This week I attended the Primary and Middle School State Finals of the Chess Kids Interschool Competition held at Monash University. It was a great day with over 400 players competing and a very high standard of play. I was supervising the top boards in Middle School Competition where Scotch, Brighton and Mazenod were battling hard for top spot.
The critical game saw Brighton’s top player Issac Ng paired against Scotch’s top player Nicholas Liu. Issac got off to a great start and was a rook ahead but Nicholas won back a piece and then the exchange and a very even rook ending was reached. Nicholas offered a draw, but with the title in the balance Issac bravely played on and they reached the following position where Issac (White) has just played d5 in response to Black’s f5. Nicholas must now choose between 1…exd, 1..fxe or 1…Kf6 but surely the result must be a draw??? Nicholas played a line which gave one of the players a chance to make a blunder and sure enough he did! But was it White or Black? Can you spot the trap that he fell for. The State title hinges on your decision!
[fen caption="Should Black play 1...exd, 1...fxe or 1...Kf6?"]3r4/5p1p/4p1k1/3P1p2/4P3/4K3/3R2PP/8 b KQkq – 0 1[/fen]