Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Out-thinking yourself

Later this week I'll be putting up Round 1 games from the Championship and Hauptturnier. In the meantime, Jason Rihel couldn't wait to share the humorously, disastrous end to his game with FM Paul MacIntyre.

Rihel-MacIntyre Initial Position

Jason, playing White, was ready to promote his e-pawn. Panic set in as he analyzed that after 1.e8=Q Re1+ 2.Kd7 Rxe8 3.Kxe8 he would lose the ensuing endgame due to the poor position of his King. With the seconds ticking away, he searched frantically for another idea and hit upon the notion of underpromotion. If he promoted with check, then Black couldn't force the King and Pawn ending he was so worried about. So, Jason played 1.e8=N+. Of course as the game progressed, the Knight was no match for Paul's Rook and Jason eventually went down to defeat. Not so bad, Jason thought. He got to underpromote for the first time in a tournament game and at least it was better than going down quickly with 1.e8=Q.

Turns out that there was one small problem -- that King and Pawn ending he was so concerned about?

Rihel-MacIntyre analysis after 3.Kxe8

It's a draw!!

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