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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 2009 AK Puzzle Contest Winners

Hello everyone!

September is over. It's time to announce the winners of the September Alexandra Kosteniuk Grand-Prix Puzzle Contest.

Out of all the solutions received only 5 solutions were perfectly correct.

Here are the full answers to the puzzles:

The first position is the position of Greco of 1623. Black starts and despite the fact that he doesn't have 2 pawns, makes a draw by playing:

1. ... Ra1+ 2. Rf1 Rxf1+ 3. Kxf1 and now the bishop sacrifice 3. ... Bh3! with the idea to double the pawns on the h file or take the pawn g2 on the next move and after that the draw is unavoidable. Since the h8 square is Black and White has a white-squared bishop, that means that if the Black king will get to the h8 square White will not be able to get him out of the corner and it's a theoretical draw.

The second puzzle is the position from the game Gunsberg - Chigorin of 1890:

Chigorin continued the game with the brilliant move 35. ... Rxf3!! 36. Qxf3 ( If 36. Rh4, then Black has two possibilities to play "36. ... Rg3+ 37. Kxg3 Qxh4 38. Kf3 Qh3+ 39. Kf2 Rf7+ 40. Ke1! Qg3+ 41. Kd1 Rf2 winning the Queen - Chigorin" or to play "36. ... Qxh4 37. Kxf3 Qh3+ 38. Kf2 Qh2+ 39. Ke1 Qg3+ 40. Kd1 Rh1+ 41. Kd2 Rh2 -+ - Kasparov") 36. ... Qd2+ 37. Kg1 Bf2+ ( 37. ... Nd4 was also possible, but 37. ... Rf7 doesn't work here, I got many solutions with this move proposed in view of 38. Qxf7+ Kxf7 39. Rf1+ Kg8 40. Bc1! and Black will be able only to make a draw after Bf2+ 41. Kg2 Qe2 42. Rxf2 Qxg4+ with perpetual) 38. Kf1 Nd4! 39. Bxd4 Qxc1 40. Ke2 Rxh1 41. Bxf2 Qxb1 42. g5 Qf1+, and Gunsberg resigned.

The third puzzle is the corrected version of the study by Gijs van Breukelen. Immediately after publishing this puzzle I got a message on Facebook from Jim Plaskett who pointed out to me that there was a big discussion about this puzzle not so long ago on and I needed to correct this puzzle a little bit by putting the White pawn on h2, so it can work out.

White wins by playing 1. Nf6+ Kg7 (Kh8 2. d8Q+ winning; 1. ...Kg6 2. Bh5+ and 3. d8Q since there is no more fork on f7 possible after Bh5+) 2. Nh5+ Kg6 (2. ... Kf7 3. d8Q) 3. Bc2+! Kxh5 (3. ... Kf7 4. d8Q) 4. d8Q Nf7+ 5. Ke6 Nxd8 6. Kf5! (threatens mate in 2 after Bd1+ and Bxe2#) e2 7. Be4! (threatens Bf3#) e1N 8. Bd5! (threatens Bd5-b3-d1# and the text) c2 9. Bc4 (threatens Be2#) c1N 10. Bb5 (threatens Be8#) Nc7 11. Ba4 (threatens Bd1 with an unstoppable mate) Nc2 12. Bxc2 Ne2 13. Bd1 c4 14. Bxe2#.

So the winners are:

1. Jeremy Madison, on Twitter @jellybeanmasher
2. Renato Oliveira
3. Medhat Moheb

these 3 winners will get their September prizes.

Petar Kozarev and Leonard McLaren have also solved the puzzles correctly so they get the Grand-Prix points and still have chances to win the Grand-Prix prize at the end of the year.


The winners can send me an email with their postal address and the prizes will be shipped out to them!

Soon I will post 3 new October 09 puzzles, get ready!

Posted by: Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion

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