february 26 2013

The Master Greffier had to bail out again, the weather being too persistent in his countryside to allow him to make the journey.
While regrettable, this is understandable, as cats don't like water and don't like the cold either, so how could he be expected to beat the snow over such a long distance?

The problem is that this time the adage that the threat is stronger than the execution was wrong. The threat of total desertion of the course that had been narrowly averted for several sessions came true.
The default scribe thus had to simultaneously perform three tasks when he is barely capable of performing one: looking at the position, looking at his paper to write it down ... and trying to understand what is going on by trying to find the answers to the questions asked by the Master.

First of all, some introductory information: the deputy registrar being unavailable on 12 March, faced with the (unacceptable) threat of the Master being left alone outside WE HAVE DECIDED TO CHANGE THE DATE OF THE NEXT LESSON TO 19 MARCH (THE NEXT ONE IS ON 2 APRIL).

The session began with a superb study by Ryabinin
It is eventually findable, but it is preferable to have either the help of the Master by attending the lesson, or else some intermediate landmarks.
Thus, if someone wants to look for it, a first simple game is to be sought. White plays the only serious move they have each time, and arrive at the following position:

Here, we see that Black is almost in zugzwang, because Qh8? would allow Rf3. Alas, White is to move. We must therefore manage to reverse the one to move,
So we say to ourselves that there is only to find a cyclic manoeuvre giving the move to B, who will play a6, then repeat the manoeuvre, B will play a5, we will play a4 and the trick will be done.
Actually that's it, but it's just a bit more difficult!

Then came a study (from 2008) by a representative of the new generation of German composers.

White to play and win.
First of all a scoop: Darth Vader announces that he accepts the invitation of your master-bidon to the Saint-Lazare course;Dark vador 1 He will be accompanied by one or two of his "clone soldiers". With our faithful Daniel, we will be able to reach a staggering four listeners.Dark vador 2

We resume training with three helpmates. I wonder if, paradoxically, the h#2 is not the most time consuming (I won't say "the most difficult").

Two direct mates in 2 moves to follow, one of them improving a 1931 classic. Two 3#, one of them very easy. Finally, a remarkable selfmate 3#, where I leave the solution, but forbid to read it.

Two Rooks are stronger than a Queen. The latter must still be calmed, by means of drastic threats leading to its immobilization. It seems then that the problem of the zugzwang can be easily solved. Unfortunately, one falls into a trap of stalemate. One has to be much more subtle. A modern study reminiscent of a classic by Rinck.

AmannA fortnight ago, Daniel showed me a study in the restaurant which I recognised as a classic by Troïtzky, but which I had never shown to the club. But why? Because we have done much better since then, with the same scheme of locking up the Black King. When I told him this, I was thinking of a study by Kovalenko (to tell the truth, I had forgotten the details) given at the 1998 World Championship, a version of which had been the subject of passionate comments on a certain forum. By chance, while wandering through my documentation, I came across a masterpiece composed 10 years later, using the same formation. My blood ran cold: all the studies planned for this lesson and the next one went under the pile. Finally, let's mention that this study won the first prize at the competition organised for Mario Matouš' 60th birthday: a reference.
Karpov 17
A little note: the 4...Rg2 variation discovered by Daniel is even more subtle than we thought: 7.Rg1!! and only on 7...Qb1, then 8.Rg7!
Gelfand 5

A single variant that is longer, more complex and more exciting than the whole game. It's rare, but it happens. A brilliant compliment to Petrossian by a later world champion.

See you, God willing, in three weeks (after adjustment) on Tuesday 19 March.

And of course, may the Force be with all the Saint-Lazare auditors.

Have a good time.

This study is absolutely fantastic! (well, that's my opinion).
It is very enjoyable to look for because it is hard to go wrong.

However, W and B play is very rich. The solution is indisputable, the variants are clear.
However, it seems to me almost impossible to find the right Black resources.
A little help to get started: the second B move: 2:...Rf-d2 is interesting and the W win must be found.
Then you have to look for a better B move than RTf-d2. And it goes on like that for more than 10 moves.
Bravo !
This study could be used as an excellent support for a whole lesson in a club.

Homework for the next lesson: 2 positions where White plays and try to draw.

