05 October 2012

A few helpmates

Every now and then, I pick up some helpmates which I think are interesting. Especially when I am not in the mood for writing they are quite useful. ;-)

  1Manfred Ernst  
Problemkiste 06/2011
[K7/8/4k1p1/2p1p3/2p4P/4Pn2/8/5R1B]
  h#3
  2.1...
(5+6)  
  2Christer Jonsson  
Vratnica-64 01-06/2008
[8/2pp4/2p5/1kB5/1np5/2pNr3/4P3/7K]
  h#4
  2.1...
(4+8)  

  3Vilimantas Satkus  
The Problemist 05/2007
[8/1p6/1rp4k/6p1/8/p2PP3/P6p/K6R]
  h#5
  2.1...
(5+7)  
  4Rolf Kohring  
Mat Plus 07-12/2010
[8/8/8/8/8/5P2/2P4p/2k1K3]
  h#6
  0.2...
(3+2)  

Oh yes, the solutions ...
11) 1. Nd4 Bb7 2. Nc6 Rf6+ 3. Kd5 Bxc6#
2) 1. Ng5 Rf8 2. Nf7 Bd5+ 3. Kf6 Rxf7#
21) 1. Nd5 Ba3 2. Re4 Nb4 3. Kc5 Nd3+ 4. Kd4 Bc5#
2) 1. Re6 Bg1 2. Nd5 Nf2 3. Kc5 Nd3+ 4. Kd6 Bc5#
31) 1. Kh5 Rc1 2. h1=N Rxc6 3. Nf2 Rf6 4. Ng4 Rf3 5. Rg6 Rh3#
2) 1. c5 Rb1 2. Rg6 Rxb7 3. h1=Q+ Rb1 4. Qb7 d4 5. Qg7 Rh1#
41. - f4 2. h1=B f5 3. Bd5 f6 4. Bg8 f7 5. Kb2 fxg8=Q 6. Ka3 Qb3#
1. - c4 2. Kc2 c5 3. Kd3 c6 4. Ke3 c7 5. Kf4 c8=Q 6. Kg3 Qg4#

28 September 2012

Mathematical stuff

Let's start with a construction task: create a twomover that shows the return of the piece that makes the key move as often as possible. Provided, no promoted pieces are used and no duals are allowed, the maximum seems to be 29. In 1980, Bernd Schwarzkopf had published a position with mate duals. Without knowing that, I made my own attempts (there was a little contest) about ten years laster and published a correct twomover. You'll surely find all the solutions, right?

Gerson Berlinger
32er Nr. 1-2, 1990
[6R1/4QP2/2P2NP1/1R3Nk1/3p1p2/3P4/3B4/7K]
  #2
  29 solutions
(11+3)  

The next diagram is a 16-in-1 problem. Have fun figuring out the solutions.

George Burt Spencer
St. Paul Dispatch, 1906
[2RKQbk1/2QB1k1K/KQpk1BPN/RKpp1QPk/Bpkp1KQn/BkNRKBBN/k1BQP1K1/BBK1kN1Q]
  #2
  on each file and rank
(34+15)  

Finally, a little retro puzzle.

Nikolai Beluchow
Die Schwalbe 12/2011
[1q3q1q/8/1q3Q1K/4N1N1/5q2/2RQ1k1Q/1K3P2/3Q1k1Q]
By mistake, two chess positions were rotated at a random angle each and then printed onto the same chess diagram. No two pieces were printed one over the other. Separate the two positions and orientate each one correctly! (11+7)

The solution is this:
[q7/8/q4kP1/8/5Q1Q/5R2/6K1/8]
last move: f5xg6 e.p.+
[2K2Q1Q/3N4/2Q1q2k/3N4/8/8/q1q5/8]
last move: g7xh8=Q+

21 September 2012

The Imitator

Already a long time ago I had made plans to write about this special fairy piece. Finally, I am ready to do so.

The imitator can be compared to a shadow. It can't capture nor can it be captured nor give check. Whenever a pieces moves, the imitator moves exactly in the same way. Of course, there are some restrictions.

An imitator can't cross an occupied square except when it imitates a hopper and also has to have a hurdle. A move is illegal if it can't be accompanied by a legal move of an imitator, i.e. putting it on an occupied square (after the piece has moved) or off the board.

Normally, an imitator imitates moves of both sides, but you can also declare it to do so only when either White or Black moves. In general, the symbol is a black circle.

With more than one imitator on the board, a move is only legal, if all of them can imitate it. The promotion to an imitator is legal, but can be excluded.

The following quite simple diagram demonstrates the effect an imitator has.
[r3k2r/8/c7/K7/3N4/8/8/8]
Legal moves?

a) Black to move:
Rd8 (Id6)
Rc8 (Ic6)
Rb8 (Ib6)
0-0 (Ia6)
Kf8 (Ib6)+
Kf7 (Ib5)+
You can see that the imitator move is written in (round) brackets.
The imitator shields the white king from checks. Therefore, a king move puts White in check.
Moves like Ra7 or Rh5 or Ke7 are not allowed as the white king blocks the imitator.
Castling long is not possible, because the first part is the king move which is not allowed due to the position of the imitator. On the other hand, castling short works, as the imitator goes to c6 after the king move and returns to a6 after the rook move.

b) White to move:
Kb5 (Ib6)
Ka6 (Ia7)
Ka4 (Ia5)
Kb6 (Ib7)
Kb4 (Ib5)
Observe that the white knight can't move at all. It's pinned, for any move would put the white king in check which is not allowed.

