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Ace of Spades Pet Thread | Main | College Football Night-Open Thread
December 03, 2016

Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread 12-03-2016

Secret Garden - M L Walker_525.jpg

Secret Garden
M L Walker

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 a food fight on a Saturday afternoon. Unless you're hungry.

“You cannot play at Chess if you are kind-hearted”
--French Proverb

Problem 1 - Black To Play (290)

Hint: Black mates in 2

20161203 - Problem 1.jpg
4k3/3p1pp1/p2Pp3/1pr2n2/5P2/1PP2qPK/P2B4/5RQ1 b - - 0 1

Problem 2 - White To Play (64)

Hint: White mates in 3

The solution has multiple paths. Fill out the decision tree as much as you can.

20161203 - Problem 2.jpg
5b1k/5n2/4P1K1/6B1/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1

Problem 3 - White To Play (340)

The word on the recently concluded World Championship chess match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin is that the games were monumentally dull. And the match itself was monumentally dull. Out of the 12 scheduled games, each player won a game and the rest were drawn.

Things didn't get interesting until the tie breaking round. The tie-break time controls are considerably faster than the standard games, which allows players 100 minutes to make 40 moves, then 50 for the next 20.

3.7 Tie-breaks

3.7.1.a If the scores are level after the regular twelve (12) games, after a new drawing of colors, four (4) tie-break games shall be played. The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move

So each player has 25 minutes, plus whatever 10-second move increments he can rack up, to complete the ENTIRE GAME. This can make for more interesting, exciting chess as the probability of inexact play from one player (or both) goes up considerably. Only then are crowd-pleasing combinations possible. For example:

20161203 - Problem 3a.jpg
2R5/4bppk/1p1p4/5R1P/4PQ2/5P2/r4q1P/7K w - - 0 50
After 49...Kh7

This is the position after Karjakin's 49th move. See if you can find the CRUSHING combination Carlsen uncorked to win the game and retain his title.

One more thing. Karjakin wasn't forced to move Kh7. Instead, he could have dropped his bishop back to block, like this:

20161203 - Problem 3b.jpg
2R2bk1/5pp1/1p1p4/5R1P/4PQ2/5P2/r4q1P/7K w - - 0 50
After 49...Bf8

So, how might Carlsen have won the game if Karjakin had made this move instead?

Problem 4 - White To Play (338)

Hint: White can mate in 5

20161203 - Problem 4.jpg
5k2/5p2/2K2P2/p3Q3/1q5p/1P4p1/P7/5n2 w - - 0 1


Solutions Update

Problem 1 - Black To Play

20161203 - Problem 1.jpg
4k3/3p1pp1/p2Pp3/1pr2n2/5P2/1PP2qPK/P2B4/5RQ1 b - - 0 1


And now it's impossible to defend against Rh5#, for example:

2.Bxe3 Rh5#


2.Qxe3 Rh5#


2.Rxf3 Rh5#

Either the knight or the queen is sufficient to keep the White king from escaping. White can capture one or the other, but not both.

Problem 2 - White To Play

20161203 - Problem 2.jpg
5b1k/5n2/4P1K1/6B1/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1

There are basically two major branches on this decision tree. White's first move can either be 1.Bf6+ or 1.exf7+.

1.Bf6+ Bg7 (not 1...Kg8 2.exf7#)
2.Bxg7+ Kg8

The second branch is:

1.exf7 Bh6
2.Bf6+ Bg7
3.Bxg7# (or 3.f8=Q#)

Or, instead of 1...Bh6, Black can play 1...Bg7, in which case

2.Bf6 Bxf6

Problem 3 - White To Play

20161203 - Problem 3a.jpg
2R5/4bppk/1p1p4/5R1P/4PQ2/5P2/r4q1P/7K w - - 0 50
After 49...Kh7

So, Carlson's killer combination starts with:


At this point, Karjakin resigned, and the match was over. But play might have continued


or, alternately:


Either way, Karjakin's goose was cooked in 2. A nifty little combo by Carlsen.

When I first saw this game, and how it ended, I wondered about why Karjakin played 49...Kh7, because it seemed like an obvious loser to me. If I were confronted with this position in one of my games, I most likely would've gone with 50...Bf8. Why? Because just *looks* like a better move to me. Of course, Karjakin didn't get to within a hair's breadth of the world championship by listening to me tell him how to play the game, so what do I know?

20161203 - Problem 3b.jpg
2R2bk1/5pp1/1p1p4/5R1P/4PQ2/5P2/r4q1P/7K w - - 0 50
After 49...Bf8

As it turns out, if Karjakin had chosen 49...Bf8, Carlsen could have mated him in 7:

50.Rxf8+ Kxf8
51.Rxf7+ Ke8

if 51...Kg8, then 52.Rf8+ Kh7 53.Qf5+ Kh6 (53...g6 54.Qxg6#) 54.Qg6#

52.Rf8+ Kd7
53.Qf7+ Kc6
54.Rc8+ Kb5
55.Qc4+ Ka5

I'm guessing Karjakin most likely saw this line and rejected it. But the path he chose instead was brutally short. This line seems to have more "play" in it, even though it's ultimately a loser. And if you feed this position to your chess app and have it play Black, this is the line it will choose.

Problem 4 - White To Play

20161203 - Problem 4.jpg
5k2/5p2/2K2P2/p3Q3/1q5p/1P4p1/P7/5n2 w - - 0 1

The Black queen is precariously placed. It has to protect against White's queen delivering mate by moving to b8. So all White has to do is give it a little nudge.

1.a3! Qxb3

The best of a bad lot. If 1...Qxa3 then 2.Qb8# or if 1...Qd2 then 2.Qb8+ Qd8 3.Qxd8#

But White can't be stopped.

2.Qc5+ Kg8

Not 2...Ke8? 3.Qe7#

3.Qg5+ Kf8 (or 3...Kh8 4.Qg7#)
4.Qg7+ Ke8

An alternate path to mate instead of 4.Qg7+ is

4.Qh6+ Ke8

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.

digg this
posted by OregonMuse at 04:55 PM

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