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1.Kxd3? Kg7 draws. 1.Sf4+ Kg7 2.Sxg6 Sc5+/i 3.Kd5 Kxh7 4.Bc2/ii Sb7/iii
5.Se5+ Kg7 6.Sc6 Kf7 7.Ba4/iv Kf8 (Ke8;Sa5+) 8.Bb5 Ke8 (Kf7;Ba6) 9.Sa5+ and 10.Sxb7 wins.
i) Kxh7 3.Sf8+ Kg7 4.Se6+ and 5.Kxd3. Similarly after Sf2+ 3.Kf3 Kxh7.
ii) 4.Sf8+? Kg7, and bSc5 covers e6.
iii) The win after Sa6; is somewhat tiresome, but good technique will serve. Here is one line: 5.Kd6 Sb4 6.Bb1 Kg7 7.Se5 (also Sg4) Kf8 -- and from this point duals, many of a time-wasting character, are ignored -- 8.Sd7+ Ke8 9.Sc5 Kd8 10.Bf5 Ke8 11.Se6 (for Bg6 mate) Kf7 12.Bb1 Kf6 13.Sc7 K- 14.Kc5.
iv) Ambush! 7.Bf5? Ke8 8.Bc8 Sd8 draw.
The diagram battery of wB and (always the same) wS re-forms to open up on two further, parallel, diagonals.
My memory tells me little about how this was composed. In the spring of 1954, having taken
my degree examination in Dublin in the middle of the previous year, I started my first job
in the City of London. From then until 1961 my address was the boarding-house at 12
Lyndhurst Gardens, Belsize Park – a north-west suburb. So either I responded to the
announcement of the formal international tourney of the New Statesman & Nation or
the study arose is some other way, but it did not have an over-the-board origin. I do
remember being pleased with the ‘heraldic’ diagonal setting of all seven men on
light squares. This setting was the last of maybe dozens.
Information that I can vouch for – tedious as it is – is that the announcement
was in ASSIAC's column 250 dated July 17, 1954, that there were to be four prizes of four,
three, two guineas and one guinea (a guinea was 21 shillings), and that the (extended)
closing date was November 1st 1954. The provisional award (not identified as such), judged
by ASSIAC himself, was published in his column of December 18, 1954. First prize went to
Halberstadt, second to Herberg, third to Roycroft. But Herberg's effort proved to have a
serious dual allowing my own to move up one place.
2nd Prize, Thèmes 64 TT, 1958
Draw: (b) remove wPh6
(a): If 1.g8Q? Kc1+ 2.Qg7 Bb2 3.Qxb2+ axb2 4.Kg7 b1Q 5.h8Q,
and a series of staircase checks will take bQ to f7 to administer checkmate.
1.g8R Kc1+ 2.Rg7, and there is no way for Black to make progress. Draw.
(b): 1.g8R? Kc1+ 2.Rg7 Bb1 3.Kg8 Bxg7 4.Kxg7 Bxh7 wins,
as White is now bereft of pawns.
1.g8Q Kc1+ 2.Qg7 Bb2 3.Qxb2+ axb2 4.Kg7 b1Q 5.h8Q,
and draws because h6 provides the necessary flight-square to rule out the checkmate in (a).
As in all good twins, try and key are reversed.
My only 'twin' study. Like the next one it was 'hanging around' when I happened to be in
Paris and one morning dropped in on the Librarie Guisle (15 rue St Jacques). Sitting at a
chessboard was Vitaly Halberstadt. We got talking. When he said there was a current
thematic tourney of Thèmes-64 for twins I took him by surprise by instantly showing him
this. He appeared delighted.
EG, July 1965
1.Bg7 Kb1/i 2.Sf6/ii b4 3.Kxb4 Kb2 4.Bh8/iii Sc2+ 5.Ka4 Kxc3 6.Se4 mate!
i) White must now meet the renewed threat-- b4 3.Kxb4 Sd5+ -- to wR. Ka2 2.Sf6.
ii) Covering the d5 square. Not 2.Ra3? Sc2 and 3...Bxh7. Nor 2.Kxb5? Sd1 3.Ra3 c3+ 4.Kb4 Bxh7 drawing.
iii) There is no other waiting move. 4.Rxd3? cxd3 5.Sg4+ Kc1 6.Sxe3 (or Bh6) d2 draws.
