A A Troitzky - In Memoriam

Alexey Alexeyevich Troitzky (March 14, 1866 – August 14, 1942) is one of the main founders of modern study composition, defining its principles in 1910. He is the first one to solve the “2 Knights versus pawn” endgame back in 1906, inventing the Troitzky winning line in the process. Later on in 1924 he published his classic book “500 endgame studies”; some historians says he composed more than 1,000 studies. He was blessed with an extraordinary chess mind, composing unbelievable game like positions for anyone’s enjoyment. Unfortunately, he died of starvation in WWII during the siege of Leningrad in 1942; in the same time, all his papers and notebooks were destroyed. We are truly lucky his published books survived and could be enjoyed by latter generations.

It is hard to choose a favorite from the studies he published. His positions and solutions are so deep and rich in content, they really "Wow" you time and time again. One of them for my liking is this present one; white sacrifices its Rook 6 times in a row until black cannot refuse it anymore. Any capture leads to a decisive fork and in the end black has no choice. Hope you will enjoy it!

[Event "Deutsche Schachzeitung"][Date "1910"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "8/1qp1k3/p4p2/3PN3/3RP3/8/PP3Pn1/6K1 w - - 0 1"]1. Rb4 Qc8 (1... Qxb4 2. Nc6+) 2. Rb8 Qh3 (2... Qxb8 3. Nc6+) 3. Rh8 Nh4 (3... Qxh8 4. Ng6+ Ke8 5. Nxh8 Nf4 {this is probably the most challenging line found by the engines today}) 4. Rxh4 Qc8 (4... Qxh4 5. Ng6+) 5. Rh8 Qb7 (5... Qxh8 6. Ng6+ Kf7 7. Nxh8+ Kg7 {the King and pawns endgame is won by white}) 6. Rb8 ({Another nice finish also found by the engines today} 6. Nc6+ Kd6 7. b4 {threatens Rh8-d8# so black must sacrifice its Queen}) 6... Qxb8 7. Nc6+