Topic 17 Official Strategy Puzzle Solution
This position is essentially equivalent to this one:
So I’ll start here. The first thing to note is that white can capture black’s queen with his own.
The black queen will not escape this capture. Black cannot allow this, so this king move is forced:
To protect the pawn, the additional moves can be made, if necessary. However, they are not necessary because trading queens loses the game for white. If you doubt any of this, visit the shizmoo strategy forum discussion for this puzzle. I don’t want to describe all the possibilities here because they are too many and too long.
So trading queens is out, what else can white do? How about taking that pawn on a7?
This is no good for white. Black will either checkmate or win the queen on his next move.
So trading queens is out, and so is taking the pawn. What’s left?
White’s task is to stop black from winning his only pawn. It is accomplished as follows:
What can black do now? Playing his queen to c5 results in a draw:
Both sides promote one pawn and it’s a draw.
How about playing the queen to g5, planning to take the pawn on the next move?
This is also no good.
White stops this cold by putting his queen in the way—a nifty block!
The game is a draw, as black cannot capture white’s pawn.