This study was 'sitting around' for a while waiting for a suitable tourney 'target'. Then I
thought, 'Why not start EG with an original, even though the magazine's purpose was to
gather together awards that have been already published?'
The position before 4.Bh8! is prominent on the cover of my first book, Test Tube
Chess (1972). On my only meeting with M. M. Botvinnik, which was in London, I presented
him with a copy. He looked at the cover diagram for 30 seconds before indicating that he
had seen the move, commenting 'very nice'.
4th Prize, Golden Fleece Tourney (Georgia), 1965
At a material disadvantage and threatened with checkmate, White must proceed with checks.
1.Be4+ Qd5/i 2.Rg6+ Rd6 3.Rxd6+/ii Kxd6 4.Sd3+ Ke6/iii 5.Sf4+ Ke5 6.Bxd5/iv Rh7/v 7.Bg8 Rh6+ 8.K- Kxf4 9.Bd2+ and 10.Bxh6.
i) Rd5 2.Rxg8. Or Kd6 2.Sd7+ Ke6 3.Re7 mate.
ii) I hope this comes as a surprise!
iii) Kc6 5.Se5 mate. A pinned mate was the set theme of the WCCT at the time, but I noted in EG90 that Britain chose not to enter for this section.
iv) 6.Sxd5? Rd7 (Rc4? Bf3) 7.Sc3(Sb6) Rd4 draw.
v) Let's list alternatives: Kxf4 7.Bd6+. Rg7 7.Bc3+. Rc1 7.Sd3+. Rh4 7.Sg6+. Rc2 7.Bb3 Rb2, when wS or wB can fork.
Finally, Rd7 7.Bc6, and Rd4 8.Bc3, or Rc7 8.Bb5 Kxf4 9.Bd6+.
An excellent test of dedication to the endgame is willingness to get to grips with, and to
enjoy, practice with the winning pawnless 6-man endgame two bishops and knight against
rook (the GBR 'class' 0321.00). That this material has small 'practical' value is,
to the likes of us, a matter of indifference.
Chess in Israel, March 1999
The white king is in check. 1.Kg6 Kg3/i 2.Kh5/ii Kh3 3.Rc7/iii Bd2 4.Rd7 Bf4 (Be3;Rd3) 5.Rg7 Bd5/iv 6.Rxg5/v Bf7+ 7.Rg6 (Kh6? Be8;) Kh2 8.Kg4 draw.
i) g4 2.Kh5/vi g3 (Kf3;Rxg4) 3.Rc7 Bd2 4.Rc2, with three sub-variations: Bf7+ 5.Kh4, or Bc4 5.Rxc4/vii g2 6.Rg4, or Ke2 5.Rxa2 g2 6.Ra1 Be1 7.Ra2+ Bd2 8.Ra1.
ii) 2.Kf5? Bb1+. 2.Ra7? Bd5.
iii) Thematic try: 3.Rxg5? Bf7+ and 4.Kh6 Be8 (Kh4; Kg7) or 4.Rg6 Kh2. This tactic was already in a 1932 study by Mattison, but that was a win while here we have a draw.
iv) g4 6.Rxg4 Bf7+ 7.Rg6 transposes.
v) Now that the 'Vorplan' has coaxed the dark bishop onto f4, the move Rg7 succeeds.
vi) 2.Kf5? g3 wins, 3.Rc7 Bd2 4.Rc2 Bb1.
vii) 5.Rxd2+? Be2+ 6.Kh4 g2 wins.
The natural position, paucity of captures, every man moving at least once, use of the
8-by-8 board, 'Vorplan' with thematic try, no significant anticipation, and the rarity of
a lone wR drawing against the bishop pair supporting a gP, were not enough to impress Noam
Manella and Hillel Aloni, judges of the Israel Ring Tourney of 1998-1999.