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Position that follows is from Anna Rudolf's video 'Challenging Top Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura for a Choker Match!':

[FEN "8/5p2/8/2qkp3/4R1P1/5P2/3KP3/8 b - - 0 1"]

Also, here's a screenshot:

enter image description here

In the game, Anna was running low on time and forced a draw by repetition (there was no draw offer button at the time and maybe even now).

  1. How does Anna beat Hikaru? I tried checking out lichess and it seems an idea is to trade rook and pawn for queen but even though it's 2 pawn vs 2 pawns, the pawn endgame is winning for black (Anna). Below is what I got from the 1st time I pressed spacebar until the pawn endgame. (At higher depth, I didn't get this again.)

[FEN "8/5p2/8/2qkp3/4R1P1/5P2/3KP3/8 b - - 0 1"]

1... Qa7 2. Ke1 Qg1+ 3. Kd2 Qb1 4. Ke3 Qc2 5. Kf2 Qxe4 6. fxe4+ Kxe4

  1. Hikaru says something about 'zugzwang with Qd1'. What is Hikaru talking about? I know it's possibly related to fortresses (hence i tagged fortress) because in the video they were talking about 'I don't believe in fortresses' lol
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    Again, Choker isn't really relevant here as the setup phase is already over, you want standard chess endgame expertise. Nov 20 '21 at 17:17
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Eric Half-An-Answer: He talks about a fortress, obviously :-) As far as one can talk generally, when trying to storm a fortress in a position with material Q/R plus pawns, the win method often is to use zugzwang to pass with the king through the blockade line built by the rook (here: at the moment the black king can't make it over the 4th) and then attack the pawn basis with the king from below.

BTW, another common strategy (but I bet it is not applicable here, since White is a pawn up) we just recently saw in a top game is the queen shielding the king with her own life (as taking her would create a passer), for example Kh2 Rh3 Pg2 - Ke4 Qd4 Pf4, where Qe3! wins fastest. Again the idea is attacking the base from below with the king.

This is only Eric Half-An-Answer as I am too weak a player to "see" the concrete zugzwang position with Qd1. I can make an educated guess: Assuming that the wR is fixed to e4 as Re3 allows the bK to near further, and R?4 runs into a fork (which I don't see yet), Kf2 vs Qd1 is already zugzwang: Ke3 Qe1 and the rook must move, Kg2 Qe1 ditto. Let Stockfish sort that out.

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  • thanks Hauke Reddmann! i'd have to analyse further into your half-answer. btw is Eric Half-An-Answer referring to...eric hansen?
    – BCLC
    Nov 20 '21 at 9:14
  • btw i know it's related to fortress myb (hence i tagged fortress) because in the video they were talking about 'I don't believe in fortresses' lol (i'll edit post to say this)
    – BCLC
    Nov 20 '21 at 9:18
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    @BCLC: Eric Half-A-Bee, Monty Python. Nov 20 '21 at 11:25

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