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Stefano Baldazzi vs Aleksei Holmsten
Lisbon (2001), Lisbon POR, rd 5, Aug-25
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Anglo-Grünfeld Variation (A16)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: As <FSR> notes, the dual threat of mate and winning the Bishop with 134...Rc7! forces a winning Zugzwang position.

I've added it to my zugzwang game collection.

Jun-18-14  Kyudaime: <134...Rc7> and Black is winning.
Jun-18-14  Pedro Fernandez: << mjk>: White goes wrong. <Nalimov> says it's a draw at move 106. 132.Bc5? is a blunder; only 132.Bb5! saves the draw> b5 is a light square.
Jun-18-14  pedro99: russian schoolboy technique
Jun-18-14  Hot Logic: I found the Rc7 idea but ALSO had the board flipped around in my head as well.

I think it's because there is a rather unnatural situation with the white king on the 8th rank and the black king on the 6th. Usually you would expect matters to be the other way around and that a 'chess puzzle' would require precise only moves. I guess it's similar to how the film cliché of the bomb always being defused with only seconds left.

Jun-18-14  Castleinthesky: <Hot Logic> I did the same, it must be a reversed thinking Wednesday.
Jun-18-14  Rama: I got the solution starting with 134. ... Rc7, up to 137. e5 ..., but here I liked 137. e5 Rc8, 138. e6 Rd8, 139. e7 Re8, and white must commit Hara-Kiri and move his King.
Jun-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: The funny thing about today's puzzle is that white could have many more pawns and still lose to the same zugzwang technique.
Jun-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Wow. That seemed simple enough. If I experienced in a game, I'd just play around, since the white king is in the wrong coloured corner.
Jun-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White is trapped. The zugzwang has to be delayed to capture a pawn. Still white cannot escape and the pin-zugzwang takes effect.
Jun-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  The Long Diagonal: Haha. Me too. My calculations went 134. ... Rc7 135.Bf8(or Bd6/b4) Rc8(+) 136.e2 Re8 137.e1Q Rxe1 138.Bc5 (or anywhere or Kh8) Re8+ 139.Bf8 Rd8 140.Kh8 Rxf8#. The most important deviation was white's try 135.e2 which fails at 135. ... Rxc5 136.e1Q Rc8+. A pretty way to end the game: white gets to coronate a queen, yet remaining helpless.

Except that all this was illegal nonsense. Problemwise, it doesn't matter so much because the same idea works for black in legal chess as well and wins the game. But I still like my variation better!

(In fact, in blitz it occasionally does happen that in extreme time trouble people queen in the wrong end of the board, sometimes even without the opponent noticing. And I suppose in problem chess there must be some fantasy chess variation where one can coronate in both back ranks and even coronate an opposite piece)

Jun-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Won me big for c7 am catch a monkey by his neck c5:

off course at move cough up a piece now white's lad cant promote again every flight at got gutoff a go free delve b6 was the case a better glide tracks at black rook infer castle banded in fly:

off good game although meagre eight ball e5 at the end clinical it is win d4 an aim since light a king trapped g8 he faces zugzwang by increment in dig cutoff hood wink it ko in us agreed c7 must win some success for ogles son slide after b6 would have held maybe for a while difficult to hold out though it cage in cad flood rook around the houses c7 ar first jig rabble together king and rook of sound mind lights at backed to the wall g8 do me a favour c7 bone of contention was a cad be 132.Bc5 he bind clink really like a conch shell to unravel a mind b6 instead eg choose such c5 lane cringe nice bicep b6 hold equanimity ramble give c5 up a rug he 132.Bb6 bi modal better glide biffed about less he back my victor c7 after burn bet jet set ok beck and give deems in a tour b6 blip on the radar give c5 a chance pin back booted bishop dsb at breathe f8 an fire cover back rank rook looms large at he c5 gains access to seventh rank and king has been held fast c5 out of the equation had to try b6 for a while big friendly giant traps monarch g8 at enough attack and fire power in the tank to win bad call c5 dank and dusty ramble give over among beats him hand down free drive at aim lane heads up no future queen to be had care to f3 re instate at het up free here f5 an dangle f7 effect black splits aint c5 bishop save c5 cant be done advance a dip do bud to go away and come back c5 light needed a d8 hand in keep a draw aim baffling it eddy a wave in c7 an mate or bind a careful f8 each step stride again aim around c7 rook shepherd bishop home at:

father reach act adds tiger true c5 delight rook duck an f3 cover lane f5 and foots angles f7 da quad ploy bishop foot soldier useless it now in ace the hole again as lot i grab at seventh:

raels above I cab room 134...Rc7 yes mate in far off like thirty plus in a jot bodge job d4 up lick at enact b6 holds as far as I can see use the tao yin and yang yes free general it is a pomp c5 in sac at e3 only choice mate is still coming curious right rook c5 in sightwheel off d4 in eg cuff crimp lane cradle to grave mind at mood creaked too for a commotion and quick at flurry f7 rook melee wins flog old dressed up straight back I bad nines 135.Bf8 mate in six trepid path infitrate by degrees light on the rack it ie pursed f7 have hive addendum in case 135...Rc8 136.e4 Re8 137.e5 Rxe5 mate in three dip off evermore.

