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Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #176

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.
Black to play and win
1761
SIgmund v Eret, correspondence 1951
Solution
The easy lines are if the N is taken: 2 hg Rg3+ 3 fg Qg2 mate, is one of several lines ending in mate on g2.
Nicer, and harder, is how to win after 2 Bd5:
1762
it took me a while, but was satisfying, to find the right N checks, which essentially exploit the fact that the Rf1 is tied to defending the Rd1.
2…Ne4+! 3 Kh1 Nf2+ and the tie is revealed
1763
4 Rf2[] Rd1+ and mate next move.
FEN
6k1/pp3ppp/6r1/2Pq4/1PB1n3/P3P1P1/1Q1r1P1P/3R1RK1 b – – 0 1

Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #175

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.
Black to play and mate White
1751
Freze v Schröder, Maribor 1951
Solution
For a while, I couldn’t work out if it was White or Black to play and win, and wrongly worked on it being White. The book doesn’t show the side to move. Failing to find a win for White, I turned to Black being the victor, and immediately find the fairly standard win: 1….Ne4! wins at least a piece, since 2 Bd8 is mated by 2….Bb4+ etc.
1752
FEN
rnbq1rk1/ppp3pp/3b1n2/3Pp1B1/4N3/3B4/PP3PPP/R2QK1NR b KQ – 0 1

Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #174

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.
White to play and mate Black
1741
Cetković v Molerović, 1951
Solution
The LPDO Qa2 and the alignment of it on the second rank with the Qe2 (Purdy’s jump-biff) is key to the solution, plus Black’s king is in a net.
1 Bh7!! and if 1…Qe2, 2 Bh6 mate; so the Queen is lost.
1742
FEN
r3bk1r/1p2bp2/4pn1p/p3N3/2P2B2/8/q1B1QPPP/3R1RK1 w – – 0 1

Daily chess puzzle: very special edition

On the morning after the end of the World Chess Championship, I had to publish a fitting puzzle from the very last game of the match. 

White to play and win 


Solution

The very fitting end to the last rapid play game of the tiebreak was 1 Qh6+!! and mates next move. 

After a fairly lack lustre WCC, the third round rapid play game, where Magnus got the most of his position and Sergey’s time trouble by …a5!! and ….e4!!, the fourth game, with Sergey playing Black in a must-win situation, was classic Magnus: or actually classic Mickey Adams’ Sicilian. Magnus had control throughout, and towards the end, when I would have won more stodigly, Magnus must have seen the coup de grace several moves earlier, when playing Qd2*f4: a move I would never have risked. 

Very pleased that Magnus has pulled through, but Sergey’s defensive skills have been so impressive, and he proved a worthy challenger. His defence in the second rapidplay game, including …h5!! was memorable.  

Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #173

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.
White to play and mate Black
1731
Cortlever v Donner, Beverwijk 1950
Solution
I failed to solve this puzzle. Whilst I did examine all biffs and therefore looked at 1 Bh6+!! I couldn’t see its power. In the game, White played 1 Nc3 aand the game was drawn in the ending (after 1…Qh5 2 Qh5 gh 3 Rb7 Nc3 4 Rdd7 Rhf8)
But 1 Bh6+!! wins:
1732
1…Rh6 (1….Kg8 2 Rd8+ Rd8 3 Qd8+ Kh7[] EXAMINE) 2 Qf6+!! (I failed to see why the precursor 1 Bh6+!! made Qf6+ so strong: it enables the N to reach g5) 2…Nf6 3 ef+ and mate by a combination of Ng5 and Rd8+.
It took me a while to “understand” this combination. The advantage of 1 Bh6+!! is two-fold: enabling White’s N to reach g5, and also with Black’s Rook on h6 after it captures the B, an escape square for Black’s King is blocked. I am not at all surprised that Cortlever missed such a coup.
FEN
r6r/pb1R1pk1/1p2p1pp/3nP3/7Q/2N1B3/P3qPPP/3R2K1 b – – 0 28

Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #172

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.
White to play and mate Black
1721
Taimanov v Kuzminykh, Leningrad 1959
Solution
A problem I had seen before, perhaps as a child. So all I needed to do was ‘remember it’: although it turns out, from Megabase, that the position is a variation from the game, which was drawn, not an actual game: and it appears the colours were reversed (Taimanov was Black per Megabase)
1 Ng6! is clearly strong:
1722
and after 1…Nh7 there are several ways, but the forcing line is lovely: 2 Re6! fe[] 3 Qd8+!
1723
3…Qd8 4 Be6 mate.
FEN
r1qr2k1/1p3pp1/2pbbn2/p3N3/3P3Q/P5PB/1B3P2/R3R1K1 w – – 0 26

Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #171

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.
White to play and mate Black
1711
Jeroström v Noedal, 1950
Solution
Clearly, mate involves the a2-g8 diagonal, so the task is to ‘open it’. Examine all biffs leads to 1 Ng6+! fg[] 2 Qg8+!! Kg8[] 3 Ne7+ Kf8[] 4 Ng6 mate, a single, all forced, line.
1712
FEN
r1b1rk2/3n1pbQ/2qp2p1/p2N2P1/2Bp3N/4P3/PP3PP1/2KR3R w – – 0 1