to see the solutions.

Puzzle #1 – White to move and win
The idea to save a draw is very simple: the bishop must reach the h1-a8 diagonal. Once you begin looking for a way to do it, things become a bit more complicated. The h-pawn is very close to promotion, and the Black king can cover easily the b7- and e4- squares. Also, Kb4 can capture the b5-pawn; after that happens, it is rather impossible to force a stalemate.
The above should give you the idea to force the move Kd5-c6. That creates the opportunity for an unusual stalemate. Have you found it?

Puzzle #2 – White to move and win
The first thing you might want to do is understand the position before making any moves. Are all those pawns needed? Verify and confirm. Can White stop the a4-passer? No, it can’t. Then look at the position of both kings. The Black king is trapped. Use that to your advantage. Last but not the least, White must trap its own bishop in purpose. Was it hard to put it all together? I hope not.

Eugen Demian