FIDE World Cup 2022

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Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
3 месяцев назад

I am a bit disappointed that Serhiy did not yet write anything on the studies, or tried to guess the authors. 😉 So I will open the discussion instead!

The first prize (Pasman?) has fluent combinatorial play and a nice finish. The technique is clean. However, there is no clear main idea which keeps together the 18 moves. Unfortunately, the logic is limited to the move order in the introduction (take the square d7 away from the bK). Therefore, I would not qualify it as a logical study, but as a tactical study with logical elements in the introduction.

The second prize (Pervakov?) has convinced me more. The logical choice in the introduction is well connected to the main scheme and the preparatory rook sacrifices are indeed impressive, as the judge writes. It is also notable that the author managed to find quite a lot of content with the configuration of pawns against queen and pawns. Perhaps the best study of the tournament.

The third prize (Minski?) is rather lightweight. However, the combination of fluent play, intelligent defense and grotesque elements (material distribution, pursuit of the black queen) make it a an enjoyable study.

The fourth prize (Didukh?) shows an ambitious theme (Allumwandlung) with few pieces and clean construction. Notable achievement, even if the play comes across a bit static.

The special prize (Gonzalez?) is the most funny one! In spite of the large number of moves, everything is clean and humanly solvable. The highlight is that the thematic 9. g5 followed by the sacrifice g5-g6 needs to be prepared with 5. Qc1+!, in order to be able to play g4-g5 before Black has played h7-h6. Wonderful combination of humor and wit, and good publicity for studies.

I also liked the first honorable mention (Bazlov?) with its pittoresque four-knights checkmate. Very impressive that the author managed to move Nb3 in the introduction. The play is also fluent and clear. Of course, the exchange on d7 and the pawn structure which “suffocates” the bKe8 dilute the aestehetic impression a bit. Still, a convincing study. Could also be Pasman, he built several model mates with knight underpromotion recently.

Unfortunately, none of the other studies convinced me. I am too weak a chess player to see whether the second HM is more than a computer printout. And there are already many studies based on corresponding squares. Perhaps the author’s annotations would help. I am missing a clear guiding idea in the third HM: two minor promotions are not enough in my opinion. The motives of the fourth HM are well-known, and the king is already very much incarcerated at the beginning.

I liked the first commendation for its classical style, but it would be good to have a connection between the main lines. The second commendation resembles a study I saw somewhere last year, with exactly the same material distribution and a “mysterious” king move. (Serhiy, can you help my memory?) But it looks a bit computer-like again. Third commendation just not my cup of tea, too many pieces with respect to the content. I also don’t like doubled pawns. Tripled pawns even less. Regarding the fourth commendation, Martin Minski might want to construct an introduction that does without a zillion of exchanges. Fifth commendation is interesting for practical players, but a bit technical. Resembles a bit the well-known Kasparyan studies. Pity that there is no intro without the knights. “Rook endgames should stay rook endgames” (Y. Afek).

Of course, all this is subjective, so don’t get angry with me, please!

All in all, I would agree with the judge about the best studies among those that are in the award. However, I cannot help the suspicion that some studies that finished in the basket may actually have been interesting (while some of the HMs and commendations might have been left out). Especially: Where are Nielsen and Timman in all this??? Also last year’s winner Stavrietsky has none of his “signature studies” in the award.

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
3 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Jan Sprenger

I did not notice the absence of a Steffen-style study, but now I am really surprised to see this. His study was sent to the trash can? He didn’t participate? I would not believe any of these.
Maybe, with a true imagination effort, his study could be the 3rd prize. Some pins appear along the solution … 🙂

Steffen Nielsen
Steffen Nielsen
3 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Daniele Gatti

The quality of the first prize to a large extent depends on whether great introductory flow can be “the idea” (since the final domination idea is not new). I like the study.

Second to fourth prize are very good as well, but I really hate everything about the special prize. Those repeated maneuvres to lose a tempo, known from long moremovers, are just boring. Even with the Qc1 twist.

Maybe my own study featured a bad move. As we alll know bad moves in chess are bad and most be avoided.

Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
3 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Steffen Nielsen

Special prize: note that White must also give his pawn in a way that the a1-h8 diagonal is not blocked (he must have the Qg7 pin after Nc3 in some lines). That is, the loss of tempo must be coordinated with giving the pawn in the right way. I don’t find this obvious or boring, although in general, I am neither fond of moremover-like studies.

