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February 18, 2017

Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread 02-18-2017

Battle Chess by Cean Herzfield

(This week's chess pic is way too small. Click on it to see a much better version)

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 in the middle of a giant food fight. Unless you've just gone off your diet.

“In a gambit you give up a Pawn for the sake of getting a lost game”
(Samuel Standige Boden)

This is the story of my life in chess. At one time I thought I would like to be a gambit player, but every time I tried this or that gambit, I would somehow never be able to recover the pawn. Or I would fritter away whatever small positional advantage the theory said I supposedly had. So I would go into the endgame down a pawn, and then lose because, well, I was down a pawn. So enough of gambits. They do not suit my temperament.

Problem 1 - White To Play (112)

Hint: White mates in 3

20170218 - Problem 1.jpg
6Q1/8/5k2/6p1/1KB1pq1P/8/6p1/8 w - - 0 1

Problem 2 - White To Play (105)

Hint: Forced mate in 4

20170218 - Problem 2.jpg
8/1K5Q/3B4/8/8/8/4p1k1/5q2 w - - 0 1

Problem 3 - Black To Play (260)

There is more than one pathway here. See how many you can find.

Hint: Black mates in 3 - 3 different ways

20170218 - Problem 3.jpg
8/4rk2/5n2/1Q2pp1p/7P/2R1bb2/r5PK/7R b - - 0 1

Problem 4 - White To Play (167)

Hint: White wins material

20170218 - Problem 4.jpg
2kr3r/pb3pp1/4pn1p/2p5/8/1R1B4/P1Q2PPq/2B1RK2 w - - 0 1


Endgame of the Week (405)

It's Black's move. Can he win in this position, or must he settle for a draw? Show your work.

20170218 - Endgame.jpg
4k3/1p2p2p/1P1p3B/1p6/3P4/4PP2/6P1/1b4K1 b - - 0 1


Solutions Update

Problem 1 - White To Play

20170218 - Problem 1.jpg
6Q1/8/5k2/6p1/1KB1pq1P/8/6p1/8 w - - 0 1

1.Qf7+ Ke5

And that was the tricky move. You have to see that if 2.Qe6+ then 2...Kd4 3.Qd5+ Ke3 and the enemy king slips away on the dark squares.

3.Qc5# 1-0

Problem 2 - White To Play

20170218 - Problem 2.jpg
8/1K5Q/3B4/8/8/8/4p1k1/5q2 w - - 0 1

Every Black move is forced, no alternative.

1.Qh2+ Kf3
2.Qf4+ Kg2
3.Qg3+ Kh1

Problem 3 - Black To Play

20170218 - Problem 3.jpg
8/4rk2/5n2/1Q2pp1p/7P/2R1bb2/r5PK/7R b - - 0 1

There are 3 different ways to mate in 3, but they all start with:


Couple of possibilities for White's response here. If 2.Kh3 then 2...Bxg2+ 3.Kg3 Bf4#. This is the first solution. The other possible response is

2.Kg3 f4+
3.Kxf3 (or 3.Kh3 Bxg2#, the third solution)
3...e4# (the second solution)

Problem 4 - White To Play

20170218 - Problem 4.jpg
2kr3r/pb3pp1/4pn1p/2p5/8/1R1B4/P1Q2PPq/2B1RK2 w - - 0 1

1. Qxc5+ Qc7

Best. If 1...Kb8 then it's mate in 7: 2.Rxb7+ Kxb7 3.Qb5+ Ka8 4.Qc6+ Kb8 5.Bf4+ Qxf4 6.Rb1+ Qb4 7. Rxb4#.

Or, even worse, 1...Kd7 2.Rxb7+ Ke8 3.Qe7#.

2.Qxc7+ Kxc7
3.Bf4+ Kd7
4.Rxb7+ and White picks off the bishop.

Endgame of the Week

20170218 - Endgame.jpg
4k3/1p2p2p/1P1p3B/1p6/3P4/4PP2/6P1/1b4K1 b - - 0 1

So... what can Black do?

In this position, his passed 'b' pawn is his chief asset. So the question is, what happens if he just starts advancing it? What countermeasures are available to White?

2.Kf2 b3
3.Ke2 b2
4.Kd2 Bg6

So, White's king doesn't have time to get over there and stop the pawn.

Is there anything else White can do to speed up the defense? Yes. He can advance the 'e' pawn to open up the diagonal for his bishop.

2.e4! b3
3. Bc1

And the Black pawn is stymied. So, knowing all this. Is there a Black countermeasure for the White countermeasure, that will prevent him from advancing the 'e' pawn? Yes:


Given that 2.fxe4 will gum up things in the center pretty good, White should look at alternatives. 2.Bg7 followed by 3.d5 looks promising, but now the bishop is within the Black king's striking distance:

2.Bg7 Kf7
3.Bh8 Kg8

And White will lose the trapped bishop. So 2.Bg7 is no good.

White's king is still out of range, so this still won't work, either:

2.Kf2 b4
3.Ke2 b3
4.Kd2 b2

So all that's left is taking the bishop:

2.fxe4 b4
3.d5 Kf7

As in the earlier line, this Move prevents Bg7 by White. Black's passed pawn is now unstoppable. Play might continue:

4.e5 b3
5.exd6 exd6

And White is in a resignable position.

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.

digg this
posted by OregonMuse at 05:03 PM

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