Saturday, September 18, 2010

More on Czerniak and Endgame Studies

A previous post about Moshe Czerniak's study prompted the following email from Yochanan Afek:
This is undoubtedly the only study Czerniak ever composed. He himself showed it to me once and noted it is his only composition. In Harold van der Hiejden's database of over 70,000 studies, there are both the original and the corrected versions. You gave the corrected version. Both appeared the same year [1932] in the same Polish magazine [Swiat Szachowy]. ... Czerniak composed only one study but was a enthusiastic fan of the art [an impression easily confirmed by others who were "Czerniak's boys" -- A.P.]. Not only would he would routinely include studies in his lectures in Bikurey Ha'itim chess club, but also publish them (mostly miniatures) every week in his chess column in Ha'aretz
Afek adds an interesting observation:
Van der Heijden's database includes another item by Czerniak. It might be thought to be a study jointly composed by him and Mijo Udovcic [Afek adds in another email that Udovcic was the fist Croatian to win the GM title, in 1962 according to Jeremy Gaige's Chess Personalia: a Biobibliography - A.P.]. But in reality the position is exactly the same as the final position in the 1969 Zagreb international tournament and the 'study' is probably the result of the post-mortem analysis. 
Actually the final position of the (drawn) game is subtly, but importantly, different than the study's initial position (Afek was using the term "exactly" slightly loosely...), but Afek is surely correct that it is a post-mortem analysis, considering "what would have been" had Black played differently and his king had been farther away from the g-file.

Czeriak, Moshe -- Udovcic, Mijo
Zagreb International Tournament, Zagreb, Yugoslavia , 9.18.1969 (Round 10), B70

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.g3 Bd7 7.Bg2 g6 8.b3 Bg7 9.Bb2 0–0 10.0–0 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Qa5 12.Nd1 Rac8 13.Qd3 Qh5 14.f3 Rfd8 15.Ne3 Qc5 16.Bd4 Qa5 17.Rf2 b5 18.f4 Bc6 19.Nd5 Bxd5 20.exd5 Ng4 21.Re2 Qb4 22.Rd1 Bxd4+ 23.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 24.Rxd4 Rc3 25.Rxe7 Rxc2 26.h3 Kf8 27.Rde4 Nf6 28.Re2 Rxe2 29.Rxe2 Rc8 30.Kf2 Rc5 31.Rd2 Rc3 32.Bf3 Nd7 33.Ke2 Nc5 34.g4 a5 35.g5 Kg7 36.Bg4 h6 37.h4 f6 38.Bf3 b4 39.Rd4 Rc2+ 40.Rd2 Rc1 41.Kf2 fxg5 42.fxg5 hxg5 43.hxg5 Nd7 44.Ke3 Ne5 45.Be4 Nf7 46.Rg2 Rh1 47.Kf4 Rh3 48.Bf3 Ne5 49.Be4 Rh4+ 50.Ke3 Nf7 51.Bf3 Ne5 52.Be4 Rg4 53.Rxg4 Nxg4+ 54.Kd4 Ne5 55.Ke3 Kf7 56.Kf4 Ke7 Drawn.

The final position:  

And now, the study's initial position:

Could White win with a piece sacrifice, trying to queen an advanced pawn against a lone knight, taking advantage of the Black king's "offside" position (in the study)? It turns out that Black has an amazing "knight-tour"-like defense. 

Solution (highlight to view):

1.Bxg6 Nxg6+ 2.Kf5 Nh4+ 3.Kg4 Ng2 4.Kf3 Ne1+ 5.Ke2 Nc2 6.Kd3 Ne1+ 7.Ke2 Ng2 8.Kf3 Nh4+ 9.Kg4 Ng6 10.Kf5 ½–½

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