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Test your chess: daily chess puzzle #1

August 21, 2014

Black to play and win



WS Mackie v FH Nel 1955




It is easy to be tempted into thinking the theme was mate on the h file, and look at 1…Qh4 2 hg hg and 3..Qh1 mate, but of course 2 hg?? is a non forced gruesome blunder, and it is necessary to look elsewhere.

The real theme is that white's queen is in a net, so that 1….Nh2!! wins the exchange – 2 Qg3 Nf1 3 Kf1. The game goes on, but black is winning. Stockfish suggests 3..h4 and 4 Qf3 f5, or 4 Qg5 Be6: in time, black wins.


If instead 2 Kh2 then 2…Bg4!! 3 Qg3 (3 hg?? hg+ wins the queen) Be2 4 Re1 and after 4…h4 5 Qg5 the queens come off and then the d3 pawn.


Stockfish finds one small but important improvement in the above line for white. Rather than 3 Qg3 white should remember Purdy's maxim to ignore a threat, think about the position, rather than rushing in to dealing with the threat. 3 Bg5! is better, but still black is better, for a cute point. 3…Qg5 4 Qg3! and the fact that the Qg5 is LPDO means the Bg4 is pinned. This gives white enough time to move the knight from e2: black is better, for sure, but the game is not entirely over.



From → Chess

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