December 29, 2010

Domination in endgame studies

I still get a lot of messages on facebook where people ask me how to improve their chess strength. 
The biggest secret of all secrets is: work, work, work and...when you really feel like throwing the pieces out of the window, work just a little bit more:) Besides, you will always have my chess psychology articles, under the label: Boost your career and some exercises.
Talking about work, here you have 3 more endgame studies, with the domination theme, one of my favourite. Soon you will start recognizing the patterns and successfully use them in your games! But, very important also, solving studies will improve you creativity, imagination's fun:)

White to move in all diagrams:

Because some more people wrote me the solution either on facebook, either on email, I am gonna write down the answer for the first diagram. It seems that you were all interested particularly in this one.
One suggestion: you can always comment on the blog:)
The ideas you gave are good, but we should always find the toughest defence, just like in a game. Otherwise, nasty surprises might appear on the board:)

The study was composed in 1929 by A. Troitzky and the solution is:
1.Bh6 Kg8 2.Ne4 Kf7 3.Nc5 Kg6 4.Bf8 h5 5.Kc2 Kf5 6.Bd6 Kg4 7.Kd2 Kf3 8.Ke1 Kg2 9.Be7 Kg3 10.Kf1 Kf3 11.Bd6 Ke3 12.Be5 Kd2 13.Kg2 Kc2 14.Kh3 Kb1 15.Kh4 Ka2 Kxh5 Ka3 17.Bc3 and White is winning;
A wonderful endgame in which coordinated action by White's pieces leads either to the immurement of the Bishop on a8 with its subsequent capture or to a mating net in the following variation:
1...c5 2.Nb5 --- 3.Nd6 B-- 4.Kc2 Kg8 5.Kd2 Bg2 6.Ke3 Bc6 7.Kf4 c4 8.Ke5 c3 9.Kf6 Bd7 10.Ne4 c2 11.Ke7 and White wins again.


  1. For number one, 1.Bh6 c5 2.Nb5, heading for d6, locking Black's king out seems interesting ... Or am I going in the wrong direction?

  2. In the first diagram, if Black plays 12...Kf3 instead of 12...Kd2 the game is a draw, not a win for White.

  3. In fact it is winning :) But you are right that maybe I should have extended the lines a bit. So, after 12...Kf3 White continues 13.Kg1. He will not win the h-pawn by means of zugzwang; 13...Kg4 14.Kg2 Kf5 15.Bc7 Kg4 16.Bd6 (the first zugzwang, now Black must either push his h-pawn or make way for the White king)
    a) 16...h4 17.Bd6 Kg5 18.Kh3 Kh5 19.Be7 winning the h-pawn and after the game.
    b) A tougher defence is 16...Kg5 17.Kg3 Kf5 18.Kf3 Kg5 19.Ke4! Kg5 20.Bf4 h4 21.Bc7 h3 22.Bd6 and again the Black king must make way and the the h-pawn is falling.

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