This time I bring you a beautiful composition. White is down material but is about to queen the d7 pawn. The only problem is the knight fork on f7 and if he doesn't act very quickly Black is going to put his bishop on a5. How does White win the game?

[fen "8/3P3k/n2K3p/2p3n1/1b4N1/2p1p1P1/8/3B4 w - - 0 1"]
[Title "White to play and win (Gijs van Breukelen, 1997)"]

I stumbled upon this composition in this blog and I found it extremely beautiful. The composer is Gijs van Breukelen.


1 Answer 1


My semi-educated guess at a solution:

1.Nf6 Kg7 2.Nh5 Kg6 3.Bc2+ Kxh5 4.d8Q Nf7 5.Ke6 Nxd8 6.Kf5 e2 7.Be4 e1N 8.Bd5 c2 9.Bc4 c1N 10.Bb5 Nc7 11.Ba4 and Bd1 should lead to mate. It's all pretty forcing, at the beginning black has to avoid blockading f7 or stepping into d8Q+ and then the bishop starts threatening mate all over the place until black runs out of knights ...

  • 2
    The back rank is "mined": 1 . . . Kh8? 2 d8Q check and Black has no time for Nf7+. That's also why most of Black's second-move alternatives are weaker (and 2 . . . Kf7? would directly block the Nf7+ fork). [This was an answer to a "why not 1 . . . Kh8?" comment that I see has been deleted while I was answering . . .] Dec 9, 2015 at 0:00

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