Here's a composition which is easy to understand:
Rene-Jean Millour
Europe Echecs 1966
Special Prize
[5b2/8/1cp2N2/8/2n5/6K1/8/7k]
  #2(2+4+1)  

1. Kh2 (Ic5)! puts Black in Zugzwang:
1. - Na3 (Ia4)+ 2. Nh7 (Ic5)#
1. - Nb2 (Ib3)+ 2. Ng8 (Ic5)#
1. - Nd2 (Id3)+ 2. Ne8 (Ic5)#
1. - Ne3 (Ie4)+ 2. Nd7 (Ic5)#
1. - Ne5 (Ie6)+ 2. Nd5 (Ic5)#
1. - Nd6 (Id7)+ 2. Ne4 (Ic5)#
1. - Nb6 (Ib7)+ 2. Ng4 (Ic5)#
1. - Na5 (Ia6)+ 2. Nh5 (Ic5)#
The black pawn is blocked and any bishop move would put the black king in check, so only the black knight can move. We see a black knight wheel answered with a corresponding white knight wheel to put the imitator back to c5, so that the white king is not in check whereas its black adversary is and can't escape.

14 September 2012

Some finds

Today, I want to draw your attention to three websites.

The first is about retros, for the time being it only deals with Mushikui Reconstruction. This type of game reconstruction stipulation was proposed on the Retro Mailing List (RML) in May 2011. A definition can be found here. In short, solvers are given a game score, written in a slightly modified PGN format with all the characters being concealed by "*" symbols. The task is to recover the entire game score. Here is an example taken from the website:

problem: 1.** ** 2.**** **** 3.** ***** 4.** ***** 5.*** **** 6.**** ***** 7.***
solution: 1.d4 c5 2.dxc5 Qa5+ 3.b4 Qxb4+ 4.c3 Qxc3+ 5.Nd2 Qxc5 6.Ndf3 Qxf2+ 7.Kd2

Then, there is the website Julia's Fairies by the Latvian Julia Vysotska. Among other things, you'll find original fairy problems, articles by composers or information about problem related software. Her explanations are very comprehensive and clear. Good job!

Finally, Thomas Brand has launched a new website dedicated to retrograde analysis. It just started last Saturday but already has some nice content and more is to be expected. Right now, it's only in German, English text will follow.

07 September 2012

Fun stuff

Today, I have some endgame studies of composers that often show something special. Enjoy!



31 August 2012

Bent's underpromotions

Time flies and I don't recall anymore how it happened. Anyway, roughly at the same time I looked into Rusinek's compositions (see here and here), I also learnt that the English problemist Charles Michael Bent composed a lot of endgame studies featuring underpromotions. Quite interesting, I thought. So, that's the subject for today.





Next, a rather rare example of the underpromotion to a bishop.


Of course, there is also the promotion to a knight.


24 August 2012

Mainly good news

Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote about the challenge to provide nice diagrams for chess problems to be used in a blog or other web pages. In the meantime, the tool pgn4web which I also discussed has made more progress. Already since March this year it provides full support for game variations. That's great!

Therefore, in this and all blog posts to come, I will make use of this software — as far as possible. When it comes to fairy chess problems, I have to fall back on the well-proven method of using those generated images that you've seen so far.

From now on, you'll be able to play through all the moves with ease. No additional chessboard is required and no trouble anymore trying to imagine the whole solution while your eyes constantly wander between board and notation. Let's see how it looks like.


This iframe was automatically created and I could cut&paste it. The only thing to do was to provide a PGN text which I modified a little bit, so that the header looks quite the way we expect it. There are many configuration options to change nearly every part of the output. And even those who see this result later have many possibilities. Hover your mouse slowly over the squares and learn what features can be activated by clicking. Of course, not all of them are applicable to these simple "games" that represent the chess compositions.

Okay, at first, it's all really exciting. But after a while you'll find out what's the drawback with this procedure. The generated HTML code for the iframe can't be modified directly. Hence, in case of an error or if, for instance, you want to add some comments, you have to reload the information in the board generator, make the desired or necessary changes there, generate the code and cut&paste it again. That can be annoying, especially when you have to do it more often. Of course, it would be better to use the whole set of JavaScript files that is provided by Paolo Casaschi, the author of the pgn4web package. But that would require a web space, etc.

17 August 2012

Rusinek's stalemates (2)

Here are the remaining endgame studies by Jan Rusinek that I want to show you. Again, in each of them White is to draw and we get to see a nice stalemate in the main variation.

