Every few years the Permanent Commission for Chess Composition organises a World Chess Composition Tournament (WCCT). The 8th and latest in the series ran from 2006 to 2008 and the award has just been published. The competition is divided up into seven sections, each for a different type of chess composition and each judged by a panel of judges. In each section, compositions with a stated theme are requested. For the study section, the theme required was -
“In a position in the main line of a win or draw study where an unprotected white or black piece A is directly attacked, White or Black instantaneously (right on the following move) places another piece B (of the same colour as A) en-prise (again unprotected and directly attacked). This thematic move resulting in the two white or the two black pieces A and B hanging, must be a quiet one, i.e. not a check, nor a capture. A and B may be any piece except pawns.”
The study that came out top is by two German composers.
Martin Minski & Gunter Sonntag
1st Place, 8th WCCT, 2006-2008
White to play and win
1.Nc4 Showing this to be best takes some analysis - 1.Kd5? Rg7! 2.Qf6 (2.Qh3+ Rg4 =) 2...Qd8+ 3.Qxd8+ Kxd8 4.Nb3 (4.Nc4 Kc7 5.Rb1 Rg5+ 6.Ne5 Rg2 =) 4...Kc7 5.Nd4 Rg5+ 6.Kc4 Kb6 =; 1.Qh3? Qd4 (1...Rg7 2.Nc4 Qd8 3.Nb6+ Kb8 4.Nd7+ Kc8 5.Nf6 Re7+ 6.Kf5 Qd2 7.Kg6+ Kd8 8.Qg3 Qc2+ 9.Kxh5 b1Q 10.Rxb1 Qf5+ 11.Qg5 Qxb1 =) 2.Rf8+ Kc7 3.Qh2+ Kb6 4.Qxb2+ Qxb2 5.Rb8+ Kxa5 6.Rxb2 h4 is drawn according to the tablebases. 1.Nb7? Qg8+ 2.Kd6 Qg6+ 3.Kc5 Qc2+ = 1...b1Q This may not be the absolutely best move for Black, but White can account for the alternatives with further reams of analysis. 1...Rg7 2.Nb6+ Kc7 3.Nd5+ Kc8 4.Ne7+ Rxe7+ 5.Qxe7 Qh6+ 6.Kf5 Qxc6 7.Qe6+ 1-0; 1...Rh6+ 2.Kd5 Qg8+ 3.Kc5 b1Q 4.Qh3+ Re6 5.Rxb1 Qg5+ 6.Kb4 Qe7+ 7.Ka4 Qa7+ 8.Kb5 Qe7 9.Nb6+ Kc7 10.Nd5+ 1-0; 1...Qg8+ 2.Kd6 b1Q 3.Qh3+ Kd8 4.Rxb1 Rh6+ 5.Ke5 Qg7+ 6.Ke4 Qg6+ 7.Kd4 Qf6+ 8.Kd3 Qg6+ 9.Kd2 Qg5+ 10.Ke2 Qe7+ 11.Kd3 Qh7+ 12.Kd2 Qc7 13.Rb8+ Ke7 14.Qe3+ Re6 15.Qg5+ Rf6 16.Rb7 1-0 2.Rxb1 2.Nd6+? Kc7 3.Rxb1 Rh6+ 4.Kf7 Qh7+ = 2...Rh6+ 2...Qg8+ 3.Ke5 Qe8+ 4.Kd4 Qd8+ 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Rb8+ Kc7 7.Rb7+ 1-0 3.Kd5 Qg8+ 4.Kc5 4.Kd4? Qg7+ 5.Kc5 Rxc6+ 6.Kxc6 Qb7+ 7.Kc5 (7.Rxb7 =) 7...Qxb1 8.Nb6+ (8.Nd6+ Kd7 =) 8...Kb7 = 4...Rxc6+ 4...Qf8+ 5.Kb5 Qf5+ 6.Ka6 Rxc6+ 7.Nb6+ Rxb6+ 8.Rxb6 1-0 5.Kxc6 The solution now splits into two thematic lines, depending on which check Black chooses.
(A) 5...Qg6+ 6.Qf6! The first thematic move - the white rook is attacked and White offers up his queen as well. 6.Kc5? Qxb1 is a drawn position reached in an earlier note. 6.Kd5? Qf5+ 7.Ne5 (7.Kc6? Qg6+ = repeats) 7...Qxb1 8.Qh3+ Kb7 =; 6.Nd6+? Qxd6+ 7.Kxd6 = 6...Qxf6+ 6...Qxb1 7.Qf8# 7.Nd6+ Kd8 8.Rb8+ Ke7 9.Re8#
(B) 5...Qe6+ 6.Kc5 6.Kb5? Qc6+ 7.Ka5 (7.Kxc6 =) 7...Qa8+ 8.Kb4 Qb7+ 9.Kc5 Qxb1= A position reached in an earlier note and drawn according to the tablebases. 6...Qf5+ 6...Qc6+ 7.Kd4 1-0 (7.Kxc6 =) 7.Ne5! The second thematic move. Again, with his rook attacked, White offers a further piece, this time his knight. 7.Kd4? Qxb1 =; 7.Kd6? Qxb1 =; 7.Kc6? Qe6+ is repeating. 7...Qxe5+ 7...Qxb1 8.Qh3+ (or 8.Qc4) 8...Kb7 9.Qg2+ Kc8 10.Qg8+ Kb7 11.Qd5+ Ka7 12.Nc6+ Ka6 13.Qc4+ Kb7 14.Qf7+ Kc8 15.Qe8+ Kc7 16.Qd8+ Kb7 17.Qb8+ Ka6 18.Qa8#) 8.Kc4 Qe2+ 9.Kb4 (9.Kd4? Qd2+ =; 9.Kc3? Is repeating. 9...Qe3+ 10.Kc4 Qe2+; 9.Kb3? Qd3+ 10.Kb2 Qb5+ =; 9.Kd5? Qd3+ =) 9...Qd2+ 10.Ka3 (10.Ka4? Qa2+ =; 10.Kb3? Qd3+ =) 10...Qd3+ (10...Qe3+ 11.Rb3 1-0) 11.Rb3 1-0
One of the judges wrote that 6.Qf6 in the first variation is such a spectacular move that the second variation adds little, while the other judges stressed the two thematic moves. White it is true that this is a very fine study and in my opinion a worthy winner, I have to admit that there are studies lower down the award that I find more attractive.
Our study for solving this month is one that did (unlike last month’s study) make it into one of the solving contests held as part of the recent composers’ and solvers’ meeting in Rio de Janeiro.
4th Comm., Chelyabinsk Festival, 1990
White to play and win
1.Bf7+ Kxc5 2.c7 Re2+ 3.Kd7 Rd2+ 4.Bd5 Rxd5+ 5.Ke8 Re5+ 6.Kf7 Rf5+ 7.Nf6 wins, e.g. 7...Bc3 8.c8Q+ 1–0