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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:20 pm
Posts: 155
Location: Eckental / Germany
 Post subject: Learn about distant opposition
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:40 pm 
The following position will teach you a lot about distant opposition. It seems to be simple, but in fact it is very tricky.

The idea is from Silman's great book "How to Reassess your Chess", position and analysis are mine.

White: King a1, Pawn a2
Black: King a8, Pawn a7

White to move.

Of course the position is a dead draw, so in order to have fun we must change the rules a little. White wins when he can get his king to f8 or h8, Black wins when he can prevent this.

This position is also great for blindfold analysis when you are a beginner of blindfold chess.

Here are some rules that may help your analysis:

1. White always wins when he has the opposition (distant opposition) and both pawns are on their original squares, e. g.

1. Kb2 Kb7? (Kb8!) 2. Kb3 Kb6 3. Kb4 Kc6 ( 3.- a5+ 4. Kc4 4. Kc6 a4) 4. Kc4 Kd6 5. Kd4 Ke6 6. Ke4 Kf6 7. Kf4 Kg6 8. Kg4 Kh6 9. Kf5! Kg7 ( if 9. - Kh7 10. Kf6 and after Kh8 11. Kf7 White reaches the f8-square) 10. Kg5 Kh7 11. Kf6 Kg8 12. Kg6 and White will get either to f8 or h8. Of course Black can move his pawn at any time, but when he goes to a6, White answers a3 and on a5 there comes a4.

2. White wins when he can capture the Black pawn and his King cannot be boxed in on a7 and a8 because Black cannot defend against queening and White's march to f8. (When White has a queen it is no problem to get his king to f8.)

3. Regardless of pawn position White wins when he holds the opposition and Black moves to the left because then the King marches to f8.

How can Black defend? He must always try to hold the oppositon (distant opposition), e. g.

1. Kb2 Kb8! 2. Kb3 Kb7 3. Kb4 Kb6 4. a4 a5+ (4. a3 a6!) 5. Kb3 Kb7! 6. Kc3 Kc7+ etc.

1. Kb1 (this is trickier) Kb7 2. Kb2 Kb6 3. Kb3 Kb5?! (this may still be a defense, but it is complicated, better is 3. - Kb7!) 4. a4!+ Kc5? (4. - Kc6! 5. a5 Kc5! 6. Ka4 Kc4! defends) 5. a5 Kc6 (6. - Kb5 7. a6!) 6. Kb4! Kb7 (6. - Kc7 7. Kb5! Kb7? (Kd7!) 8. Kc5 Kc7 9. a6) 7. Kc5 Kc7 8. a6 and wins.

You see, this is not so easy. You should play this (under the above rules) with your chessfriends and they will be amazed when you always win either with White or Black.

I think there is a forced win from the initial position. If you can find the key move, please make a post!

You certainly realize that a computer is of no help here.

:) :)

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