Szachy 9/1979
3rd-5th Prize
[8/b7/2P4N/2P1n3/8/4P3/k5r1/2K1B3]
    1. c7! Nd3+ 2. Kd1 Nb2+ 3. Kc1 Bxc5 4. Ng4
4. c8=Q? Bxe3+ 5. Bd2 Bxd2+ 6. Kc2 Ba5+
4. - Rxg4 5. c8=Q Rc4+ 6. Bc3 Bxe3+ 7. Kc2 Rxc8

Sachové Umenie 1/1980
1st Honourable Mention
[2b5/8/8/1k5P/3n2N1/8/1P6/Kn6]
    1. Ne3! Nd2 2. h6 N4b3+ 3. Ka2 Nc1+ 4. Ka1 Bb7 5. h7 Ndb3+ 6. Kb1 Be4+ 7. Nc2 Bxh7

Revista de Romana de Sah 8/1982
5th Honourable Mention
[K2R4/8/5P2/2P5/k6r/7b/5P2/b7]
    1. f7!
1. c6? Bxf6 2. c7 Rh7! 3. c8=Q Bg2+ 4. Kb8 Be5+!
1. - Bg2+ 2. f3!
2. Kb8? Be5+ 3. Kc8 Rh7 4. Rd7 Rh8+!
2. - Bxf3+ 3. c6!
3. Ka7? Rh7!
3. - Bxc6+! 4. Ka7
4. Kb8? Be5+ 5. Ka7 Rh7!
4. - Kb5!
4. - Rh7 5. Kb6
5. f8=Q!
5. Rb8+? Ka5! 6. f8=Q Rh7+ 7. Rb7 Rxb7+ 8. Ka8 Rf7+!
5. - Ra4+ 6. Kb8 Be5+ 7. Rd6!
7. Qd6? Kb6 8. Qxe5 Ra8#
7. - Ra8+ 8. Kc7 Rxf8

Tidskrift för Schack 6-7/1982
2nd Prize
[3k2B1/8/1p1P4/3K3b/2R5/1P6/1b2r3/8]
    1. Kc6!
1. Rb4? Bf3+ 2. Kc4 Re4+
1. - b5!
1. - Rg2 2. Be6! Rg6 (2. - b5 3. Rf4) 3. Bf7 Rxd6+ 4. Kxd6 Bxf7 5. Ra4 Kc8 6. Kc6
2. Kxb5
2. Rf4? Be8+
2. - Rg2! 3. Bd5 Rg5 4. Kc6!
4. Rc5? Bd4
4. Kc5? Bf7
4. - Be8+ 5. d7! Bxd7+ 6. Kc5!
6. Kd6? Bg7! 7. Kc5 Be6 8. Kd6 Bxd5
6. - Be6
6. - Bg7 7. Rc2 Be6 8. Rd2
7. Kd6! Bxd5 8. Rc5 Ba3 9. b4 Bxb4 or
8. - Bd4 9. Rb5 (9. Rxd5? Rg6#)

Suomen Shakki, 1991
3rd Honourable Mention
[8/P7/3B4/b7/1R1K4/7r/p2n2P1/4k3]
    1. Ra4! Rh4+ 2. g4 Rxg4+ 3. Kd3 Rxa4 4. a8=Q Rd4+
4. - a1=Q 5. Bg3+
5. Kc2
5. Kxd4? a1=Q+ 6. Kd5 Qa2+ 7. Kc6 Qa4+ 8. Kb7 Qd7+ 9. Ka6 Qxd6+ 10. Kxa5 Qa3+
5. - Rc4+
5. - a1=Q 6. Qh1+ Nf1 7. Bg3+ Ke2 8. Qg2+ Ke3 9. Qf2+ Ke4 10. Qf4+ Kd5 11. Qd6+ Kc4 12. Qc6+ Kb4 13. Qb7+
6. Kb2
6. Kd3? Rc3+ 7. Kd4 Nb3+
6. - a1=Q+ 7. Kxa1 Ra4+ 8. Ba3 Bc3+
8. - Rxa3+ 9. Kb2 Nc4+ 10. Kc2
9. Ka2 Rxa8

Probleemblad 9-10/2005
Commendation
[6k1/8/4Pb1K/4R3/4bN1P/5p2/4p3/8]
    1. e7!
1. Nxe2? Bxe5
1. Rxe4? f2 2. Rxe2 f1=Q 3. Rg2+ Kf8 4. Rg4 Ke7 5. Nd5+ Kxe6 6. Nxf6 Kxf6
1. - Bxe7
1. - Bc6 2. e8=Q+ Bxe8 3. Rxe8+ Kf7 4. Rxe2 fxe2 5. Nxe2 Bxh4
2. Nxe2!
2. Rxe4? f2 3. Nxe2 f1=Q 4. Rxe7 Qf6+ or 3. Rxe2 f1=Q 4. Rxe7 Qxf4+
2. - f2
2. - Bf8+ 3. Kh5 f2 4. Ng3 Bd6 5. Rg5+ Kf7 6. Nxe4 f1=Q 7. Nxd6+ Ke7 8. Rg6
3. Ng3
3. Rxe4? f1=Q 4. Rxe7 Qf6+
3. Rxe7? f1=Q 4. Rxe4 Qf6+ 5. Kh5 Qf5+
3. - Bd6
3. - Bf8+ 4. Kh5
4. Rg5+
4. Nxe4? f1=Q 5. Re8+ Bf8+
4. - Kf7!
4. - Kh8 5. Nf1 Bf4 6. Kh5 Bf3+ 7. Kg6 or 6. - Bd3 7. Rg2
5. Nxe4!
5. Nf1? Bf4 6. Kh5 Bf3+ 7. Kh6 Be2 or 7. Rg4 Kf6
5. - Bf8+
5. - f1=Q 6. Rf5+ Qxf5 7. Nxd6+
6. Kh5 f1=Q 7. Rf5+! Qxf5+ 8. Ng5+ Ke8

