Monday Morning Brain Teaser

Be sure to find the main line in addition to the more prosaic wins- in other words, also find black's best moves, too.

5r2/8/1R6/ppk3p1/2N3P1/P4b2/1K6/5B2 w - - 0 1


1.Rxb5+ Kxb5
2.Ne5+ Kc5
3.Nd7+ Kd4
4.Nxf8 Ke5
5.Ng6+ Kf6
6.Bd3 Bxg4
7.Kc3 Bf5
8.Bxf5 Kxf5
9.Ne7+ Ke4
10.Ng8 g4
11.Nf6+ Kf5
12.Nh5 Kg5
13.Ng3 Kf4
14.Nf1 Kf3
15.a4 Kf2
16.Nd2 Ke2
It's a winning position for white. White should exchange the knight for the black pawn and promote the white pawn. White mustn't let the black king control b7.

The main line is 1.Rb5 Kb5 2.Ne5 Be2!? This provides black the stingiest defense.


1.Rxb5+ Kxb5
2.Ne5+ Be2
3.Bxe2+ Ka4
4.Nd7 Rb8+
5.Bb5+ Rxb5+
6.Ka2 Rb1
7.Kxb1 Kxa3

In my opinion the main line is simpler than V-1.

It is harder in terms of imagination, Alena. The stalemate threat forces the solver to find the domination theme that arises after 5.Bb5. For example- you didn't find it until I told you to look for it, so it isn't easier, right?

Really, how many people could imagine that position after 6.Ka2 and understand that the knight dominated the rook that way? How many people might well have gotten there and just figured it was no good for white?