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Study the studies day 4: Making the unusual usual!

by Sagar Shah - 01/06/2017

What is an unusual idea for us may not be unusual for guys like Anand, Carlsen, Karjakin and these super GMs. The reason is that they have trained themselves to looks for unusual resources right from a very young age! Hence, what looks brilliant to an untrained eye might be quite normal to a trained one! Today we bring to you a study that it is simple but not easy! The answer might come as a surprise today, but if you keep solving such problems then one fine day the unusual will become usual!

Study the studies day 4

Some studies are all about calculation. But some are about imagination. When we talk about positions that involve imagination then calculating will not take you near the answer. You need to think about the different setups that you can reach after a few moves and try to juggle the different possibilities in your head. Once something starts making sense, you start looking at concrete moves. Is it all too confusing? Well, let our position for the day do the explaining!


Composer unknown


As always we urge you to try finding the solution rather than just looking at the answer. If you want to become stronger you will have to make your brain work! So try it out and only then have a look at the solution below.


Black pawn duo are too much for the white bishop duo! Hence white must use tricks to draw this position. When you see the position of white king, the first thing that must strike your mind is the possibility of stalemate. Now if black were to play gh2 then white will get to move his g2 pawn and then stalemate possibilities won't remain. Hence the first and the most obvious move has to be 1.Bg1

Now time for some calculation. If 1...Kxb1 then 2.Bd4 a2 3.Bxb2 Kxb2 and it's a stalemate! So the Bishop on b1 cannot be taken. That leaves us with only one move. 1...a2


Black has just pushed his pawn to a2. what should White do?

Now the threat is axb1=Q and hence we will have to move the bishop. Let's choose a random square say 2.Be4 now 2...b1=Q 3.Bd4+ Qb2 and if now queen is taken then the 'a' pawn will queen and White will not be stalemated because he will be left with a B on e4. So it's for sure that we are going to be left with a light squared Bishop. How can we incapacitate it? It's only after such thoughts cross your mind that you come to the conclusion of 2.Bh7!! b1=Q 3.Bd4+ Qb2 and now for the grand finale stroke....

You got this, right? What's the final move that ends this study? White to play.

4.Bh8!! Black has nothing better than 4...Qxh8 and yes, you guessed it right! It's a stalemate!

Replay the solution on the board:

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.06.01"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Day four study"]
[Black "?"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/8/8/6p1/5pP1/p4PpK/1p4PB/kB6 w - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "8"]
{[#]} 1. Bg1 a2 $1 (1... Kxb1 2. Bd4 a2 3. Bxb2 $11) 2. Bh7 $1 b1=Q 3. Bd4+ Qb2
4. Bh8 $3 Qxh8 {No variations required. This was quite self explanatory!} *



I think the toughest part of this problem was the move or rather the idea of Bh7!! Well one thing is certain if you solve such studies, you can definitely become more resourceful in your games and unusual ideas like these won't seem unusual any more!

Related articles:

Study the studies day 1: Give him an offer he can't refuse!

Study the studies day 2: Know your mating patterns

Study the studies day 3: Shutting the door

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