Sunday, December 19, 2010

Positions from the IS 318 Tournament

 1. Matan was playing in Atlantic City, so I looked at a couple of his kids' games. In this interesting endgame, Tawab missed a win. Where should white move?

 2. Austin (black) is seriously underdeveloped, and I was just explaining to him that this was why he lost the game, when he explained to me that he won.  However, his opponent could have forced a win here: how?

 3. Moshe (black) has a great idea here to activate his bishop and rook-- he didn't see it immediately, but won with it a few moves later. Where should black move?

 4. Xonatia was black in the above position. Her opponent knew the first few moves of the French Advanced, but clearly improvised after that. His last move was 7. Bb5-- how should she have replied?

 Shawn S.
 Kenneth M.
 National Champion Azeez Alade, who tied for first in this tournament also
 Sebastian D.
Danny F.
JP Garcia


1. White should play 1. a3! so that after 1... a5 2. a4, it is black's turn and black who is in zugzwang.
2. Austin's opponent could have won black's queen with 1. Qc7+ Ka8 2. Qc6+ Kb8 3. Bc7+ Ka7 4. Bb8+.
3. Black gets a winning position with 22... f4 23. Nf1 d4 24. Qsomewhere f3! and white's kingside falls apart. 
4. Black can win a pawn with 7...Nxe5.  


John C. Fernandez said...

Not sure I adore the line in Game 3. 22. ... f4 23. Nf1 d4 is certainly right, but there's a couple of branches you'd want to cover here.

24. Qxc5 (a natural move one may expect to meet) loses to 24. ... Qg5! and 25. f3 Bxf3 loses, as does the more prosaic 25. g3 fxg3 26. Nxg3 Qf4 followed by 27. ... Qf3.

24. Qd3 is a more stubborn defense, but I don't like the position after 24. ... f3 25. g3 for Black. It probably doesn't hurt to include it, but a more natural plan from my vantage point would be 24. ... Qd5 25. f3 Rf5. Of course White has some compensation due to the weak central light squares, but Black definitely better.

Philip Sells said...

At first I thought that in your game 2, 2...Qb7 gives Black a chance to survive, but after 3.Qe8+ Qb8 4.Qa4+ Kb7 5.Nd4 (threatening Qc6+), mate looks forced in all cases:

5...Kxb6 6.Qb5+ Kc7 (6...Ka7 7.Nc6+ Ka8 8.Qxb8#) 7.Qc6+ Kd8 8.Ne6#;
5...Qc8 6.Qa7#;
5...Qa8 6.Qc6+ Ka6 (6...Kb8 7.Qc7#) 7.Qxa8+ Kxb6 8.Qc6+ Ka7 (8...Ka5 9.b4#) 9.Nb5+ Kb8 10.Qc7+ Ka8 11.Qa7#;
5...Q-anywhere on the diagonal 6.Qa7+ Kc8 7.Qa8+ Qb8 (7...Kd7 8.Qd8#) 8.Qc6+ Qc7 9.Qxc7#;
5...e-pawn moves 6.Qc6+ Ka6 7.Bc5+ Ka5 8.b4+ Qxb4 9.axb4#.