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Dragoslav Tomic vs Frank Winzbeck
Dortmund op-A (1993), rd 2
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Modern Variation General (B83)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Nice under promotion to avoid stalemate. I instinctively promoted to B instead of N because at least I have immediate Bf6# threat, but black's Bf7 defense offers another stalemate blunder opportunity of Bxf7. Instructive that this occurred in a real game rather than a composed position. Good game for instructive purposes.
Jun-12-12  TheBish: D Tomic vs F Winzbeck, 1993

White to play (44.?) "Easy"

For some reason, I tried all the other (under)promotions (after 44. cxd8) before hitting on the right one! Strange, when you consider my last name is Bishop! First off, 44. cxd8=Q(R) is an obvious stalemate, and after 44. Bb7 Rd3+ 45. Ke2 Bd7 Black wins, but it seems there is a win (though not the easiest one) after 44. cxd8=N, e.g. 44...Bxa4 45. Nf7+ Kg8 46. bxa4.

44. cxd8=B! Bf7

Hoping for 45. Bxf7??, which is not likely to happen if White saw the stalemate one move earlier! But, anything else allows 45. Bf6#.

45. Kd4!

More accurate than 45. Bf6+, which also wins easily.


Or 45...e3 46. Bxf7 e2 47. Bf6#, or 45...Kg8 46. Bxf7+ Kxf7 47. Bxa5, winning simply.

46. Kxd5! e3 47. Bxa5 e2 48. Bxb4, catching the pawn in time for an easy win.

Great example of under-promotion that I will use for my students. Players seldom get to see or employ under-promotion, especially by a minor piece; much more common in puzzles or endgame studies.

Jun-12-12  LoveThatJoker: <sevenseaman> Thank you! Good puzzle and I'm glad I solved it correctly!


Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: OK, so I see that 44 cxd8(Q) is stalemate.

Had to think about this one for a while before concluding that White will not win if he does anything other than capture the rook. So maybe not a queen!? Yes promotion to bishop will win as the black Q-side pawns fall immediately

That is an instructive puzzle!

Jun-12-12  GreenLantern: <5hrsolver: Well, can't we invent a position where the only way to win is to promote to a bishop and then feed this position to Rybka and find out what happens.>

The Rybka Bishop under-promotion bug is well-documented. Here is one such position that Rybka (including 4.1) will not evaluate correctly (white to move):

click for larger view

Jun-12-12  JohnBoy: <GameRex: 44.Bb7> not quite. 44...Rd3+ and 45...Bd7 wins for black.

That's a nice position, <GreenLantern>!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw that a promotion to queen or rook is stalemate. A promotion to bishop looks like an immediate mate but black can play 44...♗f7 white can then play 45 ♔d4 ♗xd5 46 ♔xd5 e3 47 ♗xa5 e2 48 ♗xb4 gotcha!
Jun-12-12  MountainMatt: This is too hard for Tuesday
Jun-12-12  ZZpatzer: <TheBish:...
For some reason, I tried all the other (under)promotions (after 44. cxd8) before hitting on the right one! Strange, when you consider my last name is Bishop! ...>

I keep thinking of Monty Python, "The Bishop!"

Jun-12-12  GreenLantern: Thanks <JohnBoy>. It's an interesting position. Only h8B wins (threatening Bf6#). All other moves draw or lose.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Big berth away oh foot he gun for heading off c7 at the pass white to move take rook but dont promote to a queen?? Check stalemate arises from it reflex save promote to a bishop! Cinch for white than in knight double selection should win the day it isnt too difficult to spot jack <cxd8q> o fall trades in his prime asset only it result an black is out of moves wow certain domination ensues to demarcate d8 and white is in the driving seat lug er bd8 i ld8 same deadly merger in edifice clipped queen up low down cleric knuckled in.
Jun-12-12  Crispy Seagull: Today's puzzle is some pretty outside the box stuff. I am sad to say I did not get it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: There is a possible fun finish if black chose to play on with the witty 44...Bf7 offering up another sacrifice that leads to stalemate.

click for larger view

From here, I'm guessing that most human players will simplify into an easily won endgame with 45. Bf6+ Kg8 46. Bxf7+ Kxf7 47. Bd8

click for larger view

Black cannot stop the white bishop from snacking on queenside pawns and there are no more stalemate tricks.