 Cours2013022604              Cours2013022605
Now, the game.
Obviously I should have written down more things to make an interesting commentary, but as I said I was quite overwhelmed with the task

Karpov Gelfand

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.Qa4+ (calmer than the 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bg5 c5 he played the same year against Timman)

5...c6 6.Qxc4 b5 7.Qd3 Bb7 8.e4 b4 (Here, the move..Nbd7 is bad because of 9.e5 Nd5 10.Nxd5)

9.Na4 Nbd7 10.Bg5 Qa5 11.b3 c5 12.Bxf6 (taking advantage that on 12...Nxf6? 13.Qb5+ Qxb5 14.Bxb5+ Kd8 15.Ne5 Rg816.f3 with advantage W).

12..gxf6 13.Be2 0–0–0 14.0–0 Kb8 (was not to be feared 14...Ne5 15.Nxe5 fxe5 16.d5 exd5 17.exd5 Rxd5 18.Qf5 Kb8 19.Bf3 or 16...Bxd5 17.Rfd1 Be6 18.Qe3 and the activity largely compensates the pawn)

15.d5 Nb6 (15...f5 is thematic and playable as well as 15…Bd6 16.dxe Nb6)

16.Nxb6 Qb6 17.Rad1 (17...f5 again was playable. Karpov had planned 17...exd 18.exd Rd5 19.Qd5 Bd5 20.Rd5 with an unchallengeable white B, a Nf5, the doubling of the R, in short a position which, if not winning, will be quite unpleasant to endure with Karpov in the driving seat)

17..Bh6 18.Qc4 Rd6 19.dxe6 Rxe6 (19...fxe6? 20.e5±) 20.Rd5! 20...Rhe8 ! (Since White is ready to give an exchange to maintain his chances of win, B is not in a hurry to take it and will play a series of moves improving his position before taking the exchange, which shows that these guys are not easy to handle: you give them a gift, they answer ok, but I want two) .

 21.Bd3 Rd8! 22.Rd1 (22.Rxd8? Qxd8 23.Nh4? Ba6)

 22...Red6 23.Be2 Bxd5 24.exd5 Qb7 25.Qh4! (25... Rxd5 26.Rxd5 Qxd5? 27.Qh6! Qd1 28.Bf1)

 25...Bf8 26.Bc4 Rxd5 Did Gelfand judge this move correctly or did he eliminate 26...h6 as insufficient and therefore play Rxd5 by default ?

27.Bxd5 Rxd5 28.Re1 Rd8 29.Qxf6 Qc7 30.g3! (30.Ng5? Be7) 30...Bd6 31.Ng5 Rd7 32.Re8+ (Better was the move envisaged by Karpov but rightly discarded by him as he did not see the inhuman move that justified it 32.Nxh7! c4!? 33.Qg5!! c3?! 34.Re8 Rd8 35.Qb5 +- or 33..Qc5 34.bxc! Qxc4? 35.Rc1 Qa6 36.Qg8!)

 32...Kb7 33.Ne4 Qc6 34.Qf5 Be7 35.Kg2 Rc7 36.Rh8 Qg6 37.Qd5+ Qc6 38.Qxc6+ Kxc6 39.Rxh7 followed by a technical win.

In order to respect tradition, the meal was enhanced with the fairy complement.
It was the same as for the rest, i.e. the tradition was respected but in its minimal form.
The absence of Rémi's reinforcement prevented the author of these lines from finding more than one problem.
Nevertheless, I managed to get to the bottom of it by unravelling it fairly thoroughly, which I was quite happy with.
Double-step chess

Helpmate 1 move.
Twin: replace the Bg5 by a R.

I will now try to add a little value to my report compared to the Master's.


I know that this kind of thing can put off many players. However, I cannot advise them enough to look for these kinds of compositions from time to time.
Why should they do so? What is the practical interest for a player?
In my opinion, players who look for combinations often do so by unconsciously using patterns they have memorised, which is very detrimental to the development of the imagination.
For example, they can be very proud to find almost a tempo a win in 6 or 7 moves based on 1:Bxh7+ Kxh7, 2:Ng5+ Bxg5 3:hxg5+ (by Rh1) Kg8 4:Qh5 f6 5:g6 and mate next move. But as much as this is difficult to see for the first time, it is automatic afterwards. And the player who sees this immediately often misses gains in 2 moves by lack of imagination.
The interest then of being confronted with modified rules is that imagination becomes our only resource since we are in a context where we have no culture. 
Obviously, the rules must be easy to understand and the problem must be accessible, difficulty not being the goal.

