## Monday, July 26, 2010

### Best Study for 1996

Today we will see the study which was chosen as the best for 1996. This presentation is prepared by the composer and solver Mr. Themis Argyrakopoulos.

[Study of the Year 1996] is a study by Oleg Pervakov.

Study of the year 1996.

 (Problem 462) Oleg Pervakov, First Prize, JT Boris Gusev 1994-1996, White plays and wins. + (4 + 5) [8/8/1b6/8/8/2B1R3/p1Psp3/4K2k]

The solution follows.

With his Rook against Knight and Pawn, White will not have an easy win. Especially in this position, where Black threatens to push the pawn a2 and Queen it with the first opportunity. If White loses the Rook, his Bishop will not be able to hold a1 against the light black pieces. For example, if in the initial position was Black’s turn to play, we would have :
1... Bxe3 2.Kxe2 Sb1 3.Be5 Bd2 4.Kd3 Bc3 5.Bxc3 Sxc3 6.Kxc3 a1=Q+
So, White must keep his Rook in play and control the promotion to a1.

Let us examine various moves by the Rook:
• The placement of the Rook on g3 with the idea to hold the black King away and to threaten with the white King the Knight and the Pawn e2 loses immediately : 1.Rg3? Se4 2.Rh3+ Kg2 3.Ba1 Kxh3 4.Kxe2 Ba5 5.Kd3 Bc3
• If the Rook goes to d3, we will have very soon an endgame with Bishops moving on same-colored squares and a draw : 1.Rd3 Ba5 2.Bg7 Sb3+ 3.Kxe2 Sc1+
• Checking does not help : 1.Rh3+ Kg2 2.Rh6 Ba5 3. Ba1 Sb3+ 4.Kxe2 Sxa1
The idea to lift the Rook to a safe square, from which it will go to file a, seems interesting but has got hidden traps. The squares e4 and e5 are already under Black’s control :
• If 1.Re8?, then 1...Ba5 2.Bg7 a1=Q+ 3.Bxa1 Sb3+ 4.Kxe2 Sxa1 5.Ra8 Bc3 and the White cannot win the light pieces of Black.
• If 1.Re6?, then 1...Sf3+ 2.Kxe2 Sd4+ and easy draw for Black after exchange captures on d4
So it remains only 1.Re7! to which Black answers 1...Ba5 hoping either to drag the black-squared white Bishop away from the control of a1, or to close the file a for the Rook. Now White plays : 2.Bh8!
If White plays differently, Pa2 is promoted...
2.Ba1? Sb3+ 3.K~ Sxa1
2.Ba2? Sc4+ 3.K~ Sxa2
2.Bd4? / Be5? Sf3+ 3.K~ Sxd4 / Sxe5
2.Bf6? Se4+ 3.Kxe2 Sxf6
2.Bg7? Se4+ 3.Kxe2 Sc3+ 4.Bxc3 Bxc3 5.Rb7 a1=Q 6.Rxa1 Bxa1 = draw

 (P462 after the 2nd white move)

The position starts to slip from the black control...
[If Black plays 2...Se4+ then 3.Kxe2 and Black is without any threats. 3... Sg5 4.Ra7 Bb4 5.Bd4]
...so, let us play our last card : 2...a1=Q+ 3.Bxa1 Sb3+ 4.Kxe2 Sxa1

 (P462 after the 4th black move)

The balance of material is once more misleading. The light black pieces are badly positioned on file a, being target for the Rook: 5.Ra7! Bc3 6.Kf1! useful to remind us that chess is a game of threats. Especially those that promise mating pictures!

 (P462 after the 6th white move)

The preparation for defense with Bh2 is not very helpful: 6...Be5 7.Ra5 Sxc2 8.Rxe5 Kh2 9.Re2+ Kh1 10.Re4 (of course not 10.Rxc2 stalemate!) and White wins.
The black King will try to avoid the approaching evil fate: 6...Kh2 7.Ra2!! Be5! 8.c3+! check and removal of Knight protection! 8...Kg3 9.Rxa1 (where 9...Bxc3 loses immediately after 10.Ra3).
A possible continuation is 9...Kf4 10.Rc1 Ke4 11.Ke2 and White wins with simple technique. (He will protect the Pawn with the King and using the Rook will open the road).

A small defect in this Study is the alternative continuation after the 5th black move.

 (P462 after the 5th black move)

Here there is another continuation for White : 6.Kd3! Bf6 (6...Be5 7.Ra5 Bf6 8.Rf5) 7.Rf7 Be5 8.Rf5 Bb2 9.Rb5 Bf6 10.Rb1+ Kg2 11.c3 .