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Chess, June, 2008


As regular readers of this column will know, it is common for composition tourneys to be held in honour of the birthdays or the memories of prominent composers. What may be less well known is that some composition tourneys are held in honour of people or places that have little connection to chess composition. For example, the chess composers of the former Soviet Union organized several tourneys commemorating Mikhail Chigorin. Some large otb events in the past have run composition tourneys in parallel – the latest example being the 70th Corus Tournament in the Netherlands recently, which Yochanan Afek wrote about in the April issue. I believe that the most recent example of this happening in Great Britain was a composing tournament for endgame studies to celebrate the centenary of the great Hastings Chess Tournament in 1995. It is true that several composers have played at Hastings over the years and that several solving competitions have been held there (including at the first event in 1895), but as far as I know this jubilee tourney is the tournament’s only other connection to chess composition.

Here is the study that won second prize.

E Iriarte

2nd Prize, Hastings-100 Jubilee Ty., 1995


White to play and win

White is a rook and a piece up, but Black has two advanced passed pawns. If White can get his rook to the first rank, or his rook to the a-file while his king or knight takes care of the g-pawn, then he can win easily. Throughout the solution, Black plays against such a simple plan. Because he has access to c7, Black can win should White attempt to take the a-file immediately or to start manoeuvring his knight to f3. For instance 1.Ra6? g2 2.Nc6+ Kc7! 0-1 (2...Ke8? 3.Ra8+ Kd7 4.Ne5+ Ke6 5.Nf3 1-0) or 1.Nc6+? Kc7! 2.Ra6 g2 0-1. Checking on b8 doesn't get White anywhere - 1.Rb8+? Kd7 (1...Kc7? 2.Rc8+ Kb6 3.Rc1 1-0) 2.Rb7+ Ke6 3.Rb6+ Kf5! 4.Ra6 g2 0-1. So White starts by pushing the black king away from c7. 1.Rd6+ Ke7 1...Kc7 2.Rc6+ Kb7 3.Rc1 1-0; 1...Ke8 2.Nc6 f6 (2...f5 3.Rd8+ Kf7 4.Ne5+ Ke6 5.Ra8 g2 6.Nf3 1-0; 2...Kf8 3.Rd8+ Kg7 4.Ra8 g2 5.Ne7 has transposed into the main line.) 3.Re6+ Kd7 4.Re1 1-0 With c7 no longer accessible to the black king, White can now go for the a-file. 2.Ra6 g2 3.Nc6+ Kf8 Other options allow White to carry out his simple winning plan. 3...Kf6 4.Ne5+ Kf5 5.Nf3 1-0; 3...Ke8 4.Ra8+ Kd7 5.Ne5+ Ke6 6.Nf3 1-0; 3...Kd7 4.Ne5+ Kc7 5.Nf3 1-0. 4.Ra8+ Kg7 5.Ne7! Sets up a skewer to prevent the g-pawn from promoting. Black now side steps out of the potential check. 5...Kh7 5...Kh6 6.Ke2 g1Q 7.Rh8+ Kg7 8.Rg8+ 1-0; 5...f6 6.Ke2 g1Q 7.Rg8+ 1-0; 5...f5 6.Ke2 g1Q 7.Rg8+ 1-0; 5...Kf6 6.Nd5+ Kg5 (6...Kg7 has transposed into the main line.) 7.Ne3 1-0. 6.Nd5! Renews the skewer threat (following a knight check on f6), and threatens 7.Ke2. 6...Kg7 6...g1Q 7.Nf6+ Kh6 8.Rh8+ Kg7 9.Rg8+ 1-0; 6...Kh6 7.Nf6 Kg6 8.Ke2 1-0; 6...f6 7.Ke2 g1Q 8.Nxf6+ Kh6 9.Rh8+ Kg6 10.Rg8+ 1-0; 6...f5 7.Ke2 g1Q 8.Nf6+ Kh6 9.Rh8+ Kg6 10.Rg8+ 1-0 7.Nf4! Now Black has to promote, or lose his chance forever, but that skewer hasn't gone away, just hidden itself behind some nifty work by the white pieces, which combine well. 7...g1Q 8.Nh5+ Kh7 8...Kh6 9.Rh8+ Kg5 10.Rg8+ Kxh5 11.Rxg1 1-0. 9.Nf6+ Kh6 10.Rh8+ Kg7 11.Rg8+ 1–0

Further down the award came this joint composition by two famous Georgian composers. It’s our solving competition this month. Have fun!

David Gurgenidze & Velimir Kalandadze


White to play and win

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