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Member since Sep-30-20 · Last seen Jan-22-22
Since my (chess) life is totally uninteresting, I won’t bore you about myself, my favourite players, my simul against Kasparov in 1990, etc. Instead I’ll show as a small present a fantastic study; it’s a masterpiece of simplicity and complexity. Granted there are many other major studies, but at least this FEN was easy to generate.

If you haven’t seen it, try finding the solution, it’s worth it. If you have, which is likely since it's a classic, it might be fun to go through it again. Enjoy.

click for larger view

White to play and win (David Joseph, British Chess Journal, 1922).

Any luck?

Don’t cheat, now.

All right, here it is.

Easy, let’s queen the h2 Pawn before the one on a6 does: 1.h4? axb5 (not a5??). Oops, draw at best.

Well that was too simple, let’s take the a6 Pawn then: 1.bxa6? b5 (not bxa6??). Draw again, damn it.

Annoying pawns. Let’s first block the b column: <1.b6+ Kb8!> (not Ka8? nor Kxb6? as we’ll see).

Aha, now I can queen: <2.h4 a5 3.h5 a4 4.h6 a3 5.h7 a2 6.h8=Q> *yawn* and wins <6…a1=Q> NOT. 7.Qxa1 stalemate, damn, damn. If the Black King were on a8 or b6 White would win, but the bugger isn’t.

Wait I get it, it’s one of these tricky studies, I should have underpromoted.
- 6.h8=B? a1=Q 7.Bxa1 would also have drawn: the Black King would have quietly stayed on b8 and a8.
- 6.h8=R? a1=Q actually would have lost: the R could not have controlled the 7th rank as the Q below.
- 6.h8=N?? and maybe my opponent would have collapsed laughing, but it’s a long shot.

So perhaps I didn’t mess it up yet. Patzer sees check, patzer gives check: 7.Qh2+? Ka8 8.Qc7 (threatening 9.Qc8#) ...Qf6+ 9.Kc8 Qd8+! or 9.Ke8 Qf8+! or 9.Kd7 Qe7+! stalemate or perpetual. What if 7.Qh3? (same threat) ...Qd4+ and 8...Qxb6. Still no cigar.

Lemme think. "A mate is a stalemate plus a check" (Shakespeare). So how about <7.Qg8!!> threatening 8.Kd7# or Ke7# (we’ll see why this move and the following deserve two exclamation marks). <7…Qa2!> (not 7...Qc1? or Qc3? 8.Kd7+ Qc8+ 9.Qxc8#).

Uh, stalemate again. You’re pushing it, wise guy. <8.Qe8!! Qa4!> Won’t give up? Is this Groundhog Day?

Er… what next? Oh yes, patzer sees check: <9.Qe5+ Ka8 10.Qh8!> Back to starting point, only now your King is exposed, smartass.

<10…Qf4 (or other)> Your desperate attempt does not impress me: <11.Kd7+ or Ke7+ (or Qa1+) Qb8 12.Qa1+ Qa7 13.Qxa7#> Phew, almost blew it. Now call it a draw like in "Holy Grail"!

Great triangular manoeuvre by the Queen to undo the stalemate position. But did you figure out why White did not play 7.Qe8 right away? Or 8.Qf8 before 9.Qe8 (surely, not only to save time)? That’s what makes the study most beautiful. Think a bit before looking below.

All set?

(a) 7.Qe8? Qg7!! Draw by perpetual or exchanging the Queens (trust me).
(b) 8.Qf8? Qa3! 9.Qe8 Qd6+ 10.Qd7 Qxd7+ 11.Kxd7 Draw.

