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MatPlus.Net Forum Endgame studies Underpromotion studies that should have happened on OTB
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(1) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Aug 4, 2007 23:20]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [07-08-05]

Underpromotion studies that should have happened on OTB

Can anyone think of a more natural example of a study with underpromotion than the greatest masterpiece that ever has (not) happened on board?*

* Of course the SECOND greatest masterpiece, after Yarosh's Babson in March 1983

(= 2+2 )

Georges Emile Barbier
Correction by Rev. Fernando Saavedra
Glasgow Weekly Citizen, May 4th 1895
Version by Emanuel (Berthold?) Lasker 1902 (?)

1.c6-c7 leads to a miracle:
1...Rd5-d6+ 2.Kb6-b5 Rd6-d5+ 3.Kb5-b4 Rd5-d4+ 4.Kb4-b/c3 Rd4-d3+/d1 5.Kb/c3-c2 Rd3/1-d4!!

(= 2+2 )

6.c7-c8R!! Rd4-a4! 7.Kc2-b3! wins


(= 4+3 )

Alexander Hildebrand
Dr. György Páros and Jindrich Fritz MT, UV CSTV 1985, commendation

1.h5-h6+ Kg7-g8! 2.h6-h7+ Kg8-g7 3.h7-h8Q/B+ Kg7xh8 4.g6xf7 Re1-f1 5.Rg3-g8+ Kh8-h7

(= 3+2 )

6.f7-f8R! wins


(= 3+3 )

P. Joitsa
Revista de Romana de Sah 1955,
a) diagram
b) Pa5->h5

a) 1.a5-a6 h4-h3 2.a6-a7 h3-h2 3.a7-a8B! wins
b) 1.h5-h6 h4-h3 2.h6-h7 h3-h2 3.h7-h8R! wins


(= 6+6 )

Siegfried Hornecker
Probleemblad, January-February 2006

1.e5-e6! Sg3-f5+! 2.Kg7-g8 Rh3xf3 3.e6xf7!! Sf5-h6+ 4.g5xf6 Rf2xf6 5.h6-h7 Ra7xf7! 6.Be4xg6+!! Kh5xg6

(= 2+3 )

7.h7-h8S+ (etc.) draws


These are only five of a possible million (or at least some thousand) positions. So why do underpromotions almost never occur in OTB chess?

The most recent example I know is:

(= 4+8 )

Wladimir Baklan - H. Pham Minh, Capelle la Grande 2004
Position after 49.Rc7-d7!?

It's hard not to win this with black (to move) but after 49...c1Q it would be the case. Black won with 49...c1B! 50.Qxc1 Qe5+ 51.Kg1 Qg3+ 52.Kf1 Bd3+ and white gave up.

Well, almost everything would have won but black chose the way into literature about chess curiosities. Well done!

PS: Of course there is the other case: Underpromotions in OTB that should have happened in a study:

(= 6+5 )

Reshko - Kaminski
White to move

1.a8B! Qb3 2.Qd7 Qg8 3.Bd5, 1-0
Black overstepped time but was lost anyway.

(= 7+5 )

Sokolski - Ravinski
USSR 1933 or 1938

66.a8B!! and white won

There are no other informations about this available. Tim Krabbé analysed it for his beautiful book "Chess Curiosities" and came to the conclusion (if I remember correctly) that the position is won and 66.a8B was the only winning move. However, if anyone has additional information on this game, feel free to send it!

The following analysis (with some comments of mine) comes from his book (however, german notation so remember: Q=D R=T B=L)

A) 66...Tc8 67.Le4 Lc6 68.Lxc6! (ab hier gefunden von Cortlever) 68...Ta8! 69.La4 Te8 70.Ka3!! Ta8 71.Te6!! fxe6 72.Kb4 Kf7 73.Lc6 Tb8+ 74.Kc5 und Weiß gewinnt einfach, da 74...Txb3 an 75.Le8+ scheitert!

B) 66...Kh5 67.Le4 Txh6 68.Ka3! Th5 69.Tb8 Te5 70.Lc6 und Gewinn (Cortlever). Tim Krabbé weist hier auf 68.Tb8 Txf6 69.Txe8+ hin, aber die Analyse Cortlevers ist überzeugender.

C) 66...Tc7 67.Ld5 Ld7 68.Td6 Le8 69.Lxf7+ Kxf7 70.Td8, und Gewinn, da die Drohung 71.Txe8 nicht vernünftig abzuwehren ist.

D) 66...Tc8 (Ich gebe die nun folgende Variante nur an, weil sie in Krabbés Buch steht, da Variante A ebenfalls zum Gewinn führt.) 67.Ld5 Td8 68.Lc4 Tc8 69.Tb7 Td8 70.Te7, und der weiße König rückt zur Exekution des schwarzen Turmes an, wonach Weiß leicht gewinnt.