Probleemblad 7-9/2007
Prize
[5b2/BR3K2/7P/8/2r3k1/p7/2n5/8]
    1. h7!
1. Kxf8? a2
1. - Bg7!
1. - a2 2. h8=Q a1=Q 3. Qxa1 Nxa1 4. Kxf8
1. - Rf4+ 2. Kg8 a2 3. h8=Q a1=Q 4. Qxa1 Nxa1 5. Rf7
2. Kxg7 a2 3. Bd4!
3. h8=Q? a1=Q+ 4. Kh7 Qh1+
3. - Nxd4
3. - Rxd4 4. Ra7 Rd7+ 5. Rxd7 a1=Q+ 6. Kg8
4. Ra7
4. h8=Q? a1=Q 5. Kg8 Rc5
4. - Rc7+! 5. Rxc7

a) 5. - Nf5+ 6. Kg8! Nh6+ 7. Kh8!
7. Kg7? a1=Q+ 8. Kxh6 Qf6#
7. - a1=Q+ 8. Rg7+ Kf3

b) 5. - a1=Q 6. h8=Q Ne6+ 7. Kg8!
7. Kh7? Qb1+ 8. Kg8 Qb8+ 9. Kh7 Qxc7+
7. - Qa8+ 8. Kh7 Ng5+ 9. Kg7 Qa1+ 10. Kg8 Qa2+ 11. Kf8!
11. Kg7? Qb2+ 12. Kg8 Qb8+ 13. Kg7 Qxc7+
11. - Qa3+ 12. Re7

10 August 2012

Rusinek's stalemates (1)

Regarding endgame studies there are only two stipulations: Win or Draw. Concentrating on the latter, we see that there are different ways to achieve this aim. One of them is the stalemate. While I looked for some interesting examples I came across the works of the Polish Grandmaster of chess composition Jan Rusinek. Rather by chance I found out that in the 1970s he turned his attention to a special type of stalemate and that he published the article Stalemate by pinning in the middle of the board in the problem magazine EG (issue 51, June 1978).

In a previous post I've already shown you an endgame study by Rusinek that is one of his better known compositions and which features a nice stalemate. Now you get to see some more of them. Just for the sake of completeness: All of the following studies are composed by Jan Rusinek and have the stipulation White to move and draw. Additionally, we know that the main line ends with a stalemate.

Problem, 1973
1st Prize
[8/2K5/7k/1P2n2r/8/R4b2/8/8]
    1. b6!
1. Rxf3? Nxf3 2. b6 Rc5+ 3. Kd6 Rb5 4. Kc7 Ne5 5. b7 Nd7
1. - Rf5!
1. - Rg5 2. Rxf3 Nxf3 3. b7
2. b7
2. Rxf3? Rxf3 3. b7 Rc3+
2. - Rf7+ 3. Kd6 Nc4+ 4. Ke6!
4. Kc5? Rc7+ 5. Kd4 Bxb7
4. - Bxb7 5. Rh3+ Kg7 6. Rg3+ Kf8 7. Rg8+! Kxg8

Sinfonie Scacchistiche 10-12/1975
[7r/8/8/pR6/3K3b/8/4k1P1/B2b4]
    1. Re5+!
1. Rxa5? Bf6+ 2. Kc4 Rh4+ 3. Kb5 Rh5+ 4. Kb6 Rxa5
1. - Kd2 2. Rxa5 Bf6+ 3. Ke4
3. Kc4? Be2+ 4. Kb3 Rb8+
3. - Rh4+ 4. g4 Rxg4+ 5. Kd5 Rg5+ 6. Kc4 and now
a) 6. - Rxa5 7. Bc3+ Bxc3
b) 6. - Be2+ 7. Kb3 Rxa5 8. Bc3+ Bxc3

Thèmes 64 4-6/1976
1st Prize
Correction
[2k5/8/1K6/R6P/1n6/8/b4r2/8]
    1. Ra8+!
1. h6? Nd5+ 2. Kc5 Nf6
1. - Kd7 2. h6 Nd5+
2. - Rh2 3. h7! Rxh7 4. Ra7+
3. Kc5
3. Ka5? Bc4!
3. - Rc2+ 4. Kd4 Rd2+ 5. Ke5!
5. Kc5? Bb1 6. h7 Bxh7 7. Ra7+ Nc7
5. - Re2+ 6. Kd4 Bb1! 7. Ra1!
7. Kxd5? Be4+
7. - Rd2+ 8. Ke5 Bg6
8. - Nc3 9. Rxb1! Nxb1 10. Kf6 Nc3 11. h7 Ne4+ 12. Kg7 Rg2+ 13. Kf8! or 11. - Nd5+ 12. Kg7 Rg2+ 13. Kh6!
9. h7! Bxh7 10. Rd1! Rxd1

Tidskrift för Schack 6-8/1976
1st Honourable Mention
Correction
[2k3Kn/8/2n1P3/4P3/3B4/3bN1p1/8/8]
    1. e7! Kd7 2. e6+ Ke8 3. Bxh8 Nxe7+ 4. Kg7 Nf5+
4. - Ng6 5. Kg8 Nxh8 6. Kxh8 Ke7 7. Kg7 Kxe6 8. Kh6
5. Nxf5 g2 6. Kg8 g1=Q+ 7. Ng7+ Kd8 8. e7+ Kxe7

