Monday, July 21, 2008

A Chess Riddle

Q: What do you call a post mortem between two patzers?

A: A fishing expedition.

On Friday Silvio and I met at his house to play the game we were supposed to play on Wednesday. This was our second encounter of the week. Just like Monday I managed to pull the proverbial rabbit out of my hat.

We reached this position after Silvio's move of 35...Ra1. At the time I was feeling rather glum about my prospects. I figured the a pawn was toast and Black's a and b pawns would be cruising down the board fairly easily. I didn't see much hope for my lonely d pawn. In reality my position wasn't as bad I thought, but I got it into my head that my only chance of winning was to try for some crazy rook and knight mate. This was the pattern I had in mind.

With that idea in my head I played 36.h4 h5? He knew what I was up to so he stopped my advance, but better would have been to simply play 36...Rxa5. So I went with plan B which was to march the king up there. 37.Kf4 Rf1+? A mistake since that drives my king to where I want him. 38.Kg5 Nd5 39.Ng6 Rf5 This is desperate try on black's part to put off the inevitable mate on h8. 40.Kxf5 Ne3+ 41.Kg5 1-0

After the game was done we started analysing. Now we get to my chess riddle that I made up. In the course of our Fritz-less analysis some how we arrived at the following position.
pw-sr analysis 071808.pgn

We spent a lot of time with the variation where I chase the king around he keeps making interpositions with one of the two queens. It took us a long time to come up with the idea that interposing isn't really necessary. Just run the king to a spot where white runs out of checks or allows black to interpose with check, forcing the queen trade. When writing this post I let Fritz loose on the position. All I can say is Fritz makes it look so simple.


tanc(happyhippo) said...

Hello Polly,

Your idea of attacking the Black king is terrific. Usually if you see the position going bad for you, nothing is better than aiming for the King and throwing everything at it.

A very nice win!

Fritz always makes everything looks simple. I remember during the Kramnik-Topalov WCC match game2, when the tournament organiser went up to Kramnik and told him he was nearly mated, he didn't believe it until Fritz showed him. You're not the only one to feel this way!

Btw, I loaded the PGN but from where did the position start? I am a tad confused on how to get to the riddle.


RT Solo said...

Hi, that was a fun game to go over. From the first position you showed my idea was similar, yet I missed the easier way you did it. For some reason I was wanting to put the knight on g4 and having the rook take on h6, I completely missed the faster route of putting the knight f7 and taking away g6 as an escape square, with the rook already in position to strike the final blow!
Anyway, I posted my first two FICS wins and was hoping I could get a Queen's perspective on the game of Kings. ;-p I put in a PGN viewer and they are really short games.

Tommyg said...

Hey Polly,

Nice riddle!! I am envious of how much over the board chess you play. I need to stop taking gigs, so that I can play some chess!

Do you analyze your games without the computer first as a general rule?

Have a great week!


Polly said...

tanc: The beauty of the chess flash viewer is that you can put in positions without the entire game. In chessbase I had set up the position and then put in the moves and analysis.

The riddle was not the game itself. It was one my wickedly bad puns playing on chess slang. In US chess slang an easy player to be is called a fish as in "I crushed him. What a fish!." So I was making fun of our inability to find the easiest win for black with the two queens by saying we were on a fishing expidition. I guess if I had to explain it it wasn't has funny as I thought. LOL

RT: There a number of different mating patterns using the rook and the knight. The typical ones have the rook delivering mate to the king in a corner with the knight guarding the rook and taking away the escape squares. It's called the Arabian mate. example: Black king on h8 White Nf6 Rg8# or Rh7#. I just tried to come up with a similiar idea using a pawn or the king to cut off the escape.

From a practical point of view it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with these patterns. A wonderful old book that has a lot of these famous patterns is one called The Art of The Checkmate by Georges Renaud and Victor Kahn. The book originally came out in 1953 and was reprinted in 1962 by Dover Books. I don't know if Dover has reprinted again in Algebraic Notation. My copy is in English Descriptive and has a cover price of $2.25

I'll take a look at your games and leave a comment there.

Tommy: Don't give up too many gigs for chess or you won't be able to afford to play. :-)

In terms of analysing my games it depends how hard I feel like working. When I'm feeling lazy I'll let Fritz do the work. When I'm feeling more ambitious I try to work it out in my head and then let Fritz tell me if I was right or wrong. Lately I'm wrong more then I'm right.

Glenn Wilson said...

"Fishing Expedition."

tommyg: If I am trying to improve my play it is best to do what I can without the computer and then follow up with the computer. If I just want to get an understanding I go straight for the computer and go through the game with it.

Hiddenleaf said...

Good to see a simular endgame theme in (an annotation of) a game from someone who has some idea what she's doing behind the board.

I'm quite html-challenged myself, I would probaly have made a link in the blogger editor, with or without the word "here" before the < / a > tag (minus spaces to prevent code) and than copy paste it to the comment box, but this works for me.