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!