E) 66...Te5! (mit der Idee 67.Td6 Lc6 68.Td8+ Le8 69.Td2 Lc6 70.Lb7 Te8 71.La6 Lb7 72.Lxb7 Te2 73.Txe2 Patt) 67.Lf3!! Tf5 68.Le4 Te5 69.Ld3 Lb5 70.Lc4 Lxc4 71.Tb8+ nebst matt.

(Read Only)pid=1217
(2) Posted by Mihail Croitor [Thursday, Oct 11, 2007 12:14]

about underpromotions: i have a little study, not so dificult, but i like it:

(= 6+4 )
Nona 2006, Comm., win
For win Whites need to be very active:
1.d6! Rxe4!
(= 5+4 )

Shure, taking a pawn by Blacks is equal with 0 points on tournament table.
No 2.Bxe4 cxd6 =; 2.dxc7 Re8 3.c8=Q+ Rxc8 4.Bxc8 =; 2.d7 Rd4 =
2...Kxd5 3.d7
(= 4+4 )

Game over?! No, Brunet has some ideas...
4... Rc4+ 4.Kb3 Rb4+! 5.Kxb4 Kc6
Look here! Black man founded a hole for him! Now changing white pawn at Queen or Rook get a pat! underpromotion at Bishop get a whell known positional draw...

this study we can compare with next study:

(= 5+4 )

Brieger R., 1958, win

1. Bd7 Bxd7 2. exd7 Kc6! 3. d8=N+! (3. d8=Q $2) 3... Kd7 4. Nb7 Kc6 5. Kc4
Kd7 6. Kc5 Kc8 7. Kc6 Kb8 8. Nc5 Ka8 9. Ne6 Kb8 10. Nxc7 Kc8 11. Nd5 Kb8 12.
Nb6 axb6 13. axb6 1-0
for all that or Brieger's study had into solution only 3 moves, or this study is with cooks (by example, wins also 4.Nf7)
(Read Only)pid=1537
(3) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Thursday, Oct 11, 2007 12:53]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [07-10-11]

It may be possible, Brieger gave this as analyses to prove the white win and the editor thought, it would belong to the solution.

Yes, I noticed your study (of course) when looking through 2006 NONA award but it wasn't that impressive to me (just a standard knight promotion with good intro).

Speaking about my favourite underpromotions study (except the Savvedra), I'd take either Costeff's 3/4 Babson or Liburkin's three underpromotion study which leaves a deep impression by sacrifice of all promoted pieces.

(= 11+3 )

Mark S. Liburkin
Vechernyaya Moskva 1932 (version), 1st prize
White to move and win

Maybe the best Allumwandlung still is Chéron's.

(= 13+8 )

André Chéron
Courier de Leysin, 1957 (version)
White to move and win

Of my own studies, I like the following one since it has some paradox in 7.f7:
(= 5+4 )

Siegfried Hornecker
Schach 2005 (position after the 4th move)
White to move and win
5.Be8! Rf7! 6.Kg3!! Rf8 7.f7! Rxf7 8.d6 Rf8 9.d7 Rxe8! 10.dxe8R! wins

@Mihail Croitor: As good as yours, I think. Not worse, not better.
(Ok, the intro makes it worse so I cut it off here)
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(4) Posted by Mihail Croitor [Thursday, Oct 11, 2007 14:27]

Liburkin's study always goes with Korolkov's study:

(= 12+6 )
Korolkov V., 1Pr, 1929

such as me one of memorable studies with underpromotions was composed by Pogosiantz, where both sides at very naturally positions underpromote pawns at knights! it was!...
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(5) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Thursday, Oct 11, 2007 16:52]

I found two studies that could fit the description with "very natural", else five (the very natural in order of probability):

(= 3+4 )

Ernest Levonovich Pogosyants
Shakhmaty Moskva 1964, 1st prize
White to move and win
1.Kf6 Kh6 2.d6 Se8+! 3.Bxe8 e3 4.d7! e2 5.d8S! e1S! 6.Sc6 Sf3 7.Se7 Sh4 8.Sg8#

(= 4+5 )

Ernest Pogosyants
Komsomolets Udmurti 1978
White to move and win
1.Sf6+ Kh4 2.f8S! h1S+! 3.Kg1 Sg3 4.Sxg6#
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(6) Posted by Mihail Croitor [Thursday, Oct 11, 2007 17:03]

its "very natural" order :) i told about first endgame.
(Read Only)pid=1541

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MatPlus.Net Forum Endgame studies Underpromotion studies that should have happened on OTB