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« Pet Thread End of The Year Edition | Main | 35 Dead In Terror Attack at Istanbul Nightclub »
December 31, 2016

Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread 12-31-2016

Portrait of Mr and Mrs Paul Cass in Vermeers Interior.jpg

Portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Cass in Vermeer's Interior
Michael Cheval

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

Problem 1 - White To Play (361)

Hint: White Wins Material

20161231 - Problem 1.jpg
1r1r4/3n1qkp/5pp1/1BR5/1P6/6QP/6P1/4R2K w - - 0 1

Chess Nuts

chess nuts.jpg

(h/t ibguy)

Problem 2 - Black To Play (179)

Hint: Black mates in 2

20161231 - Problem 2.jpg
1k5r/pp3N2/2p5/2b1q3/1r2n1pB/8/PPQ3PP/R4R1K b - - 0 1

Chess Pie?

Believe it or not, there is such a thing. I have idea why it's called chess pie, but with 2 cups of sugar combined with a tablespoon of vinegar, that seems pretty odd. The recipe looks kind of like a key lime pie without the key lime:


1/2 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar and vanilla together. Mix in the eggs, then [hand] stir in the cornmeal, evaporated milk and vinegar until smooth.

Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 300 degrees F for 40 minutes. Let cool.

Cut and top servings with whipped cream or alamode

(h/t nobility.org)

Problem 3 - White To Play (BWTC 22)

This problem contains 5 distinct paths to checkmate. Find them all.

20161231 - Problem 3.jpg
rb3r2/1p2qB1p/p5pk/6Nb/1P3pPQ/P3P3/1B5P/R5K1 w - - 0 1

Problem 4 - White To Play (BWTC 39)

This one's a bit harder.

Hint: White can force checkmate in 7 moves or less

20161231 - Problem 4.jpg
rn1k1r2/pp2R3/2pP1pqp/6p1/2BQ4/2P1B3/PP4P1/6K1 w - - 0 1

Endgame of the Week (Endgame 240)

It's White to move. Black is at a material disadvantage. What is his game plan to keep White from winning, and can he succeed?

20161231 - Endgame.jpg
8/2k2K2/4PB2/8/1b6/8/8/8 w - - 0 1

Zombie Problem

What is the best line of play for White? This is a tough problem for zombie, our resident master. Let's see what he can do with it. I'll post the solution with the others in an hour or two, even though I don't understand it well enough to comment on it.

20161231 - zombie problem.jpg
1k6/1p1q4/1Pp5/p1Pp4/P2Pp1p1/2R1PpPp/2K2P1P/8 w - - 0 1


Solutions Update

Problem 1 - White To Play

20161231 - Problem 1.jpg
1r1r4/3n1qkp/5pp1/1BR5/1P6/6QP/6P1/4R2K w - - 0 1


And now, Black will lose the exchange no matter what:


It's either that or

2.Rc7 Qxc7 (2...Rb7 3.Rxd7+ Rdxd7)

Black is down a rook in either case.

Problem 2 - Black To Play

20161231 - Problem 2.jpg
1k5r/pp3N2/2p5/2b1q3/1r2n1pB/8/PPQ3PP/R4R1K b - - 0 1

A simple, forced win for Black:

2.Kxh2 Rxh4#


Problem 3 - White To Play

20161231 - Problem 3.jpg
rb3r2/1p2qB1p/p5pk/6Nb/1P3pPQ/P3P3/1B5P/R5K1 w - - 0 1

It suddenly occured to me that there may be more than 5 paths. If you've found more, congratulations. All of the mates start with the same first move:


Threatens g5+ and mate next move. Another thread is Qxe7. There are a number of plausible Black responses. The obvious one is

1...Qxh4, but then 2.Bg7#

So that's one path. Black can also try

1...Qxe6, to which White will finish him with 2.g5#

That's two.

If Black moves 1...g5 to prevent White playing g5+, White can instead play either 2.Bg7# or 2.Qxh5#

That's three and four.



This is the variation chosen by my chess app. If prevents Bg7#, but White has other resources.

2.g5+ Qxg5+

And that's the fifth path.

Problem 4 - White To Play

20161231 - Problem 4.jpg
rn1k1r2/pp2R3/2pP1pqp/6p1/2BQ4/2P1B3/PP4P1/6K1 w - - 0 1

1. Qb6+! axb6

Pretty much forced. Black has no place to run: 1...Kc8 2.Qc7#

2.Bxb6+ Kc8

Again, forced.

3.Rc7+ Kd8
4.Rf7+ Kc8
5.Rxf8+ Qe8

Not 5...Kd7 6.Rd8# But blocking with the queen only delays the inevitable.

6.Rxe8+ Kd7
7.Rd8# 1-0

Endgame of the Week

20161231 - Endgame.jpg
8/2k2K2/4PB2/8/1b6/8/8/8 w - - 0 1

So, the best hope for Black is a draw. If he can somehow snap up that pawn, that's a draw. As a matter of fact, he doesn't even have to win the pawn outright. He can also swap his bishop for the pawn, and that's good enough for a draw.

But, can he do it?

Answer: no, he can't. White is well aware of this strategy, and is able to circumvent it.


White wants to force the black bishop away from the e7 square so he can advance the pawn.

1...Ba3 (or Bd2 are Bd1 the same)


White has now cleared the way for the pawn to advance. His bishop is expendable.

3.e7+ Kd7
4. e8=Q

And the material advantage is enough for White to win.

Zombie Problem

20161231 - zombie problem.jpg
1k6/1p1q4/1Pp5/p1Pp4/P2Pp1p1/2R1PpPp/2K2P1P/8 w - - 0 1

Black has a clear and ostensibly deadly plan: ... Kb8-c8-d8, followed by the lethal maneuver ... Qc8-a8-a6-f1. But White has an incredible way to set up a fortress:

1.Kd2 Kc8
2.Rc1 Kd8

The point: White banishes his rook to the corner to be "stalemated".

4.Ke1 Qa8
5.Kf1 Qa6+

An unbelievable position: Black’s queen cannot stay on the a6-f1 diagonal due to stalemate, but there are no other ways to penetrate.

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 05:13 PM

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