Samstag, 28. Februar 2009

Tactics (1)

A nice combination with White to move and win. From the game Taleb-Svirjov (Alushta 2004). The solution is posted above in white color. You can see it if you mark the text.

1.Rh8+ Qxh8 (1.- Kg7 2.Td7+; 1.- Kxh8 2.Qh2+ Kg7 3.Qh7#)

2.Qxe6+ Kg7 3.Rd7+ Kh6 4.Qe3 and Black is lost.

Mittwoch, 18. Februar 2009

Topalov-Kamsky (2): Topa wins with black

In the candidates match Topalov won the second game with the black pieces. Kamsky lost a lot of time from the start and never came back. He resigned in move 32 with only 18 seconds left. You can see a critical position in the diagram on the right side. Instead of 20.Qxg6 Kamsky chose to win a piece with 20.Qxd5 cxd5 21.Nd6 (threatening Nxf7 and Nxc8 followed by Rxe6). But then - after 21.- Rc7! - he did not continue the combination because 22.Nxc8 Raxc8 23.Rxe6 Rxc2 is a desaster position. His 22.c4 was not better and also led to a desaster. So, 20.Qxg6 had to be played here.

Kamsky,Gata - Topalov,Veselin [C65]World Chess Challenge - candidates fina Sofia (2), 18.02.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Sf3 Sc6 3.Lb5 Sf6 4.0-0 Lc5 5.Sxe5 Sxe4 6.De2 Sxe5 7.d4 De7 8.dxc5 Sxc5 9.Sc3 Sg6 10.Dh5 c6 11.Lg5 f6 12.Tae1 Se6 13.Ld3 0-0 14.Ld2 d5 15.f4 Dc5+ 16.Kh1 d4 17.Lf5 Tf7 18.Se4 Dd5 19.Lxg6 hxg6 20.Dxd5 cxd5 21.Sd6 Tc7 22.c4 dxc3 23.Lxc3 d4 24.Lb4 Ld7 25.Tf2 a5 26.La3 b5 27.b3 b4 28.Lb2 Ta6 29.Se4 Tac6 30.Kg1 Tc2 31.g3 d3 32.Td1 f5 0-1

A terrible but instructive move

There are blunders that are embarrassing for the player who does them, but are instructive for the audience. This kind of blunder happened to Austrian player Rudolf Spielmann in his game against Oldrich Duras (Karlsbad 1907). In the diagram position Spielmann with the white pieces played the move 1.Rf4? - expecting 1.- Rxf4 2.Kxf4 with a drawn pawn endgame.

But, things went the other way, when Black moved 1.- Kg5! Now White has to exchange rooks with 2.Rxf5 Kxf5 and the pawn endgame is not draw but lost! (see diagram 2). Note for beginners: The position would be draw if Black had to move here.

Montag, 16. Februar 2009

Tarrasch trick - R+N draw

Oldies but goldies. It is known that the best place for a rook is the 7th or the 2nd rank if the king of the opposite party is trapped on the back rank. In Tarrasch's "The Game of Chess" it is called one of the "elements". It is now interesting to know that a rook on the 7th/2nd rank together with a knight is able to create a perpetual check - as is shown in the diagram.

Obviously there is no way for White to prevent the promotion of Black's pawn since 1.Nh7+ Ke8 2.Nf6+ Kd8 3.Rd7+ leads to nowhere because the square d1 (from which it would be possible to stop the pawn) is protected by Bf3.

But there is a chance for White to draw with the key move: 1.Rd7! Now, after 1.- f1-Q, White has a "remisschaukel" with 2.Nh7+ Ke8 (2.- Kg8 3.Nf6+ Kh8 4.Rh7#) 3.Nf6+ and draw. The point of Rd7 is to make sure that the black king cannot escape via d8.

I think it is quite useful to know this small trick, though I must admit I never got the chance to use it in an over the board game.

Samstag, 14. Februar 2009

Arik Braun Deutscher Meister 2009

GM Arik Braun ist neuer Deutscher Meister im Schach. Auf der Zielgerade fing der 20-Jährige Michael Prusikin ab und sicherte sich die Siegprämie von 6.000 Euro. Prusikin machte früh gegen Klaus Bischoff remis und beraubte sich damit selbst der Siegchance, da er - obgleich punktgleich - die schlechtere Wertung hatte. Braun überspielte David Baramidze mit Schwarz in einem Meraner Damengambit und wurde verdient Meister.


  1. Arik Braun 7
  2. Michael Prusikin 7
  3. Klaus Bischoff 6,5
  4. Igor Khenkin 6
  5. Georg Meier 6
  6. Daniel Fridman 6
  7. Rainer Buhmann 6

vor weiteren 37 Spielern.


Freitag, 13. Februar 2009

Two loose pieces drop off

There was a nice example of John Nunn's dictum "loose pieces drop off" yesterday in the German Championship. As you can see in the diagram with White to move there are both black rooks being "loose" (= not protected). A nice chance for White to search for some smart move. This happened with 25.Qd3! and White forked both rooks. Black resigned in Buhmann - Meier (Saarbrucken 2009).