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May 06, 2017

Saturday Afternoon Chess/Open Thread 05-06-2017

Selenus chess pieces.jpg
'Selenus' Style Chess Pieces, Germany, late 18th cent. (?)

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 fish fight on a Saturday afternoon. Unless you're a 1st-century BC Gaul hopped up on magic potion.

Problem 1 - White To Play (373)

Hint: White mates in 2

20170506 - Problem 1.jpg
6k1/1p1r1pp1/p1r3b1/3pPqB1/2pP4/Q1P4R/P3P2K/6R1 w - - 0 1

Problem 2 - White To Play (478 )

Hint: Black will either be checkmated, or lose material

20170506 - Problem 2.jpg
5rrk/p3q3/3p1b2/2p4p/2P1B3/5P2/P1Q3PP/1R3RK1 w - - 0 1

Pic Note

Today's pic stolen from here, no date on the pic, so I just SWAGged the date when these pieces were used. The linked article is an interesting discussion on the standardization of chess pieces, which took place as chess itself was changing from a game with different regional flavors to a uniform, internationally standard game.

Problem 3 - Black To Play (475)

Hint: Black wins material

20170506 - Problem 3.jpg
r4bk1/p4p1p/2p3p1/1q1p1n2/N2P1P2/1PP3P1/2QBR1KP/R7 b - - 0 1

Problem 4 White - To Play (BWTC 181)

Hint: White can force a mate in, at most, 4 moves

20170506 - Problem 4.jpg
r4rk1/pp3ppp/2n5/3BP2Q/5R2/4p3/PqP3PP/R6K w - - 0 1

Mate in 1

I found this site a couple of days ago. It gas all sorts of mate-in-1 problems you can solve online. I recommend this for n00bs to sharpen your tactical sense. And if you want a bit more of a challenge, try the mate-in-2 site.

Endgame of the Week (Endgame 209)

It's White's move. How does he win? Yes, it's a win. But it's trickier than it looks.

Hint: only one pawn move (out of the 3 possible) leads to a win

20170506 - Endgame.jpg
8/8/k7/2P5/PP6/6p1/6Pp/7K w - - 0 1

And Now, For the 'Ettes -- Dress Pr0n!

Take a look at these lovely dresses. This is silent film star Lillian Gish:

20170506 - dress pron 2.jpg

Click here for a larger version of this photo.

Mrs. Muse gives this one two thumbs up:

20170506 - dress pron 3.jpg

[Update]: Thanks to all of the morons (Iron Mike Golf, olddog in mo, and maybe others) who tracked down information on the 2nd photograph.


Solutions Update

Problem 1 - White To Play

20170506 - Problem 1.jpg
6k1/1p1r1pp1/p1r3b1/3pPqB1/2pP4/Q1P4R/P3P2K/6R1 w - - 0 1

1.Qf8+ Kxf8

Problem 2 - White To Play

20170506 - Problem 2.jpg
5rrk/p3q3/3p1b2/2p4p/2P1B3/5P2/P1Q3PP/1R3RK1 w - - 0 1


It'a always good to seize the 7th rank with one of your rooks, and, in this case, the advantage it gives White is yuuge. Black is reduced to two unpleasant options. He can either move the queen out of the way, in which case he'll lose instantly:


Or take it, in which case he will lose more slowly:


Either way, he loses.

The second path, where Black gives up queen for rook, his loss is not guaranteed, it's just highly probable, given the material imbalance.

Problem 3 - Black To Play

20170506 - Problem 3.jpg
r4bk1/p4p1p/2p3p1/1q1p1n2/N2P1P2/1PP3P1/2QBR1KP/R7 b - - 0 1

2.Kg1 Ne3

Which, of course, threatens Qg2#. The only response is

3. Bxe3 Qxc2

And Black wins the queen. Even if White moves


Back still makes the same move


Which threatens Qg4#.

3.Bxe3 Qxc2 and wins.

Problem 4 White - To Play

20170506 - Problem 4.jpg
r4rk1/pp3ppp/2n5/3BP2Q/5R2/4p3/PqP3PP/R6K w - - 0 1

With all of those white pieces ganged up around the black king, that's precisely the kind of position that calls for a sacrifice of material. Thus:

1.Bxf7+! Rxf7
2.Qxf7+ Kh8
3.Qf8+ Rxf8

That's the main line. Black isn't forced to accept the initial sacrifice. Another option is to retreat:


But in this case, White has another way to checkmate, and it's one move quicker:


Queen sac! Queen sac!



Endgame of the Week

20170506 - Endgame.jpg
8/8/k7/2P5/PP6/6p1/6Pp/7K w - - 0 1

White's king is stuck where it is, so it's pretty much out of the picture. There are three possible pawn moves, 1.a5, 1.b5+, and 1.c6. Two lead to draws. Only one wins.

The first drawing move is the natural 1.b5+. But there follows:

2.c6 Kb6
3.a5+ Kc7
4.b6+ Kxc6 and it's pretty much a draw from here.

Also inadequate is:

1.a5? Because of


And now White is in zugzwang.

2.c6 Kxc6
3.a6 Kb6
4.b5 Ka7
5.b6+ Kxb6 draw

The only way to win is (drum roll):


2. b5 Kc7
3. a5 Kc8
4. b6 Kb8

This is the crucial position. Many of us, myself included, would be tempted to play a6 here, but that is precisely the wrong move: 5.a6 Ka8 6.b7+ Kb8 7.a7+ Kxa7 8.c7 Kxb7 9.c8=Q+ Kxc8 draw

The correct move is

5.b7! Kc7

Again, not 6.a6, because of 6...Kb8 7.a7+ Kxa7 8.c7 Kxb7 9.c8=Q+ Kxc8 draw

So the queen must be sacrificed for the greater good:

7.a6 Ka7
8.c7 and wins.

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 05:14 PM

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