Each week I will be looking at a player from our Chess @ 4 series. This will be the player of the week and it is possible to be Player of the Week more than once! To be considered for this position, all you need to do is score 15 points during the week in the Chess @ 4 series on Tornelo. Chess @ 4 is a series of 5 round events that run Monday to Friday, starting at 4:00pm. Between the rounds there are interviews with players, analysis of games and positions, and chat about other chess related things.
This week I have been impressed with the play of Neil Shah. Neil spent a lot of time in the under 800 Challengers rating group and has looked ready to jump into the Premier level but never quite made it. This week, he finally did it.
Neil started playing chess on Tornelo in April with a very low rating which he soon pushed up. He has had a couple of rating drops in that time, but generally he has had a steady rise.
Neil plays some of the longest games of all regular juniors at our Chess @ 4 tournaments. This means that he is getting a lot of practice at playing endgames, and he seems to do pretty well in that part of the game. The strategy is quite different to earlier in the game. We are thinking about promoting pawns, trying to get our king into the game and being very accurate about whether we are trying to win or draw. Have a look at the positions in this endgame which Neil played last week.
So what do you think the result should be here? It is Black to move. Can Black win? Will Black lose? Should it be a draw? And how should both sides be trying to play? What should be their strategies?
Now it's White to move. White is a pawn down. Is there any way to save the game?
Now it is Black to move. How would you try to win this position? Would it help if I told you there is a forced mate in 5 moves?
Find out the answers to these questions, and see how Neil played the endgame here.