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Study the studies day 2: Know your mating patterns!

by Sagar Shah - 17/05/2017

The problem seen in most of the young players is that they do not think about the best possible move for their opponent. This situation is not so easy to resolve, after all we are so very used to thinking about ourselves everyday! But solving studies can help in reducing this issue. Because if you do not think about opponent's best defence, there is all the possibility in the world that you will be tricked. So be on your guard, Prokop is here to trick you with the position he composed in 1929!

Congratulations! You are now on day 2! it means that you tried to solve the study on day 1! So give your best today too! Your efforts won't be wasted!


Prokop, 1929

White to play and win

As always I recommend you to try solving this position. At first it seems daunting and you may thing it might not be worth the effort. But just immerse yourself slowly in the position. The best part about the series is that I share with you my thought process of solving such studies. As the famous trainer Jacob Aagaard rightly puts it, "The method is important. Finding the right answer is not."


Our good friend and reviewer Davide Nastasio asked on Facebook whether it is possible to put the solution in the next article so that people might not accidentally see the solution. Well, my logic is that once you have tried solving the position, you shouldn't have to wait for another two days to know the answer. So for all those who love to scroll, stop now, think and only then move ahead!


First we look at natural moves. Rxe4 and Rxe8 both captures lose to cxd2. Another move that may come to your mind is dxc3 but after d2, it is not so easy to stop the pawn from queening. Hence, it is forced to start of with 1.d7+! Kxd7 and now we take 2.Rxe4. The subtle point being that now 2...cxd2 gives us a simple win with 3.Rd4+, king moves and Rxd3 and White wins. Is it so simple? How about trying to help Black a little?

Black to play

A shrewd defender will note that Black has a small trick up his sleeve with 2...Bg6!! 3.Kxg6 cxd2. White is now forced to give a check with 4.Rd4 and now Ke8! I hope you had seen this defense where after 5.Rxd3 d1=Q 6.Rxd1, it's a stalemate! The important thing to do is back in the line and see where you could have altered. As Bg6 is a check, you have no option but to take the bishop and after cxd2 also you have to give Rd4+ But after Ke8 you some time. Instead of taking the pawn on d3 can you do something else?

It's time for white to show his brilliance! What will you do?

This is the most beautiful part of the study. Give yourself a pat if you found 5.Be7!! You need to really be alert for mating patterns if you have to find this move! Now if the black king takes the bishop on e7 then Rxd3 wins. So Black is forced to play 5...d1=Q and now after 6.Bg5!

Believe it or not! Nothing in this world can stop Rd8 check and mate! A grandiose solution, wouldn't you agree!

Go through the solution on our replayable board:

[Event " ts22"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1929.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Prokop, F."]
[Black "\[+0143.22h7c6\]"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "4b3/7K/2kPR3/8/4n3/B1pp4/3P4/8 w - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "11"]
[EventDate "1929.??.??"]
[SourceTitle "Studies 2000"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2000.10.30"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2000.10.30"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
1. d7+ $1 (1. dxc3 d2 $19) (1. Rxe4 cxd2 $19) (1. Rxe8 cxd2 $19) 1... Kxd7 2.
Rxe4 Bg6+ $1 (2... cxd2 3. Rd4+ Ke6 4. Rxd3 $18) 3. Kxg6 cxd2 4. Rd4+ Ke8 5.
Be7 $3 {The key point!} (5. Rxd3 $2 d1=Q 6. Rxd1 {Whattt?!! Stalemate!}) 5...
d1=Q 6. Bg5 $1 {A brilliant mating pattern.} 1-0



What I love about this study is the very clever defensive attempt by Black which you must anticipate and then the brilliant retort Be7!! forming the amazing mating pattern. All in all these six moves are so power-packed that they can make any solver feel really happy!


In case you are interested to work on improving your understanding of mating patterns, Daniel King is here to help!

Macro alias: EmbedProduct

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

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