11 December 2010

Grotesques

Wikipedia defines a grotesque as "a problem or endgame study which features a particularly unlikely initial position, especially one in which White fights with a very small force against a much larger Black army. Grotesques are generally intended to be humorous." It features some interesting examples and points to an article by the composer Tigran Gorgiev in issue 25 of the EG magazine entitled "Study Economy and 'Grotesque' Positions". In issue 141, there is another article "Gorgeous Grotesques" by Boris Sidorov. Here is a perfect example:

  Boris Sidorov  
  EG, No. 141 (July 2001)
[br6/1n6/8/6pp/5p1p/pp1B2pk/rn2q1p1/b5K1]
  Draw(2+16)  
Solution:

1. Bf5+!
    1. Bxe2? Re8!
1. — Qg4
    1. — g4 2. Bxg4+
2. Bc8 Qd7 3. Bxd7+ g4 4. Bc8

Now, there are ten legal moves for Black. Nine of them force him to cover g2, so that (e.g. after 4. — Na5) 5. Bxg4+ Kxg4 leads to stalemate. The only alternative is 4. — Rxc8 with the same result one move earlier.

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