Showing posts with label Studies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Studies. Show all posts

May 28, 2012

Finding order in chaos

I don't know about you but I've always been quite skeptical about the utility of solving mate in two problems. I am not talking about the simple ones but about these crazy positions, where a total mess is present on the board, with a lot of pieces. It looks as if you just opened your chess box and all the pieces fell randomly on the black&white squares - 'fire on board'!

December 14, 2011

Happy 60th birthday Jan Timman!

More than 40 years of top level chess and 60 years of life! Here's to many more!

And for us, a small brain teaser, composed by none other than Jan Timman:

August 5, 2011

Chess Study!

While waiting for Vlissingen games to start, I was browsing a very nice book: "Chess Study Composition", written by the Romanian - Emilian Dobrescu. I recently received it as a present from Yochanan Afek and I like it a lot. I will surely come back with more examples in the future!
For now, just a small teaser, which is kind of difficult by the way:

Can you hold a draw with White?

May 7, 2011

Weekend Challenge

Mate in two moves...piece of cake, isn't that right?! Strangely enough, sometimes it's not that easy. Try to solve the following exercises, it's fun and useful at the same time. By working faithfully six hours a day you may eventually get to be a notorious GM and work ten hours a day:)

May 1, 2011

Work time

While trying to bring my head into the chess mood, I discovered the following position:

White to move and win
It's not as easy as it seems to be...


February 27, 2011

Don't let your brain fall asleep!

IM Vlaicu Crisan
Recently I discovered a new passion: solving studies and problems. In fact, I always liked that but only after my successful third place in the solving competition from Wijk aan Zee, during Tata Steel Chess, I started to think more about it. Why not to participate in the European and World events?!
This new idea was planted in my head by our Roumanian IM in this field: Vlaicu Crisan, an enthusiastic chess problem solver and composer.

January 2, 2011

Beautiful study


I don't know if you recovered or not after the new year's party. Just in case, here's a beautiful study for you, to help your brain come back to life:)

White to move

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.

December 25, 2010

Christmas Tree Studies!

And I suppose I am not the only one who makes a little bit of chess today, for sure my husband will join:)...just a little bit, because otherwise our families won't be that happy:)
Of course not openings or difficult stuff, I don't need headaches early morning, especially not on Christmas Day! Just some bughouse, some blitz and...Chess Christmas Tree Studies!! White is to move in all 3 diagrams (studies taken from Glarean Magazin).

Mate in two

Mate in three

Mate in four

December 20, 2010

Chess Studies

It's winter, cold, public transportation is not working properly...beautiful but very annoying for those who have to travel. 
I am sitting comfortably at home, enjoying chess by solving some studies!
Underneath you can find a selection, 4 studies to warm up your brain:)
In all diagrams: White to play and win!

November 24, 2010

Chess Studies!

While checking my husband's chess library, I discovered an amazing book. Studies lovers know it for sure: "Domination in 2545 endgame studies", written by Ghenrikh M.Kasparyan. I chose four studies for you, from this book.

The following beautiful endgame study, that left a noticeable trace in chess composition, was appreciated by Lenin and met with general approval among chess lovers. It was composed by M and V Platov, Rigaer Tageblatt, 1909 - 1st Prize.

White to move

The next study was composed by the same authors, awarded as well with the 1st prize in Shakhmatnoye obozreniye, 1911:

White to move

A beautiful endgame is coming next, by R.Reti, which took the 1st prize in Shakmaty, 1928.

White to move

The last study, for tonight, was composed by A.Gurvich, 1st prize in Alma - Atinskaya, 1960.

White to move

November 20, 2010

The Chess Problem Cake!

This is an adaptation of a story which appeared in Les Cahiers de l'Echiquier Français (november-december 1936). Story, problem and drawing are by V. Barthe.

A chess player and gourmet once invited a friend to his home. The friend, Onésime XADREZ, besides being a good chess player also appreciated fine food.

In honour of his guest he ordered a cake decorated with a chess problem of his own composition. The problem was symbolic as it was in the form of a letter O, the first letter of his friends name.

