Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A beautiful study by Kasparayan.

I recommend using a chess set and thinking for 30 minutes without moving the pieces and then writing down the answer before checking the solution. It will help you to improve your art of analysis.

 I have given a detailed solution because I consider this position as not a study. I think its an excellent position to improve your analytical skill. Take a chess board and go over the solution! Though the main line is beautiful. I recommend seeing the side variations as they are more practical and chances of them happening in a game are pretty high!

(37) Kasparyan
The problem in this study is to somehow stop the black pawns from Queening. But at the present moment it seems impossible because the knight on b1 is attacked, a1 queen is threatened and the rook on d5 is also hanging. But there is one move which can keep the game alive. 1.Rd1 This is the obvious move, so no exclamations for it. Now black has 3 options. a1=Q which is weak. ab1=Q which I think is very tricky and Kb3 which is the strongest. 1...Kb3! [1...a1Q 2.Nd2+ Kd3 3.Rxa1 Kxd2 4.Rxa3 Kc2 5.Ra7 b5 6.Rb7+- the b7 pawn falls. This variation shows that making a queen is a poor choice by black on move 1.; 

Though this is not the main line and the variations that follow might not be aesthetically beautiful, yet they can be of great practical importance and I think we can learn a lot about co-ordination of pieces!

I find this move to be quite practical and interesting. 2.Rxb1 Now its going to be a fight between well co-ordinated black army of two passers and black king vs the rook and knight which are very powerful but here they dont work together. 2...Kc3! again this is very tricky. the threat is Kc2 followed by Kb2.
a) 2...a2? this move is interesting but white has a very strong intermediate check! 3.Rc1+! absolutely curucial  
a1) 3.Rh1? Kc3! (3...b5? 4.Nf4 b4 and now b3-b2 is threatened. There is only 1 way for white to win now (4...Kc3 5.Rc1+! Kb2 6.Nd3++-) 5.Rc1+! This check is the key and hence I think should be given on move 3 itself. The point is that if king goes to b3 then after Nd3, white forces co-ordinate excellently and if King goes to d4 then it is a little bit away from the black pawns. 5...Kd4 Again an extremely critical position but the answer to it is pretty simple. (5...Kb3 6.Nd3 Ka3 7.Rc8!+-) 6.Ne6+ Kd3 7.Nc5+ Kd2 8.Nb3+ and white is just in time to stop everything! These variations show how important it is to co-ordinate your forces to stop the pawns.) 4.Nf4 Kc2! now the threat is b5-b4-b3-b2. And white can do absolutely nothing to stop it. He has to make a draw with (4...b5 5.Rc1+ is still strong) 5.Nd5 Kb2= 6.Nb4 a1Q 7.Rxa1 Kxa1 8.Kg5=;  
a2) 3.Ra1 Kb3=; 3...Kb3 (3...Kd4 going away from the pawn is a simple win for white. 4.Ra1 b5 5.Rxa2 b4 6.Nf4 b3 (6...Kc3 7.Nd5++-) 7.Rb2 Kc3 8.Nd3+- and white wins easily.) 4.Nf4 Kb2 5.Nd3++- once again the knight is just in time and all the threats have been thwarted. White is simply winning.; 
b) 2...b5 this looked pretty threatening but I think white has the same way to win, to give a check and bring the knight back. 3.Rc1+! (3.Nf4 is also a way to win but this is extremely dangerous. 3...b4 4.Rc1+ Kb5 (4...Kd4 5.Ne6++- followed by Nc5-b3 is winning.) 5.Nd3 b3 Now both the pawns are menacingly placed. Its easy to get tensed in this situation. But if you see logically, b2 is not a threat because Nb2 ab2 Rb1 wins. And if a2 is played then black has to bring his king to make further progress, which takes some time and hence we can bring our king closer right now. 6.Kg4 Ka4 now b2 is a big threat. (6...a2 this reveals the cards too soon. 7.Kf4 Ka4 8.Ke3 Ka3 b2 is threatened but is it a threat? I dont think so because b2 is met with Rc3 Ka4 and Nb2. 9.Kd2 b2 10.Rc3+ Ka4 11.Nxb2++-) 7.Ra1! Now b2 is not possible and we already know that a2 is not so dangerous. 7...a2 8.Kf4 Ka3 and now we must be precise. 9.Rc1!+- b2 10.Rc3+ Ka4 11.Nxb2+) 3...Kd4 
b1) 3...Kd3 4.Nf6 b4 5.Nd5 b3 (5...Kd2 6.Ra1 b3 7.Rxa3 b2 8.Nc3) 6.Rc3+ Kd4 7.Rxb3 Kxd5 8.Rxa3+-; 
b2) 3...Kb3 4.Nf4 a2 5.Nd3+- and its all over.; 4.Nf4 b4 5.Ne6+ this is the simplest, as once the knight comes to b3, then there will be no problems. 5...Kd3 6.Nc5+ Kd2 7.Nb3++-; 3.Nf4 Kc2 4.Ra1! the only move to win. We need to break his co-ordination. (4.Rh1 a2= is already a draw because the white knight which needs the d3 square is unable to get it.) 4...Kb2 5.Rh1 Now Nd3 is also a threat and hence white gained a tempo! 5...a2 (5...Kc2 6.Nd5 a2 7.Nb4+ Kb2 8.Nxa2 Kxa2 9.Kg3+-) 6.Nd3+ Kc2 7.Nb4+ Kb3 8.Nxa2 Kxa2 9.Kg3 b5 10.Kf3 b4 (10...Kb2 trying to shoulder the black king doesnt work here. 11.Ke2 Kc2 12.Rh8 b4 13.Rc8++-) 11.Ke3 b3 12.Kd3 b2 13.Kc2+- just in time!!]

2.Nd2+ Kc2 [2...Kb2 3.Nf4 a1Q (3...Kc2 will just be a tempo behind in the main line.) 4.Nd3+ Ka2 5.Nb4+ Kb2 6.Nc4++-] 3.Ra1 Kb2 
 It seems that black is now close to a draw! What should white do?

4.Nf4!! sacrificing the rook is an amazing concept. Even the computer doesn't understand it for quite some time. 4...Kxa1 [4...b5 5.Nd3+ Kc3 6.Rxa2 Kxd3 7.Rxa3++-] 5.Nd3 the two knights trap the black king. So the b pawn has to move. But who will devliver the coup de grace? as we shall see it will be the combined effort of the white king and also the black pawns as well as the promoting piece for black. Its all so beautifully interwoven! 5...b5 6.Kg4 b4 7.Kf3 b3 8.Ke2! b2 and now we must release the king from the prison. 9.Nb3+ Kb1 10.Kd1! the only move to win but quite adequate none the less. [10.Kd2? would be a horrible mistake as we need that square for a check. 10...a1Q 11.Kc3 Qa2 12.Nb4 Qxb3+ 13.Kxb3=] 10...a1Q [10...a1N 11.Nd2+ Ka2 12.Nb4#] 11.Nb4! this is the key move. Now black is bound up in ropes. He just cannot move!! Just look how the white pieces co-ordinate to take away space from the black king, and the black pawns restrict the mobility of the black queen. 11...Qa2 [11...a2 12.Nd2# is also a nice mate] 12.Nd2+ Ka1 13.Nc2# What a beautiful mate and such a rich study! Wouldn't you agree?