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ICD3 - check your eyesight and calculation

Igor's Chess Doubles - ICD #3 - GM Alex Yermolinsky's mystery!

Here is the next set. I will not post the answers or solutions until after a week or so, to give readers a chance. You are welcome to post your solutions and explanations. Please don't use computer help. The best response can request a copy of my Chess Exam You vs. Fischer book (you pay only for shipping/handling). The earliest response gets a node, when similar answers are given. Use variations only as necessary. See my answers to ICD #1 as example.

I hope you like these puzzles and my Chess Exam books.

Check these pairs of positions. For each pair –

1. Determine what is different between setups (A) and (B). White is always at the bottom (a1 = bottom left corner). 1 point for each pair. Maximum of 4

2. You always have BLACK pieces, no matter Who is to move – determine if you (Black) would rather have position (A) or (B), or indifferent. Make sure you have a good reason! You get 2-10 points, depending on complexity. Adjust your score, if your reasoning wasn't 100%. Maximum of 21 for set 3.

Overall, the maximum score for set #3 is 25. How will you do? Invite your friends to compete! Enjoy!

In #1- my friend GM Alex Yermolinsky didn't like his position (Black) in the recent Pittsburgh Open. Can you tell me if his position was 1A or 1B?

 

     

[3 points]

#1 Easy

{A       B}

Black to Move

     

[5]

#2 Moderate

{A       B}

White to Move

     

[5]

#3 Moderate

{A       B}

Black to Move

     

[9]

#4 Hard

{A       B}

Black to Move

     

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Best,

Igor

Igor Khmelnitsky

 

 

 

Answers - will be posted in a week or so.

Comments


  • 17 months ago

    IM IgorKhmelnitsky

    to Kacparov

     

    Thank you for your comments. I don't see anything wrong with this particular position (#2).

     

    In #2, it is indeed White to move. But, since the reader is "Black", the thought process provided in the answer is for Black. Another words "Which position would enable Black to sustain less damage in case of 1.Bxf6?" and the answer is B, since Black could meet 1.Bxf6 with 1...Bxf3

  • 17 months ago

    IM Kacparov

    [5]

    #2 Moderate

    {A       B}

    White to Move


    And in the answers it's black to move.. that's why we all got it the other way around

  • 17 months ago

    IM IgorKhmelnitsky

    Answers - 1. {Black prefers A} moving the c6-B to b7 is NOT good for Black as, after 1…Rhe8, White has 2.Qc3 and 2…Qxe3+ can’t be played – the Black Q is pinned. Alex Yermolinsky did have his B on b7 (position B) and a ended up with a very unpleasant position. 3 points

    2. {Black prefers B} White’s main threat is 1.Bxf6 Pxf6 2.Nxf6+ Kf8 (the Q is pinned) 3.Qxe7+ and 4.Nxg4. Black’s only defensive play is an intermediate 1…Bxf3. Prior to working out all sorts of captures after 2.Bxe7, or settling for 2.Qxf3, White must consider an immediate strike 2.Nd6+, followed by 3.Qxe7! This is where it is critical (for Black) to have the B on b4, which would allow 2…Bxb6, defending the Q art once. 5 points (I didn’t see anyone explaining this position correctly Frown)

    3. {Black prefers A} When the b4-P is removed, the White R can stop the e-P from b1. Why would he worry about the e-P when it looks like it could also be stopped from e7 (ex. 1…Pe3+ 2.Kf3 Pe2 3.Re7)? This is because Black can strike – 2…Rf4+!! 3.Kxf4 (3.Kg2 Pe2 4.Re7 Re4) Pxf2, and, without the access to b1, the White R can’t stop the P – 4.Rd7+ Kc2 5.Rc7+ Kb2. 5 points

     4. {Black prefers B} Ra3->a2. If you figure this one out on your own, you should VERY PROUD of yourself. The variation is long and tricky! 1….Rxg3+ (clearance) 2.Pfxg3 (else 2…Qg2#) Qh1+!! 3.Kxh1 Rf1+ 4.Bg1 Bf3+ 5.Qg2 (with the R on a3, White can simply play 5.Rxf3+-) Pxg2+ 6.Rxg2 Pb6 – zugzwang, Black wins! 9-points

     

    Nice job everyone! Please contact me if you have any questions, or feel that your comment was the best.