Tidskrift för Schack 10/1977
3rd Prize
[3B1K2/7B/3Pr1Pk/1n6/4P3/2b5/8/8]
    1. e5!
1. d7? Rd6 2. e5 Rxd7 or 2. Ke8 Kg7!
1. - Bxe5 2. d7 Rd6
2. - Bg7+ 3. Kf7 Rd6 4. Ke8
2. - Bf6 3. Bxf6 Rxf6+ 4. Ke7
3. g7!
3. Ke8? Kg7! 4. Be7 Nc7+ 5. Kd8 Rc6!
3. - Bxg7+ 4. Ke8!
4. Ke7? Kxh7 5. Bc7 Bf6+
4. - Kxh7 5. Be7! Nc7+ 6. Kf7
6. Kd8? Rc6!
6. - Rxd7


Shakhmaty v SSSR 3/1977
Correction
[8/6k1/2PK4/1rn5/3R4/3b4/8/8]
    1. c7! Nb7+ 2. Kc6 Na5+ 3. Kd6 Rb6+ 4. Kc5 Rb5+ 5. Kd6 Bf5 6. Rf4 Bh3 7. Rf3 Bc8 8. Rf7+! Kg8 9. Rf8+ Kxf8

Szachy, 1978
1st Prize
[8/3b4/P7/1r2P3/2R2K2/8/1b6/7k]
    1. a7! Ra5
1. - Bxe5+ 2. Ke4 Ra5 3. a8=Q Rxa8 4. Kxe5 or 2. - Bh3 3. Rc1+ Kh2 4. Rc2+ Bg2+ 5. Rxg2+ Kxg2 6. a8=Q
2. e6! Bxe6
2. - Ba4 3. e7 Rxa7 (3. - Ba3 4. Rc8) 4. Re4! Be8 5. Re1+ Kg2 6. Re2+
3. Re4 Bc1+
3. - Rf5+ 4. Kg3! Rg5+ 5. Kf2
3. - Bd5 4. Re1+ Kg2 5. Re2+
4. Kg3
4. Kf3? Bd5
4. - Ra3+ 5. Kf2
5. Kh4? Rh3#
5. - Ra2+
5. - Rf3+ 6. Ke2! (6. Kxf3? Bd5) 6. - Bd5 7. Rd4 Re3+ 8. Kf2 Rf3+ 9. Ke2
6. Kg3!
6. Ke1? Bd2+
6. Kf1? Bh3+
6. - Rg2+ 7. Kf3!
7. Kh4? Bg5+ 8. Kh5 Bf7#
7. - Bd5 8. a8=Q! Bxa8

As I've found so many compositions by Rusinek that show nice stalemates, there'll be a second post next week.

03 August 2012

Domination

Domination is a theme you can find in many endgame studies. It occurs when a piece has a relatively wide choice of destination squares, but nevertheless cannot avoid being captured. I'll show you some examples.

A. Herbstman
Communist Party Congress Tourney, 1934
3rd Prize
Version
[8/8/8/5r2/2K2P1p/6R1/k3p3/4bB2]
  Draw(4+5)  
    1. Rg2! Rxf4+ 2. Kd3 Rxf1 3. Kxe2 Rh1 4. Kf3+ Ka3 5. Ra2+ Kxa2 6. Kg2
White dominates the black rook and obtains the well-known positional draw based on the 'wrong-coloured' rook pawn.

H. Rinck
Els Escacs a Catalunya et Jaque, 1935
[2k4b/2P5/8/6N1/8/P7/2K5/8]
  Win(4+2)  
    1. Nf7!
1. Ne6? Be5 2. Kb3 Bxc7
1. - Ba1! 2. Kb1
2. Nd6+? Kxc7 3. Kb1 Be5 or 3. Nb5+ Kb6 4. Nc3 Bxc3
2. - Bg7,Bf6 3. Nd6+ Kxc7 4. Ne8+ or
2. - Bc3,Bd4 3. Nd6+ Kxc7 4. Nb5+
and White wins.

V. Korolkov
L. Mitrofanov
FIDE Tourney, 1959
1st Prize
[5R2/8/P7/1K1k4/8/1b2r3/5PPr/6b1]
  Draw(5+4)  
    1. a7!
1. fxe3? Bc4+ 2. Ka5 Bxe3
1. Rd8+? Ke6 2. Re8+ (2. fxe3 Rh7) Kf7 3. Rxe3 Rh5+ 4. Kb4 Bd5 5. Re2 Rf5
1. - Ba4+!
1. - Bc4+ 2. Kb4 Rb3+ 3. Ka4 Bb5+ 4. Kxb3 Bc6 5. a8=Q
2. Kxa4 Rh4+ 3. g4!
3. f4? Re4+ 4. Kb5 Bxa7
3. - Rxg4+ 4. f4
4. Kb5? Rb3+ 5. Ka5 Ra3+ 6. Kb6 Rb4+
4. - Re4+ 5. Kb5! Bxa7 6. Rd8+ Ke6 7. Re8+ Kf5 8. Rf8+ Kg6 9. Rg8+ Kh5 10. Rh8+ Kg6 11. Rg8+ Kf5 12. Rf8+ Ke6 13. Re8+ Kd5 14. Rd8+
White either gets a perpetual check or wins a rook, reaching a materially drawn endgame.

