Chess.com's Weekly Study: January 15th 2017

DailyFun

We will be posting a Weekly Study, courtesy of Yochanan Afek, Grandmaster for composing endgame studies. These challenging positions are designed to stimulate (and improve upon!) your creativity, depth of calculation, pattern recognition and pure imagination.

A. Maksimovskikh & V.Dolgov, 1978

Enjoy! 

Arisktotle

Excellent! I couldn't figure my way through the initial rook checks but once I saw the repeat pattern things went smoothly.

fightingbob

I like the stair-step nature of the solution plus the attractive way the rooks are alternately put en prise to drive the king to the side of the board.  If you were playing Black in a game, the practical solution would be to capture the proffered rook on move 10, take the loss of your queen and fight on with a knight against bishop and rook.  Theoretically, this would still be a win for White, but it's always best to make your opponent prove it.

johnhmalone
fightingbob wrote:

I like the stair-step nature of the solution plus the attractive way the rooks are alternately put en prise to drive the king to the side of the board.  If you were playing Black in a game, the practical solution would be to capture the proffered rook on move 10, take the loss of your queen and fight on with a knight against bishop and rook.  Theoretically, this would still be a win for White, but it's always best to make your opponent prove it.

I agree with you about practicality in a real game. Not only is there a chance for a mistake even in a long game, but in a short game, the clock comes into play putting pressure on white and giving black the chance of a win or draw on time.  I got this one on the first try (with no "incorrect move"s), but I still liked it very much.

Arisktotle

Endgame studies should not be judged as practical games. The option to lose the queen upon discovered check is already part of the repeating sacrifice pattern before move 10. By the process of elimination, there is no point to revert to what was already rejected as a hopeless variation. What remains is to challenge white to come up with something new even when as easy as delivering checkmate.

If there is a weakness to the endgame then it is that white need not checkmate in order to win. The move 11. Rg3+ wins as well.

Practical considerations like 'fighting chances' are of zero importance in an endgame study. This problem type is the exclusive domain of gods, incapable of error and playing with divine perfection. The concept of 'chance' is unknown to them.

fightingbob
Arisktotle wrote:

Endgame studies should not be judged as practical games. The option to lose the queen upon discovered check is already part of the repeating sacrifice pattern before move 10. By the process of elimination, there is no point to revert to what was already rejected as a hopeless variation. What remains is to challenge white to come up with something new even when as easy as delivering checkmate.

If there is a weakness to the endgame then it is that white need not checkmate in order to win. The move 11. Rg3+ wins as well.

Practical considerations like 'fighting chances' are of zero importance in an endgame study. This problem type is the exclusive domain of gods, incapable of error and playing with divine perfection. The concept of 'chance' is unknown to them.

Who's judging this endgame study by the standards of practical play?  I didn't imply that even if you think I did.

I've been attracted to endgame studies since the age of 10 when I read my first chess book, Edward Lasker's Chess for Fun and Chess for Blood; I'm now 63.  In other words, I'm no stranger to studies or their assumptions as to what constitutes winning material and perfect play.  What you say is valid, but what I said about practicality in a game situation is equally valid.

There is an endgame study by that great composer, Alexey Troitsky, where the solution results in White having two knights against a lone pawn.  We have Mr. Troitsky to thank for showing us this is a win if the pawn is not too far advanced and blockaded by the knight, but practically it is quite difficult for mere mortals.

 

Arisktotle
fightingbob wrote:

Who's judging this endgame study by the standards of practical play?  I didn't imply that even if you think I did. 

I am aware of your skill level and did not specifically react to you. But people have lots of weird ideas about problems and endgames and may get the wrong message from your post as already illustrated by the next one which is sliding downhill. Just attempting to stop the slide.

Piperose

Worthy of download. Definitely unique. 

As mentioned above (from the 3rd post); love the reoccurring pattern of the Rooks (starting with Rc5).

zetromax_2011

beautiful one