Puzzle for August 16, 2018

The solution appears at the bottom!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

The solution to today’s puzzle is:

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1. Rd4 Bc2 2. Rd2+ exd2 3. Qf3+ Ke1 4. Qf1# 1-0

Review of One Rook Saves the Day

Ever since hearing Andrzej Krzywda on Perpetual Chess I have been making much more of an effort to include solving studies a part of my training routine.

I have long been a firm believer in solving, but most of what I have solved is tactical puzzles, and generally I’ve gravitated towards the simpler ones at that.

However, for pure calculation training I have been told by numerous people that it’s hard to top the effectiveness of endgame studies.

Elk a Ruby,  a quite welcome recent addition to publishing chess books in English has published a collection of thematic study collections call “One ____ Saves the Day” where the ____ can be Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight, etc.

The studies were compiled by Sergei Tkachenko, who was a member of the Ukrainian team which won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997.

What’s particularly nice about these studies is the (relative) ease of solving them.

This is not to imply that they are simple to solve…certainly they are not!  However, compared to the level of most endgame study collections such as Kasparyan, they are much more manageable for those at the club player level.

The concept is that at the end of the solution, White will be left with just one of the titular pieces.  So in this case, a rook.

The book is comprised of 100 studies, and almost all solutions run six moves or less, which again speaks to the fact that most are solvable with varying degrees of difficulty at the club level.  Contrast this with studies I’ve been shown by various GM’s with solutions running 12-15 moves, almost none of which I could solve on my best day.

Let’s take a look at the first position, where it’s White to play and draw.

Take a few minutes to calculate if you like, and then let’s look at the solution…

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The main point to take home from this puzzle/solution, whether you took the time to solve this one or not,  is that this is certainly a puzzle that most club level players should be able to solve given the right amount of effort.

I’d like to speak a bit more to that point actually.  When it comes to certain elements of the game, such as tactics puzzles, it seems to be well understood by authors and publishers alike that material should be broken out by level.  This is why it’s relatively easy to find tactics books for players of all levels.

Want something basic?  There are hundreds of books to choose from?  Want something intermediate?  Hundreds more.  Advanced?  Still a few dozen of those as well!

Unfortunately I’ve had a much harder time finding books on studies broken out like this over the years.  Which is why this series of books comes as such a wonderful addition to the cannon of chess literature.

I sincerely hope that Sergei will continue to collect studies at this level, even if Ilan Rubin has to pester him until he does!  If there are already more collections out there waiting to be translated, then by all means, let’s keep them coming!

I should also point out that I read this book on the Forward Chess app, which is a great way to get practice on the go using your phone.  Forward Chess has a nice pop up feature where you can expand the board for easier viewing.  In addition, you can review the studies in quiz mode so that the solution isn’t visible until you want it to be.

I highly recommend the two volumes I have read in this series, which are this one and One Bishop Saves the Day.  While I have not read the others, I can certainly say that if they are anywhere near as good as these two then they are well worth reading.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

 

 

Puzzle for August 15, 2018

The solution appears at the bottom!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

The solution to today’s puzzle is:

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1. Qg4 Qb5 2. Qc4 Qd7 3. Qc7 Qb5 (3… Qa4 4. Re4 g6 5. Qxc8 Qxe4 6. Qxe8+) 4.
a4 Qxa4 (4… Qxe2 5. Rxe2 h6 6. Rxe8+) 5. Re4 Qb5 6. Qxb7 1-0

Puzzle for August 14, 2018

The solution appears at the bottom!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

The solution to today’s puzzle is:

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1. Qe4 Qc7 (1… Bd7 2. Rxd7 Kxd7 3. Bb5+ Kc8 4. fxe5) 2. Bb5 Rc8 3. Bxc6+ Qxc6
4. Qxc6+ Rxc6 5. Bxb6 Rxb6 6. fxe5 1-0

Very Sloppy Writing

I have been re-reading John Emms’ book Play The Najdorf: Scheveningen Style lately since I play a lot of those lines as Black and I’m a bit rusty since I’ve been playing the Scheveningen proper for some time.

Overall I really like the book, but I came across something that was very sloppy and makes me question the rest of the book.

So the idea is that in this position after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4

The main move here is 6…e6, and while the normal White response is 7.Bb3 there are sidelines, particularly 7.a4 which Black can avoid by switching up the move order with 6…b5, which if White then plays 7.Bb3 Black plays 7…e6 and the main position is reached but without White having the 7.a4 option.

So in the position after 6…b5 there is something else White can try other than transposing.  They can play 7.Bd5

Now after 7…Nxd5 8.exd5 Bb7 9.a3 there apparently two main ideas here.  The first involves Black sacking a pawn but gaining complete control over the center.  The second involves the move 9…g6 and then after a series of moves this position is reached:

Here GM Emms uses the phrase “and Black went on to win in Bauer-Kempinski, Bundesliga 2000.”

In the other idea, the pawn sack one, it was easy to see how Black was better, but in this one I didn’t see it.  One of the things that I have really been getting myself to do lately is to question things.  After all, the information is at our fingertips.  So why not look?

So I pulled up the game.  After clicking through it a bit I turned on the engine.  Stockfish 9 64 gives the position 0.00 at a depth of 30 for either 21.Rf3, or the game move of 21.Kd2.

Hmm…nothing there, so what about after the game moves of 21.Kd2 Kc7…what would the engine think then?

Well, as it turns out, here White misses a chance to get an edge.  And certainly White is at least slightly better now.  But instead White blunders horribly with 22.Ng5??

Now granted, this is a side note to a sideline, but still…the implication is that somehow Black is on his way to winning after move 20 in the game.  Yet in truth Black made an inaccuracy in the next move of the game, which was followed by White making a critical blunder the move after.

So at the end of the day…trust, but verify.

Here is the entire game with my notes, most of which come from Stockfish.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Puzzle for August 13, 2018

The solution appears at the bottom!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

The solution to today’s puzzle is:

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1. Bxe6 Bxe6 2. Nxg6+ Nxg6 3. Qxh7+ Rxh7 4. Rxh7+ Rxh7 5. Rxh7# 1-0

Puzzle for August 12, 2018

The solution appears at the bottom!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

The solution to today’s puzzle is:

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1. Nf5+ gxf5 (1… Kh8 2. Qf7 gxf5 3. Bxh6 Nxh6 4. Ng6+ Bxg6 5. Rxh6+) 2. Bb3
Qxa1 3. Qxg8+ Bxg8 4. Bxh6+ Kh8 5. Bxf8+ Bh7 6. Ng6# 1-0

Puzzle for August 11, 2018

The solution appears at the bottom!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

The solution to today’s puzzle is:

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1. Nf6+ Bxf6 (1… gxf6 2. Bxh7+ Kxh7 3. Qh5+ Kg7 4. Qg4+ Kh8 5. Rd3) 2. exf6
g6 (2… Rd8 3. Bxh7+ Kxh7 4. Qh5+ Kg8 5. Qg5) 3. Qe3 Qd8 (3… Kh8 4. Qh6 Rg8
5. h4 Qf8 6. Qg5) 4. Qf4 e5 5. Qxe5 (5. Qh4 Qd4 6. Qh6 Qf4+) 1-0

Puzzle for August 10, 2018

The solution appears at the bottom!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

The solution to today’s puzzle is:

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1. R1xd4 exd4 2. Qxh7+ Kxh7 3. Rh5# 1-0

Puzzle for August 9, 2018

The solution appears at the bottom!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

The solution to today’s puzzle is:

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1… Nb4 2. Bxb7 Na2 3. Bxa6 Nc3# 0-1