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Another puzzle for an easy Reitstein day

May 14, 2014

White to play and win

Andreikin-Sjugirov 2012

Source: chess column in the Times




I found this one difficult, and whilst I found the solution, it was at the limit of my calculating ability. The article gave a hint/clue/big signpost towards the actual solution, 1 Bg7! Ng7 2 Rg7+!, and I looked at this line first! before giving up with it as too hard. In a game, I might simply have improved my position by 1 f4!, which Stockfish also assesses as +2.

Despite finding 1 f4!, I went back and looked further into all the variations in the main line. The first stepping stone to implant in my mind was the position below, and the query was 'what happens if black plays 2…Kh8?

Often, these non compliant moves (taking on g7 is the natural move, complying with white's main line) cause me trouble; here, once I saw that white could play 3 Qh5! and if 3…Nf4 4 Qh6, I knew the line could be discounted. So instead 2…Kg7 3 Qg4+ Kh8[] and then what? Fortunately, I recognised the pattern, and saw that 4 Nf6! was probably mate: and just had to check it out.

The knight has to be taken, otherwise there is a mate by zig-zagging the queen, checking to h6. But even when the knight is taken, the same zigzag/staircase mate occurs: Qh4+, Qg5+,Qf6+,Qg5+,Qh6+, Qg7mate: my visualisation was pretty good, save that at the end I only foresaw (after Qh6+ Kg8) Bh7+,Bd3+,Qh7mate, rather than the immediate Qh7 mate: oh, well.


From → Chess

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