I agree on your general assessment regarding flow in a study, but it should be kept together by a common theme. Your “flow study” you showed me some time ago (is it published somewhere?) is a good example. Or Pasman’s study from UAPA which Serhiy liked so much. Also there, the final is known, but the play is made coherent by the fight for promotion of the e-pawn. This is what is makes a (very good) prize level study. When this coherence is missing, like in the first prize of this World Cup, where four passers are randomly standing around and successively sacrificed or eliminated in order to get a simple aristocratic domination scheme, I would limit my evaluation to a honorable mention, despite all the skill in construction.

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
3 месяцев назад
Ответ на  Jan Sprenger

Glad to see I’m not the only one that likes the special prize! When moremovers meet studies, something interesting is always going to happen.

A question: why does a study with a known and quoted final position gain a first prize when another study, of same impressive quality, like the second or even third prize, do not win the Cup? Shouldn’t originality be praised more than the refining of an already existent thing?

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
1 месяц назад

Official names are out!

Steffen Nielsen
Steffen Nielsen
1 месяц назад
Ответ на  Daniele Gatti
Martin Minski
Martin Minski
1 месяц назад

Serhiy, maybe you can explain why you rate the World Cup studies so badly.

Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
1 месяц назад
Ответ на  Martin Minski

Serhiy is quite strict anyway. In this specific case, he is probably disappointed and this may also affect his ratings negatively. 😉

In terms of the relative value of studies, however, I tend to agree with Serhiy (also independently of my own study). The second prize by Pervakov is probably the best study in the tourney. And if you add half a point to Serhiy’s ratings for each study, things start to make sense. 🙂

PS. I would also appreciate more extensive comments by Serhiy or other composers/study enthusiasts. So far, I have been the only one to write in some detail on the awarded studies.

Martin Minski
Martin Minski
1 месяц назад
Ответ на  Jan Sprenger

I just played Pasman’s first prize again.
I have nothing to criticize and do not understand derogatory attitudes at all. I clearly recognize the common thread. It’s a real fight elegantly implemented.
It’s a good study and my congratulations to Michael!

Incidentally, there is no value in itself that a study was built in the logical style.

Daniele Gatti
Daniele Gatti
1 месяц назад
Ответ на  Jan Sprenger

My given rating (1 star) is quite correct, maybe I would give myself 1.5 points, but nothing more, because the configuration was not completely original. I just thought to have found an original idea adding a logical combination to open up a line so the self-incarceration is no longer possible. In my researchs I could not find a similar idea.

Maybe Serhiy cannot bear to see Pasman as 1st prize and Gatti as 4° HM … that’s why he does not speak to us 🙂

Being serious, Jan, I do not have the capacity to comment extensively, but I can say that I found your 3rd prize amusing, and so the stable at the end of Minski’s 4th prize. Grotesque elements always amaze me!
I would have given first prize to Pervakov’s study, anyway. I am fascinated by those Rook sacrifices.
The special prize, as said before, is taken from moremovers world, but appeases me. The wP moves are subtle. Maybe it deserved more a special HM, or special commendation, and not a special prize … but it’s a matter of taste.
I cannot find enough material about 4° and 5° commendation, in the first there are too violent exchanges, and in the second … I don’t recognize an idea but maybe I’m just blind. I appreciated more the Serhiy’s 3°commendation, probably it deserved a better ranking. At least there is a logical idea.

My two cents!

Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
1 месяц назад

So finally I have studied Sergey Osintsev’s second honorable mention in more detail and I have changed my opinion. At first, it looked computer-like to me because no explanations at all were given and so I failed to understand it and it did not appeal to me.

Of course, Black must always ensure that he can keep the opposition on f4/f6, g4/g6 and h4/h6. But the critical position is wKe3/bKe7.

If Black is to move, he loses because White penetrates on one of the two wings. His problem is that the ideal move Ke6 is impossible.

If White is to move, he has two choices: go East or go West. If he goes East, Black holds the (distant) opposition. If he goes West, Black is just in time for keeping the opposition on the b6 square. If White manages to play Ka5 or Kb5, he is winning, because the resulting endgame with white b- against d-pawn (it occurs in the study after 15.. Nxd4) is narrowly won. Narrowly, but not surprisingly given that the pawn is on the seventh rank and White can work with tactical tricks sacrificing the knight.

