Daniele Gatti (Italy)
White refuses to play the tempting 1. Rxg5+? , which would only lead to a draw after 1. … Ke6 2. Re5+ Kxe5 3. Bg3+ Kd5 4. Bxh2 Kc6 (and fortress is built).
1. … Kf5 2. Bxh2!
2. Rxg5+? Kxg5! = positional draw
The (apparently) most powerful White piece disappears, leaving in play only a distant a-file pawn and a wrong-squared Bishop substaining it. Again, capturing the g5 pawn with check would have been tempting, instead of sacrificing the Rook without apparent compensation; but White foresees that capturing the pawn would prevent his King coming into play later.
3. Kg6 Kf3! 4. Kf5! g4
secondary line 4. … Ke3 5. Ke5! Kd3 6. Kd5! Kc3 7. Kc5! Kb3 8. a5! Ka4 9. Bc7! +-
White refuses to capture the passed pawn, for the same reasons above. Black obviously tries to push it forward, to create some threats.
5. a5! a6
This is the only and perfect moment for a waiting move, that will allow White to maintain opposition.
6. Ke5? g3! 7. Bg1 Ke2! = positional draw)
6. Bg1? Ke2! = positional draw
6…g3 7. Bg1!
7. Bxg3? Kxg3! 8. Kxe7 Kf4 9. Kd6 Ke4 10. Kc6 Kd4 11. Kb6 Kd5! 12. Kxa6 Kc6! = positional draw – An untimely Bishop sacrifice would be a mistake. Black King could retreat quickly enough to reach his safety a8 square.
7… Ke4 8. Kxe7 Kd5 9. Kd7 Kc4 10. Kc6 Kb4 11. Kb6 +-
Always mantaining opposition, White has successfully eliminated the Black passed pawn on e-file without losing control of the light squares. This is possible thanks to the Bishop g1, which controls c5 square, so the opponent is forced to lose a tempo passing through c4. This is enough for White to reach and defend his a-pawn, while Black has failed to reach his fortress.