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April 15, 2017

Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread 04-15-2017

The Chess Game, Carl Larsson.jpg

Carl Larsson - The Chess Game
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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 tomato fight on a Saturday afternoon.

Problem 1 - Black To Play (464)

Hint: Black can win a piece

20170415 - Problem 1.jpg
r4rk1/p5pp/2pNb3/4pp2/1P3q2/P2B4/2P2PPP/Q4RK1 b - - 0 18

Problem 2 - White To Play (462)

In this game, Black just played 8...Qa3 in response to 8.Nc3 and it's a horrible move. Why?

Hint: Black will be mated or lose his queen

20170415 - Problem 2.jpg
r1b1kbnr/pp1ppppp/2N5/8/3BP3/q1N5/2P2PPP/3QKB1R w Kkq - 0 9

Problem 3 - White To Play (BWTC 196)

Hint: White can force a mate in, at most, 5 moves

20170415 - Problem 3.jpg
r2qkb1r/pppb2pp/3p1n2/5pN1/2BQP3/2N5/PPP2PPP/R1B1K2R w KQkq - 0 1

Wesley So is the New U.S. Chess Champion

It came down to the tiebreak. Here's how it was reported in the Philippines, So's home country that takes great national pride in him:

WESLEY So underscored his status as US No. 1 chess player by topping the 2017 US Championship with a 1.5-0.5 victory in a rapid playoff with former champion Alex Onischuk.

A former Philippine national team member, Grandmaster So won with white in 31 moves of an English Opening on Monday in St. Louis, Missouri (Tuesday, Manila time).

The players locked horns anew after just a 10-minute break, and So managed to split the point with Onischuk after 62 moves of a King’s Indian Attack.

The 23-year-old So bagged US$50,000 (around P2.47 million).

Onischuk settled for $30,000.

Not a bad payday

Problem 4 - White To Play (458 )

White is down a piece, but Black's king is exposed and his heavy pieces don't seem to be doing much. So how can White take advantage?

(I thought this one was pretty tough. I didn't get it and had to cheat. Let's see what you morons can do with it.)

20170415 - Problem 4.jpg
2Rrq1r1/1p2kp2/1Q4p1/4P2p/pP3P2/P2n4/5P2/5RK1 w - - 0 2

Endgame of the Week (Endgame 170)

It's 1 pawn against 3 on the queenside. Can White salvage the situation, and if so, how?

Hint: Get those pawns racing

20170415 - Endgame.jpg
7k/7P/p1p3K1/1p6/8/8/1P6/8 w - - 0 1


Solutions Update

Problem 1 - Black To Play

20170415 - Problem 1.jpg
r4rk1/p5pp/2pNb3/4pp2/1P3q2/P2B4/2P2PPP/Q4RK1 b - - 0 18


Now White's bishop and knight are in danger, and both cannot be saved. White will pick off one of them.

Problem 2 - White To Play

20170415 - Problem 2.jpg
r1b1kbnr/pp1ppppp/2N5/8/3BP3/q1N5/2P2PPP/3QKB1R w Kkq - 0 9

After 8...Qa3?? 9.Nb5! is a killer move. White is now threatening Nc7# and there's no way Black can drop his queen back to defend, e.g. 9...Qd6 10.Nxd6+

So Black will have to do something like

10.Nxa3 Nf6

And White's material advantage should be enough to win. Eventually.

Problem 3 - White To Play

20170415 - Problem 3.jpg
r2qkb1r/pppb2pp/3p1n2/5pN1/2BQP3/2N5/PPP2PPP/R1B1K2R w KQkq - 0 1

1. Bf7+ Ke7
2. Qxf6+ Kxf6

Pretty much forced. If 2...gxf6 then 3.Nd5#

And now the king chase begins! The rest of the moves by Black's king are absolutely forced.

3.Nd5+ Ke5
4.Nf3+ Kxe4

Problem 4 - White To Play

20170415 - Problem 4.jpg
2Rrq1r1/1p2kp2/1Q4p1/4P2p/pP3P2/P2n4/5P2/5RK1 w - - 0 2

Black may be a piece up, but surprisingly, he's close to being in zugzwang. White may want to play 1.Qf6+, but after 1...Kd7, his hanging rook is a problem. But he can eliminate the problem by moving


Black still can't take the rook due to the mating threat Qd6. So his rook needs to stay put on d8. 1...Nxf4 may look promising, but after 2.Qf6+ Kd7 3.Rxd8+ Qxd8 4.Rd1+, Black is pretty much schlonged.

So Black's best move is probably a waiting move, such as


And now, White can threaten on f6.

2. Qf6+ Kf8 3. Rxd8 g5

Or 3...Qxd8 4.Qxd8+ Kg7 5. Qxd3 will get you to the same place.

4.Qd6+ Kg7
5.Rxe8 Rxe8

White started out being down a knight. He is now ahead by a rook, and should win.

Endgame of the Week

20170415 - Endgame.jpg
7k/7P/p1p3K1/1p6/8/8/1P6/8 w - - 0 1

White has a killer move:

1.b4! c5

And now the pawn race is on.

2 bxc5 b4
3.c6 b3
4.c7 b2

White wins because he was one move ahead. The same result would've occured if Black had pushed the 'a' pawn:

2.bxa5 b4
3.a6 b3
4.a7 b2

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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posted by OregonMuse at 05:03 PM

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