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October 22, 2016

Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread 10-22-2016 [OregonMuse]


Foxtrot7.jpg

Good afternoon morons and moronettes, and welcome to the Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread, the only AoSHQ thread with content specifically for all of us chess nerds who pay homage in the temple of Caïssa, goddess of the chessboard. And, for those of you who aren't nerdly enough for chess, you can use this thread to talk about checkers, or other games, or politics, or whatever you wish, only please try to keep it civil. Nobody wants to get into pie fight on a Saturday afternoon. Except if you're hungry.


Problem 1 - White To Play (304)

Hint: White to play and mate in 2


20161022 - Problem 1.jpg
rnb2rk1/pp2q1bR/2p3Q1/3p2N1/5B2/2N1P3/PPP2P2/R3K3 w Q - 0 1



Problem 2 - White To Play (304)

Hint: White mates in 2


20161022 - Problem 2.jpg
1qkr4/1p2Rp1b/p4Ppp/2p5/2P3P1/1Q1P2bP/PP4B1/6K1 w - - 0 1


The Hustler

Here's Magnus Carlsen paying a visit to Washington Square Park, and he's keeping it on the down low to see if he can outhustle the chess hustlers. Fortunately, the hustlers in Washington Square Park do not pay much attention to who they're playing. I guess they figure one patzer is the same as another. Except, heh, not this time.

And bonus Liv Tyler. Didn't know she was hanging out with Carlsen. I suspect all famous people know each other.


Problem 3 - White To Play (280)

Black is threatening Qg2#. How does White best deal with this threat?

Hint: White mates in 4


20161022 - Problem 3.jpg
6RQ/1p6/3p3p/3qrp1k/8/6PK/1r5P/8 w - - 0 1


The Worst Kind of Chess Mistake

Here is something I was painfully reminded of earlier this week:

Chess mistakes always hurt, no doubt about it. But some mistakes are more painful than others. Even worse than blundering away a piece or missing a mate in 1, here is the worst: you're studying a position that's gotten real hairy, full of traps and pitfalls, and you see one particular line that is very bad for you, e.g. it leaves one of your pieces hanging. So you say to yourself "Self, that particular line is very bad for me, because, behold, it leaves one of my pieces hanging. I'm certainly glad I noticed this line. Now I know I have to avoid playing it." And then you go on to analyze other complicated possibilities. And when you've finally figured out the move to make, you check it one last time, and then you make it, and as soon as you remove your hand away from the piece, you suddenly realize OH SHIT, YOU COMPLETELY FORGOT YOUR ANALYSIS OF THE ORIGINAL BAD LINE. And whatever disaster you had told yourself you absolutely had to avoid at all costs is now sitting right there out in the open on the board for your opponent and everyone else in the world to look at. You break out into a clammy sweat and you swear you can hear the cackling laughter of a thousand clowns all around you, ringing in your ears. You feel like you've been walking around with a big "KICK ME" sign taped to your butt the whole time.

Shorter version: My chess sucks. It just sucks.

Couple three weeks back on the chess thread, some moron started the "Stupid F*king Idiots" chess club, after which a few of you claimed to be charter members. Well, so am I and I think my member number is something like #0000002. One guy wanted to join, but he didn't know his own address because, well, you know... But it occurred to me we need a club logo for signs and letterhead stationery. Perhaps something like a drawing of a dumb guy with a chess piece stuck up his nose. Or a chessboard surrounded by scattered pieces, overlaid by a dunce cap. I'd be right at home in a club like that.


Problem 4 - Black To Play (38)

Hint: Black will mate in 7 moves at the most


20161022 - Problem 4.jpg
1r1q1k1r/Q4ppp/2B2n2/8/Pbbp4/1P4P1/2PP1P1P/R1B1K2R b KQ - 0 1


Endgame of the Week (307)

White to move. He realizes that he can use the threat of the discovered check to his advantage. How does he do this?



20161022 - Endgame.jpg
8/P7/R7/8/2q5/5K2/7k/8 w - - 0 1


About the Pic I'll Be Using Next Week

I've been collecting pics from various places around the internet to use on the chess thread, and I've got a good backlog. A couple of months ago, I found one that I thought would be perfect for the Halloween weekend, i.e. it froze my blood. So I've got it in the slot for next week's chess thread. I know that some of you perhaps have more gentle tastes and preferences than I, and since this pic is pretty creepy (not gory, but disturbing), I'll have an alternate ready to go should I get enough negative feedback. This happened to me once on the book thread several years ago. I put up a pic *I* thought was pretty funny, but no-one else did: I saw 3 complaints about it within the first 10 comments, so I thought it best to swap it out with a more congenial photo. Which I did. I felt very bad that I had made Sunday morning unpleasant for some of my audience.

So because of that incident, this is a warning that next week's pic, while IMHO very well done, will perhaps not be so easy to look at.


___________

Solutions Update

Problem 1 - White To Play (304)


20161022 - Problem 1.jpg
rnb2rk1/pp2q1bR/2p3Q1/3p2N1/5B2/2N1P3/PPP2P2/R3K3 w Q - 0 1


Perhaps you were thinking "hey look, I can skewer that rook through the queen by 1.Bd6, but that doesn't work, because after 1...Qf7 2.Rxg7+ Qxg7 3.Qxg7+ Kxg7 4.Bxf8+ Kxf8, you've got nothing to show for all your trouble. Same with if you decide to go with 2.Qxf7+ Rxf7 3.Rxg7+ Kxg7 4.Nxf7 Kxf7.

