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Chess

cinelli
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Chess

#286201

Postby cinelli » February 23rd, 2020, 11:09 am

.  --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
8 | | | K | | n | | | |
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
7 | | | | B | | k | | |
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
6 | | | | | n | p | | |
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
5 | | | | r | | | | |
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
4 | | Q | | | | | | |
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
3 | | | | | | | | |
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
2 | | | | | | | | |
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
1 | | | | | | | | |
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
a b c d e f g h

One or two people have asked for a real game rather than the slightly artificial puzzles I have set recently. In this actual game, this was the adjourned position and white sealed his move overnight. When the game resumed, it lasted only two moves each including the sealed move. Can you explain how the game could have ended so quickly? Here white is shown as red.

Cinelli

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Chess

#286226

Postby UncleEbenezer » February 23rd, 2020, 1:33 pm

I don't think this counts as spoiler, but I'll de-spoiler it anyway.

Was the sealed move made under time pressure? Were either or both players under time pressure before this position?

Two moves each including the sealed move implies black has the last move. Can't see mate in two, so perhaps someone resigned or a draw was agreed? Then the problem is to figure out whether "resigns" or "offers draw" is included in Black's two moves, or if it's excluded from them and is white's third.

Could the sealed move have been a horrible blunder, like Q-b7 or Q-e4, made while the player was too tired? Nope, that would be immediate resign without even the second move. That move tempted me momentarily when I saw the rook on d5 guarding d6 for white, but confusing the colours like that is less likely with a real board.

Another tempting sealed move is Bxe6, after which KxB provides lots of scope for checks with threat of material gain. But victory isn't obvious, and black has scope for a nasty counter-attack. Perpetual check?

Bxe8 is slightly similar, but then 2.Q-b7 is not check, so black gets the initiative and captures the queen for victory on queening the pawn. Check at a4 and a7 at move 3 has the same outcome. So that's another blunder - though this time the move count is right for the resignation. In fact black's scope for counterattack is such that any non-check looks hazardous for white.

Absent a blunder, my best guess would be perpetual check. Black cannot break out without losing a piece; white cannot stop without handing black a winning counter-attack. But for both sides to see it through as early as move 2 seems optimistic. And if it's clear at move 2, why not at move 1?

Except, that seems too easy for one of yours. There must be a moment of inspiration somewhere there. Ho, hum, back to the drawing board.

cinelli
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Re: Chess

#286301

Postby cinelli » February 23rd, 2020, 9:00 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:Was the sealed move made under time pressure? Were either or both players under time pressure before this position?


No, neither player was under time pressure. Playing conditions were such that play was adjourned after a certain number of moves, to be continued the next day. As a slight hint, who do you think has the better position? White or black?

Cinelli

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Re: Chess

#286329

Postby UncleEbenezer » February 24th, 2020, 1:36 am

OK, think I've got it.

1. Bxe8 Kxe8
2. Q-b5 Rxb5 stalemate.

cinelli
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Re: Chess

#286385

Postby cinelli » February 24th, 2020, 11:27 am

Very well solved, UncleEbenezer. The hint may have led you to think that black is stronger and that white wonders how he can escape with a draw. Playing white was English grand master Stuart Conquest. A Google search for "Stuart Conquest stalemate" will lead you to "www.chessgames.com" where there is a brief discussion of this position.

Cinelli


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