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Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #469

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.  
Black to play and mate White

Unzicker v Dankert, Munich 1979

As I have mentioned before, one problem with ‘Matni Udar’ is that it doesn’t show which player is to win: the first stage is always to work it out. Here, at first, because I obviously know the name of Unzicker, but didn’t recognise his opponent’s name, I assumed it was ‘White to play and win’. But no: that would be trite, 1 Ne4 winning a pawn and with the better position: so it had to be Black to play and win.  
The first move I thought of was 1…Qg3+, an automatic decision as defined by Jacob Aagaard in his recent book, Thinking Inside the Box. And it is also fairly easy to work out that the move wins. 
2 Kh1 Qf3! and after 3 gf Nf2+ forks the King and LPDO Qd3, and the Nd3 can’t be trapped, so Black emerges a rook up.

Or 2 Rf3 hg+ 3 Kh1[] Nf2 mate.

4rrk1/1p3pp1/4p3/pPPpP1q1/3Pn2p/2NQPR1P/6PK/6R1 b – – 0 1


Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #468

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.  
White to play and mate Black

Popov v Novopašin, Bosnia and Herzegovina 1979
After yesterday’s (and the day before’) interesting puzzle, and easier day today. 
1 Qh6+! :

and after 1…Kh6, 2 Rh8 mate; 

or 1…gh, 2 Rb7+ and mates.

 Two nice variations, but not hard. 

The motif is very similar to the finale of the 2016 World Championshios. Carlsen’s finish in the fourth rapidplay ended with the same move, with both h8 and 7th-rank mating ideas.

5R2/bp4pk/2n3p1/P7/P1q3bP/6P1/3Q3K/1R6 w – – 0 1

Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #467(2)

Where is the cook in yesterday’s problem?

Seirawan v Barbero, Skien 1979
Yesterday, I gave the solution to this White to play and win problem, but said that I had a shock when writing up the posting that my engine immediately flashed “0.0”.
The reason becomes apparent only once you see it!- as so often in chess, moves or positions become easy to understand in retrospect.

Purdy’s writing is yet again apposite:

Imagine the threat could not possibly be executed. Then what would be by best move? Try out each attractive move…visualise the whole position…after this move of yours, and then work out whether the opponent would gain by executing his ‘threat’.

In line a, after 4…Nf7 5 Be5, Black doesn’t need to move his Queen, but can based on the Purdy principle of ignoring threats, or simply as a desperado, or to try to give his King some luft, can play 5…Ba6+

Then, perhaps amazingly, there is nothing more than a perpetual check. 6 d3 Bd3+ 7 Kd3 Qf2

If White plays, as planned, 8 Bc7, then 8…Qf1+.

White’s best is then to accede to a perpetual, say by 9 Kd2 Qf2+ 10 Kd3 Qf1+ 1/2-1/2. If instead
9 Kd4?? Qa1+ and the king and queen are skewered;

9 Kc3 Qa1+ same;

9 Kc2 Qc4+ and forks the king and LPDO Bc7;

9 Kd4 same.
I wonder if Barbero merely resigned after 5 Be5? The game score isn’t in Megabase of
I wonder if the players knew?

Chess is indeed a deep game.

Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #467

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.
White to play and mate Black
-solve the problem, and then find the cook.

Seirawan v Barbero, Skein 1979

Nice to see a win by Yasser Seirawan, whose articles and commentating I have long enjoyed. I have also been lucky enough to play Yasser 3-0 blitz many times on ICC.
I solved it, but then when entering the position into my iPad app in order to produce the diagrams, the engine sprung up with the evaluation “0.0”. Oh.
First, the solution.
Examine all biffs makes this not too hard. 1 Rg7! is a natural biff to try, and also ‘examine all pins, nets and ties’ it is noted that the f6 pawn is pinned by the Bb2, so that after 1…Kg7[] 2 Qg5+ the queen can’t be taken.
2…Kf7 3 Qf6+ Ke8 4 Bg6+

a) 4…Nf7 5 Be5 again exploits a pin, now the Nf7 by the Bg6, and after 5…Q moves, 6 Bc7 and White mates by Qd8.

b) 4…Rf7 5 Ba3, take the bishop, and then mate after Qf7+ and Qe8.

The cook
Where is the cook? I will post it tomorrow, to give my readers impetus to try to find it for themselves.

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Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #466

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.  
White to play and mate Black

Macukevič v Tuček, 1979
Quite nice, since the first move, 1 Re8+! is hard to see. 
Once seen, it all falls into place. If the king captures, then the N discovers an attack on the LPDO Qh5. 

If the rook captures, then it is mate on the back rank, most prettily by a smothered mate.

5rkr/pp2Nppp/1n6/2p4q/8/1PP3P1/P4P1P/R1B3K1 b – – 0 1

Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #465

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.  
White to play and mate Black

Saharov v Čerepkov, USSR 1979
I struggled with this puzzle, but eventually found the game continuation (but see below)
1 Bh7+ Kh7 2 Rd6! (the harder move to find: the Greek gift is obvious) 2…Bd6.

3 Rh4+ Kg8 (3…Kg6 4 Rg4+ and mates) 4 Rh8+! 1-0

4….Kh8[] 5 Qh6+ and 6 Qg7 mate.  

My engine (SmallFish on my iPad, so not the strongest engine) suggests 2..f5, giving an evaluation of only +2, and when I played a few moves against it, as White, I gave Black too much compensation and its evaluation dropped to +1.

SmallFish prefers 1 Rd6! Bd6[] 2 Bh7+! 

Kf8 (2….Kh7 transposes: 3 Rh4+ etc) 3 Bg7+!!

…and the engine shows a forced win. 

If 3…Ke7 then 4 Rf7+!! (can you believe it? Such great moves. 4….Kf7[] 5 Qh6! is a wonderful slow finish?)

If 3…Kg7 then 4 Rg4+ 5 Rg8+ 6 Qg5+ 7 Bf5+ 8 Re8 etc

4rbk1/1q3ppp/2Rr4/1p1P1B2/2b1PR2/p5P1/5P1P/B1Q3K1 w – – 0 1

Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #464

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.  
Black to play and mate White

Prokopović v Van der Mije, Belgrade 1979


Not too hard today. 1…Qh2+ is a natural ‘examine all biffs’ try, and after 2 Kh2[] Rh5+, 3…Nf3+ and 4 Rdg5 is mate. 

A rest day. 


6k1/1pQ3p1/3B3p/1P1rnr1q/4pp2/2P5/P2P1PPP/R4R1K b – – 0 1