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Brain Teaser

How does white win this? Can you find the winning plan without consulting the Nalimov Tablebase?

Mandil 1943

n3K3/8/B7/7p/8/8/8/k2N4 w - - 0 1

The idea is clear. The knight is in the corner. It's doomed.
Here is the solution.

1.Kd7 Kb1
2.Kc6 h4
3.Bb7 Kc1
4.Nf2 Kd2
5.Bxa8 Ke3
6.Nh3 Kf3
7.Bb7 Kg2
8.Bc8
It's a winning position for white.Nf2 with the idea to block the h-pawn.

Yancey, I'm looking forward to "puzzles for Alena", please.

Here are some variations.

Variation 1: Black king goes after White knight. (Turn about is fair play, but it doesn't succeed.)

  1. Kd7 Kb1
  2. Kc6 Kc1
  3. Nf2 Kd2
  4. Kb7 Ke3
  5. Nh3 Kf3
  6. Kxa8 Kg3
  7. Bc8

Variation 2: I really can't get that knight out.

  1. Kd7 Nb6+
  2. Kc6 h4
  3. Kxb6 h3
  4. Nf2 h2
  5. Bb7

Variation3: No way I'm going to be able to queen that pawn, or threatening to do so, capture one of White's pieces.

  1. Kd7 h4
  2. Kc6 h3
  3. Kb7 h2
  4. Nf2 Kb2
  5. Kxa8 Kc2
  6. Bb7 Kd2
  7. Ng4

Neither solution offered so far finds the main line.

I think It looks like the most resistant line.

1.Kd7 Nb6+
2.Kc6 Na4
3.Bb5 Nb2
4.Nc3 h4
5.Kd5 h3
6.Kd4 h2
7.Bc6 Nc4
8.Kxc4

Bc4! If knight ...b6, Bb3 and the plan to me looks good.

The "most resistant line" you give, Alena, is quite beautiful as well as being somewhat humorous, with the White knight cutting off 2 squares for the Black king and 2 squares for the Black knight, as well as the Black knight cutting off the remaining square for its own king.

Yes, 4.Nc3 in the line Alena gave is a truly beautiful move in this puzzle.

Yeah, exactly right!! 1. Kd7!! - White kills two birds with one stone by limiting Black King’s mobility and trapping Black Knight. Kudos to Alena!!

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