Chess Star 2022 01.02.2023 (13.02.2023) Didukh your web browser and/or your host do not support iframes as required to display the chessboard; alternatively your wordpress theme might suppress the html iframe tag from articles or excerpts
It wouldn’t have surprised me if Steffen had taken the first three places. World champion!
The general level of this tournament is not very high. Also Steffen did not send his best studies. But it is telling that even then, his products stand out in the competition!
I like his 3rd HM best, by the way. Clear story with simple, but intense expression of the theme. The 1st prize has good construction, but not really an interesting theme or particularly spectacular play. Logic is not a value in itself. Regarding the Allunterverwandlung in the 2nd prize, yes, quite interesting, but I prefer Martin’s more economic expression of that theme in his 4th prize from the 2022 World Cup.
At first glance the 1st prize lives up to all my dreams of a logical-tactical study. Unusual tactics surrounded by logic. It is not really logic for logic’s sake, because the logic was added at the end (and h5-h6! was suggested by the computer!)
But Jan is right that the theme (the tactics) is perhaps not that interesting to anyone but me. It might be a little too far removed from the OTB game.
Speaking of tactics noone asked for: I wanted, of course, to make 5. c5-c6! the winning reply to 4…Qb6! For that purpose Black’s pawn must be on g2. It is possible and black may even reply 5…Qb6-b2! Stay tuned.
The second prize is inspired by Hjartarsson – Andersen, where White missed 54. Qf7+ followed by bishop promotion. I like the play of the battery and the intro is probably as good as one could hope for with four White pawn moves. I think it is not really comparable to Martin’s study. “AUUW” should quickly catch on 🙂
My third study is probably the one that I will remember in many years. Too bad about that spectator knight on g7.
Yes, with the triple capture refusal 5. c6!! it would be a completely different story.
For double underpromotion inspired by Hjartarsson – Andresen, see also Minski & Aliev (no idea where they published it).
Ilham gave me the great scheme with double underpromotion. I only corrected it. It was published in Polish Ty 2022.
Amazing what Steffen developed from it. I really like his pin scheme!
There are some anonymous observers here who dislike everything. In fact, Serhiy’s blog is excellent and the discussions fruitful.
I dislike only Jan’s comments when he writes complete nonsense about the content of some studies. Sometimes I cry out loud: “Купи себе очки, курица слепая!” 🙂
At least you accuse me of writing original nonsense instead of just reproducing Gurvich. 😉
Martin, Rusinek has completely lost his endgame study taste. He gave our study only a commendation.
Посвятили этюд Афеку, а послали Русинеку. Хорошо еще, что он дал похвальный отзыв за такое хамство. Подарки надо слать по адресу.
Выходить, мы должны были посвятить этюд Русинеку…
When Jan speaks of themes I never trust him.
The first prize’s idea is foresight of queens’ sacrifices and a crazy R-ambush. Spectacular and difficult to realize.
Foresight adds to the content of a study conjoined with an idea that is already attractive, not by itself. I also find foresight elements more attractive (i) in a monothematic study with linear variations, and (ii) when the refutation that needs to be foreseen occurs at the end of the try.
Three examples for illustration.
The foresight in this study is amazing because burying the bishop with 1. Kg2! only makes sense when one anticipates that the d5-pawn is not a means of generating counterplay, but actually obstructs the white-squared bishop (White is forced to play 7. Be4 in the try). And so 1. Kg2 gives White the time to get rid of the d5-pawn before implementing his main plan. Everything is thematically connected and it is clear that no side can afford to wait before taking action. Both conditions (i) and (ii) are satisfied. Great!
I cannot resist the temptation to do some self-promotion:
Here the foresight elements give meaning to the rather linear play in try and solution. Our criteria confirm this impression: the study is monothematic (chasing the black king to g8 and using the Nowotny combination to break the defense: condition (i) satisfied) and the refutation occurs at the very end of the try (condition (ii) satisfied).
Now compare to this one:
Consider this study first without the try 4. Qxd3+. Sure, there are spectacular sacrifices, counter-sacrifices and suspended figures, but all in all, it looks like a pub brawl to me. The try adds a foresight element, but due to the somewhat random nature of what needs to be foreseen (black king on d3 vs. d2) it is much less impressive than in Steffen’s study. It satisfies condition (ii), because the refutation occurs by means of a cool tactic at the end of the try, but not (i).
Martin’s study is still interesting, of course, although not as good as the WCCI judges believe. There are also works with completely boring theme and play, where neither (i) nor (ii) is satisified, but the authors then write “20 moves foresight!” after the last move and expect a prize for their creation.
