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Test your chess: daily chess puzzle # 26

September 15, 2014

White to play and win



M Levitt v G Michelakis 1995




Clearly, the position is critical, by which I mean that there is either something here, and white can exploit the pressure, or exchanges will occur on f8 and the game will fizzle out. Given that this is a problem in a puzzle book, you know the answer is the former.

Analysing it with Purdy principles:

The Rf8 is pinned by the Rd8 to the Kg8 so that R*f6 is illegal;

The Qb4 is tied to the defence of the Rf8.

Also, it has to be noted that white doesn't have an h2 pawn, so that there is no back rank mate defence for black, and also there is no perpetual.

So, armed with the above, I quickly found 1 Nc2! Qc5 2 b4! Qd6[] 3 Qg7+ and white emerges a piece up: 1-0.


However, there is one more Purdy principle which I was blind to:

Black's king is in a net.

So 1 Ng4! and all black can do is decide how to lose.

For instance, 1…Nf5 (preventing Nh6+) 2 Qe6+ Kh8:

3 Qf5 Rd8 4 Qf6+ and the LPDO Rd8 is forked, and is taken with check (or, even better šŸ™‚ 5 Nh6 is mate.


I liked the puzzle, because of its logic, and solution by Purdy. So timely to repeat my favourite chess poem:

Purdy on nets, pins and ties, Fine Art, vol 2, pg 205

Some things are hooey,

and most others lies;

But forks you mustn't miss,

nor pins, nets, ties.


From → Chess

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