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It’s Your Move: daily chess puzzle #247

January 28, 2016

White played 1 Be5; what happened?

How instead should White have played?

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Sahovic v Matulovic, Belgrade 1969

 

Solution

 

First question has fairly standard answer, 1..Qa1+ and mate next move after 2 Ba1[] Ra1 mate.

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Second question is harder: 1 e8(Q)+ either deflects the Ra8, meaning that the same Qa1 tictac doesn’t work, or if 1…Ba8 then 2 Qe6+ safely picks up a piece, and e.g. 2…Bf7

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3 Qe7?? threatens 4 Rd8+ and thus keeps the piece, except that Black has a hidden tictac: 3…Qa2+ 4 Kc1[] Qb2+!! 5 Kb2 Nd3++ 6 Kb1 Ra1 mate.

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White would have to grovel with 3 Qe5 when after exchanges, Black is to be preferred: 3…Be5 4 Be5 Bb3 5 cb Qa2+ 6 Kc1[] Qg2 and White is just about holding together.

So instead 1 Qe6+! Be6 2 Rd8+ and the pawn safely queens, since the Black King must move to g7, blocking the Bh8’s line of sight.

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Also, a prophylactic move such as 1 c3! would also be mean (i.e. winning; White keeps control) Black’s pieces lack stability and will fall apart.

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