Chess, November 2016

Nicholas Rossolimo

Nicolas Rossolimo (1910-1975) was a taxi-driving Grandmaster who played two olympiads for France and three for the USA. As a young man he also composed a few endgame studies and two of them are our entertainment this month.

Nicolas Rossolimo

3rd HM., Ceskoslovensky sach, 1930

6r1/6b1/8/8/8/p1P5/P3B1R1/4k1K1

White to play and win

Black is all tied up. His rook protects his bishop, which shields his rook and if he moves his king, Bc4+ will win the rook. Direct attack on the rook doesn't work yet - 1.Bc4? Rc8 2.Be6 Rc7=. So White must play to avoid the bR defending the bB along the 7th rank. 1.Ba6! On this and subsequent moves, the wB forces the bR onto white squares where it can be attacked. 1...Ra8 If 1...Kd1 2.Bc4 Rc8 3.Bb3+ 1-0 2.Bb7 Rg8 3.Bc6! Again, direct attack fails - 3.Bd5? Rd8! 3...Rc8 3...Kd1 4.Bd5 Rd8 5.Bb3+ 1-0 4.Bd7 Rg8 5.Be6 Re8 6.Bf7 1-0 Notice the step-like movement of the wB from a6 to f7. This may well have been Rossolimo's initial inspiration for the study.

The study for this month's solving competition is from when Rossolimo was even younger. It has an elegant, straightforward feel that gives the impression it fell on the board ready made. It probably didn't.

Nicolas Rossolimo

Izvestia, 1929

2k5/6R1/S7/8/8/6K1/7p/5b2

White to play and win


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