Jun-18-14  Marmot PFL: White was thinking easy draw, probably annoyed with black for playing on, and got careless.
Jun-18-14  BOSTER: <Aniara: Things got easier when I realized it was not possible for the white pawn to promote on the e1 square>. <goldfarbdj: the white pawn would promote if it got to e1>.

<weary willy: snap>.

<al wazir: it is more amasing the way viewed it,with white moving toward the "bottom" of the diagram>.

<Oxspawn: as I thought white was about to queen the pawn on e1!>.

All pieces have the right to go forward and back. One exception-the pawn. One day the pawns'll say:"This is unfair", and begin the fighting for own right.

After small discussion pawns claim:
We agree let's change The Rules.

1.If the pawn crosses the equator (what means in the human mode we are adult, or man) we have the right to move forward and back, and <beat> the pieces as usual.

2.When the pawn reaches the 1 rank or 8 rank we have the right to be promoted.

3.To decide a small disadvantage, after crossing the equator we'll get a mark (for ex.red point on the top) automatically by navigation system.

4.We believe that such improvement in chess,where the Rules are not changed more than 200 years, will be the great step to boost the game.

5.Reading today comments you'll understand how many players only dream about it .

Now the pieces continue their discussion.

Jun-18-14  devere: <mjk: White goes wrong. <Nalimov> says it's a draw at move 106. 132.Bc5? is a blunder; only 132.Bb5! saves the draw. I wonder if this position is in the textbooks.>

Yes, the position after 131 moves is a good "insane" problem, White to play and draw.


click for larger view

132.Bb6! Rf6 133.Bd8! Rd6 134. Bh4!, all "only" moves for White.

The Nalimov tables may say it is drawn, but they don't say you can actually draw it over the board.

Jun-18-14  JonathanJ: Funny thing: I somehow mixed things up and thought that the board was upside down... and Rc7 still wins in pretty much the same fashion.
Jun-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: I wonder if Black really would have been able to force a win if White had simply left his king by the pawn an bishop and avoided getting stuck at the edge of the board. Starting with move 118, the king went on a walk that ended up with the king hemmed in on the edge of the board, setting the stage for today's POTD.
Jun-18-14  dufferps: When I first looked at the board, I thought it was reversed - I thought the Kings were on b1 and b3 (not g8 and g6) and the pawn was on d6, two squares away from promoting at g8.

Interestingly, the "solution" was pretty much the same - and still a win for black.

The first move would still be Rook to c7 (f2 on my reversed board.) Using the notation for my reversed board, the continuations would be:

135. d7 Rxf5,
136.Kc1 Rd4,
137.d8=Q Rxd8
138.Kb1 Rd1#

Or 135.Bc1 Rf1 (pinning the bishop)
136.d7 Rd1,
137.d8=Q Rxd8,
138.any move Rd1+
139.Bc1 Rf1
140.Ka1 Rxc1#

or 135.Kc1 Rxf4
136.Kd2 Rd4+
137.Ke3 Rxd6
and now it is a standard rook and king checkmate.

Jun-18-14  BOSTER: <Once: The funny thing...
white could have many more pawns and still lose to the same zugzwang>
. Let's
add b6 and c6 pawns (white).
Jun-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: It's odd that a lot of the lads thought White's e-pawn was going down the board. (it makes no difference). Maybe they just enjoy making things more of a challenge!

They (the powers that be) could have made it more of challenge today. By making it Black to play and win here.


click for larger view

The star move is 133...Rf7 which does indeed place Black in zuggers. (maybe that will be a Thursday puzzle next year.)

For the lads who had the board around the wrong way. (done it myself but not today - I kind of feel left out.) There is a puzzle based on this theme. (I cannot remember it exact, this is close.)


click for larger view

White to play and mate in four with the board the right way up White to play and mate in two with the board upside down.

Jun-18-14  dark.horse: White's bishop is the wrong color for the corner the king is in. I think this is a draw with a light square bishop because of the stalement in this position:


click for larger view

Jun-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: Count me in among those seeing the white pawn going downwards. So strange.
Jun-18-14  RookFile: I picked a position at random, which
is this, after 109......Ra4:

White to play and draw. Should require
no more than 5 seconds of thought.


click for larger view

This is what I would play:

110. Kg2 Ra3
111. Kh1 Rxe3
112. Bh2

Then, you shuttle the bishop between h2 and g1. Maybe occasionally you have to make a move like Bb6. Other than that, white stays in his shell, and the game is a draw.

White really has no business playing anything other than this. It's not like white has any winning chances in the diagram - it's trivial for black to give up rook for pawn.

Jun-19-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi sfm:

"Count me in among those seeing the white pawn going downwards. So strange."

Yes it is. (as I said I've done this in the past on a different puzzle.)

We may be uncloaking some dark secret that determines how we think when given a problem to solve rather than how we think when playing a game.

Or it may have a simple explanation.

Because it is Black to play we have spun the board in our mind to see the board how the player of the Black pieces saw it.

I must admit I dislike solving problems 'upside down' with Black to play. Traditionally it is alwaus White to play and win.

In Studies and normal Problem it is always White to play and win or mate. Sometimes in the condition it is set the Black moves first, but it's always White who has the win.

Dec-08-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  julillo: Its difficult to believe but 132.Bb6 still save the game. 132...Rf6 133.Bd8 Rd6 134.Bh4!
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