Afek-70 Variantim 2022 21.05.2023 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
The judge decided that he understood the study better than the author and deleted the 5. Kh6? try after which we reach the mutual zugzwang position from the solution (Kh6, pawns a6, b7—Kh8, Rb8, Bg8) with White to move. I guess the reason was that Black has two ways to refuse to capture: 5… Re8!! and Rd8!!. I consider this choice completely irrelevant. Play transposes after 6. a6 Rxb8. The important thing is that Black recognizes the mutual zugzwang and waits with Rxb8 until White has committed his pawn.
It is unbelievable that the judge simply deleted the try. The line adds thematic content and the audience should get a chance to form their own opinion about whether the Re8/Rd8 dual is a problem. Nobody to whom I have shown the study has taken issue so far.
Regardless of technical considerations, this is one of the most memorable studies of the tournament. You can praise whatever you want in the other studies, there are very good ones, too—this study is among those that you will be most likely to remember.
The Minski/Huschenbeth study which inspired me is in the pgn.
Razumenko’s famous study is memorable because the promoted knight is so dominant that the bishop can’t stop the b2-pawn.
A zugzwang of a doubtful quality doesn’t make a study memorable.
Blah blah blah. Razumenko’s study is mediocre and you know perfectly well why. Neither the content nor the form is convincing.
If Razumenko’s study were mediocre I wouldn’t have taken an effort to correct it.
The judge told me that it was not him who deleted 5. Kh6? from the pgn file. So I retract my accusation and apologize. Still I would like to know who was responsible for this act of vandalism.
Well, I am sorry for this…
The award I sent to the editor had the line, and the published award has the line, but later, when the editor asked me for a pgn, and I had to quickly create one from older notes, it seems I have sent one without it. The dual there I find it a minor one (a la Reti). I might have not included other variations having duals in other studies too, it is a habit of mine… In my view, those variations are not a legitimate part of the solution, and they just obfuscate the artistic part. By the way, all these studies have previously appeared in the magazine with the author’s solutions, and that should be the primary source.
Omitting lines because they have dual refutations always seemed kind of weird to me, because I would ideally want to answer all the questions an observer might have about my study. Sometimes a black move might have a beautiful simple refutation as well as a complicated one. Why not mention both? The difficult one can just be in a one move parentheses? Like this:
3….Ra8 4. Rh4+! (or 4. Ne2+-) Bxh4 5. g4#
3….Ra8 4. Rh4+! (or 4. Ne2+-) Bxh4 5. g4# This is fine for me. The line is clearly marked as not belonging to the solution but it is just a curiosity.
3….Ra8 4. Rh4+! Bxh4 5. g4# Definitely not okay! One would think that the solution features a variation ending with checkmate, adding value to the content of the study Such a case is misleading the public. Once I witnessed a study with three checkmate variations but only one of the was real…
Steffen’s point is different from mine. Ne2 and Rh4 are completely different ways to win. I think the notation he suggests is fine, and I also agree with Arpad that one needs to give the alternative solution in order not to mislead the reader.
In my study, however, 5… Re8 and 5… Rd8 express the same plan: refusing to capture to avoid the zugzwang after 5… Rxb8 6. a6 which is at the heart of the study, and to reach that position with White to me. Even irrespective of the beauty of the refutation, and the degree to which the dual is seen as annoying, this is clearly a thematic line belonging to the content to the study. Too bad only that 5. a6!! is more tempting than 5. Kh6?, even if they express the same idea.
I also don’t understand the judgement. The order of awards seems to me
accidental .The judge omitted this study from the award, not clear for me why. I don’t think it is less good then other prize or HM studies.
About my other study – I think it also deserved more.
(-) RBP/RB is usually a very messy analytical endgame. In this case, it is just less messy, but still… (see for example the 8…Bh2 line: https://syzygy-tables.info/?fen=1bR1r3/1P3k2/8/8/8/B7/5K2/8_b_-_-_0_1).
(-) These mutual zugwangs are not great discoveries. There must be tens of thousands similar in this endgame.
(+) The flow from the main line is good.
Overall, I wasn’t impressed enough to include it in the award in this strong tourney. There were better studies.
Regarding the award as a whole, I have the same impression as you, Michael. The level of the honorable mentions in particular does not look very high to me. I am not convinced by the first and second prize, while I like both the third prize (not a masterwork, but a good scheme with a strong introduction) and the special prize (great study, but given the predecessor, it is perhaps difficult to give more than a special prize). Will write on this topic more in the next days.
Your study with RBP against RB is a tricky case. When I was playing through it, I found it hard to understand the reason of why there is a mutual zugzwang. There is also a great choice of moves at each point, limiting the clarity of the overall impression. Perhaps I need to analyze more closely: will do so.
For your 3rd commendation, this is for me a typical honorable mention. Delightful miniature with good technique. The only problem is that the final is not really connected to the first phase. Still, a good study. I would not overemphasize the switchbacks, by the way, since I struggle to see a lot of aesthetic value in them.
