“What Say You?” The 1 Minute Challenge (69)

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer
Bruce Lee

A quick reminder how it works:

  • Have a look at the position for 1 minute (watch the clock)
  • Think about the choices in front of you and pick the one you feel it is right
  • Verify it in your mind the best you can
  • Compare it with the solution

An internet posting showing below position and with the following caption captures your attention immediately:
Carlsen didn’t find victory for the blacks! Find it for yourselves
GM Rashit Ziatdinov

The first detail you should notice is the type of passed pawns each side has. This determines what plans should be used:
A) White:
– The two isolated pawns become immune from being captured if they managed to reach the L-shaped pawn formation. If White moves first in the above position, the move “g4-g5” keeps both passed pawns alive
– The king must stop Black’s passers
– It has an extra tempo if needed with “b3-b4”

B) Black:
– If it could connect the pawns with “h4-h3”, things would look really good
– Exchanging all passers and reaching first the queen side, would bring Black a simply won endgame
– It should stop White from reaching the L-shaped pawn formation
– Keep in mind White’s extra tempo

With the above out of the way, the remaining challenge is to come up with the proper variation in the available time. I believe in the classic time control situation, it is not that hard to find the winning one for Black. However, it should become increasingly difficult to do it with limited time on the clock. How little time is still enough to find the winning variation is debatable. Was one minute enough for you? It should be more than enough for both players featured in this puzzle. This leads me to believe they did not have more than seconds on the clock, maybe somewhere around less than 20. Enjoy the solution.

Eugen Demian

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Valer Eugen Demian

Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player – my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today’s standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor – my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app:
I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek! View all posts by Valer Eugen Demian

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