This Puzzle Will Blow Your Mind

Puzzle FEN:
1b6/4P3/1P2PN2/8/8/P1k5/P1p2P2/K5B1 w – – 0 1

Puzzle Details:
1st Prize
M. Liburkin, 1933

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  1. Intricate!
    At 6:07 instead of b7 white plays Nf6. If Be5 then Ng4 followed by f6 unless of course black plays Bd4. But then at least somebody wins!

  2. @6:29 You covered pawn moves, but what about Nf6 with Ng4 idea? You're just going to advance to f6 if black tries Be5 -> Bg7/Bh8

    EXCEPT Bd4. The knight can't take the bishop and there's no other defense.

    A significant omission in the analysis, I think.

  3. 4:39 I think white can promote to a queen because after black king moves comes bishop d4. If bishop takes knight takes king takes king b2 black king wont be able to save pawn in time because of white queen. Where have I missseen it?

  4. I was proud of getting the knight underpromotion right

  5. After Nc1, Ke4 doesn't help black because of Nd6+ which clears the path for the e-pawn with tempo, allowing Kb2. Black now only has time to capture the f-pawn before e7 forces the bishop off the diagonal that was preventing b8=Q.

    Stockfish, however, offers Kd2 instead, which seems to be an interesting line in it's own right…

  6. Lot of old studies appear to be wrong with the computers now….

  7. It's been a minute since the last Mark Liburkin puzzle…😁😁

    I can't get enough of puzzles where you can't queen a pawn because the octo-directional nature of queen moves can cut off so many potential escape squares for the enemy king and create stalemate positions. I felt like the easiest moves to figure out were Ne4+, b8(B) and e8(R), the latter 2 due to what I just mentioned in terms of queening a pawn leading to stalemate.


  9. Now people can understand that less pieces on the board does not mean it’s necessarily simple. Sometimes they are more complicated than it looks on the surface.

  10. If you go with the flaw, why push the pawn too B8? you can immediately move the knight to C1 to push a check on the king. It leaves a few routes:

    1) If king moves back to C3 you are back to previous route.

    2)If king moves to d2, white moves king to b2, black moves bishop to e5 – check, white moves king to b3, black takes knight with king on c2, white moves knight to d6…

    2A)If black Moves king to get queen next turn this lets white get a queen first and thus will be first to check the black king. endgame black has queen and bishop vs queen, a knight and three pawns. White likely wins?
    2B) if black takes the knight with bishop on d6, white moves pawn e7. no way to stop white getting a queen as bishop can only go one way. black has queen and bishop vs. queen and two pawns. Black likely wins?

    3) Additionally if black king moves neither back to C3 or towards D2 but instead E4, white king moves to B2, if black moves bishop here, it is pointless, white king just takes black pawn, it makes no difference. So black king now has to take white pawn on F5. White moves pawn to E7, to keep up the chase, black king has to move to E6. So now we get into an inevitable white win, white moves knight to D6. If king takes pawn on E7, white gets a queen on B8 and knight prevents bishop from being able to take it, alternatively, if bishop takes knight on D6, white gets a queen on E8 and immediately places black king into check too.

    Maybe I am missing something?

  11. 4:40 you can play bishop to d4 because than you will trade and go to the pawn

  12. Just add more white pawns or have them better placed for it to work.

  13. 1. Nc1+, Ke4 2. Kb2, Kf5 3. Ng7+ Kf3 4. e7 Ke7 5. Nf5+ and from that point you can maneuver around into a check mate, if at any time that bishop leaves to check the king you just take the pawn and with two knights you can walk your pawns up the side. It’s a win for white.

    Edit: I’ve played it out 5 different ways and white always wins if they don’t blunder

  14. King to b2. Thats how white could have won at the end

  15. After Kd3 you immediately play Nc1 check. If they go back to C3 they are caught in original puzzle, if anywhere else you play Kd2 and get out of checkmate. Up a lot of material you should win. Probably still pretty tricky, though, since I think you will end up losing the Knight on C1.

  16. 10:57 Well, this is still a winning position for white with the following moves :
    -White needs to play the only move Kc1+
    -The black king goes to d2
    -White plays the move Kb2
    -So black checks white with Be5+
    -The white king moves to b3
    -Black takes the knight on c1
    -White plays the brilliant move Nc7
    -The black bishop has to take it
    -White plays e7
    This last move forces promotion, the black pawn will still promote too but this is not enough to stop white's avantage

  17. It's known that this study was originally unsound (Black could force a draw), but it's been fixed by the composer. The published correction is to add a white pawn on c4. Then at 11:58, 11.Nc1+ does win because the extra passed pawn makes all the difference, e.g. 11…Ke4 12.Kb2 Bd8 13.Kxc2 Kxf5 14.Kb3 Kxe6 tablebase win. The main variation with all the underpromotions is not affected.

