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MatPlus.Net Forum Endgame studies Capture of pawn in the 1st move of endgame study

### Capture of pawn in the 1st move of endgame study

Looking at some studies I have a question. It is possible to set up some of them either as "Draw/Win, Black to play" or as "Draw/Win" with capture in the 1st move. Example:

David Gurgenidze
1st Prize Tbilissi 1975
(= 3+4 )
Draw

1.R×a3! Rd2+ 2.Kc7 (2.Kc6? Rc2+ 3.Kd7 e1=Q 4.Ra1+ Rc1 5.Raa2 Rb1 6.Kd8 Rb8+ 7.Kc7 Qe5+) Rc2+ 3.Kd8! e1=Q 4.Ra1+ Rc1 5.Raa2 Rb1 6.Kd7 Rb7+ 7.Kc8 Rb1 8.Kd7 Rc1 9.Kd8=

What is generally better? To have solution with capture in the 1st move of White or starting solutions just with Black to play position?

My directmate and helpmate education recommends me to avoid capture in the first move and that half-move at the beginning is not an issue. But seemingly it might be perceived differently in endgame studies. Or is the answer changing with time just as in directmates and helpmates?

I don't know what the general opinion is, or whether that has changed with time, but in my personal opinion, a capture is better if it contains some kind of point. In this case, I think it adds to the paradox of the study - White allows the pawn to promote when he had two other moves that could have prevented it - 1.Rxe2 and 1.Rd3+. In a sense, 1.Rxa3 is a sacrifice even though it is a capture.

Not to mention 1.Re3.

If there is no point or realistic alternative to the capture, I certainly prefer the BTM stipulation. An example. White captures a black pawn and simultaneuosly stops an other black pawn from promoting. This to me is a bigger defect than letting Black have the first move.