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Black to Play and, Umm

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I bumped into this little composition (Anton, 1951) while looking for a heavy-piece study for today's Black Belt (Essent annotations, Cap d'Agde tactics, plug plug).

It's a little odd because it's black to play (and white to win), but it's also cooked. The given solution is 1..Ra7 2.Q to anywhere on the long diagonal wins. A trifle, certainly not BB material. But the cook is far prettier than the solution. Black draws.


Hi Mig - That one was easy, saw the forced stalemate in under 10 seconds w/no computer help.

Couple of quick questions:

1) What's this about a $15 million dollar match between Fischer and Karpov that's being talked about on Susan Polgar's website?

2) I've been trying to dig up a copy of the purported picture taken of Fischer and Karpov together in Japan in 1977 (according to Karpov in his autobiography, this was distributed world-wide by the France-Press Agency). I've never been able to find a copy.

I am frankly amazed that evidently nobody saw this in 1951. It isn't that hard...


...Rc5 and followed by ...Rbc7 stalemate.

Um. actually, it looks like the forcing Rc7+ followe d by Rc5 works too.

just kidding - the rook is pinned

The Fischer-Karpov match is just another one of those pie-in-the-sky dreams that will never happen. I read somewhere that so-and-so is ponying up the money and Karpov has already signed the contract, now we're just waiting for RJF. And waiting, and waiting, and waiting........ Another internet rumor, another variation on the second (sorry, third) coming of our savior, Bobby.

Next rumor: The Icelandic GM will be playing a certain Bulgarian GM in a match. All games will be postponed by protest. All games will be decided by the appeals committee. Classical time controls and no one get a bathroom break until the game is over. Players will be frisked for bladder flasks upon entering the arena!

It's Rook c5 and then the other R at c7 and null at any variation. Found it in 30''.
Now, I became George again instead of George Patzer !

I told you, analyzing on-line games without any computer assistance makes you stronger 8-))

Hey Mig, if I can judge from recent articles,
putting a nice "WC" at every article title will give you about 60% more visitors and 120% more posts.
Try it !

eg. You can say it means World Championship ;-)

Very sweet. It's an excellent example of zugzwang -- I'll pass it on to my son to study.


P.S. We used to muse over big books with such chess puzzles back in the old contry.

I can't stand the term 'chess puzzle'.

John Nunn won the World Problem Solving Championship - and people devote much time and love to problem composition. FIDE Grandmasters of Composition are not puzzle makers.

Puzzle makes me think of rolling a tiny steel ball around a plastic maze.

Anyone who calls Yarosh's Babson Task (http://www.xs4all.nl/~timkr/chess/babs.html) a mere puzzle needs a quick chessboard over the noggin.

Phew: I feel better now that's off my chest...

Here's a couple heavy piece studies for you mig:

White to move, (Shurig, Leipzig) =:
8/6pk/6q1/7p/7P/8/2Q5/1K6 w - - 0 1

White to move, (Rinck, "Deutsche Schachzeitung", 1090) +-:
8/p3K3/8/2pk3P/q2p4/8/p3P3/5Q2 w - - 0 1


So, Babson what's the difference between your chess PUZZLE and Mig's chess PUZZLE ?
I didn't quite understand. I don't know enough for chess PUZZLES !
Sorry ...

Just a silly joke.

I am frankly amazed that evidently nobody saw this in 1951. It isn't that hard...

Remember that Mig told us Black draws which makes it a trifle..A double rook sacrifice isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you are playing a game, or looking at a position cold.

Reminds me of a problem I saw in one of Lasker's books (back when I actually read them)--think it was originally by Horwitz and Kling. Don't remember the starting position of the problem, but at the following position I remember I noticed black could draw: W: Nf3, e6, Kf7 B: Bh4, Kh8..the problem goes on to give 1...Bd8 2. Ne5 and the idea is that Black will be zugged after either 2...Bh4 3. Ng4 Bd8 4. Nf6 or 2...Kh7 3. Ng4 Kh8 4. Nf6.

Mig told us it was a composition. I expressed amazement that no one found the cook.

It is hard to believe?! Someone had to find this back in 51 and for whatever reason never went public with it. It's just too easy.

Look I found it in 30'' but I KNEW it had to be something tricky.
I think in a normal game my probs to find it were 1 in 10.000 because :
* I would tired
* I would be fed up with endgame variations
* I would not have a fresh thought in the position
* I would not expect that such a move exists
* I would have agreed on a draw before
That's why one should study all this stuff before plays a normal game.

