PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME or BRIAN'S CHESS FOLLY. 16/8/98


Welcome to this active site. Each week I am going to present to you a endgame position for you to solve or to workout the best continuation. Computer analysis will also be considered. Some of these positions will come from actual historical games. Others will be composed endgame studies, but all the solutions will be relevant to the practical game.

The new position will occur each SUNDAY and I will always be pleased to receive POSITIVE feedback about the positions and the analysis and I will try to acknowledge these where relevant.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

THIS WEEK 

POSITION 51

BACK to Play and Draw

 

FORSYTH NOTATION:8/7k/5p2/3r1P2/5K2/5P2/5R1P/8: 


LAST WEEK, POSITION 50

Arthur Mackenzie ( 1861-1905 ) of Jamaica was one of a number of problem composers who had a great impact on this art form at the turn of the century. As both his parents were English he published his work in the columns of newspapers and magazines in England and its Colonies. He particularly liked the cross check theme, ie a check made in reply to a check and besides problems he also incorporated this idea into a number of endgame studies.

 White to Play and Win

  

  FORSYTH NOTATION:B5bB/pNp2p2/2k2N2/K2p2q1/P2p4/4P3/6PP/8:

This study won 1st prize in a composing tourney held by the British Chess Magazine in 1901. The judge was the Rev Charles Ranken who was the first president of the Oxford University Chess Club.

There is an alternative solution on the first move with 1.exd4!

A second solution demolishes a study. This move seems to win as shown below, so as a study it may not have deserved its 1st place but it is still a very interesting position to analyse. Rev Ranken pointed out that the only drawback was its unnaturalness but this was compensated by its other merits. Notice that the position has slight diagonal symmetry with both the White Bishops in the top corners of the board and the two Knights positioned on the diagonals. The symmetrical theme was loved by the problemists so this would be a clue to the type of composer involved in its creation.

1.e4! ...

[ Blacks King is in a clamp hold. Black will have to pay too high a price to stop the threatened mate with Bishop to g7, and then f8 and then the discovered Knight attack on the King.

1.exd4! also wins.

A) 1...Qd2+ 2.Ka6 Qd3+ 3.Kxa7 Qxd4+ This is a poisoned pawn. 4.Nc5+ Kxc5 5.Nd7+ and Black looses his Queen, 5...Kc4+ 6.Bxd4 Kxd4 7.Nf6 and Black is lost; 2...Qb2 3.Kxa7 Qb6+ Black is going to keep the Knight pinned but still the position is lost for him. 4.Kb8 Qb4 5.Bg7+-;

B) 1...Qxg2 2.Bg7 White is threatening mate in two moves; 2...Qb2 3.Nd8+ Kd6 4.Bf8#; the Bishop cannot be taken because of; 2...Qxg7 3.Nc5+ Kd6 4.Ne8+ Ke7 5.Nxg7+- so all that Black has left is a few checks; 2...Qd2+ 3.Ka6 Qd3+ 4.Kxa7 Qxd4+ 5.Nc5+ Kxc5 (5...Kd6 6.Nfe4+ Qxe4 7.Nxe4+ dxe4 8.Bxe4+-) 6.Nd7+ Kd6+ 7.Bxd4 Kxd7 8.Bxd5+-.]

1...Qd2+

[1...dxe4+is no good because of 2.Nc5+ Kxc5 3.Nxe4+and White wins the Queen.]

2.Ka6 Qe2+

3.Kxa7 dxe4

4.Bg7! Qa2

5.Bf8 Qxa4+

This is the famous Mackenzie cross check theme. Quoting his own words: "This consists in allowing Black to adminster check, discover check, or double check on white, compelling his interposing or taking active measures in rejoinder, and, in so doing, returning the assault with compound interest."(1887)

6.Na5+ Kb5

7.Bc6+ Kxa5

8.Bxa4 Kxa4

So white looses his Queen and the game.

This study(?) was quite original in its day owing to the influence of the problem themes. The amazing thing was Mackenzie was blind when he created it. In 1887 he wrote a book on problem construction called "Chess: Its Poetry and Prose" which has since become very famous.

This site is one year old this week. I started on 17/8/97.

I would like to thank you all for your support.

I owe a special thanks to the late DAVID HOOPER of England who gave me the inspiration and to VALENTIN ALBILLO of Spain who regularly sent me analysis.

In memory of ARTHUR MACKENZIE of Jamaica attempts will be made to make the site easily accessible to the visually impaired.  

In the coming year there will be a few technical changes but the format will basically remain the same.


The Summer Endgame Solving Tournament has started !! Positions to solve on long holiday journeys or when sunbathing on the beach !!

Both for Humans and Computers.

Humans who take part are automatically entered for the Millennium Prize (see below)

Click here >> positions

CLOSING DATE 23rd August

This consists of 5 positions, Top grades only will be published on 6th September plus solutions. All other competitors will have their grades sent via email.


A SPECIAL MILLENNIUM PRIZE WORTH £100 (= 2/2000 exchange rates)

Open to humans only. The winner will have to take part in 3 or more solving competitions before Feb 2000. Start now. The usual rules apply. The competitor's 3 highest scores only will count.The winner will be announced in FEBRUARY 2000. The prize will be £100 or equivalent. Feb 2000 exchange rates will apply. In the case of a tie the prize will be shared.
 

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