A Truly Amazing Miniature

This puzzle blew my mind the first time I saw it about a month ago. White has two logical moves to attempt a draw. Your task is to show why one of them draws for white while the second one loses. Difficulty level- extreme.

5k2/8/5r2/1RRK4/6p1/8/5p2/8 w - - 0 1

Comments
No. 1-11
Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

I found the start really quickly- 1.Rb1/Rc1 Rf5 2.Ke4 Rxc5/b5 3.Kf4 Rf5 4.Kxf5 g3 5.Kf6- literally in the first couple of minutes, but then saw the black king getting off the 8th rank in both lines- I completely missed that white gets him back on the edge without allowing g2 in the interim- probably because I had analyzed 1.Rc1 first and saw that g2 wins for black- I couldn't see the tempo difference and abandoned both ideas. After that, I spent almost a day trying to make the two moves 1.Rc7 and 1.Rb7 work as a defense- sure I was just missing something in all the winning lines for black. After I had closed out all the possibilites for the alternative ideas, I was forced to go back to the beginning.

DaveCubby
DaveCubby

Alena, neither have I. LOL

umeshpn
umeshpn

By ... Rf5+ above, I mean 3... Rf5+, not 1... Rf5+.

umeshpn
umeshpn

Yes. 1. Rb7, 1. Rc7, and the two checks are also candidate moves. I spent some time analyzing the checks, because I thought both 1. Rb1 and 1. Rc1 would lose to 1... Rf5+ and exchanging a pair of rooks. A lone rook has no chance against the advanced connected pawns. Once I discovered 2. Ke4! (in either variation), I had a feeling that one of 1. Rb1 and 1. Rc1 is the solution. Initially, I didn't see ...Rf5+, so thought 1... g3 is forced to avoid draw. Things got really complicated after I discovered ...Rf5+.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

Yes, those two position, too. Where I really got hung up on this problem was in trying to avoid letting the black king off of the 8th rank- in other words, I thought both starting moves were losing, and spent an inordinate amount of time trying other beginning moves for white before giving up and going back to the choice of 1.Rc1 and 1.Rb1.

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