Study of the year – solutions


Study of the year  



Study of the year 1998

Boris Gusev & Karen Sumbatyan

1st/2nd Prize

Moscow Town 1998

Ka8 Bh5 Na1 Pb5 - Ka4 Rd2

White to play and win    4+2





To win White must promote his pawn, but his knight, which he can ill afford to part with, is in peril, especially from Black’s king. It is not so simple.

SOLUTION: 1.b6 Ka3/i,ii 2.b7 Rd8+ 3.Ka7 Kb2 4.Bg4! Excellent, especially if you saw that coming! 4…Re8/iii 5.Bd7/iv, with two possibilities:

  • 5…Rf8 6.Nb3! Kxb3 7.Bc8 Rf7 8.Be6+ and 9.Bxf7, or
  • 5… Rh8 6.Nc2! Kxc2 7.Bc8 Rh7 8.Bf5+ and 9.Bxh7, winning.

These two lines (5…Rf8 and 5…Rh8) ‘echo’ each other, leaving a wonderful impression of harmony and coordination.

i) Otherwise the knight emerges and White wins straightforwardly, if necessary checkmating with bishop and knight against the lone king, after White’s pawn has cost Black his rook.

ii) 1…Ra2 2.b7 Kb5+ 3.Kb8 Rxa1 4.Kc8 Rc1+ 5.Kd7 (or Kd8) wins. If Rd5 2.Bg4 Ra5+ 3.Kb8 Rg5 4.Bd7+ Ka5 5.Kc7 wins.

iii) 4…Kxa1 5.Bc8 Rd3 6.b8Q Ra3+ 7.Ba6 wins, a ‘lucky’ interposition!

iv) 5.Nb3? Kxb3 6.Bd7 Rh8 7.Bc8 Rh7 draw. Or 5.Nc2? Kxc2 6.Bd7 Rf8(Rg8) 7.Bc8 Rf7(Rg7) draw.

The event was an annual traditional composing tourney sponsored by the Moscow local authority.

Study of the year 1999

Nikolai Kralin


“Magadan-60 AT” 1999

Kf3 Bg3 Pa6 d6 e4 h4 - Kh3 Bh1 Pa7 e5 f5 g2 g5 h5

White to play and win     6+8





White can easily deal with Black’s threat to promote on g1, but Black also has threats to mobilise his dark pawn phalanx, against which White has ‘only’ his advanced d-pawn. Can the blocked pawn on a6 play a part?

SOLUTION: 1.Kf2 f4 2.d7! (hxg4? h4!) fxg3+ 3.Kg1 g4 4.d8R!!/i Kxh4 5.Rg8/ii Kh3 6.Rg6 Kh4 (h4;Rb6) 7.Rg7 Kh3 8.Rb7 h4 (Kh4;Rxa7) 9.Rb6 axb6 10.a7 b5 11.a8N!!/iii b4 12.Nc7 b3 13.Ne6 b2 14.Ng5 mate.

i) 4.d8N? Kxh4 5.Nf7 Kh3 6.Nxe5 h4, and White had better acquiesce in the stalemate. 4.d8Q? or 4.d8B? would be instant stalemate. But now the stalemate threat is very real.

ii) 5.Rd7? Kg5 6.Rxa7 h4 7.Rg7+ Kf4 8.a7 h3 9.Rh7 h2+ 10.Rxh2 gxh2+ 11.Kxh2 g1Q+ 12.Kxg1 Bxe4, and it is Black who wins. If 5.Re8? Kg5 6.Rxe5+ Kg6, and again White must take the draw.

iii) See if you agree that White can do nothing useful with a queen instead of a knight!

The ‘AT’ event was an anniversary tourney commemorating the 60 years since the founding of the Pacific Ocean port of Magadan.

Study of the year 2000

Yochanan Afek

1st/2nd Prize

Kralin-55 JT 2000

Ka8 Re3 Bc8 Pb6 - Ka4 Qe8 Pe4

White to play and win    4+3





In this case, although Black has only one active piece, that piece is the queen, while White’s men are for the moment passively placed — apart from the pawn on b6…

SOLUTION: 1.b7 Qc6 2.Bd7 Qxd7 3.Rxe4+/i Ka5 4.Re5+/ii Kb6 (Ka6;b8N+) 5.b8Q+ Ka6 6.Rb5!! (Rc5? Qd5+;) Qxb5 7.Qa7 mate.

i) 3.b8Q? Qd5+ 4.Qb7 Qd8+ 5.Ka7 Qd4+ 6.Qb6 Qd7+ 7.Kb8 Qc8+ 8.Kxc8 stalemate.

ii) 4.b8Q? Qd5+ 5.Qb7 Qd8+ 6.Ka7 Qb8+ 7.Kxb8 stalemate, or 7.Qxb8 stalemate.

The event was an international ‘jubilee tourney’ for study composers to celebrate the 55th birthday of the renowned Moscow specialist.



Study of the year


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