Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wonderful fortress study by Troitsky

I really like beautiful endgame studies. For me studying endgame studies can be beneficial. Studies often demonstrate the power and limitations of pieces in very pure form and also it can't be bad for the imagination to go through many of these.

Troitsky is one of the best known study composers of all time. In this study white seems to be in deep trouble since his knight is attacked and there doesn't seem to be a good way to stop the pawn...

Don't  worry though, we'll just let the d-pawn do it's best!

1.Nc6! d3
Otherwise the knight should get to the pawn, it only needs to sacrifice itself since we have the wrong rook's pawn and black can't win that
2.Nxa7 d2
3.Nb5 d1=Q
What the hell? We just allowed black to make a new queen and now we attack it with a wimpy little knight and black can even move the queen and give us a check? Is there a solution or is this an early April Fool's joke??

What do you think??


  1. I think that if you allow the knight to get to e4 as black, then white has drawn (or won, if you were stupid). Hence, I think black should get onto the second rank and stay there to prevent the pawn from moving to g3 - specifically on c2 so that the knight can't move and attack the queen again. Hm. This one is tough. Every line I find that looks "good" for black ends up looking like a draw, because the white king can waffle between h1 and h2, and if there is ever a check on the h2-b8 diagonal, it is blocked with check that requires black to throw away his queen, and ends up with the knight taking on h5 and white promoting the f-pawn.

  2. Strike that - it's a draw with the f-pawn of course. Sorry.

  3. It's indeed a draw. White wants to put the knight on e4 and from there black cannot make any progress because the king is stuck on h4. If black tries 4..Qd6+ simply 5.Kh1 and because 5...Kg5 loses to a fork, black cannot prevent white from setting up the fortress with Ne4 on the next move, DRAW!