The latest two issues of EG have just arrived. This magazine, founded in 1965 by John Roycroft but now published by ARVES, is the best way to keep apprised of what’s happening in the endgame study world. Details of how to subscribe can be found on the ARVES website. Each issue contains lots of studies, in articles and in awards from tournaments all around the world. I have selected two studies from the January issue.
HM., Mat Plus, 2007
White to play and win
This study is all about a battle for promotion. 1.Nd4 White removes his threatened knight and chases the black c-pawn. 1...Nb5+ So Black sacrifices his knight to pull the white knight back. He has other possibilities, but they are don’t avoid losing – 1...Nc6 2.Bxc3 Bxc3 3.Nxc6 dxc6 4.Rxc6 Be5 5.Re6 Bc3 6.Kxa4 Kc2 7.h5 d4 8.Re2+ Kd3 9.Rg2 Kc4 10.h6 d3 11.Rg4+ Kc5 12.Kb3 d2 13.Kc2 d1Q+ 14.Kxd1 1-0; 1...Bxh4 2.Rxd7 Bf6 3.Bxc3 Bxd4 4.Rb7+ Kc2 5.Bxd4 Nc6 6.Rc7 Kd3 7.Rxc6 Kxd4 8.Kxa4 1-0; 1...Bf2 2.Rb6+ Kc1 3.Bxc3 Nc6 4.h5 Nxd4 5.Bb2+ Kd2 6.h6 Nc2+ 7.Kxa4 Bxb6 8.h7 Bd4 9.Bxd4 Nxd4 10.h8Q 1-0 2.Nxb5 c2 The white knight being decoyed, Black pushes his pawn. He can try protecting it, but then it or other material will be lost – 2...d4 3.Kxa4 Kb2 (3...c2 4.Na3+ Kb2 5.Rb6+ Kc1 6.Bxe1 1-0) 4.Nxd4 Bd2 5.Rg6 d5 6.Rg2 Ka2 7.Bxc3 1-0 3.Nc3+ This temporary sacrifice opens the b-file. 3...Bxc3 3...Ka1 4.Ne2 Bxa5 5.Kxa4 Bd2 6.Kb3 Kb1 7.Rf6 c1Q 8.Nxc1 Kxc1 9.Rf1+ Be1 10.Rxe1+ Kd2 11.Re8 1-0 4.Rb6+ Of course, White can’t recapture immediately – 4.Bxc3? c1Q+ 5.Kxa4 Qxc3 0-1 4...Bb4+ The bishop is lost anyway, so Black uses it to block the white bishop's line to d2. 5.Rxb4+ Ka1 6.Rb1+ White must sacrifice his rook to get his bishop to d2 in time. The alternative sacrifice on c4 is inadequate, as the front black d-pawn ends up on the c-file rather than staying on the d-file. 6.Rc4? dxc4 7.Bd2 Kb1 8.h5 c3 9.Bg5 c1Q+ 10.Bxc1 Kxc1 11.h6 c2 = 6...Kxb1 Capturing with promotion loses too! 6...cxb1Q 7.Bc3+ Qb2+ 8.Bxb2+ 1-0; 6...cxb1N+ 7.Kxa4 Ka2 8.h5 d4 9.h6 Nc3+ 10.Kb4 Nd5+ 11.Kc4 1-0 7.Bd2 c1Q+ 7...d4 transposes to the main line - 8.h5 d3 9.h6 c1R 10.Bxc1 Kxc1 8.Bxc1 Kxc1 Now the pawns run, leading to a snap mate when black promotes on d1. 9.h5 d4 10.h6 d3 11.h7 d2 12.h8Q d1Q 13.Qb2#
Judge Iuri Akobia said of this: “A fine mutual fight comes to an end with a well-known mating position. The author’s rich imagination can be felt.’.
Our study for solving is a prize-winner from a strong tournament.
3-4th Prize=., Problemist Ukraini, 2009
White to play and win
1.Bf1+ Kg4 1...Kh4 2.Ne5 (threatens 3.Be1#) 2...Qg7+ (2...Nf5? 3.Be1+ Ng3 4.Kh2 Qg7 5.Bh3 (Threatens 6.Nf3#) Qg4 6.Bxg4 hxg4 7.Bxg3+ 1-0) 3.Bg2 Nf5 4.Be1+ Qg3 (4...Ng3? 5.Kh2 leads to the same as after 2...Nf5) 5.Bxg3+ Kxg3 6.Nc4 1-0; 1...Kg3 2.Ne5 (threatens 3.Be1#) Qxe5 3.fxe5 1-0 2.Ne5+ Kf5 3.Bh3+ Ng4 4.Bxg4+ hxg4 5.e4+ Kxf4 6.Kg2! This threatens 7.Bd2+Kxe5 8.Bc3+ Kf4 9.Bxf6 1-0 and if 6...Qxe5 then 7.Bd2# and the black queen is subject to rapid capture if it goes elsewhere.
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