White to play and win

Version II

White to play and draw

To make this as an independent study I had to change the colors. Which one is preferred is up to the readers.

Steven B. Dowd (Alabama) also sent in a work. (See diagram in Bafflers II.)

The solution is short and the first move is rather obvious. So I recommended the following changes in placement of the men: White pawn from c2 to c3, black king from b2 to a3.

The solution is practically the same (1. c4 Kc3 2. Bxf3! Kxc4 3. Be2+ Kd4 4. Kb7! wins)

But now it also contains a way to go wrong.

3. Kb6 Kb3 4. Kc5 a4 5. Bf7 e3 6. Bxc4+ Kb2 6. exf3 a3 7. h5 f2 8. h6 a2 9. h7 a1=Q 11. h8=Q Qa7+ 12. Kc6 Qxe3 also draws.

3 exf3 4. h5 Kb3 5. h6 a4 6. h7 a3 7. h8=Q a2 8. Qh1 Kb2 draws.

The composer accepted it and offered to be co-authors. I'm grateful, but here and in all other works where I find improvements I still consider the composition the original author's own.

Here also, changing the colors can make the solution longer.

"Best play is 1. a6 bxa6 2. dxe5 d4 3. e6 d3 4. e7 d2 5. e8=Q d1=Q+ 6. Ka5 Qxg4 7. Kxa6="—But instead of 6. ... Qxg4?, 6. ... Qd6! wins with a mating attack.

Sometimes we can use the "cook" by changing the colors and setting up a new requirement so the work can be saved. So I suggest the following:


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