Why can White not just lose a tempo with Ke2? Black can still not play Kf8 etc. because of Ke2-d2-c3. But he is just in time to play Kd6, Kc7 and to activate his knight with Nc6 before the white king has access to the e5 square. And after Kf3, Black has the only, but sufficient move Kf7.

This brings us to the right track. When White plays, e.g., Kf2-e2, Black must be able to respond with Ke8 (and not with Ke7 because he would then be in zugzwang after Ke3). So Kf2 must not be countered with Kf6, but with Kf8. Analogously, Kf3 not with Kf5, but with Kf7, and Kg2 not with Kg6, but with Kg8, etc. This is bad news for Black because usually he grabs space when White retreats in such positions, limiting White’s options.

The author does not give the 5… Kh6 line but it gives a good understanding the position:

6. Kg2 Kg6 (not Kg7 or Kg5 because of Kg3, taking the opposition) 7. Kf2 Kf6 8. Ke2 Ke7 (alas, there is neither Ke6 nor Ke8…) 9. Ke3! with zugzwang and penetration on one of the sides. Note that after 7. Kf3?, for example, Black can get back to his defensive setup with 7… Kf7! 8. Ke2 Ke8. Moving on the second rank leaves the crucial e8 square out of reach.

So Black must defend with 5… Kh8 and White now breaks the deadlock with 6. Ne6!.

Now either
6… Kh7 7. Kg3 Kg6 8. Kf4 Kf6 9. Nc5 with zugzwang (note how White needed one move less to reach the f4 square), or
6… Kg8 7. Kh3 Kf7 8. Nc5 Kf6 10. Kh4! and White wins the opposition and will penetrate somewhere.

What is crucial here is not so much the retreat 5. Kh2, to which the author gives two exclamation marks, but the Ne6 jump forcing Black to make a king move. Now either Black wastes a tempo, playing Kh8-g8-f7-f6/g6, or he attacks the knight one move too late (Kh8-h7-g6-f6). Compare 5. Ne6? Kg6! 6. Kh4!? Kf7/f5 7. Nc5 Kf6 and it is White to move, not Black.

Very instructive. The Ne6 jump, passing the move to Black, must be executed in a moment when Black cannot attack the knight easily. This presupposes that the black king must first be lured to h8. But the author does not even identify 5. Ne6 as a thematic try. This makes it very hard to understand the content of the study. Instead, he gives one move later 6. Kh1?, after which Black can grab space with 6… Kg7!, or repeat moves with 6… Kh7 7. Kh2 Kh8 (note that no progress for White is sufficient as a refutation, even if the position remains winning). White’s real thematic try in move 6 is 6. Kg2? Kg8! 7. Kf2 Kf8! 8. Ke2 Ke8!—see above.

Bottom line: The study is a great find and prize level in my view, but due to the lack of adequate annotations I understand that the judge did not rank it higher. Strategic endgames (with zugzwang, corresponding squares, space advantage etc.), always need to be annotated in a humanly comprehensive way by the author. Part of the work of a study author is uncovering the logic of the play for the audience. Otherwise the judge or the spectator will only be left with the geometry. It is hard to appreciate the content when one needs to work through the position from scratch, and when important lines are missing, and other, less important ones, are given.

Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
1 месяц назад

Here is Osintsev’s study with my annotations, if you like to play it through (perhaps easier than talking about positions without diagrams…).

Jan Sprenger
Jan Sprenger
1 месяц назад
Ответ на  Didukh

First, not every move needs explanations. One needs to explain well once what the position is about, and what are the mutual plans, corresponding squares, etc. The rest then follows more or less.

I am surprised by the superficiality of your above comment. You are a composer and critic who cares a lot about content as opposed to surface. But your comment could be Martin’s, who finds such endgames boring as a matter of principle. 😉

There is a lot of content in this work: not only the surprisingly pure implementation of corresponding squares with little material, the fight of the bK for entering the g-file, the vertical retreat as a prerequisite for implementing the winning plan. At the same time, it remains humanly understandable. One can reason to the solution backwards from the Ke3/Ke7 position without having to calculate complicated lines. All this with very little material. This is what makes this study special and different from a computer slow progress study where you have analytic sidelines and the lack of an overarching plan all over the place. For me, it is very similar to Kasparyan’s famous study with rook and two pawns against rook. It requires a lot of intellectual penetration, but is also very rewarding.