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Test your chess: Reitstein problem 106- the post script

April 9, 2014

Reminder: the problem (and there is a catch) was White to play and win

But does he?


After 1 fg, can black defend?

 

Solution

 

Yes, he can! As I normally do, I wrote the earlier blog up before checking with an engine, and then, when solved, entered the position into Stockfish, my engine of choice on the iPad. Immediately, it showed 1…e4!! assessing the position as somewhat better for black.

 

 

This is a telling example for me. Examine all biffs and ignoring threats isn't just for attackers, they are Purdy mantras which can be used in defence too.

In 1969, black of course missed 1…e4!!, playing 1…fg?? as I would have done, no doubt, and Reitstein didn't spot the magical defence, as neither would I.

The annoying, perplexing, amazing thing about chess is that as soon as 1…e4 is revealed, it becomes obvious. White's queen and rook are both biffed, and if 2 gh+ Kh8; 2 Qh5 hg; and the Qa2 (as well as the Rd8) defend the square d5, so white has no escape check.

The point of 1…e4!! is very deep, and lovely. 2 de fg! 3 Rf8+ Rf8 4 Rf8+ Kf8 5 gh no longer wins:

With the pawn no longer on e5, black has 5…Qa1+! 6 Kh2 g6! defending h8. Beautiful.

 

 

The time to give up chess is when seeing this doesn't cause you to smile.

 

From → Chess

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