D. Gurgenidze
L. Mitrofanov
Molodoj Leninets (Kurgan), 1981
1st Prize
Version (1984)
[8/8/8/2pK3p/8/5N2/1P4pq/5Rbk]
  Win(4+6)  
    1. Rb1!
1. Re1? c4 2. Ke4 c3 3. bxc3 h4 4. Kf5 h3 (or 4. - Qh3+) 5. Kg4 Qg3+! (5. - Qf4+? 6. Kxf4 h2 7. Nxh2 Kxh2 8. Kf3) 6. Kxg3 h2
1. Ra1? c4! 2. Ke4 h4 3. Re1 h3 4. Ra1 c3 5. b4! c2 6. b5 c1=Q 7. Rxc1 Qe5+! 8. Kxe5 (8. Nxe5 h2) 8. - h2 9. Nxh2 Kxh2 10. Kf4 Bb6 or 2. Kc6 h4 3. Kb7 h3 4. Ka8 c3 5. bxc3 Qb8+! 6. Kxb8 h2
1. - c4 2. Kc6! h4 3. Kb7! h3 4. Ka8!
4. Kc6? c3 5. bxc3 Qc7+! 6. Kxc7 h2
4. - c3
4. - Qb8+ 5. Kxb8 h2 6. Ng5 c3 7. Ne4 cxb2 8. Ng3#
5. bxc3 Qb8+! 6. Rxb8! h2
6. - Bc5 7. Rh8 or 6. - Bd4 7. cxd4 h2 8. Rb1+
7. Rh8 B~ 8. Rxh2#

J. de Villeneuve-Esclapon
Schweizerische Schachzeitung, 1923
1st Prize
Correction
[1k3B1r/N7/7P/8/3n4/7K/1b5P/8]
  Draw(5+4)  
    Version by P. Benko, Chess Life & Review 5/1992:
1. Bg7! Rh7 2. Kg4 Kxa7
2. - Kb7 3. Kh5 Nf5 4. Bxb2 Rxh6+ 5. Kg5 Rb6 6. Be5 Nd6 7. Bxd6 Rxd6 8. h4
3. Kh5 Nf5
3. - Ne6 4. Bxb2 Rb7 5. Ba3 Rb3 6. Be7 Rh3+ 7. Kg6 Kb7 8. Kf5 Nd8 9. Kg6
4. Bxb2 Rxh6+ 5. Kg5 Rxh2 6. Be5 Rf2 7. Bf4 Nd4 8. Be3 Rf5+ 9. Kg4 Rd5 10. Kf4 Kb6 11. Ke4 Kc5 12. Kd3

Other versions:
  • I. Maizelis, source ?, 1956
    8/k5Br/7P/8/3n2K1/8/1b6/8
    1. Kh5! Nf5 2. Bxb2 Rxh6+ 3. Kg5 Rh2 4. Be5 etc.
  • J. Van Reek, Endgame Study Composition in The Netherlands and Flanders, 1992
    k7/3B4/1r5P/3n2K1/8/1b6/8/8
    1. h7! Rb8 2. Be6

    2. Bf5? Ne3 3. Be4+ Bd5 4. Bd3 Rh8 5. Kg6 Bg8 6. Kg7 Bxh7
    2. - Rh8 3. Kh6 Nf6 4. Bxb3 Rxh7+ 5. Kg6 Rh3

    5. - Rb7 6. Be6 Ne4 7. Bd5
    6. Be6 Rf3 7. Bf5! Nd5! 8. Be4! Rf6+ 9. Kg5! Rd6 10. Kf5! Kb7 11. Ke5! Kc6! 12. Kd4!

27 July 2012

This and that

What a heat! I will just write a few lines, show you two chess problems and take a cold shower (again).

In an earlier post I've mentioned my intention to compose a moremover demonstrating a king march from one corner of the board to another. In the meantime I've found the following chess problem. It can be so easy, right?

  1Helmut Klug  
Manfred Zucker  
Freie Presse, 1971
Weihnachts- und Neujahrsgruß
[K7/P7/8/rp6/rp1N4/kB6/2P5/B1bN4]
  #8(7+6)  

It's no big deal figuring out the solution: 1. Kb8! Bf4+ 2. Kc8 Bc1 3. Kd8 Bg5+ 4. Ke8 Bc1 5. Kf8 Bh6+ 6. Kg8 Bc1 7. Kh8 R~ / B~ 8. Nxb5 / Bb2#. Hats off to the composers who mastered this theme with only 13 chessmen!

The second composition is one of those I've already written about here and here. But something is different here. That's why I don't reveal the solution at once and challenge you to find out where the crux lies. It's not that difficult, I promise.

  2Andrej N. Frolkin  
Internet, 2011
[7k/7p/P6p/P6p/P6p/P6p/P7/K7]
Add the missing unit(s) (6+6)

Show/Hide solution

20 July 2012

Black or White or ?

This is the last part of the series. Maybe you enjoyed it at least a bit, maybe you've been waiting impatiently for a change of the subject.

What else is there to show that makes me write another post about colour changes? Well, so far, we've seen pieces be a) white or b) black. But another phase c) could be to remove the piece. Look what I have found.

