Schachmatt in Inzlingen

Last weekend I had the pleasure of playing in the 10th Wasserschloss Open in Inzlingen, organised by Chester’s twin town club Brombach. It’s situated in the top floor of a grand “water-castle” in a picturesque village near the border of Switzerland, France and Germany at Basel.

I’d previously met a couple of the organisers Markus Haag (right) and Andreas Kuglstatter (left) in Chester

Before the tournament Andreas generously showed me around Basel and their chess club. Brombach have a dedicated room (ie no one else uses it to state the obvious which is difficult to understand in the UK) which is also free. Apparently local government support for clubs in Germany is the norm.

Brombach’s dedicated and free of charge chess club

The tournament went quite well for me. I salvaged a draw from a losing endgame in round one, won a couple, was crushed by the number 2 seed in round 4 and then won in the final round to finish 5th on 3.5/5. In England it would have been joint 3rd but they use tie breaks in Germany which cuts down on the hassle of splitting a £20 prize 7 ways I guess. Best of all was a raffle at the prize giving where I won a voucher for the castle restaurant. I was also interviewed for regional newspaper Badische Zeitung with their article referencing (in German) our upcoming centenary and picturing my first round game: http://www.badische-zeitung.de/inzlingen/schachspieler-bringen-die-figuren-zum-tanzen–167710353.html

Now Germany is known for being excellent at many important things like making beer, sausages and high quality cars. Less well-known is the outstanding contribution to chess vocabulary through the effective use of combining words together (Wortbildung or word-building as a self-referencing example). We have Zugzwang (much better than move-compulsion), Zwischenzug (in-between-move) and relevant to the final position in my 4th round game kaput. I was fortunate enough to be able to demonstrate all of these concepts in the tournament as illustrated in the following fairly straightforward four puzzles.

1) How does Black to move most cleanly put White in Zugzwang?
2) How does Black to move put White in Zugzwang?
3) Which Zwischenzug can Black play against Bxf5?
4) What German word beginning with k best describes my position as White in round 4?

Before giving the answers I’d like to thank Andreas, Markus and the other organisers for arranging a splendid tournament. They will be visiting Chester on the weekend of 7th April to play in our centenary rapid tournament and to sample the delights of Chester and Liverpool.

Answers:

  1. ..Rf3 forces White to give up a pawn. The remaining pawn can easily be stopped by Black’s king and rook.
  2. ..Qc6 and White’s king must move away from the pawn. With the pawn on a7 and the king on a8 White gets a well-known stalemate, but if the pawn is still on a6 there is no hope of that.
  3. ..Nxc4 hits the bishop on e3. If White moves that away then ..gxf5 follows with Black having destroyed White’s centre and in some lines remaining a pawn up.
  4. Kaput!

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