A new position is in front of you. Normally the first reaction is to look for familiar details. This triggers a first conclusion and an instinctual decision which most of the times is correct. Then it comes down to good, solid analysis and it ends with precise calculation. The more experienced a player is, better all these steps are and faster a correct solution is found. Look at this endgame position and follow the same approach:
a) Look for familiar aspects, conclude how the game should continue based on instinct, analyse the game and come up with a final conclusion; write down all these steps.
b) Solve the position for "white to move and win" based on the above and attach your most precise calculation you can think of.
Total available points for this puzzle is 15. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #135.
Puzzle #133 solution:
The chess Olympiad takes place these days in Russia, at Khanty-Mansiysk with Canada participating with 2 teams: men and women. Both teams have young line-ups with players with less experience but a lot of talent and enthusiasm. This puzzle is the end of the game between Leonid Gerzhoy - Mark Bluvshtein, rd. 9, Barcelona 2010. GM Bluvshtein is playing board 1 for our Olympic team, while IM Gerzhoy is our board 3. They are very good friends and team mates. However in Barcelona Leonid had an excellent opportunity to win a game against Mark and he made the most out of it.
Karl sent a very nice answer, the most complete of all.
King safety: I think the White King is a little bit safer, due to the fact that the White f6-pawn can take g7 anytime, and that can make a hole in the Kingside, vulnerable to attack. White has most of his pieces pointing to the Black Kingside, while Black has few defenders.
Position for White:
White has an isolated pawn on c5, and a blocked pawn on e5. It is true that Black has a better pawn structure, but his pieces aren’t developed properly, so White has the positional advantage over Black. There are Bishops of opposite colors, meaning that trading off the pieces would probably mean a draw. White shouldn’t trade off pieces because of that and the fact that he has a positional advantage, so he should take advantage of it instead by attacking.
Position for black:
Very undeveloped. Ra8 is trapped in the corner, blocked off by Bc8, which is trapped by the b7 and e6 pawns. e6 also happens to be blocked by e5. Even though Rd8 is on an open file, it is blocked by Bd4, which is protected by the White Queen. The Black pieces’ mobility is very low. The only mobile piece is the Black Queen, which stands on the long diagonal.
Black can possible have a threatening battery on the a8-h1 diagonal (the long diagonal) by moving b6, followed by Bb7. A checkmate threat would be posed on g2 and possibly h1, and it can only be deflected by moving the White Queen back, stopping White’s attack.
White has the positional advantage, but Black can change that. Both sides need to attack or defend with utmost speed to gain the advantage that can lead to a win.
Plan for white:
Time is vital here. This is a race in which victory can be obtained. If White takes too long then Black will have developed his pieces and have seriously strengthened his defense, or worse, shatter the White attack and lead a strong attack of his own. White needs to use this time quickly and efficiently in such a way that an attack will lead to a win. Starting with moves like fxg7 or even better, Qg5 will lead to this.
Plan for black:
Develop the undeveloped pieces and try for an attack. A move like b6 is a good way to get the Bishop out, followed by the Rook. Maybe form a battery on the d-file with the Rooks and use them to move the White Bishop out of the way, so Black can get some play, too.
Another good idea is to simply trade off pieces. White has a winning position, so Black can hope for a draw (a win isn’t that likely due the many number of moves it will take for the pieces to come out and into play) instead of a win. He can achieve this goal by trading off the Queen and Rooks, leaving them with opposite colour Bishops, usually leading to a draw.
A great move to start the attack. This simple pawn move busts open the Kingside, and leaves the Black King vulnerable to attack; now it has 2 moves: Kxg7 or Kg8. Kxg7 is the easier line, which results in White being up a Rook:
a) 1... Kxg7?
3.Qxd8+ ... 1-0
The other move is the safer and more defensive one, the one that won’t expose the king so much. But white has a way around that defense too.
b) 1... Kg8
A spectacular sacrifice! Obviously:
Another really good move: it threatens Qxh7 followed by g8Q, and Rf1+! Qxh7 is unpreventable, so Black just goes on developing, trying to get the Bishop on the long diagonal and threaten checkmate of his own.
This threatens Qg2#
This can stall the checkmate for another move. In event of:
5... Ke7 or Ke8
The game actually ended as follows:
27.fxg7+ Kg8 28.Rxf7! Kxf7 29.Qg5! ... (simple, yet efficient) 29... Qd5 30.Rf1+ Kg8 31.Qf6 Qxd4+ 32.Kg2 Qe4+ 33.Kh3 ... 1-0
Karl - 18 points
Jeffrey - 15 points
Alex - 10 points
Nathaniel - 8 points
Frank - 5 points
Karl - 160 points
Rick - 141 points
Jeffrey - 135 points
Owen - 95 points
Frank - 90 points
Edwin - 72 points
Alex, Nathaniel - 28 points
Simple comme Bonjour! (1)