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

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

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

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.

8 Be5[] Ne5 9 Rf8+ Rg8!

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”.

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.

**FEN**

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

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**

Blumenthal v McGunnigle, corres 1962

**Solution**

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

**White to play and win**

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

**FEN**

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

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**

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.

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 ??

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

**White to play**

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

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

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

**FEN**

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

**White to play**

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

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.

**FEN**

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

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

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!

**FEN**

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

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

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!!

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!

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

**FEN**

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