Puzzle of the week #123

Chess Diagram: 


In 2 weeks from now we have our last meeting at the club. Next week is Canada Day and Cameron Recreation Center is closed. Last night we did the end of the year testing. It is only fitting to choose this week an endgame puzzle where some advanced thinking is necessary to find the solution.
What do we have here?
1. It is a Rook and pawn vs Rook endgame
2. The pawn is a marginal one, but has reached the 7th rank
3. Its supporting King is in front blocking it
4. The White Rook is on the 7th rank
5. The Black Rook is placed behind the passed pawn
Your taks is not so simple, but neither impossible:
a) White to move and win; explain your solution.

Total available points for this puzzle is 50. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #124.

Puzzle #122 solution:
Ekkehard May (Darmstaedter Echo 1978) has created a very interesting puzzle. Still most of you solved it rather easily. This is a good sign. Here are a couple of nice answers:
"With out further ado, behold, the solution!
1.Qh8!! Kf6
if 1... f6 then 2.Qh5#
if 1... f5 then 2.Re6+ Kf7 3.Qe8#
if 1... f5 then 2.Re6+ Kg5 3.Qh4#
if 1... Bishop moves then 2.Qh5+ Kf6 3.Qf5#
2.Qh5! g6
if 2... g5 then 3.Qxg5#
if 2... Bishop moves then 3.Qf5#
The trick to this puzzle is to occupy certain squares all at once using the Queen, so Black cannot escape or delay. I'm pretty sure these squares are e8, h5, and a few other less important ones that the Queen can access easily on the 2nd move."

"When I first saw this puzzle, I knew it wouldn't be easy to find the answer because Black had lots of ways to defend himself. Black's Bishop and pawns can easily defend quick mating threats, making this puzzle way harder than it looks. My intuition was 1.Qh4 ..., but after 1... f5 there is no mate. I knew that the first move had to be very unique...
1.Qh8! ...
Sneaking behind enemy lines can be very deadly! The simple threat is 2.Qh5+ Kf6 3.Qf5#. The Bishop can't stop the threat because White's Queen mates on a White square (f5), so Black must play a King or pawn move. Unfortunately, mate in 3 is still inevitable...
1... f6? 2.Qh5#
1... f5 2.Re6+ Kg5 3.Qh4# (or 2... Kf7 3.Qe8#)
1... Kf6 2.Qh5 g6 3.Qh8# (or 2...g5 3.Qxg5#)
This was a very challenging puzzle that had my brain fooled!"

Correct solutions:
Andy Y, Rick, Edwin, Karl, Alex, Owen - 20 points
James - 4 points
Jeffrey - 2 points


Owen - 432 points
Andy Y - 427 points
Karl - 410 points
Edwin - 375 points
Jeffrey - 305 points
Alex - 247 points
James - 231 points
Andy Q - 214 points
Humphrey - 180 points
Nathaniel - 150 points
Amir - 103 points
Rick - 92 points
Frank - 65 points
Marko - 10 points


Two centuries delight