Corus Study Day – solution and new puzzles

2/22/2009 – Last week we had a report on the Corus Studies Day, where some of the world's best problem and study solvers were gathered and given nine tough studies to crack. The winner was 18-year-old Twan Burg ahead of double world champion John Nunn. In our report we gave you a sample of the studies they had to tackle. Today we bring you the solution and two incredible new studies to solve.

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Corus Studies Day: solution and two new problems

The 22 solvers at the study competition had three hours for the nine tough positions, most especially created for this event. At the awards ceremony the chief organiser Yochanan Afek presented some of the studies to the audience and journalists, and in a highly entertaining (and inspiring) session demonstrated the solutions.


Afek presenting the solution to a study from the competition

Here was one of the studies which we gave you to solve by yourselves.

Gady Costeff, The Problemist 2009

White to play and draw

1.g5! The only way to meet the promoting threat as 1.Rxd2 1.Rxd2? loses to 1...Qe8 or 1...f6.

1...d1Q+! 2.Rxd1 g6+! Since 2...Rxd1 3.Qa4+ Ke7 4.Qxd1 g6+ 5.Kh4 is just draw. 3.Kh6 Rxd1 4.Qa4+ Ke7 5.Qxd1 Kf8! Preparing a mate net by Kg8 and Qf8. 6.Qd4! The threat is of course 7.Qh8+. 6...Qb2!

7.Qh8+!! The stunning point of the whole study: a neat sacrifice of the queen! 7...Qxh8 8.f6! Ke8 9.g4 Qf8+ 10.Kxh7.

A tremendous finale: Black, a queen up and a move at hand cannot avoid stalemate! (Of course he can sacrifice the queen iwht an immediate draw). Another outstanding and breathtaking masterpiece from the workshop of the prominent Israeli composer who lives in San-Francisco. Draw. [Click to replay]


Two new studies from the Corus Study Day

In our report we were only able to publish the above study, since the other equally spectacular examples were being submitted for prize competitions. In the meantime two more have been published in The Problemist and we have permission to reproduce them.


IM Yochanan Afek sent us two new studies for you to solve

Piotr Murdzia + Andzey Jasik
The Problemist 2009

White to play and draw

It looks as though White has an easy draw, but after the obvious key you must look for a spectacular black counter-attack. White has to set up a very clever positional draw in order to save the day. Peter Murdzia (Poland), a strong over-the-board IM, is the current world champion solver. He could not attend the event this time and sent this lovely study with greetings instead.

Jan Timman
The Problemist 2009

White to play and win

This study by the legendary over-the-board Dutch grandmaster contains an very beautiful pawn sacrifice, the purpose of which only becomes apparent at the end of the winning line.

Editorial note: The solution to these new studies will be given in a few days. We urge our readers to try and solve both themselves. The solutions contains some astonishing moves and beautiful ideas and demonstrate how far the art of study composition has progressed.

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