At last I am back from my three week holiday in Britain and can now resume my chess activities.

Actually I had a couple of “chess experiences” in Britain.  I attempted to visit the Edinburgh Chess Club which claims to be the second oldest chess club in existence (founded 1822) and has it’s own premises in the centre of Edinburgh.  I rocked up at 7.30 pm on Tuesday night (their club night) but the place was shut!  Not even a note on the door …. so I had wasted my time.  Perhaps the caretake was on holidays?

My next chess experience was at Hampton Court Palace when I was wandering through King William III suite of rooms when I notice a table with an inlaid chess board.  Nothing unusual about that except that it had a black square in the bottom right-hand corner!  I commented to the attendant that the chessboard was around the wrong way but she replied “it’s not a chess board”.  I presumed therefore that it may have been a draughts board, but when I googled “draughts” I found that their board was set up the same as ours – white square in bottom right-hand corner.  The mystery remains unsolved.

Anyway, now that I’m home I’ve been looking for new material for my lessons and have stumbled upon the “Isle of Man Open” which is being played in England at the moment.  There are two Australians playing, Justin Tan and Max Illingworth, so it has been interesting to follow the live games each night when I wake up at 2am.  My body you see is still on British time.

Last round Justin played a very strange game in which he had eight pawns to his opponent’s two pawns!  Unfortunately his opponent had a lot more minor pieces which soon closed in on Justin’s king for a checkmate.  Meanwhile Max had swapped into and endgame where he had B+P for R which can sometimes be hard for the opponent to win.  In the position below however his opponent, using precise calculation, found a way to win the game.  Your puzzle is to find his winning idea.

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