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Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem is from the 1972 book “Chess Combination as a Fine Art”, a book based on articles published in the 1950s-1960s by Kurt Richter.

Since the start of 2018, I have decided to adopt the style of only saying which side is to play: and not giving an idea if the move wins or otherwise, unless on occasion I think signposting would be helpful. Instead, the problems are posed with the instruction to decide what you would play, as in a game.

What is wrong in the sequence shown over the last several days?

1 Qh6

b2

1…Qc7 2 Bd4 Rd7 3 Rf3 Ng6 4 Rbf1 Kg8 5 Qg7+ Rg7[] 6 Ng6+ Kh8[]

b5

7 Rf7 Qf7 8 Rf7 Rg8 9 Rd7 Bd7 10 Nf7 mate.

b7

Black missed a stunning defence somewhere towards the end of this line.

Blumenthal v McGunnigle  corres 1962

 

Solution

7…Qf7?? is a mistake, and instead 7…Qe5!! almost turns the tables.

b8

8 Be5[] Ne5 9 Rf8+ Rg8!

b9

And White’s best is 10 Ng8 Rf8 11 Rf8[] Kg7

and I know, if I were White, I would be seriously thinking I had messed up, and likely lose, “on tilt”.

b10

The engine says best play is 12 Rf5 cd! 13 cd[] (13 Re5?? d2! -+) Nd3 14 Ne7 Nb2 15 Nd5 and the game goes on. I know in my practice, I could lose with either colour.

b12

FEN

2rr1n1k/6pp/p3Q3/qb1p1N2/1pp5/3P3P/1PP2BP1/1R3RK1 w – – 0 1

 

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Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem is from the 1972 book “Chess Combination as a Fine Art”, a book based on articles published in the 1950s-1960s by Kurt Richter.

Since the start of 2018, I have decided to adopt the style of only saying which side is to play: and not giving an idea if the move wins or otherwise, unless on occasion I think signposting would be helpful. Instead, the problems are posed with the instruction to decide what you would play, as in a game.

(i) White to play after 1…Rg7[] 2 Nh6+ Kh8

b4

Blumenthal v McGunnigle, corres 1962

Solution

3 Rf7! is obvious, met by 3…Qf7 4 Rf7[] Rcg8

 

b5

White to play and win

b6

5 Rd7!! (5 Re7 also wins, more slowly) and after 5…Bd7 6 Nf7 mate.

b7

FEN

2r3k1/2qr2Qp/p5n1/1b1p1N2/1ppB4/3P1R1P/1PP3P1/5RK1 b – – 0 5

Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem is from the 1972 book “Chess Combination as a Fine Art”, a book based on articles published in the 1950s-1960s by Kurt Richter.

Since the start of 2018, I have decided to adopt the style of only saying which side is to play: and not giving an idea if the move wins or otherwise, unless on occasion I think signposting would be helpful. Instead, the problems are posed with the instruction to decide what you would play, as in a game.

White to play

b2

Blumenthal v McGunnigle, corres 1962

 

Solution

This position continues from yesterday’s puzzle.

Reader’s of Jacob Aagaard will know about “bringing all the pieces to the party” and indeed simple evolution (another of his phrases) works here: 1 Rf3 (strangely, my engine slightly prefers 1 Rf2) 1…Kg8 2 Rbf1 and White is winning.

b3

Apparently we are in +8 territory, but for me, it is in “better for white, easy to mess up” territory.

In the game, Black played 2…Ng6 when simple steady play by 3 Qg5 or 3 Qe3 is +9 (apparently), but in the game, White played the crowd pleaser (but it was a correspondence game) 3 Qg7+, which the book gives as !! but in fact is ??

b4

I will continue this puzzle tomorrow, and show what the players and annotators missed.

FEN

2r2n1k/2qr2pp/p6Q/1b1p1N2/1ppB4/3P3P/1PP3P1/1R3RK1 w – – 0 3

 

Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem is from the 1972 book “Chess Combination as a Fine Art”, a book based on articles published in the 1950s-1960s by Kurt Richter.