White to move. Mate in two
Before serving the cake his cook cut it into four pieces. Unfortunately just as he was going to serve it he stumbled and dropped the cake. Picking up the pieces he quickly reassembled them on the plate inadvertently mixing them up. The cake that arrived at the table looked like this :

White to move. Mate in two

The cook's master, noticing that his problem had been destroyed and the suprise spoilt started to insult the poor cook. Onésime Xadrez was however staring attentively at the cake and the problem. Suddenly he cried "Calme down my friend! Nothing is lost. The pieces now make an X, the first letter of my surname, and it's still mate in two!"


November 19, 2010

Beautiful studies:)

I think that a good definition of a beautiful study might be: if it leaves a smile behind, after you found the solution. I had a great evening yesterday, here's why:

White to move

White to move

White to move

White to move

November 17, 2010

A little warm up!

Two more studies from the same book as mentined before - "De Pion":

White to move
White to move
Good luck!

November 11, 2010

Chess Study!

While solving the studies from the same book as mentioned before: "De Pion", by Yochanan Afek and Hans Bohm, I discovered the following position:

White to move and win
You can always write down your lines or questions. And if you get frustrated not being able to solve the problems I post, don't hesitate to ask! To be honest, I also got a headache with this one:) Difficult times while training, easy life in tournaments!

November 8, 2010

Today's challenge

Hello everyone!

Today I will post a few studies that I solved yesterday and found them interesting. They are from the book: "DE PION", by Hans Bohm and Yochanan Afek. It's a very nice book, with a lot of exercises. Some of them are so beautiful that I really enjoy my time solving them. Although...sometimes I get frustrated because I don't find the idea and than I get stuck. But when you see it, even after a long thought, the feeling you get is really great! So don't cheat with a machine! I won the book by solving the daily study by Yochanan Afek, in the previous edition of Corus Tournament in Wijk aan Zee. Looking forward to win another book this year:)

Here are the positions:

Black to move
White to move
White to move
White to move

October 29, 2010

Unive Chess Study, by Yochanan Afek!

The study is composed by Yochanan Afek, especially for the Unive Tournament. The chess set (a square meter in size) from the picture below is displayed in the tournament's hall! Challenging and entertaining:) Can you solve it?

White to move and win

October 20, 2010

Solution of yesterday's study!

I have to go tomorrow, so I cannot leave you with your "eyes in the sun" (roumanian expression). That means I am gonna write down the solution for the chess problem I posted yesterday, which gives me a very nice feeling, the study is really great!
It all starts here:

We start with 1.Nf6! Kg7
Forced, since 1...Kg6 2.Bh5+ allows White to control f7-square and savely queen on the next move.
2.Nh5+ Kg6
Again forced, 2...Kh7 allows White promotion: 3.Bc2+ Kg8 4.d8Q winning.
3.Bc2+! Kxh5

So White just gave up his knight, what could be the point?
4.d8Q! Nf7+
Isn't this going all wrong for White? First giving up the knight and now losing his only tool; the d-pawn?
5.Ke6! Nxd8+

Altough losing most of his material White did manage in cornering the Black king.
First of all Black has to prevent a looming mate on d1!
6...e2 forced!
7.Be4 Threatening mate, this time on f3.
7...e1N! Only move, preventing the mate. I cannot stop smiling, 3 black knights on the board!

This is what I like most from the whole study: a quiet but very strong manoeuvre, planning to go to c4 and e2 mate! Look at those helpless knights!
8...c2 9.Bc4 Deja vu? Threatening mate on e2, and there is only one way to prevent it :)
9...c1N :))) and another Black knight on the board! number 4!

The Bishop just keeps dancing!
10.Bb5! Nc7 preventing mate on e8
11.Ba4 White's bishop is dominating the entire board and mate is now unavoidable, the knights are spectators, unable to save their King!
THE END! I loved how White's bishop confused all Black's pieces!

October 19, 2010

One of the world's most beautiful chess problems

I am trying to get in shape with some chess exercises, for the tournament in Hoogeveen, Holland, which starts this Friday. While doing so, I re-discovered an amazing chess study. The best part is that these chess engines, which make us feel so stupid sometimes, cannot solve it!:) Only after making the moves they realize that black is lost. Here is the position:

                                       White to play and win!

Knowing myself, I wouldn't like to see, by mistake, or to be told the solution. I like to discover it myself, to enjoy the struggle in finding the correct moves. I can say I almost hate when someone comes and shouts the moves, especially when I feel I am close to solve it!
So, even if I would like very much to reveal the solution, because it's really beautiful, I will wait untill tomorrow at least:)