November 26, 2006

Thoughts upon a position: 7. A Greek gem

Today’s position cannot be found in any commercial database. It comes from a Greek book, "The Greek book", since for decades the two volumes of "Chess" by Triantafyllos Siaperas were the only serious chess manual in the Greek language. The writer was the first Greek player to become an International Master in 1968 and twice a Greek champion in 1956 and 1972.
The player with the White pieces is Dimitrios Papantoniou. He was a District attorney in the city of Thessaloniki and the first Greek champion in 1934. I have no information about his opponent Mr. M. Koutilin. According to Greekbase, the on-line chess database with games collection from my homeland, it is one of the oldest games still surviving today, though it took place not earlier than 1935. The combination was published in many books including one by German master Kurt Richter. (The master who introduced the B60 Richter-Rauzer variation of the Sicilian)

black Rook on a8 b8 c8 d8 black Rook on e8 black Knight on f8 g8 black King on h88
a7 black Bishop on b7 black Queen on c7 black Knight on d7 black Bishop on e7 f7 black Pawn on g7 black Pawn on h77
black Pawn on a6 black Pawn on b6 black Pawn on c6 d6 e6 black Pawn on f6 g6 h66
a5 b5 white Pawn on c5 d5 e5 white Pawn on f5 g5 h55
a4 b4 white Bishop on c4 white Pawn on d4 white Queen on e4 f4 g4 white Knight on h44
white Pawn on a3 b3 c3 d3 white Pawn on e3 white Rook on f3 g3 h33
a2 white Pawn on b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 white Pawn on g2 white Pawn on h22
white Rook on a1 b1 white Bishop on c1 d1 e1 f1 white King on g1 h11
a b c d e f g h  

White to play.

I can tell you that chess engines can find the solution in seconds. If you use them, you’ll probably know the answer, but you won’t be able to express in your own words the idea behind the combination. I am waiting for your comments.

Have fun…

Important notice
This article is not available for new comments anymore, since it has been discovered by blog robots which managed to post comments with inappropriate content. Many thanks to all of you who contributed your own opinion.

Posted by Michalis Kaloumenos at November 26, 2006 05:54 PM

Well, it's quite obvious that the "standard" Ng6+ (hoping for 1...hxg6 2.Rh3++) doesn't work, because of 1...Nxg6. So, wouldn't it be good to attract the knight out of f8? The only move to do this looks to be 1.Qe6, but after 1... Nxg6 the knight obstructs the diagonal a2-g8, giving the king an escape square. Or does it? 1.Qe6 Nxe6 2.Ng6+ hxg6 3.Rh3+ Kg8 4.Bxe6+ Kf8 5.Rh8++ . But wait, can black avoid taking the knight on g6? Nope: 2... Kg8 3. Bxe6++. Must be it.

Posted by: r. at November 26, 2006 07:29 PM

White :
N h4 go to g6 +, Q e4 go to h4 , R f3 go to h3 and white can win !

Posted by: Innessa at November 26, 2006 09:21 PM

I totally agree with r above. Luckily did it before reading his comment. Can't you hide comments for a couple of days so that everybody has a chance to solve?

Posted by: kanturali at November 27, 2006 09:17 PM

I don't disagree that r's solution works,but I disagree or don't understand his premise. Looks like Ng6+ will work. if Nxg6 then fxg6 then regardless if hxg6 or not Rh3 is either mate or mate in 1 depending on if the pawn is at g6 or h7. it is true that black can slow things down by making other moves that require a responce after fxg6, like Qxh2, but I believe they would simply delay, not change the results. I could be wrong, I have lost a few games that way.

Posted by: Garon at November 27, 2006 11:08 PM

Wow, I have a long way to go to figure this out, but I'M UP FOR THE CHALLENGE!

Posted by: lulubell at November 27, 2006 11:11 PM

R. De6 congratulations!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: crackingchessmen at November 28, 2006 03:54 AM

Moving the Queen to e6 as r suggests is not the way to go IMHO. After Nf8xe6 and Bxe6, the Knight on d7 simply replaces the Knight that was on f8 in order to cover the g6 and h7 squares for the possible rook check on h3. Then Black can always play h7 to h6 to stop the Rook check. Bishop to f7 might be an interesting alternative. I would move the Queen to g4, hitting g6 a third time. This would prevent the discovered attack on the Queen by the Rook on e8 after Bxc5. After all, Black is a piece up on White. But White must be careful of the e5 square, where a knight could fork the Queen and Rook. I think the correct plan would be to move the White rook to g3 first and then at the opportune time move the Queen to g4 possibly with tempo in order to hit the g7 square or X-ray the g8 square.

Posted by: NNSIED at November 28, 2006 04:24 AM

Mr. NNSIED you dont see nothing.-Please, read Mr R.Bye

Posted by: crackingchessmen at November 28, 2006 11:04 AM

OK, I see it. What can I was late...I was tired....

Posted by: NNSIED at November 29, 2006 02:40 AM

Damee e4 nach g4.

Posted by: bothe.helmut at November 29, 2006 04:52 PM

This is (once again) a very nice position. But r's solution exactly mirrors my own thoughts (which lead to the "solution" 1.Qe6). If this really is the solution (and I would bet on it), then the problem must be too simple...

...if I can find it, anybody can solve this problem. ;-)

Posted by: Thomas at November 29, 2006 08:04 PM

Dear Thomas: really is simple...but very logical and linda como una bella joven.-

Posted by: crackingchessmen at November 30, 2006 02:00 PM

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