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Hi all.....I just found this board and think it is an awesome idea!!!!! I've considered asking TMF to start a chess board, but didn't because, well, I'm lazy. And wasn't sure anybody would really take an interest in it (some chess players have HUGE egos). But anyway, I'm glad someone else thought of it and had the initiative to get it off the ground. I'm looking forward to getting into some heated battles here. I'm always looking for a game. I'm not that good (only rated 1137 USCF) but I can usually hold my own in tournaments (when I actually have time to play in one).

In response to Chris' chess problem (I love those things)...lemme take a crack at her.


1) Can white stalemate if black plays the perfect game?
2) How should black procede to win?



1. A perfect game is subject to interpretation. Theoretically, though, if blacks plays a perfect endgame, white would have to play a perfect endgame to stalemate. But, this is a question that really has no right or wrong answer, unless asked at the beginning of the game. In this particular situation, while both sides are technically even materially, I believe, IMHO, that white has a slight advantage materially because he has a pair of knights that can work very well together as a team, whereas black has a mix'n'match duo of knight and bishop, which usually don't work together quite as well. Unfortunately, white's knights are very poorly placed, probably eliminating what small advantage he might have had by not mixing and matching.

2. This is the fun part. Again, I don't think there is any right or wrong answer here, as there are not a whole lot of forced moves, so you never know what the other player may be willing to do. Here's what I think might happen:

1. ...Na6

attacking white's c-pawn. unless white likes to play endgames with a material disadvantage, he will likely defend with

2. Na4

this gives black a chance to really cash in on his positional/space advantage with

2. ...Be4+

Kingside, black has a material and space advantage, and he wants to exploit it as soon as possible, before white takes advantage of his material advantage queenside.

3. Kf2

staying close to his g-pawn...the only thing preventing a kingside pawn parade for black.

3. ... Kg4

locks in white's King retreat. At this point, any number of things can happen. But it is not likely that white will be able to stop the pawn storm on the kingside. But supposing white wants to free up his knights....he could move

4. N3-c4

allowing the eventual a3 and b4 locking up black's queenside, freeing up both knights, and giving black's knight a rather long journey to get back into the action.

Kingside, I think white is lost, especially after

4. ... f4.

If

5. gxf4

then

5. ... Kxf4

and the black king still controls g3, permitting his h-pawn to march down the board totally unmolested. For example

6. Nc3 Bd5
7. Ne2+ Kg4
8. Ne3 h4
9. Ng1

this stops the h-pawn advance cold. Problem is now white has major problems on the queenside.

9. ... Nxc5
10. b3 Nd3+
11. Ke2 Nf4+
12. Kf2 a5

I think this is a pretty much won position for black. Anybody else have other ideas? Did I mess up somewhere? (I do that quite a bit). Anybody up for a game?

That was fun!

another Chris
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