  1Christopher John Feather  
Black to play, 1994
[6nB/5pQK/7p/4r3/r3pk2/8/4p3/8]
  h#2(3+8)  
a) Diagram
b) wPe4
c) -bPe4

  2Hans Peter Rehm  
problem 09/1966
[3n4/q2pr3/1n1kP3/P2B2p1/3B2r1/PR1P1p2/KP2PP2/8]
  h#2(11+9)  
a) Diagram
b) bBd4
c) bBd4, bBd5
d) bBd5
e) -wBd5
f) -wBd4
g) -wBd4, bBd5
h) -wBd5, bBd4
i) -wBd4, -wBd5
Solutions
1a) 1. Ke3 Qxe5 2. Kd3 Qc3#
b) 1. Rh5 Qc3 2. Kg5 Qg3#
c) 1. Kf5 Qg3 2. Rg4 Qxe5#
If you examine the white moves you'll see that they are cyclic. Very nice composition!
2a) 1. Nc8 Bxa7 2. Kc7 Bb8#
b) 1. Kc5 a4 2. d6 Rb5#
c) 1. Nc4 Rb6+ 2. Kc5 b4#
d) 1. Bc6 Rb5 2. Nxe6 Be5#
e) 1. Kxe6 Rxb6+ 2. Kf5 Rf6#
f) 1. Ke5 d4+ 2. Kf4 Rxf3#
g) 1. Kc5 d4+ 2. Kc4 Rb4#
h) 1. Kc5 Rxb6 2. d5 b4#
i) 1. Ke5 Rb5+ 2. Kf4 e3#
We see all possible combinations of the bishops on d4 and d5 being white, black or absent. Wow!

The third phase c) in the final four chess problems uses a neutral piece, another great idea. We get to see eleven model model mates.

  3Jorge Joaquin Lois  
Problemas 10-12/1981
dedicated to R. Candela Sanz
[8/8/kb6/5K2/1P2PQ2/8/8/8]
  h#2(4+2)  
a) Diagram
b) bPb4
c) nPb4

  4Michel Caillaud  
Phenix 07-08/2002
 
[5N1N/4K3/6Pp/7k/8/7B/5B2/8]
  h#2(6+2)  
a) Diagram
b) bNh8
c) nNh8

  5Kjell Widlert  
  
Springaren 05/1998
[4K3/b7/1P6/Nk6/rbNP4/p2P4/8/7B]
  h#2(7+5)  
a) Diagram
b) bBh1
c) nBh1

  6Pieter Barend van Dalfsen  
Albertus Marinus Koldijk  
Probleemblad 1997
[8/8/8/8/6Pn/8/3NK1kb/6R1]
  h#2(4+3)  
a) Diagram
b) bRg1
c) nRg1
Solutions
3a) 1. Bd8 Qb8 2. Ba5 b5#
b) 1. Kb5 Qd2 2. Kc5 Qd5#
c) 1. nPb3 e5 2. Ka5 Qa4#
4a) 1. Kg5 Bg3 2. h5 Nf7#
b) 1. Nf7 Ne6 2. Ng5 Nf4#
c) 1. nNxg6+ nNf4+ 2. Kg5 Ne6#
5a) 1. Rxa5 Kd7 2. Ra6 Bc6#
b) 1. Bb7 Nc6 2. Ba6 Nxa7#
c) 1. nBa8 Nb7 2. Kc6 Nd6#
6a) 1. Kh3 Nf1 2. Bg3 Rxg3#
b) 1. Kh1 Ne4 2. Ng2 Nf2#
c) 1. Kh3 Ne4 2. nRxg4 Nf2#

13 July 2012

Black or White (6)

Now that we're through with colour changes of each of the five different piece types, we want to have a look at some examples that show a combination of that motif.

In the first two chess problems the changes are done separately, the other two demonstrate consecutive changes.

  1Ralf Krätschmer  
mpk-Blätter 12/2011
Commendation
[8/1B2p3/1rN2p2/1p1kB2R/2p1p3/8/5PK1/8]
  h#2(6+7)  
a) Diagram
b) bBe5
c) bRh5
d) bNc6
e) bBb7

  2Rolf Wiehagen  
Christer Jonsson  
Springaren 09/2009
[q7/3P4/2p5/4R3/p2k4/2n2N2/1N6/7K]
  h#2(4+6)  
a) Diagram
b) bPd7
c) bRe5
d) wNc4

  3G. Bakcsi jr.  
Laszlo Zoltan  
Umenie 64, 1996
[8/8/8/3Npk1P/2R5/B2P4/B3P3/1b3K1n]
  h#2(8+4)  
a) Diagram
b) bRc4
c) further bNd5

  4Wiktor J. Abrossimow  
Schachmatnaja Poesija, 2006
3rd Honourable Mention
[5b2/4r3/2b1P3/3nk3/8/KN2N3/5p2/3R4]
  h#2(5+6)  
a) Diagram
b) wBc6
c) further bNe3
d) further wNd5

