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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

October 2009 AK Puzzle Contest Winners

Hello everybody!

After my month away from home, I'm back with 3 new medals in my collection: One Silver team medal in the Eurocup, and two Gold medals from the European Team Championship.

After the victorious European team championship in Novi Sad, on October 31 I flew back to Moscow. I arrived in Moscow at 6 pm on October 31 and already in 12 hours later I had my flight to Miami. When I was driving to the airport at 3 am on November 1, it was snowing in Moscow. It felt like Christmas.

But in Miami there was no snow at all. It was sunny, of course! Such a change in less than 16 hours!

On November 2 I found out the name of my opponent in the coming World Cup in Khanty-Mansiisk. On November 21 and 22 in the first round of the World Cup I will be playing against GM Shakhriayr Mamedyarov. The full table of pairings for the World Cup can be found here.

So November promises to be a very interesting month for me chesswise. I will meet the strongest chess players in the world. First, playing in the World Blitz Championship. By the way now there will be 22 players. To the 20 players that were announced earlier, 2 more players have been invited - Judith Polgar and Dmitry Jakovenko. Second, I will be participating in the World Cup and finally I will play in the first ACP women's world cup in Turkey. Lots of tournaments, and of course, I'm back to training super hard to prepare for them!

But now it's time to announce the winners of the October Puzzle Contest.

Out of the many received solutions only 3 were perfectly correct.

Below I'm posting the solutions by the winner of the October Puzzle Contest - Fernando Rossetti (Brazil).

Alexandra Kosteniuk Puzzle Contest 2009 (October),
Analysis by Fernando Rossetti (Brazil)

Puzzle 1. White plays and wins

Steinitz-Chigorin World Championship

Rematch 1892 (Havana, Cuba)
Game #4 - Classic

One could be eager to sac the rook (Rxh7+) aiming to set a net mate, converting the point. Probably a Steinitz’s wishful thinking, once he was at that moment, one point behind after three games. Let’s see why this premature sac doesn’t work.

Try play:

1.Rxh7+?? Kxh7 2. Qh1+ Kg8 3. Ng5 Rf5!

(3... Rf7? 4.Qh7+ Kf8 5. Nxf7 Kxf7=)

4.Qh7+ Kf8

A) 5. Bxe6 Rxe6 6. Nxe6+ Qxe6
B) 5.g4 Rxg5 6. Bxg5 a4 7. Bxe6 Qxe6

Black still hold the position and White is totally lost. So, what’s the best black’s defender? N and dark square B. How to remove the guard? Blowing up the center, but is it possible? Yes. Black is misplaced, allowing White’s fork (d4-d5) attempt.

Actual play:

1.d4! exd4 (forced) 2. Nxd4 Bxd4?!

[2... Nxd4?? and the rook sac on h7 works 3. Rxh7+ Kxh7 4. Qh1+ with mate in two]

3. Rxd4!

More than a simple recapture, this move is a “psychologic invitation”. A fine strategic shot whereas Black dark square (one of the best defender in this position) was swept out of the board.

[3. Bxd4? would have been a mistake, because after 3... Nxd4 4. Rxd4 5.b5 black equalizes (the pair of plays) and goes into a drawn endgame].

How difficult to give good advices in this position:
A) 3... Kg8?! 4. Qd1 Rf7 5. Rc4 Qd6 6. Qxd6 cxd6 7. Rd1 b5 8. Rh4 +−
B) 3... Re7 4. Rdh4 b5?! 5. Qd3! +−
C) 3... b5?! 4. Qd3! +−

After the blunder 3... Nxd4?? all the rest is simple and well known. An astonishing domination: Q + B attacking dark squares with a helpful sword light squared B who guards a2-g8 diagonal.
4. Rxh7+ Kxh7 5. Qh1+ Kg7 6. Bh6+ Kf6 7. Qh4+ Ke5 8. Qxd4+
Chigorin resigns in view of 8... Kf5 9. Qf4# [9.g4#]

(Above) Puzzle 2 by Carvajal, J., 1996.
White to move. White plays and wins. Category Intermediate.

1.a7 b5+ (forced) 2. Kxb5 Kb7 3.a8Q+ Kxa8 4.f7 Rh8 (forced) 5. Ka6!!
[5. Kb6? Rf8!]
5... Kb8

A) [5... Rf8 6. Nb6+ Kb8 7.Nd7+ winning the rook]
B) [5... Rd8 6. Nc7+ Kb8 7. Ne8 +−]

6. Nf6 Kc7 7. Ng8 +- and the promotion is unstoppable.

(Above) Puzzle 3 by Dorogov, Y., 1982.
White to move White plays and wins. Category Difficult.

1.e7 Nf4+ 2. Qxf4
[2. Nxf4?? Qd7+ 3. Ke3 h1Q 4. Qf8 Qg1+ 5. Ke4 Qc6+ 6. Kf5 Qb1+-+]
2... Qh7+ 3. Kd2 h1Q 4. Qxa4+!! Taking advantage of 1.e7 and exploiting position.
4... Kxa4 5. e8Q+ Ka5 6. Qa8+ Kb5 7. Nc7+ Qxc7 8. a4+ Kc4 9. Qg8+ All is over. Black is in zugzwang and there are two main lines to converting the point. The artistic one and the "playable" one.

A) Artistic: 9... Qd5+ 10. Kc2 Qxg8 [10... Qh7+?! 11. Qxh7 there is no escape] 11.e4! The move usually begins the clash now ends it 11...−− 12.b3#

B) Playable: Trying to give back material advantage leading to a pawn endgame

9... Qf7 10. Qxf7+ Qd5+ 11. Qxd5+ Kxd5 12. Ke3 g2 13. Kf2+−

So the winner of the October Puzzle Contest is Fernando Rossetti from Brazil, 2nd prize goes to Renato Carlos de Oliveira and the third place goes to Francisco Valiente. Congratulations!

As usual 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 November 09 puzzles, get ready!

Posted by: Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion



  • At November 5, 2009 at 2:23 AM , Anonymous Glenn said...

    Do you ever suffer from 'Jet Lag' from all the travel? I heard someone tell me once the symptoms are worse traveling wet-east than east-west.

  • At November 6, 2009 at 6:16 PM , Anonymous pawnman44004 said...

    Won't be too much longer before I see the snow. Living next to Lake Erie, I should see it any day now. ;-)

  • At November 7, 2009 at 1:24 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

    Alexandra,best wishes to you in your tournament schedule for November and December. Your fans are pulling for you!


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