Since the start of 2018, I have decided to adopt the style of only saying which side is to play: and not giving an idea if the move wins or otherwise, unless on occasion I think signposting would be helpful. Instead, the problems are posed with the instruction to decide what you would play, as in a game.

White to play

A position to choose moves to play, not to force a win; more to consider alternatives.

b1

Blumenthal v McGunnigle, corres 1962

Solution

I chose 1 Qf7, hitting g7, and it turns out this is the engine’s first choice: 1…Qc7 2 Ne7 Nt6 3 Bd4 is one line (3…Qe7 4 Bg7 mate).

The engine also likes 1 Qe5, with a similar idea, but in the game, White played the lovely 1 Qh6!. In the book I am using, it is heralded as a start of a fine combination. The first few moves are easy.

1…Qc7 2 Bd4 Rd7

b2

I will leave this problem for tomorrow: White to play.

FEN

2rr1n1k/6pp/p3Q3/qb1p1N2/1pp5/3P3P/1PP2BP1/1R3RK1 w – – 0 1

 

Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem is from the 1972 book “Chess Combination as a Fine Art”, a book based on articles published in the 1950s-1960s by Kurt Richter.

Since the start of 2018, I have decided to adopt the style of only saying which side is to play: and not giving an idea if the move wins or otherwise, unless on occasion I think signposting would be helpful. Instead, the problems are posed with the instruction to decide what you would play, as in a game.

White to play

k6

Korchnoi v Bastrikov, Minsk 1952

 

Solution

There are only two games in Megabase between these two players: yesterday’s great attack by Victor, and today’s. The whole game is worth playing through, but here,

1 Rd4! cd 2 Nd5

k7

Now, Black’s bishop has several moves, but since the Pd7 is poisoned (Nf6+ fork), White’s attack prevails. In the game, Black was mated after 2..Ba5 3 fg Rf8 4 Ne7+ with Be5+ to follow.

k8

FEN

r2r2k1/pp1P4/6p1/1Pp2PPp/1b1n1B1P/2N2R2/P1PR4/3K4 w – – 0 28

 

Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem is from the 1972 book “Chess Combination as a Fine Art”, a book based on articles published in the 1950s-1960s by Kurt Richter.

Since the start of 2018, I have decided to adopt the style of only saying which side is to play: and not giving an idea if the move wins or otherwise, unless on occasion I think signposting would be helpful. Instead, the problems are posed with the instruction to decide what you would play, as in a game.

Black to play: how to meet 1..hg?

k3

Korchnoi v Bastrikov, Tashkent 1958

 

Solution

Another problem based on yesterday’s game.

After 1…hg, not 2 Bf8+, but 2 Bg7+!! Kh7[]  3 Rh8+ Kf7[] 4 Rf8 mate.

Pretty!

k5

FEN

r1r1nb1k/1q5p/n2p2QB/1p1PpN2/1P2P3/2N5/5P2/2R1K2R b K – 0 30

 

Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem is from the 1972 book “Chess Combination as a Fine Art”, a book based on articles published in the 1950s-1960s by Kurt Richter.

Since the start of 2018, I have decided to adopt the style of only saying which side is to play: and not giving an idea if the move wins or otherwise, unless on occasion I think signposting would be helpful. Instead, the problems are posed with the instruction to decide what you would play, as in a game.

Black to play:  Black played 1…Kh8; what happened next?

k1

Korchnoi v Bastrikov, Tashkent 1958

Solution

The first move isn’t too hard, 2 h6, met with by 2..fg, when since it is a puzzle, I immediately met by 3 Qg6!!

k2

It isn’t too hard, really: 3…hg 4 hg+, 5 Rh8+ and 6 promote the pawn, 1-0. Black though played 3…gh met with by 3 Bh6!

k3

Black took on h6, and Korchnoi won about 10 moves later.

k4.JPG

FEN

r1r1nbk1/1q3ppp/n2p2P1/1p1PpN1P/1P2P1Q1/2N1B3/5P2/2R1K2R b K – 0 27