Thursday, 19 February 2015

What would you do? Part 2.

Here is a position reached in a league game this season:

Black is a piece for two pawns up but his king is a bit exposed. Black made his move 20 minutes ago and offered a draw. You, playing White, have used this 20 minutes to calculate the various possibilities and it is now decision time.

The clock situation is that White has now got 3 minutes left for the rest of the game, Black has 30 minutes.

The team situation is that the scores are 1.5-1.5 so the result of this game will determine the result of the match. White is the higher-graded player and based on grades the match result would be expected to be in the 4-0 area.

Would you:

  1. Agree a draw - thus ensuring the team don't lose?
  2. Consider the position as slightly better for Black but approximately equal, blitz a few moves (perhaps starting with Kf2 or Rf1) to see what happens - hoping that if the position stays equal Black will accept a draw offer at a later stage? If so, what would you play?
  3. Consider the position as slightly better for Black but play for a win anyway? If so, what would you play?

Remember, you have had a lot of thinking time so you have as much time to calculate lines as you like - but you have only got 3 minutes left if you decide to play on!! Did you choose correctly?


  1. Chess would have been a much more comfortable game if it was not for all this decision-making. I like the white position, even though there might be a small Black advantage. The play is easier for white, who has the initiative. For Black there is lost of mistakes to be made.

    After Kf2 Black can be tempted to grab the pawn with ... Bxg4, but that will get him into trouble.

    The best for Black might be to play 1...Rf8, After a superficial consultation with the engine, it looks like white wins back the piece and heads for what might be a long ending.

    Even though the opponent were lower rated, I think I would have reached forward my hand , accepted the draw and the win for the team. I would not have been too self-confident to continue with 3 mins left on the clock.

  2. If accepting the draw would win the match then that would certainly be the best thing to do - but accepting the draw would mean that the team would only draw the match (a win is needed for the team to win, a loss and the team would lose).

  3. Yes... of course.. Well, then the decision-making is even more difficult. But... since we only live once... Maybe playing merciless on is the thing to do?! Hoping for some mistakes from Black's side. Having spend 20 minutes on the previous move, I am sure White is more confident in this position than black.

  4. I have published the game continuation.