A Problem Worth Solving

I’ve been trying to study tactics lately, and have been working through a dusty old tactics book that has been sitting on my shelf for a while now (which one is top secret.)

In any case, I came across the following problem and was struck by it’s elegance. The following position occurred in Kosikov v. Bezman, USSR 1986. It is white to move.

Obviously there is a pin that needs to be addressed, and naturally the passed f-pawn is a key resource as well. At first, I thought simply 1.Rg2 would save the knight by threatening mate, however, I couldn’t find a follow up to this after 1…Rxf7 that would lead to anything promising for white. Then something magical in the position presented itself to me. The king is immobile, and the knight is glued to the blockade of the f-pawn. By putting these two ideas together, it becomes clear that the white knight on b3 is irrelevant and white can simply proceed with 1.Rf2!! Rxb3 2.Rg2 Rb1+ 3.Kf2 Rb2+ 4.Kg1 Rxg2+ 5.Kxg2 and now the white king can gobble up all of black’s pawns because black’s king and knight are both immobilized by the advanced pawns.