Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Roman (1)

We present now problems with three related themes: Theme Roman, Theme Hamburg, Theme Dresden. In these themes there exist the following common elements:

(a) The problems have at least one try.
(b) There is a General plan (Hauptplan), which becomes obvious with the moves after the try (the virtual play), but is not successful.
(c) A Pre-plan (Vorplan) is applied, which starts with the key and continues with modification of the defensive moves. Then the general plan reappears and is finally applied.
(d) The themes require at least 3 moves.

Theme Roman : A black piece, which can defend adequately, is relocated to a square, from where it can defend again, but not sufficiently.

The Roman theme has got its name from a problem, which was dedicated by the German composers Johannes Kohtz and Carl Kockelkorn to a composer of Rome in 1905.

(Problem 135)
Johannes Kohtz and Carl Kockelkorn,
Dedicated to A. Guglielmetti of Rome,
”Deutsches Wochenschach”, 1905
White plays and mates in 4 moves
#4 (6+2)

Tries: {1.Sc5? Bxc5!}, {1.Bd3? Kxd3!}, {1.Be8? Bh4!}, {1.Bd7? Bh4!}, {1.Bc6? Bh4!}, {1.Qe1+? Kc2!}, {1.Qf1? Ba3!}, {1.Qb2+? Kxb2!}, {1.Qc2+? Kxc2!}, {1.Qd2+? Kxd2!}, and
Try: {1.Qe2? [2.Bd3 [3.Qc2#]]
1...Bg5! (aiming to capture the pawn 2...Bxe3}

The general plan of white, revealed in the last try, is not successful. A pre-plan of ‘relocating the Bishop to another diagonal’ will be applied, to weaken its defense.
Key: 1.Sd6! [2.Se4#]

Now the general plan can be applied.
2.Qe2 Bf4 (aiming to capture the pawn, Bxe3 as after the try, but unfortunately has come too close and allows a new continuation for the white)
3.exf4 Kxd4

After extensive research in older problems, it was found that the mechanism of the Roman theme first appeared in a problem of the British composer Kidson in 1858.

(Problem 136)
H. E. Kidson,
”Cassell’s Family Paper”, 1858
White plays and mates in 3 moves
#3 (7+9)

Tries: {1.Qxe2? Bxe2!}, {1.Qf3? / Qe8? Bf6+!}, {1.Qxg5? Rxg5!}, {1.Rc1+? / Rc2+? / Rc3+? / Rc4+? Ke5!}, {1.Rb5+? Kc7!}, {1.Rc8+? / Rc6+? Ke5!}, {1.Rxg5+? / Rf5+? / Rd5+? Kc7!}, {1.Sc4+? Bxc4!}, {1.Sxb7+? Rxb7!} and
Try: {1.Qh8? [2.Qxb8#]. This is the general plan. Rb8 can not move because of Sxb7#)

Key: 1.Qh2+! Bf4 (pre-plan for the Bishop-relocation)
2.Qh8 Be5 (the general plan is applied, but now the defensive move of the black Bishop blocks a flight of the King)

[This post in Greek language].

1 comment:

papadoble said...

Hello alkinoos and congratulations for this nice resource you offer to problem lovers!
I have been fascinated by the Roman theme for several years now. I was aware of Kidson's nice problem showing the theme for the first time. Recently I came across the following:
Otto Blathy, 1885, #5
with two thematic Roman tries and associated thematic variations.
(at variance with Kidson's problem where there is a non-thematic 1...Sf4 variation)
This problem may be solved interactively here:
I do not know if there exist other pre-K&K Roman problems.