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Luis Miguel Gonzalez awarded the tourney UAPA-6 (2017-18) in three sections: A – thematic, B1 – win, B2 – draw. Here are only the prize studies. It’s up to you to decide how far they are from the prize level. And don’t forget to press the dislike button if you don’t like the studies. Dislikes influence judges more than my critical comments.

P. Arestov Let’s think a little about how should be a good study where a rook with two light pieces fight versus a queen. In my opinion, the material is quite nasty and if you start to show a long struggle with multiple tries and lines, the solver will fall asleep before reaching the end of the solution. Experienced composers will also wonder why the author has been tormenting himself and others by such discoveries. Studies created earlier with such a material, have a clear central idea. For example, to catch the queen in the nets of domination or drive the black king from one corner to another in the forced style and mate him there. There’s not a clear idea in the Arestov’s study. Just a set of various trifles. At first the queen is incarcerated in the corner, and then she comes out of it, the white pieces are rearranged, they don’t let the black king go free, then the white king is pulled closer to the black one, not fearing some hundred of checks, finally noose is tightening and the white knight gives a clumsy mate. Uh, what a trash! Large-scale computer violence against a person! Don’t you agree? Do you want to play this study again? Show it to your friends? I think that is unlikely. It is strange that many of today’s judges, like Gonzalez, appreciate such masochism on the board.

S. Didukh. Here the solver has a clear target: after the loss of his bishop White in order to win must capture the black rook or two minor pieces. Realizing this, White’s actions in the study look very paradoxical: he sacrifices his bishop losing a tempo, and the queen isn’t firing a pile of checks. She is playing quietly with the black pieces, like a cat does with the captured mice. The final chord of the white king fits well in the story about the power of quiet moves.

G.S.T. Ostmoe. Composer with several names is destined to double or triple the previously known tricks. The theme of monkey grimaces in this study is very expressive. Some solvers, of course, can wonder why the prize for such a simple study, which they can easily solve during the break between the first and second glasses of vodka. I explain once again: the complexity of the solution is only one of the criteria for evaluation of studies, and not a principal one.

Krug & M. Garcia. This is naughtiness rather than a study. Each line ending in mate is given as main line, but these “Notes of a Madman” are probably for idiots. It is clear that there is only one main line with an ideal mate with three blocks at the end. And it is unoriginal.

Computer trash in other lines, has turned the study into a monster, its authors – into chess engines’ slaves, and the judge – into a blind accountant who knows how to count, but is unable to evaluate.

Didukh. Big studies with few pieces are not composed, they are found. In the old days it was called good fortune, and now, when the list of 6-piece zugzwangs is available it can be called a targeted search of luck using modern technology. The author’s skill in this study was to think up a way to show all three lines where the knight checks the king (on squares f2, g1, h2).

Tarasiuk, P. Krug, M. Garcia. Finally, a normal study with an expressive idea from those I always criticize. Anticipation by Dolgov and Maksimovsky does not matter, because the main virtue of this study is not a stalemate but the change of play after various moves of the black king. With different but similar sacrifices of the bishop in two main lines.

Yu. Bazlov. Study of one move – Qg3!! It is its pride and punishment at the same time. Because it’s impossible to do something at the beginning of the study that could matter at the end. Yuri added a long introduction (showing the grandmaster’s biceps of his skills), but it is of no importance. You can throw away the first five moves or even more, if you wish so. The move Qg3!! has a very short-term disturbing effect – the draw follows immediately. It’s strange. The move seems very beautiful, but real beautiful moves don’t lead to the goal so quickly. I’m more impressed with the line Qh2? where the white queen loses versus the bishop and rook. It was shown in the study by Matous.
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