>> Click here to see Teyss's game collections. Full Member

   Teyss has kibitzed 351 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Jan-22-22 M Bosboom vs E Teichmann, 1984 (replies)
Teyss: <OrangeTulip> "Does my bosom look big in this?" Smaakvol, tactvol, subtiel. <perfidious> Well put.
   Jan-22-22 J Hellsten vs D Flores, 2006 (replies)
Teyss: Yes the fist three moves are easy to see but the rest is not, after all a GM missed the line. After 27.Rxf7 Kxf7 (not taking loses another P with a disastrous position) 28.Qe6+ Ke8 (Kf8 is worse) 30.d6, Black has 7 ways of preventing mate: 30...Bf8, Bf6, Qa7, Qd8, Ra7, Rb7, Ke8, Kf8 ...
   Jan-19-22 O Bernstein vs F G Jacob, 1907 (replies)
Teyss: <Brenin: The combination actually starts with the clever 36 Ne7+> Yes. However the puzzle line does not work as I first thought: 36...Kg7 37.Rh7+? Kxh7 38.Qxf7+ Qg7 (not Kh8?? or Kh6??) and Black wins. In the puzzle 39.Ne5+ blocks the diagonal.
   Jan-17-22 Marshall vs J A McKee / F G Harris, 1903 (replies)
Teyss: <Willber G> Indeed. <Diademas> Luckily McKee, Harris and Marshall namesakes were generals during WWII.
   Jan-15-22 Alekhine vs V Mikenas, 1937 (replies)
Teyss: Black magnificently played the opening (16...Nef4!) but as said above missed the winning move after taking the fianchettoed B and dominating the white squares. What happens after 23...Rc2!_? [DIAGRAM] If 24.Qxc2? Qxf3+ 25.Kg1 Bh3 White could try 26.Nf6+!? exf6? 27.Qe4 Qxe4 28.Rxe4 ...
   Jan-14-22 Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2011 (replies)
Teyss: Very interesting, technical game. Either Kramink missed something in the opening (see Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2011 (kibitz #18) ), either he overvalued his chances based on the passed a Pawn which would be surprising since the g2 B is blocked. [DIAGRAM] From there on the endgame is ...
   Jan-13-22 C Jaffe vs A Souweine, 1910 (replies)
Teyss: <AlicesKnight> If it's referring to the pun, still don't get it. <goodevans> You perfectly illustrated a discussion we had some time ago about what value added us humans (or rather you) can deliver on top of machines.
   Jan-13-22 P Dubinin vs Veresov, 1940 (replies)
Teyss: As <Refused>, I didn't see anything convincing after 35.Ke2 although Black has a winning position. Interesting 36.Rxg7+ line provided by <Honey Blend> which I didn't consider: again Black is winning but not an immediate kill.
   Jan-12-22 J Schulten vs Saint-Amant, 1842 (replies)
Teyss: <Brenin> <Honey Blend> <Phony Benoni> LOL. Apologies to our German friends about the pun. White's plan was flawed since 10.e5: a good illustration of "sacrifice for a purpose". White raised the stakes, went all in and Black called his bluff.
   Jan-11-22 M Andersen vs Salinas Herrera, 2021 (replies)
Teyss: Don't know what is more impressive, the game or the fact our long-time beloved <offramp> is no longer a premium member. <goodevans: White actually has a great way to avoid the catastrophic 19...Nxf2!> Yes, great puzzle "White to play and save the game". Tried to find it, ...
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <Trying to improve but it's taking time.>

It's up to you to decide whether it is worth the time and the effort.

This reminded me of André Kukla's "Mental Traps. The Overthinker's Guide to a Happier Life". You might be interested in browsing it.

<Anyhow I would never have reached such a position>

You can consider studying games collected by strategic motifs in general (I started with Ludek Pachman's "Modern Chess Strategy", some forty five years ago...) and by pawn structures in particular (Andrew Soltis' book is an option).

<Take care, que lo pases bien.>

Cuídate, and have fun!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <agb2002> Muchas gracias for taking the time to post on my profile and for the useful tips. Kukla's book is not chess related but looks interesting, I can definitely relate to the issues addressed!
All the best.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Astounding endgame study in your profile. It was when I tried b6+ and figured out Kb8 in response that I realized how hard/beautiful it is.

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