Chess, July 2007

Alexander Hildebrand (again)

Continuing the theme of Alexander Hildebrand from the previous column, our first study is the second prize winner from an earlier jubilee tourney in 1989.

Aleksey Sochniev

2nd Prize, Hildebrand Jubilee Ty. (Springaren), 1989

8/4B3/4P3/1p6/1P4P1/2P4b/1p2P3/bK4k1

White to play and win

Black has a bishop for three pawns, but that bishop is buried, courtesy of the white king, which will soon be threatened by Black's other bishop, which, if it gets the chance, will be able to force the black b-pawn to promote. Thus White has no time to waste. 1.Bc5+ Kf1! Black has a stalemate trap in mind. 2.e7 Bxg4 3.e8R! White avoids the trap. If 3.e8Q? Bf5+ 4.e4 Bxe4+ 5.Qxe4= is stalemate. 3...Bxe2 4.Rxe2! To make progress, White must eiliminate Black's bishop, which will otherwise continue to make threats as the following variations show. 4.Rf8+? Ke1 5.Rd8 Bc4 6.Rd4 Bg8 7.Rh4 Bf7 8.Rg4 Ke2 9.c4 Kf3=; 4.Rd8? Bc4 5.Rd4 Bg8 6.Rh4 Ke2 7.c4 Bf7 8.Rg4 Kf3 = 4...Kxe2 5.c4 Black can't stop a white pawn promoting, but he can try another trap. 5...bxc4 Another possibility is 5...Kd3 6.cxb5 Kc4 7.b6 Kb5 8.b7 Ka6 9.b8N+! 1-0 ( 9.b8Q? = is another stalemate, though doesn't 9.b8B! also win?) 6.b5 Kd3 Unburying the bishop is no good either. 6...c3 7.Kc2 b1Q+ 8.Kxb1 c2+ 9.Kxc2 Be5 10.b6 Kf3 11.Kd3 Kf4 12.Kc4 Ke4 13.Be7 Bg3 14.b7 Bb8 15.Kc5 Ke5 16.Bd8 Ke6 17.Kc6 Ba7 18.Bc7 Ke7 19.Kb5 Ke6 20.Ka6 Bc5 21.b8Q 1-0 7.Bb4! c3 8.Bxc3 Kc4 If Black takes the bishop, there is no possibility of stalemate. 9.b6 Kb5 10.b7 Ka6 11.b8R! (11.b8Q?=) 1-0

So, I have written for a column and a half about Alexander Hildebrand without showing anything by the great man himself! It's time to put that right before things get too bizarre, and so here is this month's study for solving. It's another second prize - from another Swedish chess magazine - but from an earlier era.

Alexander Hildebrand

2nd Prize, Tidskrift för Schack, 1950

5K2/B3p1r1/4P3/6P1/8/p3R3/k6r/6b1

White to play and draw


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