Back to Steffen’s study from Chess Star. It did not fully convince me as a foresight study. Indeed, the study satisfies (i) and (ii) only partially. What is it exactly that White needs to foresee? A natural try is 1. b4, but it fails to 1… Qf4 (2. Qxd6 Qxd6 3. bxc5 Qb6 etc.) and to 1… f2 2. bxc5 Ka2 with a decisive attack. The choice is between 1. Qxd6 and 1. g5. And the first fails to the Qb6 resource, which occurs relatively early in the play. From there, everything is quite linear up to the end. Moreover, the queen sacrifice is completely forced since 3. Qxf4 loses on the spot to 3… Rxf4+ and 4… f2.
Sure, a good study, and I agree with the judge that there are interesting side motives, such as 6. h6!. But it is just the presence of these side motives which distract attention from the foresight element, in my view.
Your first sentence in this long post is a wrong conclusion.
The rest of the post doesn’t give a clue why such conclusion is made.
It is just an attempt to see when the foresight idea looks good and when it doesn’t.
At least you try to look deeper than those who judge the foresight by the paradox of the first move in the try and in the main line.
This is what we call in science inductive method: we observe the individual instances and try to generalize from their properties to universal regularities.
Of course, these conjectures may be mistaken and we need to check whether they make good predictions. If not, we have to give up our theories, or to revise them accordingly.
Jan, you don’t see that Rg1! is the move to foresee in the Nielsen’s winner. Judge Becker clearly wrote about line clearance and foresight of the last move.
Another fully deserved dislike from me.
Serhiy, don’t make a fool of yourself. Of course I saw that 9. Rg6-g1 must be foreseen because otherwise, the removal of the g-pawn with 1. g4-g5 would not make any sense. If I missed such elementary things, I would not even be able to compose at commendation level, let alone get honorable mentions or prizes.
The problem with this foresight element is that it is not connected to the main content of the study, which is in my opinion—but also in yours—the queen sacrifice and the rook ambush with b2-b4. These elements are realized without any foresight element. (Of course, they are spectacular nonetheless!) Even Steffen himself admitted that g4-g5 was a later addition. It is a nice decoration of the study, but the split between the main content of the play and the logical element is visible. They do not stick together as coherently as in Steffen’s FRME study or in my P+V 64 study, for example.
Got it. When I say that I’ll be in Rome in two days it’s not a good foresight if I go via Berlin and Copenhagen instead of Vienna. Because some extra distance and fun don’t stick well with the plan of going to Rome.
So Jan, ideally you want the logical element as a preparation for the main content/the star moves of the study. Not to be a frame for it?
I guess it is possible to discuss how much the logical element adds to the value of a study.
In my ChessStar study it is probably like 25 percent
In the FRME (and in Jan’s Polasek/Vlasak study) it is something like 50 percent
And in this one the logical element is probably 80 percent, because there would be no meaningful study without it, just a king hunt.
I guess logic is always added at a late point, since I assume noone sets out to make a logical study without having some other idea first. But for me it is perhaps particularly late, if at all.
Yes, foresight is one of 99% of ideas which are added to the content in the process. Composers may start thinking about the try quite early, especially when they work with a mutual zugzwang position.
I am not sure what you intend with “preparation” as opposed to “frame”. But if “frame” means the same as a frame for a picture on the wall—decorative, but not particularly strongly connected to the content of the artwork—then yes.
Of course, in modern art, the frame can become part of the artwork. Like in your UAPA study, where I agree that without the foresight there is not much left. The foresight effect works here because the reason why 3. Nb5+ looks paradoxical—an apparently senseless knight sacrifice on the opposite side of the board, remote from the battle—is related to the content of the study, i.e., the displacement of the white king along the edges of the board. After a long and exhausting journey he is happy to see that his loyal knight has sacrificed himself to set up a shelter. The providential sacrifice gives meaning to the entire story.
By the way, Oleg is asking you to acknowledge the contribution that Sumbatyan and he made to this version of the study. 😉
Yes. I meant just that. Something that surrounds the study and adds an extra layer to the finished work.
I would happily acknowledge the work of Karen and Oleg of improving that study. At the time they (Karen) asked me not to.
Here is the original version for comparison. As can be seen the improvement is substantial, not only avoiding the capture of a pawn on a2, but also adding the try 1. Ne2? which is narrowly defeated by interesting play.
This study is ugly. The foresight doesn’t help here. Foresight is appreciated when made with thematic pieces in a game-like position with coherent play.
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