  18. "Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting." _Anonymous

  19. I recently had this position:
    White Pawn a4
    White pawn b5
    White pawn d5
    White pawn e4
    White King a1
    Black Pawn a5
    Black pawn b6
    Black pawn d6
    Black pawn e5
    White Pawn h5
    Black pawn h6
    Black pawn h7
    Black king h8

    Nothing could happen :/

  20. The study 8/3PP3/8/P6p/b6p/6kP/2P2p2/5B1K by Ernest Pogosyants also features underpromotions to knight, bishop, and rook (unless IT'S flawed, too …)

    via: Andy Soltis, Chess To Enjoy

  21. 6:05 Bishop To D4 Knight Is Blocking Also Worked, Forces Bishop Trade

  22. 6:00 why would black NOT play …Bd4 to stay on diagonal. White's knight on b3 can't capture because it's needed to guard c1 from …c1=Q#. Right?

  23. From your requested position, the immediate Nc1+ gives white a winning advantage. If black goes for the Ke4 line, it loses by force, and if he goes for the recommended Kd2, the lines goes Kb2 .. Be5+. Kb3 .. Kxc1 then the brilliant Nc7.

    Following the top engine lines, both players get a queen, but if black makes a bad king move, white can force the queen trade and promote another queen to win the game. Fun analysis to look at

  24. …Kd3 was pretty unfortunate, and pretty clever too. The point is that Black wastes a move with …Be5 and …Bxb8 which is 2 moves, so Black plays …Kd3 first and Black directly takes …Bxb8 from h2, which is also 2 moves, except Black plonked in an extra …Kd3. Still, phenomenal study! This small king move doesn't make the study less beautiful! And I'm happy to report I got all the answers right when Nelson asked to pause the video (including the underpromotions!) Thanks for the amazing video Nelson!

  25. at time stamp 11:20 in that position White can play Nc1+ here. If black goes for the pawns with the king then White plays Nc7. Then Bishop takes Knight is met with pawn to e7 or king takes pawn is met with pawn b8=Q

  26. Once the pawn on f2 moves up, bishop can block check on d4. King cant take bc of night. Forces the bishop off the file. White can push pawns

  27. In the position you have at 12:36 after king d3 you don’t have to sacrifice your pawn on b7 or knight on e8 but instead play the move knight c1 first if e4 is played now it’s not a draw you play king b2 next if bishops e5 kxc2 after that if king takes kxf5 you have the move knc7 the bishop must capture other wise you promote the pawn on b7 and the king can’t take the pawn on e6 if bishop takes knight now you just play pawne7 and there’s no way to stop that from becoming a queen. So it wouldn’t be a draw if he went after the pawns and you don’t sac you pawn and knight but if instead after they play king d3 you play knight c1 they play kd2 you play kb2 they check e5 king b3 kxc1 once you get hear u can play knc7 if they move they king out of the way to prepare to get a queen we get our firsts so they play bxc7 now e7 and they are one tempo behind on making a queen but if they ignore knight c1 and don’t capture with bishop and play king d1 it gets dicey and I don’t know who’s better because you push b8 promote to queen and then c1 they get a queen and both players have queens on the board so that’s what I got

  28. You can fix the flaw by adding a like two pawns

  29. Sir I had the best puzzle no one knows and my name is Rishi

  30. what if as a response to black playing bishop to g7, we play bishop to d4 forking the king and the bishop. so if the bishop captures ours, we take back with the knight

  31. Why does the black king do back to C3 instead of D2?

    Keep the check line open for your Bishop. If on D2 then the knight can go to B3 for check, king goes to A4

    Then what can white do? Let's say they get a queen the bishop d5 is mate
    The king moving dosnt help so the pawn blocking whites bishop must move allowing d4 to be double by knight and bishop

    Black wins

    So the only answer is the bishop going to C1 to be taken by the king allowing enough time for a white queen

    White can still win, but it is an interesting variation

  32. 12:48 maybe if we don't play pawn to b7 but knight to f6, then the king moves to d3, and then we put our knight on g4, we actually guard e5 so the bishop can't go there.

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