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Nepomniachtchi v Kryvoruchko: puzzle

December 31, 2013

No, not how to say these names, but it makes me glad that England's two leading players are Short and Adams. This puzzle, given in Chess Today issue 4775, from the World Team Championships which were recently held in Antalya, really puzzled me.

I eventually got my pocket set out, and after ten minutes or so of hard thinking, got most of the solution. 'Most' being a flexible word: alas, I didn't get it fully correct, and if I were being honest with myself, I would give me 4/10 and no more.

See if you can do better.

 

White to play and win

 

 

 

 

Solution

 

The key thing to spot is that black's queen is in a net, to use one of Purdy's terms. This, combined with pressure on d6 and the prospect of a pin on the d file (again, Purdy would exhort us to spot jump biffs: here, obvious, R*d8 is a jump biff, which means that the d6 pawn is pinned: hence Pe5 has to be kept in mind.

So, eventually I got 1 Rc3! but thought that black gets out by 1…Qb1, until I saw 2 Rd3!, when the cage is closed, and 3 Rc1! wins the queen.

 

 

However, black has better. He could grovel, playing 1…a5, and the queen does escape, but at ruinous loss, or he could play 1…Rde8, when 2 Qc2!! is the sly little move which wins: and which I missed. I wrongly presumed 2 Rd3 again, with some notion of 3 e5! 4 Rc1! but 2..a5! or maybe 2…f5!?

Another defence is 1…Ree8, the idea being to then play 2…Rc8, but then either 3 e5(the move I saw) (an effect or Rc3 is to close black's queen's vision of e5, so that Pe5 wins the d6 pawn, or 3 Qc2!! which is both stronger and nicer: nicer because it is prophylactic, stronger because the black queen is again lost.

 

 

From → Chess

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