Another of the World’s most successful study composers at present is Oleg Pervakov from Russia. I note with some surprise that I don’t seem to have quoted a study by him yet in this column. That is an oversight that just has to be put right! Here’s one of his recent prize-winners from a tournament held to celebrate the birthday of his fellow Russian composer and solver Sergey Rumyantsev.
1st Prize, Rumyantsev-55 JT, 2011
White to play and draw
White is threatened with mate on d3 and his queen on a7 is also threatened. 1.Qd4? isn't good enough – 1...Qb3+ 2.Ke2 Ra2+ 3.Ke1 Qb1+ 4.Qd1 Qb2 5.Rf7 Qc3+ 6.Kf1 Qxh3+ 7.Ke1 Kg1 0-1 1.Bg2+ Kg1 1...Kxg2 allows White to consolidate – 2.Rxg5+ Kf1 (2...Kh3 3.Qd4 =) 3.Qd4 =, while 1...Kh2? is an error allowing White to mate – 2.Qc7+ Kg1 (2...Kxg2 3.Rxg5+ Kh1 4.Qc1+ Kh2 5.Rh5+ Kg2 6.Qh1#) 3.Qc1+ Kxg2 4.Rxg5+ Kh2 5.Rh5+ Kg2 6.Qh1# 2.Bxe4 It's not yet time for 2.Qd4? as Black then mates – 2...Qb3+ 3.Ke2 Ra2+ 4.Ke1 Qb1+ 5.Qd1 Qb4+ 6.Qd2 Qxd2#. So White has to offer his bishop for the second time. 2...dxe4 And this time it is accepted. It is no good Black going after bigger game – 2...Qb3+ 3.Bd3 Rxa7 4.Rxg5+ Kh1 5.Rh5+ Kg2 6.Rg5+ Kh3 7.Rh5+ Kg2 (7...Kg4 8.Nf6#) 8.Rg5+ =; 2...Rxa7 3.Rxg5+ Kf1 4.Bd3+ Qxd3+ 5.Kxd3 Rxd7 6.f4 = 3.Qd4 This consolidating move is made at last, but Black still has much to say. 3...Qf5 Threatens 7...Qf3+. Black has other possibilities. They also draw, though it takes quite a few moves to show that – 3...Qb3+ 4.Kxe4 Ra4 5.Rxg5+ Kf1 6.Rd5 Qc2+ 7.Ke5 Rxd4 8.Kxd4 =; 3...Qf1 4.Qd2 Qb1 5.Qc3 Rb5 6.Ne5 Rb3 7.Rxg5+ Kf1 8.Qxb3 Qxb3+ 9.Kxe4 =; 3...Qb1 4.Rxg5+ Rxg5 5.Kf4 Rb5 6.f3+ Kg2 7.Qd2+ Kh3 8.Ne5 Rb2 9.Qc3 e3 10.Qxe3 Qh7 11.Qe4 Qh4+ 12.Kf5 Qh5+ 13.Kf4 Qh6+ 14.Kf5 Qf8+ 15.Kg5 Qd8+ 16.Kf5 =; 3...Ra2 4.Kxe4 Ra4 5.Rxg5+ Qxg5 6.Qxa4 Kxf2 = 4.Ne5 Now White sacrifices his knight to guard f3. 4...Rxe5 4...Qf4+ 5.Ke2 Ra2+ 6.Kd1 Rxf2 7.Nc4 Qf3+ 8.Kc1 Qf4+ 9.Ne3 Re2 10.Qd1+ Kf2 11.Rf7 Re1 12.Rxf4+ gxf4 13.Qxe1+ Kxe1 14.Ng2+ = 5.Rxg5+ Now the rook is offered. 5...Qxg5+ 6.f4 exf3+ 6...Qg3+ 7.Ke2+ e3 8.Qa1+ Kg2 9.Qf1+ Kh2 10.fxe5 Qxe5 = 7.Kxf3+ Kh1 8.Qh4+ The final sacrifice is of the queen. If Black takes it then White is stalemated. If he doesn’t, then there is perpetual check – 8...Kg1 9.Qd4+ =
Complex piece play followed by a mirror stalemate, all in a thoroughly modern style. In the initial position White is even material up, though his position is not so good. Who would have guessed that he has to save himself by sacrificing all his material? The judge, Grandmaster solver Sergey Rumyantsev, gave it first prize. A good decision!
In 2011 there was a composing tournament to celebrate the 50th birthday of Harold van der Heijden, the well-known Dutch study-composer and study collector. The following study, by two German composers, was included in the award. It is our study for solving. Please do have a go!
Siegfried Hornecker & Martin Minski
3rd Comm., van der Heijden-50 JT, 2011
White to play and win
1.Ba5 1.g8Q? Rb8+ 2.Kf7 Rf1+ 3.Bf6 Rxf6+ 4.Kxf6 Rxg8 =; 1.Be5? Rbc1 = 1...Rg1 1...Rb8+ 2.Bd8 Rg1 3.Kf8 Rf1+ 4.Kg8 Re1 5.Kh8 Rxe7 6.g8Q 1-0 2.Kf8 Kh6 Threatens 3...Rxg7 4.e8Q Rf1+ 5.Qf7 Rfxf7+ 6.Ke8 Kg6 7.Bb4 Rg8+ 8.Bf8 Rgxf8#. Other possibilities are 2...Rb8+ 3.Bd8 Rf1+ 4.Kg8 Re1 5.Kh8 Rxe7 6.g8Q Kh6 7.Qf8+ 1-0 and 2...Rgf1+ 3.Kg8 Rb8+ 4.Bd8 Re1 5.Kh8 Rxe7 6.g8Q 1-0 3.g8N+ Rxg8+ 3...Kh7 4.Nf6+ Kg6 5.e8Q+ Kxf6 6.Qc6+ Ke5 7.Bc7+ Kf5 8.Bh2 Rh1 9.Qf3+ Kg6 10.Qe4+ Kf6 11.Be5+ Kg5 12.Qf4+ Kh5 13.Qf3+ Kg5 14.Kg7 Rb7+ 15.Qxb7 1-0; 3...Kg5 4.e8Q 1-0 4.Kxg8 Rb8+ 5.Bd8 Rb7 Sets a stalemate trap. If now 6.e8Q? there follows Rg7+ 7.Kf8 Rg8+ 8.Kxg8 = 6.Bc7! wins. For instance 6...Rxc7 7.e8Q 1–0