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
  • 1
    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

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.

  • 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
  • 2
    @BCLC: Eric Half-A-Bee, Monty Python. Nov 20 '21 at 11:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.