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Benko’s Bafflers


Most of the time these studies resemble positions that could actu- ally occur over the board. You must simply reach a theoretically won or drawn position for White. Solutions can be found on page


71. Please e-mail submissions for Benko’s Bafflers to: pbenko@uschess.org


Problem I O. Pervakov


Harold van der Heijden 50 JT, 2010


-+-+-+-+ +-+-+-+- -+-+-+-tr +-trk+-+- -mK-+R+-+ +-+-+-+- p+-+-tR-+ +-vL-+-sN- White to play and win


-+-+-+-+ tR-+-+-+- -+-+-+-+ +-+-+-+r -+-+-+k+ +-+-mK-+- -+-+P+-+ +-+-+-+-


White to play


1. Ke4 Kg3 Both 1. ... Rh8 and 1. ... Rg5 are playable.


2. Re7 Ra5 3. e3 Kg4?? The losing move as the black king gets


pushed to the side of the board. Either 3. ... Rc5, 3. ... Rg5 or even 3. ... Rh5 are good, but 3. ... Rb5? would lose to 4. Rg7+ Kf2 5. Kf4 Rb8 6. Rf7 Rb3 7. Kg4+ Kxe3 8. Rf3+. Computers are required for such finesses.


4. Rg7+ Kh5 5. Kf4 Ra8 6. e4 Kh6 7. Rg1 Kh7 8. Kf5 Ra7


After 8. ... Rf8+ 9. Ke6 Re8+ 10. Kf7 wins.


9. e5 Ra2 10. Kf6 Rf2+ 11. Ke7 Ra2 12. e6 Re2 13. Kf7 Rf2+ 14. Ke8 Ra2 15. e7 Rd2 16. Rg4, Black resigned.


Since he sees the “Lucena position”


16. ... Rd1 17. Kf7 Rf1+ 18. Ke6 Re1+ 19. Kf6 Rf1+ 20. Ke5 and the coming win.


Zugzwang GM Gedeon Barcza Hans-Joachim Hecht Budapest, 1962


(see diagram top of next column)


Here 52. Kf3 would be winning but it is Black’s turn. 51. ... Ne3


This is OK since 52. h4 meets 52. ... Nf5+ but 51. ... Kc3 was simpler.


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-+-+-+-+ +-+-+-+N -+-+-+-+ +-+n+-+- -+-+-+-+ +-+-+-mK- -mk-+-+-zP +-+-+-+-


Black to play


52. Kf3 Nf5 53. Nf8 Kc3 54. Kf4 Nh4 55. Kg3 Nf5+ 56. Kg4 Ne3+ 57. Kg5 Kd4


Again, simpler and better was 57. ... Ng2 58. Ne6 Kc4, etc.


58. h4 Ke5 59. h5 Nf5 60. Ng6+ Ke6 61. Nf4+ Ke5? 62. Nd3+ Ke6 63. Nf2 Ke5 64. Ng4+! Ke6


After 64. ... Ke4, 65. Ne3 would quickly


win. 65. Kg6 Nh4+ 66. Kg7 Nf5+ 67. Kf8! Kd6


Mutual Zugzwang. If 67. ... Kd5, then again 68. Ne3+! would win.


68. Kf7 Kd7 69. Kf6 Ne7 70. Ne3 Kd6 71. Kf7 Nc6 72. Nc4+ Kd7 73. h6 Nd8+ 74. Kf6 Black resigned.


An Exchange Up GM Jan Hein Donner GM Gedeon Barcza Budapest, 1967


(see diagram top of next column) 53. g4+? White feared the g5-g4 breakthrough.


But, as we will see later, this fear was unfounded. Now Black wins with long, accurate, and instructive play.


53. ... fxg3 e.p. 54. Bxg3 Rxa5 55. Bc7 Ra2 56. Bg3 Ke6 57. Bc7 Rc2 58. Bb8 Kd5 59. Ba7 Ke5 60. Bb8+ Kd4 61. Ba7+ Kd3 62. Bb6 Ke2 63. Kg2 Rc8 64. h4 gxh4 65. f4 Rc4 66. f5


Problem II R. Becker


Harold van der Heijden 50 JT, 2010


-+-+-+-+ +-+-+-+p -+-+-+-+ +-+-+-+l -zpR+-+-+ +-zp-+-+K -+-+-+-+ +-+-+-+k White to play and draw


-+-+-+-+ +-vL-+-+- -+-+-+-+ zP-+-+kzpp -+-+-zp-+ +-+-+P+P r+-+-+P+ +-+-+-mK-


White to play


Rf4 67. Kh3 Kf3 68. Bc7 Rxf5 69. Kxh4 Ke4 70. Bd8 Rb5 71. Bc7 Kf5 72. Bd6 Kg6 73. Bc7 Rb4+ 74. Kh3 Rg4 75. Bd6 Kf5 76. Bc7 Ke4 77. Bd6 Kf3 78. Bc7 Rg1 79. Kh2 Rc1 80. Bb8 Kg4 81. Be5 Rc2+ 82. Kh1 Kh3 83. Kg1 Rc5 84. Bb8 Rg5+ 85. Kf1 Rg4!, White resigned.


It is useful to be aware of the fact that


the position is drawn if the pawn is on h4. Turn back to the above diagram, the


right defensive method could have been: 53. Kf1 Ra3 Now after 53. ... g4 54. hxg4+ hxg4 55.


g3! fxg3 56. Bxg3 gxf3 57. Bc7 the posi- tion is a theoretical draw.


54. Bb6 g4 55. hxg4+ hxg4 56. fxg4+ Kxg4 57. Bf2 Rxa5


GM Barcza proved that this position cannot be won.


58. Ke1 Not 58. Be1?


58. ... Ra1+ 59. Ke2 Rc1 If 59. ... Rh1 then 60. Be1!


60. Kd2! Rh1 61. Ke2 Rh2 62. Kf1 f3 63. Kg1!! Rxg2+ 64. Kf1


And again the so-called “del Rio posi-


tion” draw appears. This endgame, a valuable addition to endgame theory, was later confirmed by computer.


. Chess Life — February 2012 49


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