Sunday, February 19, 2012

Puzzle Screw Up - But Fixed Here

If you think I come up with these puzzles on my own.....well, I think you may have "fianchettoed" a few too many bishops!

This one was in Chess Life incorrectly as White to play, with the object to find the fastest win or the move that wins the most material.

The only problem is, the solution was actually BLACK to move!

So, try it now, as Black to find the best move.

These puzzles are tough enough without trying to find wins in a losing position. I get enough of that kind of practice in my own games!


  1. Tricky one, Mike!

    1. .. Qd6+!
    2. Kh1 ..

    Forced, for if 2. f4 then exf3+ e.p. just wins material. Now the king is forced to the back rank.

    2. .. Nf3!

    This is a blocking sacrifice preventing the f-pawn from moving and threatening mate. The classic example of this (using a rook instead) is
    GM Fischer-GM Benko, US Champ, 1963

    1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. f4 Nf6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Bd3 Bg4 7. h3 Bxf3 8. Qxf3 Nc6 9. Be3 e5 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. f5 gxf5 12. Qxf5 Nd4 13. Qf2 Ne8 14. O-O Nd6 15. Qg3 Kh8 16. Qg4 c6 17. Qh5 Qe8 18. Bxd4 exd4 19. Rf6!! Kg8 20. e5 h6 21. Ne2 1-0

    2. Bxf3 Bc7

    And there is no way to prevent mate on h2. 0-1

  2. Jason, I think it goes like this:

    1. Qd6+ Kh1
    2. Nf3 Bxf3
    3. Bc7 Be5
    4. Qxe5 d6
    5. Bxd6 Rxd6
    6. Qxd6 Bxe4

    No forced mate, but black wins a rook free and clear, and eventually the game.

    1. Actually, no... my evaluation still stands, but my quote should have been "...and there is no way to prevent mate on h2 ... without a ruinous loss of material." ;-)

      In the line you give white has a pawn for the exchange (not a whole rook), and black has lots of work to do yet.

      Instead, on 3. .. Bc7 4. Be5 black doesn't take with the queen but with the knight. The threat to the Bg2 is still real and white can't save it. For example:

      3. .. Bc7
      4. Be5 Nxe5!

      Now, what can white do?

      5. Bg2 Nf3! and mate follows
      5. Bxe4 Nf3! (anyway!) 6. Kg2 (a hope!) Qh2+ 7. Kxf3 Qxh3# (no hope!)
      6. Nd4 (a false hope) Nxf3 7.Nxf3 exf3 8. Qxf3 Qh2#