We’re excited to announce that we are holding a tactics solving contest here on TheChessWorld.com for a chance to win one of 3 VIP tickets to the International Chessboxing: Season Opener event in London, U.K., April 12th 2014!
To enter the contest you just need to solve all 3 tactics problems below and comment with your solutions. The 3 best solutions (correct notation, all variations analyzed, etc.) will receive a free VIP ticket to the event ($100 value).
The other day I was looking at an old book, Chess Combination as a fine art (a collection of chess columns by Kurt Richter).
I stumbled on an exercise I had marked years ago.
Richter took it from a Belgian chess column, but could not trace the source.
Today we know, thanks to the excellent Endgame Studies Database IV compiled by Harold van der Heijden:
The following position looks easy.
But there are surprises galore.
W. von Holzhausen, Rigaer Tageblatt 1912
Endgame is a very crucial part of chess. Depth of endgame understanding often decides if you win or lose otherwise equally looking position.
Today, we present a list of 5 endgame tactics problems, which are not difficult, but yet most players fail to find the right move order.
Can you solve it?
Vitaly Kovalenko (1947-2014) is no more. The eminent Russian composer had a massive heart attack that turned fatal. In his chequered career the veteran composed more than 560 studies with a number of prizes to his credit. In later years he served as a judge in composing competitions. This was not without controversy. On one occasion his verdict was disputed by a participant who received the least number of points for his studies. He was supported by his federation and also some fellow-composers. However, his claim was not accepted (pdf). It’s hard to know who was right.
Be that as it may Kovalenko set himself high standards as a composer. He also collaborated with other chess artists. The following joint effort makes a stunning impression.
Yury Bazlov and Vitaly Kovalenko,
First Prize, Uralski Problemist, 1993-6
White to move
The ultimate blunder
Anyone can hang a piece, but a good blunder requires thought. There is one sort of move that is almost always played after calm, if not happy contemplation: resigning. Sometimes it is wrong to resign – or to agree to a draw.
It was Tim Krabbe, a great connoisseur of the game who wrote these famous words. He also presented as many as 35 positions to illustrate his theme.*
In the following position in a correspondence game White resigned, thinking his position was hopeless (No, there was no Fritz to help in those days ).
But he would have won.
Georges Mathot – Walter Baumgartner, France 1958, Corr. Game
This time we want to present 5 chess compositions in which you need to find mate in 5. It’s a little bit more difficult than mate in 3, but much easier than mate in 12 as we have seen earlier. When solving these compositions, make sure to first study the position and only then move pieces on the board.
Our goal is to visualize the whole variation before touching any pieces. Only then you should play the moves on the board. That approach maybe more difficult for some players. Trust me, it will lead to quick tactics improvements and more won games in future.
A three-mover composition is often called the queen of chess problems. Two-movers are pretty easy to solve for experienced chess players, four and five-movers are too difficult for most players to handle. Therefore a three-mover is the most optimal (difficulty-wise) composition that can include all themes generated during past 150 years, the period of modern chess composition existence.
Today we present to our readers 5 three-movers to solve.
These chess composition require 8, 11 and 12 moves to deliver the checkmate. Of course, it’s more difficult to find solutions for multi-move problems, but these are not ‘impossible’.
I believe, that every chess player that understands notation and can use it in his own games is capable of solving these compositions in a reasonable amount of time.
I want to ask each and every chess player who is reading this right now, to set aside a few minutes of your time and to challenge yourself with these compositions!
The 3rd FIDE World Cup in Composing was held in the second half of 2013 under the aegis of WFCC.* The event directed by Dmitry Turevsky included both studies and problems. In the Studies Section there were as many as 40 entries. Mr. Iuri Akobia, eminent composer was the judge. At the moment Preliminary results have been announced. They will be declared final after two months allowed for claims of anticipation and unsoundness.
As of now Richard Becker, a well-known composer from the USA has claimed the First Prize.
White to play and draw
A bewildering position. Both rooks are under attack. At least one of them will have to be given up, but which one?
Thanks, Ms Julia Vysotska!
Today is the hardcore tactics day, so I uploaded 7 extremely difficult chess compositions. These are called compositions because they were created (‘composed”) by the master-mind composers to make your job (as a solver) as difficult as humanly possible.
Yes, these positions weren’t taken from the grandmasters games, they are much more complicated. If you can solve these mate-in-2 problems, you can solve everything . Here they are: