(last update:    December 18, 2014)

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Problems
1 Red to play and win in 7 moves
2 Red to play and win in 9 moves
3 Red to play and win in 13 moves
4 Red to play and win in 7 moves


A game revisited

1.e8d9 the goal of this opening is to bring a wall nearer the Red fortress, thus increasing its defences, and at once to give the knight a chance to advance 1…c6b7+ Green tries to trap the Red knight; this attempt can never succeed at the beginning of the game (unless the opponent blunders), but it can often result in delaying the advance of the attacked knight 2.Kd8 d9e8+ 3.b5a6 blocking the wall that threats the Red knight and, again, bringing the walls near the fortress 3…e2e4+ Green cannot continue attacking the Red knight, so he has to change his plan; with this move he allows the Green knight to leave his fortress 4.d7c6 the four central squares are usually a good position for the knight in the initial phase of the game 4…Kf2 5.Kd6 c6d5 Green tries to prevent the Red knight from occupying the square d4, with two goals: first, if Red moves to f6 he will face five walls on his way toward the Green fortress; in the second place, the Green knight could be now placed on d2 and possibly on d4 a move later
After 5…c6d5
6.Kf6 Kd2 7.e4d3 Red removes a wall from his way and hinders the advance of the opponent 7…Kb2 it's a weak move, because Red can easily prevent the Green knight from reaching the square b4
After 7…Kb2
8.d3b3 now the position of the Green knight is bad: not only it isn't able to advance further toward the Red fortress, but also it is endangered since corner-squares can be quickly surrounded by walls 8…d5f5 Green must keep the walls away from the corner b2 9.f3d3+ Kd2 Green's strategy proves wrong: his knight has to lose ground without any compensation 10.f5e4 g4f5 11.Kh6 between the Red knight and the Green fortress there is only one wall at this point
After 11.Kh6
11…f5g4 Green is forced to play defensive moves otherwise the game is soon lost 12.a6a8 Red plays prudently too (probably 12.e4e2 would have been better, holding the Green knight under pressure: 12…b3a4 13.g4f3) 12…e4f5 13.e8d9 d3f3 the Green player, who had almost lost the game, can hope again thanks to Red's last, quiet moves
After 13…d3f3
14.f5d5 Kd4 15.b3c4 f3h3 16.b7c6 both players hinder the advance of the opponent's knight 16…d9f9 17.g4f5 c4c2 now both players try to clear a path toward the opponent's fortress 18.c6b5 f5g4 again a change of strategy; this is the beginning of a muddled phase where either player tries to induce the opponent to make a mistake, for example a missed evaluation of a possible stalemate, in order to gain at least a positional advantage
After 18…f5g4
19.c2c4 f9g8 20.g4f5 c4c2 21.f5e6 g8g6 22.a8b7 e6f5 23.c2c4 f5g4 24.b5c6 g6h7+ 25.g4f5 c4c2+ 26.f5e6 h7g6 27.c2c4 e6f5 28.h3g4 d5e6 29.h5i4 g4h5 30.e6d5 this move is the mistake the Green was waiting for
After 30.e6d5
30…i4i6+ 31.Kh8 in any case, sooner or later, the Red knight could not escape losing ground 31…i6h7+ now Green leads the game and profits by the initiative; he continues attacking 32.h5g4 d5e6+ 33.h7i8 g6h7 34.g4h5 e6f7+ 35.f5e6 Red still hopes to be able to place his knight on h6 within few moves, but this eventuality cannot occur unless Green permits it 35…Kd6+ 36.f7d7+ c4d3 37.h7f7 i8h7+ the Red knight is confined to the upper rank; Green's advantage is evident and decisive
After 37…i8h7+
38.Kf8 h7g8+ 39.b7c8 h5g6+ the Green player has built a cage around the Red knight; the following moves demonstrate how to force the entrapment in such positions 40.c8b7 d3b3+ 41.b7c8 b3a4+ 42.c8b7 g6h7+ 43.b7c8 h7g6+ 44.c8b7 a4a6+ 45.g8f9 g6g8+ 46.Kd8 f7e8+

Here Red resigned (his knight would have been trapped the next turn).


After 39…h5g6+