Welcome to this active site.Each week I am going to present to you a endgame position for you to solve or to workout the best continuation.Computer analysis will also be considered.Some of these positions will come from actual historical games.Others will be composed endgame studies,but all the solutions will be relevant to the practical game.

The new position will occur each SUNDAY and I will always be pleased to receive POSITIVE feedback about the positions and the analysis and I will try to acknowledge these where relevant.

Newcomers are welcomed to try the following:- * TEST POSITIONS *

Names of winners & solutions of the November Tournament. *SOLUTIONS *





White to play & WIN 


  FORSYTH NOTATION :8,8,8,2P4P,8,2K5,7B,k4r2: 


This is a very famous position of great classical beauty known throughout the chessworld.It has a very curious history with a number of twists and turns. In the early days it was known as the "Lasker position" because he enjoyed showing it to his chess fans. Although he never claimed he composed the study he did have a hand in its creation. Today we tend to call it the "Saavedra position or theme."


 White to play & WIN 


FORSYTH NOTATION :8,8,1KP5,3r4,8,8,8,k7:

When Barbier first published the diagram in a Glasgow newspaper in 1895 the Black king was placed at h6 and the pawn was on c7. He wrongly recalled that this position was from a match game between Fenton v Potter played in 1875.

In fact this position comes from a study that LASKER HAD COMPOSED IN 1892. The original Barbier position is a mirror image position fom this study. (+0301.10a6g6 Heijden Collection). The first move is 1.c7 and then the black rook arrives at 1...Rd6+ after taking a knight. So now we arrive at the Barbier position. It really is Lasker who sets the scene. Not only is Lasker the great populariser of this study but he also had a hand in its creation.

With the black king at h6 white has a easy win.

2Kb5 ...

If white plays Kb7 then the reply Rd7 draws for Black. The pawn is pinned and will then be taken. If the king goes to c5 then Blackplays 2...Rd1! If the pawn now queens black has the skewer at c1.


White has to try and escape from the checks so that he has time to queen the pawn.

3.Kb4 Rd4+

4.Kb3 Rd3+

5.Kc2 ...

Black runs out of checks and can't stop the pawn so he is lost.

So Barbier then placed the King at a1 and took the Lasker idea and we have the above position.The main line is exactly the same as the Lasker study. But after:-

5.Kc2 Rd4!

Barbier now thought that Black had a spectacular defensive device.This was originally an idea that occured in a study by E.B. Cook in 1864. 6.c8Q Rc4+!! 7.Qxc4 Stalemate.

Barbier was now happy.He had composed a nice study based on a Lasker setting which by changing the position of the King ended in a draw. But a Monk called Fernando Saavedra (1847-1922.Brothers of the Passion,Mount Argos) who was visiting Glasgow at that time, then dropped a bombshell. What happens if the pawn promotes to a rook?

6.c8R!! ...

Instead of a draw white has obtained a WON game. Due to whites under promotion the stalemate possibility has been removed and he is now threatening mate. This move is probably the most famous that has ever been discovered and it made Father Saavedra a chess celebrity overnight.

Blacks reply is forced.



Double attack.White threatens the rook and mate on the back rank. Both threats cannot be met so black is lost.

It is interesting to note that about this time Lasker was giving a series of lectures in the UK. One of the studies he looked at was a creation by F.Healey which included a underpromotion to a rook. (Lasker's Common Sense in Chess p.117) Father Saavedra found the winning move but Lasker had a hand in its creation.

 The Saavadra position or theme has continued to inspire people down through the ages. The study composer Lommer was particularly bitten by the theme.(TEST POSITION 1)

At this very moment it has become the centre piece of a beautiful painting by the famous artist, Philip Dahan-Bouchard which is going to be a sensation!! Hopefully prints will be available in the early spring and being his chess advisor I will be able to keep you posted. 

The Christmas tournament starts next week.This will be easier than the last competition.Only winning grades will be published so no need to feel embarrassed about the result.