28 February 2012

Playing for a Draw

Lesson of the Week

In my round four game of the 20th Dave Collyer Memorial tournament, I had Black against a player who has enjoyed somewhat better results against me than our rating difference would predict. After gaining a comfortable position out of the opening, I missed some things and was passively defending a cramped position. Even so, my position remained solid. It was not easy for my opponent to find a win. After an exchange of another set of pawns, my rooks gained some mobility. I now had the position that I had been seeking.

Black to move
One rook controls the second rank and the other can swing back and forth along the first rank delivering checks from the rear.

I played 45...Re1+ and offered my opponent a draw. There will be some complications after the king finds safety in front of his h-pawn, but I thought that at that point I might be able to deal with my bishop that is under attack.

Instead of the expected 46.Kf6, my opponent played 46.Kd4. Can I prove the position is drawn?

If play had continued 46.Kd3 Rd1+ 47.Ke3, would I still have the draw in hand?

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