Thank you Jan for your comments. I believe there were other very good studies that were not chosen for the award. Even I have third study, that is not less good that other commendations here. Indeed I am not impressed by the prizes / honorable mentions . The judge presents various excuses as to why other studies did not appeal to him, but the general impression is that in choosing the winning studies he referred more to the author’s name than to the study itself. And I won’t begin to detail each study. Anyone can see it. If I’m wrong, then we’ll see the opposite proof in the FIDE album that he judges or we’ll see further confirmation of my words there.
Jan is right: the waiting move 5…Re8/Rd8 in the logical try of his study is only a minor dual. Of course it can’t be removed.
Michael, you’re claiming that the judge looks at names, not studies. That’s an assumption you can’t prove. You should be more careful with your statements.
I haven’t seen you often as a judge. Criticizing is easy. You should prove yourself first! Arpad Rusz is an experienced judge who has agreed to grade 1000 studies for the FIDE Album. We can only thank him for that! A little more respect and more objectivity gentlemen!
Well, this was the process.
Martin, I stand by my words regarding the judgement, but everyone can look on the results and decide what he thinks.
I think you are a smart man and you see that I am right also because of the judge’s comments here in the forum that shows one of 2 things – or his misunderstanding in studies or his panic because he finds it hard to face the truth.
But anyway I want to wait for the results of the Fide Album to confirm what I think about the judge.
But I’m very surprised – you said you have to thank AR for agreeing to judge the event.
I think you should thank the judges for a good judgment at end of the event.
Because bad judgment only damages the reputation and sportsmanship of the chess composing. And a judge must be punished for unfair judgment (of course if it is unfair – everyone can decide himself if it is the case here).
And you also said that I am critisizing others and you didn’t see my judgement yet – I guess you see it in every tournament – I usually send to tournaments at least one study with a prize level (with some exceptions when I am not sure about judgement level) – and you can see that my judgment is OK by my results. This event I wanted to pay special respect to Yochanan Afek and knew that the event should be strong – so I sent 3 very good studies – 2 of them, that you saw here, I believed prize level or at least one prize and second high HM and the third commendation level. So you can understand my surprise when I saw the final results and also when I saw the winning studies.
About MSV tournament results – they are ready and will be sent to the manager soon.
By the way , I really liked one of your studies there..
And about the difficulty to find judge to grade 1000 studies – may be I can judge next FIDE album if there is difficulty like this.
Steffen, I am happy that you also like my 3rd commendation study and evaluate it much more then HM.
Jan, the switchback with changed pieces on the board is something special for this study and what gives the study special aesthetic value – but to give HM for the study may be still normal.
Michael, thank you for your willingness to judge the next FIDE album! I’m not sure if the people in charge will “let you” because you should have some experience as a judge beforehand. Anyway, I’ll suggest you. I think you can do this job well.
Thank you to everyone who is taking on this great work.
I never give thanks for the “performance” of the judge. I assume that every FIDE Album judge has the necessary competence. We all have to live with differences in the assessments of the individual judges.
Only once did I intervene as a judge when a director wanted to manipulate the rating by “ordering” that we as judges should give half a point more to each study. That’s cheating! This director was then replaced and everyone involved knows who it is. Since then I have not sent any more studies to this gentleman, wherever he is appointed judge or director.
If you’re waiting for the FIDE Album 2019-21 ratings, I have to disappoint you. The individual judge points are not public for good reason. There would be endless discussions about individual ratings. This leads to nothing. I think that Arpad and Steffen are rather strict judges and Branislav a more moderate judge. We’ll see… In the end there is only the information about studies that are represented in the album.
This is my 4th time working on the FIDE album. It’s really a lot of work (and I still have a real job…). You never get a bouquet of flowers, but above all there is a lot of criticism. I “put up with it” and I’m still convinced of the FIDE Album project. That’s why I support that.
I can understand your disappointment. You have 3 studies in the tournament that you are very confident about. And you’re very confident…
In every tournament you have to live with the fact that other people don’t find the study, which you find wonderful, so great. Occasionally I’m “appalled” by the judge’s verdict. Serhiy didn’t award a study of mine in a tournament. By now every expert has told me that this study is not that big. So I have to accept that. Your own perception in your own studies is often too subjective. So you should always accept what the judge decides, otherwise please don’t participate!
I was really annoyed by your comment that Arpad only looks at names and doesn’t evaluate the studies. That’s really arrogant and disrespectful and you have no right to do that! You can factually disagree, but you should refrain from such evil allegations!
Again I don’t agree with you about Arpad judgement. If I see that the judge is judging people and not studies I will not tell this ? I will allow this principle to continue ? For sure I will not send next time studies for award to be judged by judge like this and I will do all I can not to allow him to judge in big tournaments like Fide Album. In these tournaments must be only judges that we are sure thar are fair judges. I totally not understand your attitude in this case. Because you must support me in this.
And about not publishing points of every judge in album ? I don’t think it is fair. I know that if there is difference between points given by different judges – this must be explained. And I will claim to receive information about this.
