Sunday, August 30, 2009

Best Study for 2005

Today we will see the study which was selected as best for the year 2005 from the PCCC, (Permanent Commission of Fide for Chess Composition).

[Study of the Year 2005] is a composition by Yuri Bazlov (who received this distinction the next year also).

The study has got some difficulty.
If the pawns and the white Knight are captured, no black piece must be lost.
If the Knights are captured, there is theoretical draw (K+B+P vs K+P) in some places.

The position should be very interesting for the Over-The-Board players.

Study of the year 2005.

(Problem 380)
Yuri Bazlov,
5th Prize, Tourney for John Nunn's 50th birthday, 2005,
White plays and draws.
= (3 + 4)

The solution follows...

Key : 1.Sh8!
(The alternative is [1.Kg7? Sd6 2.Se5 g3] but Black can secure his pawn on g3 and gradually improve the position of his pieces. Of course, he must avoid the exchange of knights, which leads to a positional draw provided White’s king can reach f1. Although the win is not easy, it can be accomplished in the end; for example, [3.Kg6 Bd8!] stopping the white king reaching e6, after which it is very hard for Black to displace the centralized white pieces).

(the only winning chance is to prevent White’s king moving immediately to g6. After [1...Sxh8 2.Kxh8 Kc6 3.Kg7 Kd5 4.Kg6 Be3] Black cannot move his bishop to f4 or h4 without losing his pawn, so he loses another tempo later when White attacks the g3-pawn with his king [5.Kf5 g3 6.Kg4 Bf2 7.Kf3 Kd4 8.Ke2!]. The king reaches f1, with a standard positional draw).

(Already one piece down, White offers a second one!)

3.Kg6! Ne5+!
(The best try is to sacrifice the bishop, as [3...Kc6 4.Kxf7 Kd5 5.Kg6] draws as in the note to Black’s first move).

(Declining the offer. [4.Kxg5?] loses after [4...Kc6! 5.Kf4 Kd6!] gaining the opposition [6.Ke4 (6.Kf5 Kd5 wins) Ke6 7.Kf4 Kf6 8.g3 Ke6 9.Kg5 Kd5 10.Kf5 Kd4 11.Kf4 Kd3!] and the g3-pawn falls).

(Amazing but true; Black cannot win despite being two clear minor pieces up. [4...Sf3 5.Kxg4] and [4...Bf6 5.Kxf6 Sf3 6.Kf5 Sh2 7.Kf4] are both clear draws).

5.Kg6 Se5+
6.Kf5! Draw.

(Notes by John Nunn).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Best Study for 2006

As we have said, the Permanent Commission of Fide for Chess Composition (PCCC), each year selects a study and gives to it the title [Study of the Year xxxx]. We will see today the study which was selected as Best for 2006.

[Study of the Year 2006] is a study by Yuri Bazlov (Russian, born in 1947), who composes remarkable problems for many years now. He had received this distinction also for the previous year.

The position has several pieces and is aristocratic (that means there are no pawns). It is difficult for someone to suppose that such a position can appear in an actual chess game, but they have searched through the computer held databases and have found similar positions at a percentage one to a million.

So the solvers could lose interest on a study with 'improbable' position. But since the image of a centered mate being delivered by the last remaining piece – the Knight – is impressive, try to solve this study. All the pieces move to their final positions and only white pieces are captured.

There is no try, only the main solution. Admire what can a man create!

Study of the year 2006.

(Problem 379)
Yuri Bazlov,
First Prize, Composition Tourney in memory of the British C. M. Bent, 2006,
White plays and wins.
+ (4 + 5)

For the solution, start with
Key : 1.Be4+! Ke6

The solution follows...

(not 1.Qe4+? Kc5 2.Bxc4 Bf4+ 3.Kg6 Rxc4 4.Qa8 Re7 and we cannot see a winning plan for white)

Key : 1.Be4+! Ke6

(not 2.Qb3? Rf4 3.Qxa4 Rxe4 and the white is not winning)

(not 2...Rfa7 3.Bd5+ Kf5 4.Qf8+ Kg4 5.Qf3+ Kh4 6.Be6 and the white will mate)

3.Kg6 Se5+
4.Kh5 Rxe4
(not 4...Rd7 5.Bd5+ Rxd5 6.Sc7+ Kd7 7.Sxd5 and white will win)
(not 4...Rfa7 5.Bd5+ Kd7 6.Sf6+ Kd8 7.Be6 R4a5 8.Qb6+ Ke7 9.Sg8+ Kf8 10.Qd8+ Kg7 11.Qf6+ Kh7 12.Se7 and white can win)

5.Qd6+ Kf5
6.Qf6+ Rxf6
7.Sg7# 1-0