But rewind to 44.... Bf7 and Fritzie plays a move that initially seems to be risky. His top pick is 45. Kd4

click for larger view

At first glance, this seems like a mistake. It looks like black can play 45...Bxd5, deflect the white king and then run his e pawn.

But white has it covered. After 45 ... Bxd5 46. Kxd5 e3

click for larger view

Now we have a delightful choice. The prosaic pragmatic finish is 47. Bb6 e2 48. Bf2 e1=Q 49. Bxe1.

The draughts move chain of captures is 47. Bxa5 e2 48. Bxb4 e1=Q 49. Bxe1. That's three bishop captures in a row, all on the same diagonal. Not something you see every day.

And the funky mate is 47. Ke6 e2 (other moves tend to the more prosaic finishes) 48. Kf7 e1=Q 49. Bf6#

click for larger view

Jun-12-12  stst: cxd8-->Q leads to stalemate, didn't work.
But remember the rule that one can promote not necessarily to Q! so why not just promote to B, and double B+ will do the trick.
Jun-12-12  WhiteRook48: I am definitely overanalyzing this. My bad.

1) 44 Be6?? Rd3+ 45 Ke2 Bd7 46 c8=Q Bxc8 47 Bxc8 Rxb3 (44 Bb7?? leads to the same position) 2) 44 cxd8=Q?? stalemate (Stalemate also results from 44 cxd8=R) 3) 44 cxd8=N!? Bd7 45 Nf7+ Kg8 46 Nd6+ (<not> 46 Ne5+?? Kh8) 46...Kf8 47 Nb7 (The threat of Bg8 is always hanging over Black's head. So is the threat of 48 Nxa5 followed by a-pawn promotion. Black cannot possibly stop them both.) 4) 44 cxd8=B! Bf7 45 Bf6+ Kg8 46 Bxf7+ Kxf7 47 Bd8 Ke8 48 Bxa5 Kd7 49 Bxb4 Kc6 50 Kd4 . Promoting to a knight might actually be better, but I won't know until someone with actual expertise analyzes this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Some positions in this game, such as this one after 34.Be6....

click for larger view

...remind me of a possible position in Karpov vs Kavalek, 1974. If white had played 31.g5...

click for larger view

...White would have had a similar triple-crotchet twice deferred.

Jun-12-12  Nullifidian: The rook obviously needs to be captured, and the bishop will be pinned (with stalemate) by any promotion to queen or rook, so the solution is 44. ♙cxd8=♗.

Black can only respond with 44... ♗f7 to stop the mate, so I'd continue with 45. ♔d4, supporting the bishop and allowing for a mate in 2 if Black errs with 45... ♙e2?.

Black now has nothing better than to take the bishop:

45... ♗xd5 46. ♔xd5 ♔g8 47. ♗xa5 and another pawn will eventually promote.

Jun-12-12  Rosbach: Good one. Kd4 would have been other option, I think.
Jun-12-12  mworld: probably the most enjoyment i've ever had failing at a problem. I'd never encountered underpromotion to a bishop being a winning move!
Jun-12-12  dumbgai: I prefer 44. cxd8=N.
Jun-12-12  bischopper: nothing that do after of close the king in h8 without one route of scape in Mexico we say take air for the king...
Jun-12-12  Patriot: I didn't even consider underpromotion. But that's what I get for being in a hurry.
Jun-12-12  JohnBoy: <GreenLantern: ... It's an interesting position. Only h8B wins (threatening Bf6#). All other moves draw or lose.> What I particularly like is 1.h8Q Qb8+! - This resource is not available if white bishops the pawn. (Hey - if "to queen" is a verb, then so must be "to bishop".) - 2.Qe5 (2.Ne5 Qxe5+) Qd6 =
Jun-13-12  dragon player: White has to promote the pawn, and prevent stalemate:


a very nice minorpromotion.


The only move to prevent 45.Bf6#

45.Bf6+ Kg8
46.Bxf7+ Kxf7

and white's a piece up.

Time to check.


Yes, right, and black instantly resigned, he was problably expecting cxd8(Q).


Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: <<JohnBoy:>...This resource is not available if white bishops the pawn. (Hey - if "to queen" is a verb, then so must be "to bishop".)>

"To bishop" sounds good, but I would prefer "to consecrate", as "to knight" for the N-promotion is also a genuine verb.

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