And you also contradict yourself – earlier you wrote that you don’t have people to judge the album because it’s hard work and now when I offer my services you say I don’t have enough knowledge and experience?? I am an international master with 50 years of experience in chess, all this time I am also interested in studies and I have received many awards for composing studies, I can composes on different styles and only specific style – what is also very important for good judge – and you don’t look on that factor. I also won the World Cup – and I don’t have enough knowledge ?? This contradiction in your words raises the suspicion that the entire management of this album is also not done properly
Good gracious! I have offended Your Highness! I don’t doubt your skills in competitive chess at all. I only described to you very factually that the main person responsible, Harry Fougiaxis, makes sure that the FIDE judges employed have a certain amount of experience. Like I said, if you ask me, I’d encourage you to do it. This is not about tournament chess at all, but about judges in artistic chess! I only see a few tournaments from you. 15 years ago you still submitted 5-7 tournaments and got the title FIDE Judge before you were used for such important tournaments. You’re speaking as a newbie here, like you know everything better and you think you can judge anything and everything. That’s called overbearing and arrogant.
Why Mr. Selivanov offered me to judge this year’s Fide World Cup? Believe me, he knows my background just as well as you do. He just probably has a better understanding of who should be a judge. I declined his offer for 2023 because I simply preferred to compete this year and not to judge. So Selivanov chose of Djurasevich is also an excellent choice and I guess he will be a good judge.
We’re talking about two different things. World Cup is a major tournament. I have absolutely nothing against you judging this tournament next year. I agree with Andrey.
The other topic is judge for the FIDE Album. I have seen candidates who have at least as much experience as you being rejected (for the time being) because they have judged too few study tournaments. I wasn’t questioning your other skills at all.
But it seems to me that because you are an OTB International Master, you believe that you are “automatically” competent for any task in problem chess. That’s what many think, but it’s “apples and pears”.
The rules for the FIDE Albums are of course a compromise and have been the subject of lively debate for the last few decades. Everyone who participates in the FIDE Album indirectly accepts these rules. Maybe there are better rules. Anyone can submit an application in Batumi. The often made insinuation – that is “unfair” etc. leads to nothing! I notice from this discussion that it is absolutely right not to publish all the evaluations of all studies.
What makes a study good? The judgment of a judge or several judges? No! A study retains the same variants, the same punchlines, etc., even after a judge’s verdict. Studies are art. The sense of whether a study is particularly successful or not will always involve a large percentage of subjectivity, barring obvious shortcomings. But even dealing with a partial anticipation will cause a big difference in the opinion of the experts.
Let’s all just relax and take it easy. We’re just a small group of artists. Each of us can print out our favorite studies as a diagram and place them in the living room.
I’m looking forward to the next masterpieces by Oleg, Steffen, Serhiy, Vladislav, Jan (2x), Amatzia, Yochanan and many others and of course also by Michael!
Well, I don’t struggle to see the aesthetic value of the 3rd commendation. I think it is much more than an hm.
For none-GM’s or IM’s the other study is hardly memorable.
I did not doubt the aesthetic value of Michael’s 3rd commendation. I said that I am not convinced of the aesthetic value of switchback play, unless it joins forces with a different theme.
This study has been constructed with very good technique, as in most of Michael’s studies, but I don’t see a singular theme which is strongly expressed. The final switchbacks, 6. Ra4 and 9. Ra8, look somewhat accidental to me. Therefore I was assessing this study at HM level. Of course, in a weaker tournament, a prize could be an option thanks to the author’s technique and the economy of the setting.
If a similar Switchback play was featured in a WIN study, forcing black to capture the d-pawn, then yes, it should be placed higher. Now it seems more like a failed positional draw study. And the final phase with RB vs Q is totally anticipated. I still cannot see it higher than a commendation, sorry…
The idea to remove a white pawn from a zz-position (or add a black pawn) in order to make the zugzwang disappear was first shown in my winning study in the Sochnev-2014 JT. The judge was impressed: “White discards his pawn instead of playing for the zugzwang! Wonderful logic! I kneel in admiration…”
This is the first realization of this idea with a black pawn. The idea needs 3 lines:
Your Sochnev-JT study is indeed a wonderful and admirable composition, worthy of every collection. Compelling both in content and form (the capture of wBh2 is a negligible shortcoming).
I do not think that your first prize from this tournament is at the same level. Although I like it better after looking at it more closely. The idea is intellectually challenging, the study is coherent, and of course, 2. Rf1!! is a great move. On the other side, the material and the play are a bit sterile and I am not a big fan of the initial position.
The Black duals in the 2. Rc1? try (after 7… Nb6 8. Qe8 c1Q 9. Qh5+ etc.) are not a big deal since the important point is the Qb2+ countercheck, which is common to all lines. Still, they dilute the impression of a properly logical study.
All things taken together, I tend to agree with the judge that this study should get a prize. But it is a cold beauty.
Well, I don’t think I need your opinion. At least, till the moment when your telescope will be able to discern the ideas that are far beyond its range now.