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Test your chess: daily chess puzzle # 225

April 26, 2015

White to play and win

It is not just the first move that is needed, further depth is required.

 

JA Ophoff v L Bouah 2005

 

Solution

 

The first moves are obvious: 1 Bh6 gh 2 Rh3+ Kh8; but then what?

Here, I would always play 3 Qd2, with the idea that after 3…Ng8, 4 Rg8+ Kg8 5 Qh6 f5:

 

…knowing that, if nothing else, I had perpetual: a safe stepping stone position to reach, and only once reached, to think further. Fortunately, here, Stockfish tells me there is nothing better.

But once reached, I could quite easily see myself chickening out and taking the draw, rather than face the uncertainty of an unbalanced position, with risk of loss. This fear of losing is what I know limited by development as a teenager. I took far too many quick or safe draws, unlike my younger team member, Nigel Short, who always fought on and on.

Looking further, swapping the pieces off by 6 Qg6+ (to keep the king locked in; no point letting it run away to f7 and so on) 6…Kh8[] 7 Nc6 Bc6 8 Qc6

And the unbalanced position 'should be better for white' in human terms, but is +2.5 for Stockfish. Only after 8…Rf6 9 Qd5+ Qd5 10 Nd5 Rf7 would I be happy, having seen 11 Bf5!

When it is game over.

However, alas, I think in practice the chicken in me would rule, and it would be a perpetual.

 

 

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