Fortunately, there's a simpler, better solution, namely, a mate in two:

1.Rh8+ Kxh8
2.Qh7#

Ta-daaa!


Problem 2 - White To Play (304)


20161022 - Problem 2.jpg
1qkr4/1p2Rp1b/p4Ppp/2p5/2P3P1/1Q1P2bP/PP4B1/6K1 w - - 0 1


I hope everyone can see that Black's pawn on b7 is incredibly weak. The only question is, how best do you hit it? I first thought I could maybe win the exchange with 1.Rxb7, but:

1...Qa8
2.Rf7+ Kxf7
3.Bxa8 Rxa8

So it's debateable whether that actually wins anything at all. And besides, Black can always respond to 1.Rxb7 with

1...Qf4!

And that kind of puts a stop to any of White plans. Also no good is 1.Qxb7+ Qxb7 2.Bxb7+ Kb8 3.Bxa6 Ka8. So, what is White to do? That leaves only

1.Bxb7+ Qxb7

Black's only reply. And then the end:

2.Qxb7#


Problem 3 - White To Play (280)


20161022 - Problem 3.jpg
6RQ/1p6/3p3p/3qrp1k/8/6PK/1r5P/8 w - - 0 1


Not much of a decision tree here, all the moves are forced:

1.Rg5+!

The pawn on h6 is pinned by White's queen, so the pawn cannot capture it. However, Black's king is not so bound:

1...Kxg5

But it won't help.

2.Qg7+ Kh5
3.g4+ fxg4+
4.Qxg4#


Problem 4 - Black To Play (38 )


20161022 - Problem 4.jpg
1r1q1k1r/Q4ppp/2B2n2/8/Pbbp4/1P4P1/2PP1P1P/R1B1K2R b KQ - 0 1


1...Qe8+!
2.Bxe8

Not 2.Kd1? Qe2#

2...Rxe8+
3.Kd1 Be2+
4.Ke1 Bg4+
5.Qe7+

Desperation! If 5.Kf1 then 5...Bh3+ 6.Kg1 Re1#.

5...Rxe7+

The end is near.

6.Kf1 Bh3+
7.Kg1 Re1#

Some of you morons probably didn't see the move 5.Qe7+ and so thought you had a mate in 6. That's OK, it's pretty trivial. It's one of those "spite" checks that a chess app comes up with when it's losing, and it makes no difference whatsoever in the final outcome.


Endgame of the Week (307)


20161022 - Endgame.jpg
8/P7/R7/8/2q5/5K2/7k/8 w - - 0 1


One of the important aspects of the endgame, especially those involving queens and pawns that are threatening to queen, is the concept of "the initiative". The player who is taking active steps to implement a plan has the initiative and the other player, who is trying to defend against that plan from being executed, does not. The intiative can pass back and forth between players several times during a game, and sometimes it's not clear who has it.

In this position, Black is threating to get in some sort of counterattack where his queen forks Black's king and rook, so White needs to get things going before Black can do this

1.Rh6+ Kg1

Black's response is forced.

2.Rh1+!

White needs time to queen his pawn. Usually, doing this gives the other play the chance to start attacking, and many endgames are lost with a queened pawn sitting helplessly on the queening square, never having got the chance to get into the game. But the purpose of this sacrifice is to pull the Black king into the corner where it will be subjected to the threat of a discovered check. This will give White time to queen his pawn.

2...Kxh1

No other choice.

3.a8=Q

This is the position White was aiming for. Look at it. He has nothing to fear from checks by the Black queen. For example, if 3...Qd3+ then 4.Kf2+ Kh2 5.Qg2#. Or 3...Qf7+ 4.Kg3+ Kg1 5.Qg2#

So the only moves for Black are either Kg1 or Kh2.

If 3...Kh2 there follows

4.Qh8+ Kg1
5.Qg7+ Kf1 (not 5...Kh1? 6.Qg2#)
6.Qa1+ Qc1
7.Qxc1#

If 3...Kg1 then

4.Qa7+

Not 4.Qa1+? Qf1+! and Black draws

4...Kh1 (4...Kf1 5.Qa1+ with mate to follow)
5.Qh7+ Kg1
6.Qg7+ Qg4+
7.Qxg4+ Kf1
8.Qg2+ Ke1
9.Qe2#

Hope to see you all next week!


___________

Note: that cryptic line of letters and numbers you see underneath each board diagram is a representation of the position in what is known as "Forsyth-Edwards Notation", or F.E.N. It's actually readable by humans. Most computer applications nowadays can read FEN, so those of you who may want to study the position, you can copy the line of FEN and paste into your chess app and it should automatically recreate the position on its display board. Or, Windows users can just "triple click" on it and the entire line will be highlighted so you can copy and past it into your chess app.

___________

So that about wraps it up for this week. Chess thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to my yahoo address: OregonMuse little-a-in-a-circle yahoo dott com.

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