  • 17 months ago

    IM IgorKhmelnitsky

    Thank you all who participated. So, far it looks like there is a group of players who try to answer the questions. And another group, perhpahs of more experienced players, who give them feedback. I think this is great! What I found amusing, is that it looks like so far one of the questions wasn't answered properly by either of the group Wink! I'll give you another couple of days to figure which one.

    I am also having a hard time trying to figure out who provided the best response. Any suggsestions?

    I also appreciate people not using computer or reading prior comments on initial try (Mordecai10)

  • 18 months ago

    Mordecai10

    Yes, you are right, but I posted my answers before reading the comments in the interest of fairness. I also should have tried #4 on an analysis board as the answer I gave was worked out only on mental calculation :P

    Kacparov's post also means I got #3 wrong, but I was never certain on that one.

  • 18 months ago

    Mordecai10

    1. {A} - The critical move for black is 1..Rae8, skewering white's queen against the rook in an attempt to win material. With black's bishop on b7, white has the response 2. Qc3!, where white maintains material equality after 2..Qxc3 3. Rxc3+. If black's bishop were on c6, black's queen would not be pinned against his king after 2. Qc3 and hence black could simply win a rook with 2..Qxe3+.

    I therefore assume GM Alex Yermolinsky had position 1B!

    2. {A} - Moving the bishop from a5 to b4 allows white to win material with 1. Bxf6 Bxf3 2. Bxe7 Bxe2 3. Bxb4 Bxf1 4. Kxf1. In Position A, after 2..Bxe2 white does not have Bxb4 due to the bishop being on a5. White is, in fact, losing material as his bishop and rook are both under attack.
    Note that in both positions, 1..gxf6 loses a piece to 2. Nxf6+ followed by 3. Qxe7+ Kxe7 4. Nxg4.

    3. {B} - Removing white's b4 pawn from the board allows the sequence 1..e3+ 2. Kf3 exf2 (2..e2 fails to 3. Re7 in both positions) 3. Kxf2 Ra4 where white cannot prevent the loss of his a5 pawn and black is achieving a draw at worst.

    4. {B} - Moving white's rook from a3 to a2 gives black a forced win: 1..Rxg3+! 2. fxg3 Qh1+! 3. Kxh1 Rxf1+ 4. Bg1 Bf3 with checkmate to follow.
    If white's rook were on a3, he would have 5. Rxf3 to stop the checkmate.

  • 18 months ago

    IM Kacparov

    In #3 it's A, but not because of MarMars's e3+ followed by e2, but because of 1...e3+ 2.Kf3 Rf4+!! 3.Kxf4 exf2 4.Rd7+ Kc2 5.Rc7+ Kb2 0-1

  • 18 months ago

    MoonlessNight

    Sergio_Strazzacappa: I think you are right!

  • 18 months ago

    MrMars

    #1- position A. without a doubt. Re8 wins on the spot. queen cannot be pinned with Qc3.

    #2- position A. if 1.Bxf6 ... Bxf3 2.Bxe7 ...Bxe2...black is ahead in position A because the bishop will not be en prise on a5 as opposed to b4. so black will either win the rook or bishop. I'd say it is even.

    #3-position A. the b-pawn blocks the white rook from becoming a defender in the position. the first move is 1...d3+ and then 2.d2 and if the king comes close the black king can come closer to promote.


    #4-position B. in position A the bishop is trapped. but in B, it can come out with 1...Bb3 and then 2...Bc4. once the rook moves away, there is a potential sacrifice on e3, checkmate on f1 could be threatened.

  • 18 months ago

    MoonlessNight

    #1:A  Bishop on c6 or b7. I would take A, since I could play after Rhe8 white doesn't have Qc3! trying to trade queens.

    #2:B, since the bishop on b4 protects e7, but not in a.

    #3: B, after black gains a passed pawn with d6, whites own pawn blocks him from moving down

    #4: A. Glad I saw this one! brilliant tactic ...Rxg3! fxg3 (hxg3 Qg2#) Qh1+! Kxh1 Rxf1+ Bg1 Bf3+ Qg2 Bxg2#. In b, Bxg2 Rxg2 and black doesn't win

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