Is it possible for white to turn the tables and win this game or is it "almost" over?

[FEN "1r4k1/2p2pp1/5r1p/p1p1p1bq/P1PpP1b1/1P1P1NP1/2N1QPKP/1R1R4 w KQkq - 0 1"]

1. Nce1

What would you do if you were white?

2 Answers 2


White can do nothing right now, because he made the last move (Ne1). Black can simply sacrifice the exchange on f3, keeping the pin intact, and aim the other rook at f3. Then, White's position will collapse entirely.

There's no way White can escape the pin, e.g. after h4, Black can just ignore the attacked bishop:

[FEN "1r4k1/2p2pp1/5r1p/p1p1p1bq/P1PpP1b1/1P1P1NP1/4QPKP/1R1RN3 b - - 0 1"]

1... Rxf3 2. Nxf3 Rb6 3. h4 Rf6 4. hxg5 Bxf3+
  • 1
    Could add that h4 attempting to win the bishop will also lose because after Bxh4 gxh4 white willl get problems on the open g-file. Mar 12, 2017 at 11:02
  • This is instructive.
    – Tony Ennis
    Mar 12, 2017 at 15:51

White is in a precarious position holding onto the pin and has no counter play . As a Prisoner sometimes waits for his punishment and he knows no escape here White has got its centre & Queen side even blocked to generate NIL counter play . Looking at the board without any calculation also an amateur can determine that white would be very soon in Zugzwang resulting in huge material loss.

  • 1
    White will never be in Zugzwang here. For instance he could just shuffle his rook around Rd2, Rdd1, Rd2, Rdd1... I think you need to check what Zugzwang is. Mar 20, 2017 at 8:48
  • Hello @user1583209 , Kindly let me know what the meaning of Zugzwang is from your point of view . Does Rook shuffling will allow White to escape his fate of loosing ? As for your FYI Zugzwang arises for any side in a Position where any move of White/Black looses . Here White is already on loosing side . True technically he has moves left in board but Centre/Q-side are all blocked and no counter play for White. As you said that White will never be in Zugzwang here implies the Player has to play until checkmate . Mar 20, 2017 at 9:12
  • 2
    Zugzwang is a situation where a player gets into a worse position because he has to make a move. It is a position where the player would rather pass than make a move. What you have here is just a lost position. It does not matter at all whether white makes a move or not. According to your definition any lost position would be a zugzwang position which is certainly not the case. Mar 20, 2017 at 9:33
  • Yes I think you are correct . This position does not call for a Zugzwang because White is already lost here . Mar 20, 2017 at 9:54

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