Hey, all of you who think it's as easy as a 30" move, IT'S NOT.

Tired, and fed up with engame variations, and not having a fresh thought in the position, and draw before... all that is bull.

When you're playing a game like this, and you're cornered, you're thinking about a draw and how to get it, not about how to win or which moves would never be thinkable. You're considering every move, thinking that anything might save you.

You might lose a game like this only because of two factors:

1. You already think you're lost. How many times has it happened before, either to you or at the greatest level? One player considers the position lost, and even though playing on, they already gave up. This happens a lot. You only see obvious moves, not complex draw opportunities.

2. Time. Hey, even you guys took 30", at least, to find it, KNOWING that there was another solution. In a REAL game, with pressed time controls and you running for your life, any of us would have screwed up. Don't know how much time black had left, but my guess is, if he didn't find the draw opportunity, either he didn't have much time, or didn't take a lot of time in Ra7.

That's the problem with chess puzzles. They tell you the outcome. If the puzzle said, "black to move, you're white, what's the next move and the outcome", EVERYONE would say, White wins. Not even 1% of the players would have found ...Rc5.

Then again, we're all woodpushers... who wants to lose against a dumb puzzle? LOL

The above comment (by "Tal") is accurate in all aspects, and psychologically astute.

Strictly speaking, that comment and many that preceded it are a little misplaced, in the sense that the initial post makes clear this was a composed PROBLEM, not an actual game situation. In contrast to "puzzles", Problems, even if presented in realistic (i.e. game-like) settings, aren't really meant to be teaching aids for real-life competition. Rather, from reading the work of problem connoisseurs (i.e. David Brown) I get the sense that problems are sui generis, intended to be viewed and appreciated as an art form in itself, for purely aesthetic value.

On the other hand, I myself am not interested in problems. So I welcome the critical thrust of this thread, which asks how much improvement value a player really gets out of studying puzzles. Dozens of times, I've had the thought upon seeing and quickly solving a diagram in a chess book, "Yeah, I saw that in 2.16 seconds...but in a real game, I'd miss it 9 times in 10!" Like they say about kids, "Too bad they don't come with an instruction manual." If our own real-life chess games came with a real-time telepathic caption that popped up saying, "White to play and win" at the appropriate moment(s), we'd all be rated 2500+.

Taking my above thought a little bit further....just yesterday I jotted down some notes for an article whose title is: "Fire Your Coach. Hire a Shrink!"

That message incorporates a little intentional exaggeration, for effect. But the basic idea is this: How and why do chess players go wrong at the board? At my level at least, the great majority of errors and losses stem not from lack of chess knowledge, but from failing to apply the knowledge we already have. Think about it...How many times have you slapped yourself on the head after a loss, saying, "Why did I go grabbing pawns on the queenside with my Queen, when I could see that my king was in danger? I knew all along you're not supposed to do that."

Or: "Why didn't I trade Queens when I had the chance? I was up 2 pawns, and then my opponent would have never had a chance for counterplay."

Or: "Why did I start pushing my pawns as soon as the last pair of Rooks was exchanged? I know enough to have taken a few moves to activate my King first."

That's what I mean by, "Fire Your Coach. Hire a Shrink." Players at every level focus their study and improvement efforts solely on obtaining more knowledge. My contention is most of us would get much more bang for our study bucks, if our study program instead hunted for ways to make sure we would exploit the knowledge we already have.

So, I have placed that goal at the center of my own work; emphasizing chess psychology, self-understanding, and seeking greater insight not (only) into what is happening on the board, but what is happening off the board -- in the student's own mind and emotions, while competing.

Mig listed this as a "little composition" a study if you will. An entirely different genre than otb with all of its ramifications. As such, it was easy to solve and all the philosophizing and pontification won't change that one iota.

Thank you, chesstraveler. Few people can digest what they read, it seems.

But I will now stick my neck out and say that the probability that I would see the draw OTB in a classical game if I have a bit of time or a bit of inspiration (one of the two will suffice) is far greater than 0...

You're right Charly. It is difficult to stomach your pretentious tone. I'm working on it..


Albrecht van der Lieth told me always to distrust people with three names. That aside, I have no trouble stomaching Charley's pretense of balanced, bright, and concise writing.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 3, 2006 3:37 PM.

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