Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The twelve puzzles of Xmas

Lazard, 1911

White to play and win


John Cox said...

Well, what White *doesn't* do, I'd suggest, is 1 Nf4+ Kh6 2 Ne6 Re8 3 g8 = Q Rxg8 4 Nf8 Rg5 5 e8=Q Re5+ 6 Qxe5 stalemate. But presumably some small improvement on this sequence can be devised....

Anonymous said...

The small improvement being to chuck a suitably large spanner in the stalemate works at move 5?

Anonymous said...

Ng6. nice.


John Cox said...

I'm never sure about these studies where the trick is to notice that Black has some clever defence and refute it by some comparatively unrefined manoeuvre. It always seems a bit unaesthetic somehow - like cheering for the lions instead of the Christians. Still, that's the cut and thrust of the position, I suppose, nothing to be done about it,

AngusF said...

I like the way the knight and rook vie with each other. The knight threatens to interfere, is rebuffed, interferes differently, is rebuffed again but then gives itself up. That said, the pawns on the seventh provide considerable props.


ejh said...

Thanks for the solution and apologies to everybody for the delay in confirming.

I was actually looking for the original place of publication of the study: my source for it was (again) the Chess Café Endgame Studies Archive but I had missed, when originally selecting the puzzle, that it actually came without a more definite attribution than "Lazard, 1911".

I hunted around a bit but without any luck - even an old copy of Endgame, from February 1975, gives (p. 179) no more definite attribution than that given at the Chess Café.

Fortunately a reader of the blog was kind enough to hunt down the study and was able to report that it was published in Deutsches Wochenschach in January 1911 (though without the composer's name, which was given in a later issue).

Apparently the van der Heijden Endgame Study Database gives the study as being from Shakmatnoje Obozrenji, 1910, but this appears to be incorrect as the magazine, which did originally receive the study as a competition entry in 1910, ceased publication before the winners could be announced. The German magazine therefore did so the following year.

Possibly this helps to explain why the study has come to lose, as it were, part of its correct attribution, and hence goes without it even in sources that would normally be careful to give one?

Anyway, my considerable thanks to our reader for helping me out of a hole in this instance!