Still from the same tournament (Aerosvit Foros Tournament, Ukraine 2008) comes an interesting endgame most of you should be able to figure out. It was the end of the game between the GMs Jakovenko - van Wely where after 43.Rd1 ... they reached the following position (see diagram). Here the Dutch GM van Wely decided to offer a Rook exchange with 43... Rxd7 Questions:
a) Should White exchange Rooks? (2 points)
b) What is the most likely result? (3 points)
c) How do you think the endgame continued in the game? (5 points)
Total available points for this puzzle is 10. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #28.
Puzzle #26 solution:
Most of you have identified really well the number of pawn islands, plus the open and semi-open files on both sides. However the conclusions taken from those elements were very different: some concluded White is winning, while others the opposite (Black is winning). The truth is in such positions with heavy pieces (Rooks and Queens) on open files, whoever can attack the King first has the advantage. Black was a bit too optimistic with his last move, forgetting for a second about the safety of his King. The game continued with:
25.Rh4 h6 26.axb5 Qxb5 27.Rxh6 Qf5 (the only move to save the King) Here it is important to mention 27... gxh6?? does not end with a perpetual since after 28.Qg6+ Kh8 29.Qxh6+ Kg8 30.cxb5 ... Black loses a pawn and Queen for a Rook!
28.Qxf5 exf5 29.Rh4 f4 30.Rd4 Rb8 31.h3 f3 32.g4 Rb1+ 33.Kh2 Rf1 34.Rd2 Re8 35.Kg3 Re2 36.Rd8+ Kf7 37.Rd7+ Kg6 38.Rh8 Rexf2 39.Rg8 Rg2+ 40.Kf4 f2 41.Rgxg7+ Kf6 42.Rh7 Ke6 43.Kg5 and Black cannot stop the mate on "e7" See how Black never tried to push his "a7" passed pawn and instead pressed to create a passed pawn on f2. White on the other hand kept his cool and build up a nice mating net Black could not get away from!
Joshua and John - 8 points
Wilson - 4 points
Jeremy - 1 point
TOP 10 STANDINGS
8.0 Joshua and John