CHESS Magazine November 2016: Studies with Stephenson

by CHESS Magazine
11/1/2016 – The World Problem conference is not just about solving. The chess composers present at the event are not idle but take part in one or more of the wide range of composing tourneys that these events always include. This year, for the first time, the Azerbaijanis ran a study composing tourney. First prize was won by Danish composer Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen. Problem expert Brian Stephenson explains the study and gives you another study to solve.

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Studies with Stephenson

By Brian Stephenson

The Belgrade Conference that I have written about twice already was not just about solving. The yearly meeting of the World Federation for Chess Composition also took place. While the solvers solved and the delegates debated, the many chess composers present weren’t idle. They took part in one or more of the wide range of composing tourneys that these events always include. This year, for the first time, the Azerbaijanis ran a study composing tourney. First prize was won by Danish composer Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen, whom readers will remember from a couple of issues ago, with this accessible and sacrificial study.

Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen, 1st Prize, Azerbaijan Ty., 2016

White to play and win

[Event "1st Prize, Azerbaijan Ty.,"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Nielsen, Steffen S"] [Black "?"] [Result "1-0"] [Annotator "Stephenson,Brian"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6K1/8/6k1/5q2/2N3p1/5n1P/B1b2B2/5Q2 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "13"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [SourceDate "2016.09.27"] 1. Nd6 {Black threatened both mate in one by} (1. -- Qc8# {and mate in two starting with}) (1. -- Qf7+) 1... Qe5 {Black must move his threatened queen and this is his best choice, threatening the knight and mate. If instead} (1... Qg5 {White's extra piece will win. There might follow} 2. Nf7 Qa5 (2... Qf6 3. Nh8+ Kf5 4. hxg4+ Kxg4 5. Qg2+ Kf4 6. Bg3+ Ke3 7. Qxc2 Qg5+ 8. Qg6 $18) 3. Nh8+ Kf6 4. Bh4+ Kf5 5. Qc4 Nxh4 6. hxg4+ Kf6 7. Qd4+ Ke7 8. Qg7+ Kd6 9. Nf7+ Kc5 10. Qe5+ Kb6 11. Qb2+ Ka7 12. Qxc2 Nf3 13. Qf2+ Kb8 14. Qxf3 Qxa2 15. Qc6 { which the Tablebases score as a White win.}) 2. Bf7+ Kh6 3. Nf5+ $1 {The White king is still vulnerable, Black having a mate threat on g7 while also threatening 3...Bh7+. This knight sacrifice clears the 6th rank to enable the white queen to enter the fray.} Bxf5 ({If} 3... Qxf5 {White wins material quickly with} 4. Be3+ Qg5+ 5. Bxg5+ Kxg5 6. Qc1+) ({White also wins material if the sacrifice is refused with} 3... Kg5 4. Qc1+ Kxf5 5. Qxc2+ Kf4 6. Qc1+ Ke4 7. Qe3+ Kf5 8. hxg4+ Kxg4 9. Be6+ Kh5 10. Qxf3+) 4. Qa6+ Kg5 5. h4+ $1 Nxh4 ({The white pieces are in control and the black king is still vulnerable after } 5... Kf4 6. Qh6+ Ng5 7. Qxg5+ Kf3 8. Bd4 {and after the text, White unveils a devastating queen sacrifice.}) 6. Qf6+ $1 Qxf6 (6... Kxf6 7. Bxh4#) (6... Kf4 7. Bg3+ Kxg3 8. Qxe5+ $18) 7. Be3# 1-0

That first prize was awarded by Ilham Aliyev, himself a distinguished endgame study composer. Here, for you to solve, is one of his own creations, published in a Czech chess composition magazine.

Ilham Aliyev Sachova Skladba, 2002

White to play and win

To enter email matt@chess.co.uk or send your name and address, with the main variations, to Chess & Bridge, 44 Baker Street, London, W1U 7RT, postmarked no later than 1st January. There is a £25 voucher for the first correct entry drawn.

The above article appeared in the November 2016 issue of the British magazine CHESS

CHESS Magazine was established in 1935 by B.H. Wood who ran it for over fifty years. It is published each month by the London Chess Centre and is edited by IM Richard Palliser and Matt Read. The Executive Editor is Malcolm Pein, who organises the London Chess Classic.

CHESS is mailed to subscribers in over 50 countries. You can subscribe from Europe and Asia
at a specially discounted rate for first timers here, or from North America here.

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In this book, John Nunn, a top-class grandmaster who is also one of the worlds finest solvers, explains the methods by which chess problems and studies are solved. The logical and creative methods advocated, while targeted at the solving of composed positions, may also help players find startling tactical solutions in their games. Solving in Style also constitutes an entertaining and insightful introduction to the world of problems and studies. There are chapters on series problems and other unorthodox stipulations, and also a discussion of specific themes such as the Novotny interference. This classic text is one of few on this important subject, and is now available again, having been difficult to obtain for a decade.

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Studies for Practical Players

Nowadays, chessplayers spend almost all their free time preparing openings, and rarely spend the time necessary to perfect the vitally important technique of calculating. Regular training in solving and playing out endgame studies is a good recipe for eliminating that shortcoming. This training is directed at developing resourcefulness, fantasy (in chess, these qualities are called "combinative acuity"), and the readiness to sacrifice material, in pursuit of the goal - winning! How do we develop good habits of winning endgame play? There are lots of manuals, but this may be the first in which a famous practical player, a trainer with a world-renowned name, and a study composer who has earned the title of International Grandmaster of Composition, share their views in one and the same book.

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CHESS Magazine was established in 1935 by B.H. Wood who ran it for over fifty years. It is published each month by the London Chess Centre and is edited by IM Richard Palliser and Matt Read.
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itizi itizi 11/4/2016 09:58
What if 3...Qh6?
IGMMURAT IGMMURAT 11/2/2016 02:05
1.h8=Q+ K×h8
2.Qe8+ Kh7
3.Qh5+ Kg7
4.R×g5+ Kf8
5.Qh8+ Kf7
6.Qh7+ Kf6
7.Rg6+ Ke5
8.Qh2+
1