Wednesday 25 September 2013

Leonid Kubbel´s study

This is the initial position of Leonid Kubbel´s study from 1925.
He was very popular studies composer, born in Leningrad in 1892, and for those who enjoy to solve chess studies, his name is not unknown.
However, when I tried to solve this study together with some guy who loves islands, we experienced unexpected problems.
It is the reason why I want to go through this study with readers, step by step.
I do not need to repeat how big effect on one´s development in chess has solving of chess studies.

The task in this study is to win the position with White pieces, and White is on move.
By u pure logic we can conclude that the only two winning ideas for White is to:

  •  promote his pawn on d8 and win the rook
  •  or to fork the king and the rook
Black has also his defencive resources:

  • By playing on mate, he can achieve perpetual check
  • he can  simply win the pawn on d7, and even if he lose his pawns on the king side the position is still a draw.
For every position we need to apply the right thinking technique, but for the sake of solving this study I will keep things simple and use the method of elimination.
The knight is under attack and it must move:

1. Nf6?, Rd8
2. Ng4!? The only trick now is if Black take on d7.
2...Kd4 ...and Black is probably winning.

1. Ne7 This is the better try
1...Kc5 Not 1...Rd8?? 2. Nc6, Rxd7 3. Ne5+ +-.
2. Nc8, Ra1+

....and Black will repeat the checks till the moment when he can transfer his rook on the d file.
White should remain calm and take the perpetual. Other drawing line is:

3. Kd2, Ra2+
4. Kd3, Ra1 =

By this method, we came to the conclusion that the only winning move is:

1. Nh6!
1... Kd3 If 1...Rd8? 2. Nf7, Rxd7 3. Ne5+ +-
So Black plays for a mate.

2. f3!
2...Ke3 Black keeps his mate threat and we reach the following position:

In this position White has very nice dance with his knight.

3. Nf5+, Kd3
4. Ne7, Ke3
5. Nd5+, Kd3
6. Nc7 ....and now
7. Ne6, Rxd7
8. Nc5+ +-

One look at the second part of the book, and the solution is right. Everything is done very well, and we can feel us very happy....

"Everything that is nice in chess, is usually wrong" GM Stellan Brynell

The very first mistake which we done was that we tried to solve this study with a method of elimination.
The task was to win with White pieces, and by this method we quickly eliminated the continuations which clearly leads to a draw, and then we tried to make this variation with
1. Nh6 work for us.

Let´s look at the position after second move of White:

 Is 2...Ke3 the only move that can renew the mate threat?


Well, there is a very nice tactics here!
Black tries with Ra1+ and g3#.

3. fxg4 If 3. Nxg4, Kd4 and d pawn will soon fall.
3...Ke3 Only now!
4. Nf5+, Ke4!

This is the difference. Black has e4 square on his disposal, and this detail saves a day for him!

As a matter of fact, Mr. de Verdier and I found this hole in the study, and I checked it with the computer.
A silicone brain, showed that there are more holes in this study, so in my database I decided to save it with a name Swiss cheese.

According to computer g4 can be played (in the variation with red colour which is the solution according to Leonid Kubbel) on move:

1...g4!  The point is that Black has perpetual, or if
2. Nf7, Ra1+
3. Kd2, Ra2+
4, Kd1, Ra1+
5. Kc2, Ra2+
6. Kb1, Ra8

It is possible to win the rook but due to activity of the king, variation ends with a draw.

7. d8Q, Rxd8
8. Nxd8, Kd3!

It is very important to notice that the move is the same as in the de Verdier´s  and my solution g5-g4 but the idea of it is completely different.

If by any chance you missed the chance to achieve a draw in the first move, and in the second move, there is still a chance on move number four:

4...g4!! The last chance
5. fxg4, Ke3
6. Sd5+, Ke4! The only move!
7. Nc7

Now there is only one drawing move, and not an easy one:


8. Ne6, f3!

Now is rather easy to calculate that White will win the rook but all his pawn will vanish.

For those of you that reached the end of this article, and still are very interested in position, there are one additional thing.
In the variation which begins with 1. Ne7 there is an alternative way to make a draw:
2. f3
...and as you can guess 2...g4! =.

The conclusion

Besides the chess value of this study (which is not so great) and especially the analysis which I made, there is one very important thing which has to be mentioned, for chess trainers and the players who works on their development.
The predetermined task in chess exercises leads to overuse of method of elimination:
" If this and this does not works, then it must be this move".
During the game we do not know if anything works in some positions and we can not use this method to often (Still there are some position when this method is the right one).
By solving the exercises by this method we are in danger to lose the positive effects of the training.
The method of elimination has to be used only when it is said so in the introduction of the position or if your trainer said you to use it.

1 comment:

  1. hello sir , i love solving studies and games with lots of varitions
    can you refer some content for it
    reach me over g mail @