Solutions
1a) 1. Ke6 Rh7 2. Kd7 Rxe7#
b) 1. Ke6 Nb8 2. Bd6 Bd5#
c) 1. Kc5 Bc3 2. Rd5 Bb4#
d) 1. Ke6 Rh8 2. Kd7 Bc8#
e) 1. e3 Nb4+ 2. Ke4 f3#
2a) 1. Qa5 d8=N 2. Qc3 Nxc6#
b) 1. d5 Re3 2. c5 Nc2#
c) 1. Rb5 d8=Q+ 2. Kc5 Nd3#
d) 1. b1=N Nb2 2. Nc3 Nf3#
3a) 1. Ke6 Rc8 2. Kd7 Nb6#
b) 1. Nf2 Be7 2. Rf4 Ne3#
c) 1. Rg4 Be7 2. Nf4 e4#
4a) 1. Kd6 Re1 2. Rc7 Nf5#
b) 1. Nc7 Bd5 2. Kd6 Nc4#
c) 1. Nf4 Rd5+ 2. Ke4 Nd2#
d) 1. Ke4 Rc1 2. Kd3 Nf4#

06 July 2012

Black or White (5)

Finally, no surprise, there are the pawns that change colours. As I've found so many examples, I selected the miniatures that have no captures and end with ideal mates.

  1Nikolai O. Dolginowitsch  
Ideal-Mate Review 01-03/1996
Commendation
8/1p6/1k6/8/PN6/3K2B1/8/8
  h#2(4+2)  
a) Diagram
b) bPa4

  2Tode Ilievski  
Ideal-Mate Review 10-12/1997
Commendation
[8/8/K7/8/1pkP1N2/3R4/2n5/8]
  h#2(4+3)  
a) Diagram
b) bPd4

  3Tode Ilievski  
Ideal-Mate Review 07-09/1998
Commendation
8/8/3K4/8/B1k5/2P5/4n3/2R5
  h#2(4+2)  
a) Diagram
b) bPc3

  4Anatoli W. Stjopotschkin  
Schachmatnaja Poesija 2007
  
[8/7K/8/5kp1/R7/8/2N5/b3r3]
  h#2(3+4)  
a) Diagram
b) wPg5

I already indicated in the previous post that there is much more you can do with this colour change effect — you'll see in the following weeks.

Solutions
1a) 1. Kc5 Bh4 2. b6 Be7#
b) 1. Ka5 Kc3 2. b5 Bc7#
2a) 1. Ne3 Ng6 2. Nd5 Ne5#
b) 1. Na1 Rd2 2. Nb3 Rc2#
3a) 1. Nd4 Bd1 2. Nb3 Be2#
b) 1. Nf4 Re1 2. Nd3 Re4#
Observe the move patterns: N-B-N-B and N-R-N-R. Maybe just a coincidence, still nice.
4a) 1. Bf6 Rh4 2. Re5 Nd4#
b) 1. Re6 Rg4 2. Be5 Ne3#

29 June 2012

Black or White (4)

Time for the knights. We'll start with three miniatures and a nice co-production.

  1Attila Benedek  
Magyar Sakkélet 10/1971
2nd Prize Tipografia Blitz Tourney
2N5/1n6/8/n7/k7/8/PK6/8
  h#2(3+3)  
a) Diagram
b) wNb7

  2Sergej W. Radtschenko  
Ideal-Mate Review 04-06/1998
Commendation
[3rN1K1/1P2k3/1R6/8/8/8/8/8]
  h#2
  0.1...
(4+2)  
a) Diagram
b) bNe8

  3Eligiusz Zimmer  
  
Problemkiste 12/2011
k7/r7/2n5/2n5/R7/8/8/K7
  h#2(2+4)  
a) Diagram
b) wNc5

  4Christer Jonsson  
Rolf Wiehagen
  
Problem-Forum 09/2001
[bb1K4/7p/2RR3P/6kp/2r4N/3r2pP/4NP2/3q3n]
  h#2(8+10)  
a) Diagram
b) bNh4

The last two compositions show more than one colour change. This is even more fascinating and it's only the beginning.

  5Eligiusz Zimmer  
  
Schachmatnaja Komposizija 2007
  
[rknB1K2/1p1p3q/6pp/3Pn3/8/7b/8/8]
  h#2(3+10)  
a) Diagram
b) wNc8
c) wNe5

  6György Bakcsi  
Laszlo Zoltan
  
Mat Plus 1997
4th Commendation
[6R1/6n1/4p3/4r1n1/7k/7r/K5P1/3q4]
  h#2(3+7)  
a) Diagram
b) wNg7
c) further wNg5

Solutions
1a) 1. Nd6 a3 2. Nb5 Nb6#
b) 1. Kb5 a4+ 2. Ka6 Nc5#
2a) 1. - b8=N 2. Kxe8 Re6#
b) 1. - Rd6 2. Rc8 bxc8=N#
3a) 1. Na5 Rc4 2. Nb7 Rc8#
b) 1. Nb8 Na6 2. Rb7 Nc7#
The white knight seems to be well placed on c5, especially after one has seen the solution to a). But Black has no waiting move (1. Na5 Rd..h5 2. ? Rd..h8#).
4a) 1. Rf3 Rd5+ 2. Rf5 Nf3#
b) 1. Rf4 Rc5+ 2. Rf5 f4#
5a) 1. Nc6 d6 2. Na7 Bc7#
b) 1. Ra7 Bc7+ 2. Ka8 Nb6#
c) 1. Be6 Bb6 2. Bf7 Nxd7#
6a) 1. Nf3 gxf3 2. Nh5 Rg4#
b) 1. Nf3 Nf5+ 2. Kh5 g4#
c) 1. Rh2 Nh3 2. Kg3 Nf5#