Puzzle of the week #106

Level: 
5-Queen
Chess Diagram: 

[Event "Puzzle #106"][Date "2010.02.26"][Result "0-1"][SetUp "1"][FEN "4rrk1/ppq2ppp/1b2bn2/3p4/2n5/1NPB3P/PP2NPP1/R1BQR1K1 b - - 0 1"]

Last night we started the discussion about the isolated Queen pawn (or IQP) by looking at how it behaves in the endgame. Hopefully those 2 sample positions we analysed were clear enough. Right now let's look at a different situation: we have a middlegame position and one side has an isolated pawn. Your tasks:
a) Analyse the position and propose a plan for both sides (10 points)
b) Black to move and win (10 points)

Total available points for this puzzle is 20. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #107.

Puzzle #105 solution:
The position is a study by V. Halberstadt, published in the magazine "Cesklovensky Sach" in 1929. It is a basic endgame situation; while I received a majority of good answers, it is surprising none of you covered all possibilities. This can be fatal in such endgames, so my advice would be to always play such endgames (King and pawns) with the most care and never underestimate any move! My choice is the answers of both Andy Y and Owen:
a) Analysis
Material: The material is even. Both sides have a King and 2 pawns.
Kings: The King is the most powerful piece in this position. Black's King is a little bit stronger because it is closer to the pawns.
Position: This is a King and pawns endgame position.
Plan: Both side's plan is to create a passed pawn by capturing the opposing player's pawn(s). White is probably going to capture the h7-pawn and then promote his h-pawn. Black will probably capture the g2-pawn and then promote his g-pawn. Black has the advantage because his King is one move closer to the pawns than White's King.
b) See solution:

[Event "Puzzle #105"][Date "2010.02.19"][Result "1/2-1/2"][SetUp "1"][FEN "2K5/7p/8/8/6pP/8/2k3P1/8 w - - 0 1"]1.Kd7 {Andy Y} 1...Kd3 ({Owen} 1...Kd2 2.Ke6 Ke2 3.Kf5 g3 4.Kg4 Kf2 5.Kh3 h5) 2.Ke6 Ke3 3.Kf5 h5 4.Kg5 g3 5.Kxh5 Kf2 6.Kg6 Kxg2 7.h5 Kf3 8.h6 g2 9.h7 g1=Q+ 10.Kf7 Qd4 11.Kg8 {We have a draw}

Correct solutions:
Andy Q, Karl, Andy Y, Humphrey, Amir - 19 points
Owen - 18 points
James, Jeffrey - 15 points
Alex - 10 points

Standings:
Andy Y, Andy Q - 113 points
Karl - 107 points
Owen - 106 points
Amir - 103 points
Humphrey - 91 points
Alex - 90 points
Jeffrey - 76 points
Edwin - 68 points
James - 61 points
Nathaniel - 19 points
Rick, Marko - 10 points

Comment: 

IQP (1)