CFD Championship Endgame studies


Tourney Director Andrey Zhuravlev provided me with 8 anonymous entries.

First I checked all entries for soundness using fast hardware (i7 quad core) and two engines (Deep Fritz 13 and Houdini Pro x64) with all 6 EGTB endings on hard disk. In some cases I also consulted the Lomonosov 7 EGTB endings. All entries seemed to be sound.

The next step was to check all entries for (partial) forerunners using my database (, of course my private version which now contains well over 80,000 endgame studies (an update of the commercial version is planned in 2015).


Eliminated studies:

#1 (b1f1) 1 point: Anticipated by one of my own studies, Van der Heijden (HHdbIV#70165). Curiously, the composer overlooked my main line: 2Kd1 3.e5 dxe5 4.c5 e4 5.c6 e3 6.c7 e2 7.c8Q e1Q 8.Qc2 mate, and promoted one of the sublines in my study as his main line. That line is anticipated by Kovalenko (#74083).

#5 (h2d5) 0.5 points: Too simple, and almost fully anticipated by Hasek (#12643) which has extended play after the combination.

#7 (c2e3) 0 points: 100% anticipated by Egorov (#67017)! (2nd comm. Kralin-55, 2000.)




1st prize: #8 (f7f1) 3.0 points


1.Rf6+ Qxf6 2.Kxf6, and:

A) 2...exd1Q 3.Sxd1 c1Q 4.Ke5! Ke2 5.Sbd2 Qg1 6.Kd5! (6.Ke4? Qc5 zz1, WTM) 6Qf2 7.Ke5 Qc5+ 8.Ke4! (zz1, BTM) 8Qa7 9.Kd5 Qf2 10.Ke5 Qh4 11.Kd5 Qd8+ 12.Kc5 Kf3 13.Kb4 Ke4 14.Sa3 Qe7+ 15.Kb3 Qb7+ 16.Kc3 Qg7+ 17.Kb3 Qg3+ 18.Kb4 Qd6+ 19.Kb3 Qb6+ 20.Kc3 Qf6+ 21.Kb3 Qf3+ 22.Kb4 Qf8+ 23.Kb3 Qb8+ 24.Kc3 Qh8+ 25.Kb3 Qh3+ 26.Kb4 and Black cannot make progress, or:

B) 2cxd1Q 3.Sxd1 e1Q 4.Sde3+ Ke2 5.Sf5 Kf3 6.Sfd6 Kf4 7.Kf7! (7.Sb5? Qe8! 8.Sbd6 Qd7 zz2, WTM) 7...Kg5 8.Sd2! Qe2 9.S2c4 Kg4 10.Kf6 Kf4 11.Kf7 Kg5 12.Sd2! Qg4 13.Ke7 Qh3 14.S2c4 Kf4 15.Kf7! (15.Kf6? Qd7! zz2. WTM) 15...Qd7+ 16.Kf6 (zz2, BTM) 16...Qc7 17.Ke6 draws.


First some negative critics: the unnatural wBd1 is a blemish, and also the study could do without the somewhat clumsy introduction (admittedly then it would be BTM). The composers presentation of the study was truly horrible: with many lines with nested white and black tries and excessive use of exclamation marks he almost managed to hide the artistic idea. Especially, since all of it is 6 EGTB territory, there is hardly a need for the composer to provide detailed analyses that the study is sound.

Otherwise, the chameleon echo of two reciprocal zugzwangs with accompanying thematic tries is really excellent. It seems that the mid board reciprocal zuzwangs are original (there are some examples with similar positions on the boards edge, e.g. Manyakhin #51766). I also like the moves 8.Sd2! and 12.Sd2! which are also original (in Vlasenko #58515 a knight is also indirectly protected by a fork, but it is not the knight that moves into the position).


2nd prize: #4 (g8e8) 3.0 points


1...Rg5+ 2.Kh8 Bg7+ 3.Qxg7 Rxg7 4.Rxc3! (Try: 4.Kxg7? Qg4+! Black uses checks to reach either e6 or e7 5.Kh7 Qh5+ 6.Kg7 Dg5+ 7.Kh7 Qe7+ 8.Kh8 c2 wins) 4...Qg4 5.Rc8+ Ke7 6.exd7, and:

A) 6...Qxd7 7.Rfc3! (7.Re3+? Kf7 8.Tf3+ Ke6! 9.Re3+ Kf5 10.Rf8+ Kg4 11.Rg3+ Kxg3 12.Rf3+ Kh4(2) wins) 7...Kf6 (7...Ke6 8.R8c6+ Kd5 9.R6c5+ Kd6 10.Rc6+ Ke5 11.R6c5+) 8.R8c6+ Kg5 (8...Kf5 9.R6c5+!, and 9Kf4 10.R5c4+ Kg5 11.Rg3+ Kf6 12.Rf4+ Ke5 13.Re4+ Kf5 14.Rf4+ Kxf4 15.Rg4+ Kf3 16.Rg3+ Kf2 17.Rg2+ Kf1 18.Rg1+ Kf2 19.Rg2+ Kf3 20.Rg3+ Kf4 21.Rg4+ Ke5 22.Rg5+ Kd6 23.Rg6+ Kc7 24.Rxg7 Qxg7+ 25.Kxg7 draw, or 9...Kg4 10.Rg3+ Kxg3 11.Rg5+ Kf4 12.Rg4+ Ke5 13.Rg5+ Kd6 14.Rg6+ with perpetual check along the g-file or 14...Kc7 15.Rxg7 Qxg7+ 16.Kxg7 draw) 9.Rg3+ Kf5 10.Rf6+ (10.Rc5+? Kf6 11.Rf3+ Ke6 12.Re3+ Kd6 13.Rd3+ Kxc5) 10...Ke4 (10...Ke5 11.Re6+ Kd4 12.Re4+ Kc5 13.Re5+ Kc6 14.Rxg7 Qc(d)8+ 15.Kh7) 11.Rf4+ Ke5 12.Re4+ Kf5 13.Rf4+ Kxf4 14.Rg4+ Kf3 15.Rg3+ Kf2 16.Rg2+ Kf1 17.Rg1+ Kf2 18.Rg2+ Kf3 19.Rg3+ Kf4 20.Rg4+ Ke5 21.Rg5+ Kd6 22.Rg6+ Kc7 23.Rxg7 Qxg7+ 24.Kxg7 draw, or:

B) 6...Kxd7 7.Rc7+! (7.Rd3+? Ke6 8.Rc6+ Ke(f)5 9.Rc5+ Ke4) 7...Ke6 (7...Kxc7 8.Rf7+ Kd6 9.Rd7+ Ke5 10.Re7+ Kf4 11.Rf7+ with perpetual check along the 7th rank, or 11...Kg3 12.Rxg7 Qxg7+ 13.Kxg7 draw) 8.Rf6+ Kd5 9.Rd6+ Ke5 10.Rd5+ Ke6 11.Rd6+ Kxd6 12.Rd7+ Kc6 13.Rc7+ Kb6 14.Rb7+ Ka6 15.Ra7+ Kb6 16.Rb7+ Kc6 17.Rc7+ Kd6 18.Rd7+ Ke5 19.Re7+ Kf4 20.Rf7+ Kg3 21.Rxg7 Qxg7+ 22.Kxg7 draws.


The introduction does not add anything. Why not start at move 4? (1.Rxc3!). Surely that is a capturing key, but on the other hand we would now have WTM in the initial position. Also in this case the composer provided hundreds of nested lines spoiling ones appetite to have a closer look to what is going on. For what purpose? Of course, since line A and B are symmetrical, line B can do without details.

Ingenious construction of diagonally mirrored rabid rook stalemate combinations. Minerva #67992 shows (in singlet form) that combination. There are some studies featuring a bQ covering the bRg7 both vertically and horizontally (Matous #57545), or even in addition diagonally (Tamkov #44901).


1st Honourable Mention #3 (e5a4) 2.5 points


1...Se7 2.c7 Sfd5 3.c8Q Sxc8 4.b7! (Try: 4.b3+? Ka5 5.b7 Sce7 6.Kd6 Sc6! 7.Kxc6 Sb4+ and now that 8.Kb6 is not possible, 8.Kd7 Sa6 only draws) 4...Sce7 5.Kd6 Sc6! 6.Kxc6 Sb4+ 7.Kb6 Sd5+ 8.Kc5 Sb4 9.Kc4 Sc6 10.b4 Sb8 (10...Se5+ 11.Kd(c)5 Sd7 12.Kd(c)6 Sb8 13.Kc7) 11.Kc5 Sa6+ 12.Kb6 Sb8 13.b5 Kb4 14.Kc7 wins.


It is a pity that we start with BTM. The studys kernel is the move 5Sc6!, also occurring in the try (6Sc6!).


2nd Honourable Mention: #2 (e5b5) 2.5 points


1.f5 Sb3 2.f6 Sc5 3.f7 Sd7+ 4.Ke6 Sf8+ 5.Kf5! (5.Kf6? c5 6.Kg7 Sd7 7.Sd5 c4 8.Sf6 c3 9.Sxd7 c2 10.f8Q c1Q draws - excelsior) 5...c5 6.Sg6 Sh7 7.Sf4 Kc6 8.Kg6 Sf8+ 9.Kg7 Sd7 10.Sh5 c4 11.Sf6 Sc5 12.Kg8 e6 13.Se4 Kd5 14.Sg5 (14.Sc3+? Kd4 15.Sb5+ Kd3 16.Sc7 c3 17.Sxe6 c2 18.f8Q c1Q excelsior) 14...Sf8 15.Kxf8 c3 16.Sh3 c2 17.Sf4+ Ke4 18.Se2 Kd3 19.Sc1+ Kd2 20.Sa2 c1Q 21.Sxc1 wins.


The highlight of this study is the move 5.Kf5. Doré (#73746) has similar play, but without that move.


Commendation: #6 (a3e5) 1.5 points


1.Kb2 d2 2.Kc2 Bd3+ 3.Kd1! (Try: 3.Kxd2? h2 4.Bc6 Be4 5.Bd6+ Kd4 6.Bc5+ Ke5 7.Bd6+ Kd4 8.Bxe4 h1Q 9.Bxh1 stalemate) 3...h2 4.Bc6 Be4 5.Bd6+! Kxd6 6.Bxe4 Kc5 7.Kxd2 Kb4 8.Kc2 wins.


The beautiful mid board ideal mirror stalemate, which is known from Zhuravlev & Egorov (#7524), was implemented as a try here. I appreciate the authors effort to rework this idea into a win endgame study, but as all play is fully anticipated, a commendation is the maximum reward.


Dr. Harold van der Heijden, International judge (and FM) for endgames studies, Deventer, the Netherlands, 9ix2013.