Chess.com's Weekly Study: May 15th 2016

DailyFun

Hello Chess.com!

Starting with 2016, 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.

E. Puhakka, 1970

Enjoy!

ArgoNavis

Strange

n9531l

Does White still win after 8...Kf5?

faayez

Awesome!

fightingbob
n9531l wrote:

Does White still win after 8...Kf5?

Submitted for your approval, one endgame win for White.  The Black pawn kept under lock and key, for then its fate is known to me.  Reaching e4, it would be harder to close the door. White conspires in an unholy alliance to occupy h4 with the king, d5 with the bishop, e4 with the pawn, and g4 or c4 with the knight.  Black, try as he may, cannot prevent this; the mad marionette must dance.

But will this survive the scrutiny of the man with access to the 7-piece endgame tablebase or be just another cook in the Twilight Zone?

 



n9531l
fightingbob wrote:
But will this survive the scrutiny of the man with access to the 7-piece endgame tablebase or be just another cook in the Twilight Zone?

Good work, Bob. I thought you might be interested in seeing what the tablebases say about your line, assuming optimal moves are the ones that minimize the distance to mate for White and maximize it for Black. Below I put a number by each of your moves that shows by how many moves the resulting distance to mate differs from the optimal. A 0 means you chose an optimal move, and I used 0! in cases where it was the only optimal move.

The only bad moves were Black's move 5, which changed a mate in 31 to a mate in 20, and White's move 6, which changed a mate in 20 to a mate in 29. I showed Black's best move 8, after which White can mate in 24 starting with the pawn capture.

1.Nc3 1   Kg4 0
2.Be6+ 0   Kh4 2
3.e4 2   Bc6 1
4.Kf3 1   Kg5 0
5.Nd5 0!   Kg6 11
6.Ne3 9   Kf6 0
7.Bd5 0!   Bd7 2
8.Ng5+ 0!   Kg5 0!

fightingbob
n9531l wrote:
fightingbob wrote:
But will this survive the scrutiny of the man with access to the 7-piece endgame tablebase or be just another cook in the Twilight Zone?

Good work, Bob. I thought you might be interested in seeing what the tablebases say about your line, assuming optimal moves are the ones that minimize the distance to mate for White and maximize it for Black. Below I put a number by each of your moves that shows by how many moves the resulting distance to mate differs from the optimal. A 0 means you chose an optimal move, and I used 0! in cases where it was the only optimal move.

The only bad moves were Black's move 5, which changed a mate in 31 to a mate in 20, and White's move 6, which changed a mate in 20 to a mate in 29. I showed Black's best move 8, after which White can mate in 24 starting with the pawn capture.

1.Nc3 1   Kg4 0
2.Be6+ 0   Kh4 2
3.e4 2   Bc6 1
4.Kf3 1   Kg5 0
5.Nd5 0!   Kg6 11
6.Ne3 9   Kf6 0
7.Bd5 0!   Bd7 2
8.Ng5+ 0!   Kg5 0!

Thanks, Bob.

At least I had the right idea.  Only thinking of completing my idea of winning the Black pawn, I missed the fork 6.Ne7+ winning the bishop.  It's peculiar how one misses immediate tactics -- okay, how I miss tactics -- when you have a long term goal in mind.  I need to improve my board vision.

So, what was Black's best 5th move?  Probably just moving the bishop as a waiting move, right?

Best,
Bob

n9531l

Black's three optimal 5th moves are Ba4, Bb5, and Be8.

fightingbob
Chess_Impress wrote:

Here's another nice study.  White trying to rescue his Bishops.  An amazing duel capped off with a stunning Rook trap in the middle of the board.

Thank you, Chess to Impress.  That was a very nice thematic example of domination.  Some of my favorite endgame studies have domination as their central theme.  Here is one by Korolkov in 1948.  Not as attractive as the one you demonstrated, it is still worth a look.

In my opinion, Korolkov's best was not a domination themed work but feels like part study, part problem because of the pure mate at the end.  It was composed in 1951.

Best,
Bob

rodash08

Nice

n9531l

Bob, you probably have Kasparyan's book, Domination in 2,545 Endgame Studies. A lot of good studies in that one, but it's kind of intimidating to think about needing to go through all 2,545 of them.

fightingbob
n9531l wrote:

Bob, you probably have Kasparyan's book, Domination in 2,545 Endgame Studies. A lot of good studies in that one, but it's kind of intimidating to think about needing to go through all 2,545 of them.

Yes, I sure do, Bob.  I can't remember whether I won it from eBay; more likely I purchased it from Bob Long at the old Chessco or directly from the collector, Andy Ansel.  It's a nice, new hardcover with pristine dustjacket.  I have Troitsky's Collection of Chess Studies in hardcover with DJ too.  Too bad I can't recommend the inferior Sam Sloan Ishi Press reprint of 2,545.

I've been lucky, I have quite a few hardcover endgame study books before they were too expensive or hard to find.  I even bid on some really obscure works like Never Ending by Harrie Grondijs, but it went for around $260, which was too rich for my blood.  I assume it went to a collector.

Oh, and going through all 2,545 is intimidating not to say time consuming.  I can't say I've done it.