Chess, August 2007

Timothy Whitworth

At a recent meeting of study enthusiasts organised by John Beasley at his home in Harpenden I was delighted to meet composer Timothy Whitworth again. Timothy is one of those people whom I bump into every now and again. Our previous meeting had been at the Royal Library in The Hague, but I was first introduced to him at one of John Roycroft's Chess Endgame Study Circle meetings in the 1970s.

Although he is a composer of endgame studies, Timothy is also well known as the editor of three high quality collections of the work of study composers of a earlier era. His anthologies of the work of Leonid Kubbel (1984, revised 2004), Hermanis Matisons (1987) and The Platov Brothers (1994) are the definitive works in English (and probably other languages) on those composers. As well as being works of great scholarship (very few editors attempt to personally verify the source of every quoted composition) these books also have first class production qualities. These books satisfy the mind and they look and feel good too. Another anthology edited by Timothy was The Best of Bent (1993), a selection of the work of that most prolific of British study composers, Mike Bent. As you would expect, it is of the same high quality as his other work.

John Beasley is the librarian and archivist of the British Chess Problem Society and Timothy took the opportunity of his visit to present a small collection of his own studies to that library. I am glad to say that after the meeting he was kind enough to send me a copy, and it is this which has enabled me to select the studies here. Our first study is one of those presented at the meeting. The analysis and notes are based on Timothy's own from his collection.

Timothy Whitworth

EG, 1978

8/8/2s1s3/5P2/5r2/2K5/5SB1/4k3

White to play and win

1.Nd3+ As White must play to win material, this is clearly the way to start. 1...Ke2 The alternative, 1...Kd1 offers little resistance: 2.fxe6 Rf8 3.Bxc6 Rc8 4.Nb4 1-0 2.fxe6 White avoids the line 2.Nxf4+? Nxf4 3.Bxc6, for it leads only to a draw: 3...Ke3 4.f6 Ne6 5.f7 Kf4 6.Kc4 Ke5 7.Bd5 Nf8 8.Kc5 Kf6 9.Kd6 Ng6 = 2...Rd4 After other moves, White wins easily enough: 2...Rf3 3.Bxf3+ Kxf3 4.Ne5+ 1-0, or 2...Rf6 3.Bxc6 Rh6 4.Bb5 1-0, or 2...Ra4 3.Bxc6 Ra7 (3...Ra3+ 4.Kb4 Rxd3 5.Bb5 1-0) 4.Bd7 1-0, or 2...Rf8 3.Bxc6 Rc8 4.Nb4 1-0. As it is, White is compelled to save his knight before making another capture. 3.Nc1+ Kd1 4.Bxc6 White may be making progress, but Black is not yet finished. 4...Rd6 4...Rd8 5.e7 Rc8 6.Kb2 Rb8+ 7.Nb3 1-0 5.Bd7 Rxe6! The move 5...Kxc1 loses to 6.e7 1-0. 6.Nd3! A good riposte. If Black plays 6...Re4 to guard g4, then 7.Nf2+ 1-0, and we see the same result after 6...Re3 7.Bg4+ Re2 8.Nf4 1-0, or 6...Re2 7.Ba4+ (7.Bg4?? =) 7...Rc2+ 8.Bxc2+ 1-0. Black has one other option, but it turns out to be no better than the others. 6...Rg6 7.Ba4+ Ke2 8.Nf4+ 1-0

Our study for solving is also by Timothy and the earliest one in his collection.

Timothy Whitworth

New Statesman, 1973

8/4B3/4K3/8/4k2S/2Ppp3/8/8

White to play and win


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