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Study of the Year 2012

The selection of “The Study of the Year” is organized by the World Federation for Chess Composition and aimed at introducing a single friendly endgame study to the general public.

The study should appeal to chess players of various levels and encourage them to pay more attention to endgame studies.

Composers were invited to submit a single study (either their own or by others) that was published (either in a magazine or in an award) during the year 2012.

In all, 24 candidate studies were considered by an international panel of endgame study experts (David Gurgenidze, Oleg Pervakov, Gady Costeff, Ilham Aliev and Harold van der Heijden), who scored the studies independently. The scores (and all studies) can be found here:

The winner was:
Yochanan Afek
J. Timman-60 Jubilee tourney 2012, Second prize
Study of the Year 2012

Chess Study of the Year 2012

1. Rb7+
(1.Rxc8+? Kxc8 2.Re8+ Kc7 3.Bd6+ Qxd6 4.f8Q Qxf85.Rxf8 d2 6.Rf1 dxc1Q 7.Rxc1 Ra5+! 8. Kb2 Ra6=)

1…Ka8 2.Ra7+!! Nxa7 3.Re8+ Nc8 4.Rxc8+ Ka7 5.Bc5+! Rxc5 6.Ra8+!!
(6.f8Q? Qg2+ 7.Ka3 Ra5+ 8.Kb4 Qd2+ 9.Kc4 Qxc1+ with perpetual check)

6…Kxa8 7.f8Q+ Qb8 8.Qxc5 d2 9.c7
(9.Qa5+?? Qa7–+)

A new black knight is born on the square where his white counterpart was captured…

(10.Qxc1? Qxc7! 11.Qxc7=)

(10…Qxb3+ 11.Kxc1+-)

11.Qc6+ Ka7 12.Kxc1 Qh3! 13.c8N+!
and a new white knight is born on the square where the black knight was captured! (13.c8Q(R)? Qf1+ and stalemate by the black desperado queen; 13.c8B Qxb3 14.Qc7+ Ka8)

13…Kb8 14.Nb6! Qxb3 15.Qc8+ Ka7 16.Qa8+ Kxb6 17.Qb8+ wins

The is a study with a mutual Phoenix theme: both the black and the white knight are captured and reborn on the very same squares!

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