So let's look at the exercise

*** h#1 : B starts and plays a move, W answers and checkmates. W and B cooperate to achieve this aim. 

*** Twin : same statement by replacing Bishop by a Rook.
*** Double-step chess: Each move consists of the movement of a single piece, but this piece must make two moves (whereas in classical chess, it makes only one). The previous definition leaving several ambiguities, several points are to be specified.
* The move is only allowed if both steps are possible. For example g2-g3 followed by g3-g4 is a legal move in double-step chess, but g2-g4 cannot be the first move because the pawn on g4 would be unable to play a second one.
* The first of the two steps cannot be a capture. Thus, if the bB was on c1, White would not be allowed to play Kxc1 followed by Kc2 because the first move is a capture. On the other hand, they would be allowed to play Kb1-c2 followed by Kc2xc1, (the two moves together constituting a move in double-step chess).


white Pe2g2a3 Kb1 Ra1 black Pe7b5a4 Kh8 Bg5 Sg7a5
h#1 Double-Step(5+7)
b) Tg5
* One side is not allowed to put itself in check, either at the end of the full move or at the end of the first move. Attention: being in check means being in a position where the opponent, to move, would be able to take your king, here White cannot play either } 1.Kb1-a2 {or} 1.Kb1-b2 {. Why not? Because they would be in check as they pass through the b2 square since B could take their K by THE move } 1...Sa5*b2 {. Similarly,} 1.Kb1-c3 {is doubly illegal, as the K would be in check both by the B and by the Pb5.
To verify that you have understood correctly; Question: if wK was on a2, could he play in 1 move on c4 ?
Answer: yes! because} 1.Kb1-c4 {never goes into check because of the above rules. Whether it is in b3 or c4, Black cannot take it on their first move of P or N (no capture on the 1st move) nor on the second (neither N nor P can go to b3 or c4 in 2 moves!). Side note: this position (Ka2, White to move) is of no interest because it is illegal. Indeed, the White is to move and the bK is already in check. * When one side is in check, it must parry the check on the first move of a legal complete move (or else it is mate). This means that if W plays} 1.Kb1-b3 {(legal move!) making check, B cannot parry by} 1...Bg5-h2 {. They can't play either} 1...Kh8-g8 {because they would not have a second move that would not be in check! And they can't play either} 1...Sg7-h5 {for the same reason.
Exercise : on } 1.Kb1-d3 + {checkmate, what are the 3 legal black moves that parry the mate ?
Once you understand this, you are ready to take full advantage of the problem. How to checkmate ?
We can see that W will play the K and that the B's will be checkmated by the R, but how to make it really checkmate, that is to say to neutralize the bB ?
The first idea that immediately comes to mind is that, since it's an helpmate and the Bs are beginning, they just have to put their B in grip, and the Ws will capture it with their K.
Oui, mais où ? Par exemple } 1.Bg5-c3 Kb1*c3 {is wrong because the wK would be checked by Pb5. Also,} 1.Bg5-b2 Kb1*b2 {is not going to work because the RB would check itself with the N.
At last, } 1.Bg5-c1 Kb1*c1-c2 {does not put itself in check and would mate well, but is illegal because you are not allowed to capture on the first move (Rb1xc1).}


Now that everything is clear, I strongly advise readers to get on this problem and they will discover the real pleasure of solving this exercise.

For those who would like the solution, here is the B move Fg5-d2-b4  (just select the characters and put them in arial or any other more readable font). All that remains is to find the W move that makes mate (easy).


Then to find the twin (very beautiful, same theme).

I hope to have allowed all those who do not block systematically to access the joys of enchantment.

Here at last is the Master's report, which could obviously have been distributed on Wednesday at potron minet (or rather at potron jaquet to respect the anatomy of the Master Clerk!) if I had written this report with a little more speed.


In the 2nd study, wK is obviously on c8. The Acting Master Clerk unintentionally played the first move, but this in no way deflowers the study.

In today's game, please take a moment in the electronic report to scroll through the 26...h6 variation, which is even more instructive (in my opinion) than the rest of the game.

The 34th move is wrong in the variation we give back: 32.Nxh7! c4 33.Qg5!! c3? 34.Re8+ Kb7 35.Qb5+.

Remarkable report by the way, with a magnificently detailed explanation of the fairy problem as the new cyber generation no longer knows how to write, with rare exceptions.

A delightful feast.


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