vrijdag 3 oktober 2008

Exercise with Phaedrus, Chapter one

Dear readers of my blog.

Like I told in my post "Zen and the art of chess training", I am working my way through step 6 of the steps method. The following position is taken from this book. I would like to invite each of you to try to solve this position. If you come up with solutions or some variations, your please sending your efforts in a comment is much appreciated. I very greatly hope that you can resist the temptation to try solving them with a chess engine. And if you cannot resist, I request you not to take from the effort of others by kindly withholding comments. For me it is very important to see what my readers can do with this position. Thank you.

What I am trying to do with this post as well as with the next two planned is to make clear how I use these kind of exercises to improve. This is the first post, with the solution planned for the the next, which will be occur tomorrow. Finally, this Sunday I will discuss the results with you in my third and final post on this position. Then I will tell you why I think that improving takes just a bit more than just solving.

Good luck! And one more thing: I failed to solve this problem, so this is your golden opportunity to not only accompany me on my road to chess improvement, but also to embarrass me.

It is black to play and win.

9 opmerkingen:

Chessaholic zei

Nice puzzle! First thing I looked at was 1…g3, but it looks like it fails due to the knight fork on f3. But then I thought, does it really? Maybe I can sacrifice the bishop and promote a pawn. So I looked at 1…g3 2. Nf3+ Kg4 3.Nxd4 (he has to move his knight) …h2+ 4.Kg2 (the only way to stop an immediate queening of the h pawn) …gxf2 5.Kxf2 (or Kxh2) and now the other pawn promotes, the rest should be a matter of technique.

This seems to work, unless I am missing something?

Phaedrus zei


Congratulations you solved it. Great job!

likesforests zei

I found the mainline in seconds, then spent a few minutes on alternatives. Here is my solution in PGN format... please let me know if I missed anything.

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "New game"]
[Black "?"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/8/8/8/3b2pk/7p/5P1N/6K1 b - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "11"]

1... g3 $5 2. Nf3+ (2. Nf1 {Conceding that 2.Nf3+ loses.} Bxf2+ 3. Kh1 g2+ 4.
Kh2 gxf1=B {With mate to follow.} 5. Kh1 Bg2+ 6. Kh2 Bg3+ 7. Kg1 Bf3 8. Kf1 Kg4
9. Kg1 h2+ 10. Kf1 h1=R#) 2... Kg4 3. Nxd4 h2+ 4. Kg2 (4. Kh1 {
This loses even faster than 4.Kg2.} gxf2) 4... gxf2 {An easy win. The split
pawns one file apart are too advanced for the king to stop them and the knight
is misplaced. The knight also has no checks that improve its position with gan
of time.} 5. Nf3 h1=Q+ 6. Kxh1 f1=Q+ {A simple win.} 0-1

Phaedrus zei

Hello Likesforests,

Outstanding! I have nothing to add to your solution, except for a few diagrams in my next post.

Phaedrus zei

Likesforests it seems that I was a bit to fast when I said your solution was comprehensive. In one of the sidelines you missed a mate in 1. Still fantastic effort, and you variation also won. A bit more laborious though. I give the full analysis in todays blog.

chesstiger zei

I know i am late but i didn't look at the other posts and comments and was first puzzled because of the N-check on f3. But then i saw i could divide the pawns to h2 and f2 while the knight couldn't cover f1 after it takes Bd4.

1. ... g3
2. Ng4 Kxg4 Nf3 Kg4 Nf1 Bxf2+
3. Kh1 gxf2 Nxd4 h2+ Kh1 g2+
4. Kh2 f1N Kg2 gxf2 Kh2 g1Q#
5. Kh1 Be5 Kxh2 f1Q
6. Kg1 h2+
7. Kg2 Nd2
8. Kh1 Ne4
9. Kg2 Nf2
10 Kxf2 h8Q
and the rest is skill.

1. ... g3
2. Nf3+ Kg4
3. Ne5+ Kf4
4. Nd3+ Ke4
5. Kh1 Bxf2 Kf1 h2
6. Nxf2 gxf2 Nc5+ Kf3 Kg2 Bxf2
7. Nc5+ Bxc5
8. Kh1 Bb4
9. Kg2 h1Q+
10. Kxh1 Kf3
11. Kg1 g2
12. Kh2 Bc5
13. Kh3 g1Q
14. Kh4 Qg4#
and the rest is skill

chesstiger zei

Oh darn, the spaces after two moves is gone. Now all my variations are weird.

I had it written

var A / var B / var C

Hopefully you can see it.

Phaedrus zei

Dear chesstiger,

I think I got it. And if I did, it seems you also favored a lengthy minor promotion variation above a quick mate. In your 2 Ng4 variation, instead of 4 ... f1N, 4 ... Be5+ mates in two moves.

But except for this small slip of the wrist, very well done.

Anoniem zei

I know I am 10 month too late. I try to solve the puzzle, to follow your next postes as I would have done in october 08.

Analalysing the position i have the follwing thoughts:
- black's bishop ist the wrong one to help the rook pawn.
- knowing that there must be a winning way for Black, we can give this bishop (for the white pawn or for getting the king in an better postion).
- whites knight isn't very helpfull against a free rock pawn.
- a free rock pawn does'nt win, when the opposite king is reaching the promotion field.

After I made this thought's I lost a lot of time searching about 1..Bxf2

Like this: 1.. Bxf2 2.Kxf2 (2.Kf1 and 2.Kh1 both looses by 2..g3 and so on I think), 2..g3+ 3.Kg1 (3.Kf1 gxNh2 0-1) 3..g2 Zugzwang. Black will walk with the King to e2. White loses the Knight by Zugzwang or bei trying to take the Pawn on h3.

But I think all the version is wrong beecause i did not take all the consequenzes of my initial thougts! Whites main threat is to give the knight for the g-pawn leaving black with a passed rook pawn, the wrong bishop and the opposite king in front of the pawn, what is a clear draw.

So my 1..Bxf2 will simply be answered with Nxg4 1/2-1/2

So the frist move is given 1..g3! 2.Nf3+ Kg4 3.Nxd4 now the Knight is outsie the battlefield and Black wins with 3..h2+ followed by 4..gf an one of the pawns will promote to Queen (because of the knight staying on board there is no dange of stalemate). If the Knight doesnt take the Bishop, Black should win with 3.Ne5+ Kf5! (not Bxe5, 4.fg) followed by Bxf2 with two connected passed pawns.

By the way thank you for that very interesting blog. I have found it yesterday and now I'm working trough all the posts - before I decide how to do this Tactics-Circles.

and: Sorry for my bad english.