A Sunday chess task for our readers

by Frederic Friedel
11/6/2016 – "I would like to pose you with a rook endgame, which was one of the best calculations I have done in my chess career till date," writes Avathanshu Bhat. He was faced with a rook and three pawns vs rook and three pawns ending and had to calculate quite deeply to win it. You are asked to do the same on our interactive PGN player. After you have excercised your chess skills you can listen to the video analysis of the player himself.

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A Sunday chess task for our readers

White to play, has to find a very accurate move that leads to victory. But to do so he had to calculate the consequences accurately, with the first important point coming at move six. But right at the end of the winning line there are further complications to master if White is to take home the full point.

We would like to ask you, dear reader, to try and solve the above endgame in your mind, by just looking at the board, just as you would do in a regular tournament game. After that you are welcome to explore the position on our interactive JavaScript PGN player:

[Event "Jalgaon"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2015.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Bhat, Avathanshu"] [Black "Amale, Bharath"] [Result "*"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1R6/1P2Kpk1/5p1p/5P2/4P3/8/8/1r6 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "0"] [EventDate "2016.09.25"] [EventType "tourn (blitz)"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCategory "21"] [SourceDate "2016.11.05"] {White to play and win.} *

As you probably know you can simply move pieces on the board, entering the main line and variations. The main functions of the PGN player are accessible below the board:

The two left-most buttons allow you to scroll through the moves (once you have entered some). You can also use the cursor keys on your keyboard to do the same. Remember that cursor up/down allow you to access variations very easily. Of course you can also click on the notation to jump to individual positions.

The third button is for automatic replay. The two buttons on the right are to flip the board and expand the PGN player to full screen. The latter is what you should do when you are trying to solve the above endgame. Clicking the button again will take you back to the normal browser view.

The middle button, a fan, is a knock-out function. It switches a chess engine on or off. This allows you to analyse with engine support. You move pieces on the board and see the reaction of the engine. To the right are + and – buttons, which increase or decrease the number of lines shown by the engine. The ! button will display the threat in any position.

Naturally you can start the engine in the above position and allow it to show you the entire solution to the problem. But that will hardly teach you anything. The best way to go about it is to move the pieces on the board without the engine running, enter the moves you consider best, and alternative lines with their refutation. After you are satisfied that you have found the solution you can switch on the engine to check the validity of the moves you have entered.

Let us turn to the functions on the right, below the notation:

Moving your mouse cursor over each of the buttons will tell you what they are for: delete a line or variation; promote a line; cut a line (i.e. delete the rest of the moves of that line); unannotate the entire game; undo or redo the last action. These are the basic functions you will use all the time.

Now for some really useful ones. The disk symbol allows you to download the PGN of the game in its current version, and either open it with a program of your choice or save it locally on your hard drive. The cloud button will save the game into your MyGames database in the cloud – assuming you have a Premium ChessBase Account.

The rook button (second from the right) is also very interesting. It allows you to transfer the position to an online Fritz program and play out the position against a chess engine. This allows you to explore the game in a very natural way. Finally the right-most button explains how you can embed games in our PGN player on your web site or blog.

The solution

Hopefully you have solved the above endgame, using the tools described above. In order to check your solution we offer you a video with instructions on how to win this ending, explained to us by the player who solved it during the game, over the board.

Surprised? Avathanshu Bhat was was ten years old when he got the tough rook endgame in a tournament. He dug in deep and found all the important moves leading to the victory. Were you able to calculate as well as the little boy?

Avathanshu Bhat is a young chess player from Mumbai. Apart from being a chess fanatic, he is a voracious reader and his favourite books include Wonder by R. J. Palacio, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and the complete adventures of Feluda by Satyajit Ray. He loves Daniel King and enjoys his Power Play DVDs very much. He maintains his own blog.

With his parents "who have done everything in their power to support my passion for chess"

Read this personal account, Life of a Young Chess Player, by Avathanshu Bhat on ChessBase India


Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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