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It’s Your Move: daily chess puzzle #303

March 26, 2016

White to play and win

3031

Ciocaltea-Masic, Baja 1971

Solution

The first move is obvious, 1 Nf5 has to be tried.

3032

Weakly, I spent a lot of time for some reason visualising something which should have been easy: what happens after the N is captured: 1…gf 2 Qg5+ Kh8[] 3 Bd4 Qd8 and for some reason it took me a couple of sittings before seeing the obvious 4 Rf5 is not well met by 4…Rg8 because of the simple exchanging on f6: 1-0.

Tougher is 1…Nh5 when again 2 Nh6+ is obvious, and Black’s obvious reply, played in the game, is 2…Kg7.

3033

But then 3 Qf7+!! Rf7 4 Rf7+ Kh8[]

3034

But now what?

Any human being would play 5 Bd4+- and win- the Black Queen falls, but my engine says 5 Ref1 or 5 g4 are both stronger. Of course it must be true, but amazing. Looking at them a bit further, they are both similar: bringing one more piece to the party, aiming to add pressure to f6 after an unavoidable Bd4+: “the threat is stronger than the execution”.

2…Kh8 is similar: White breaks through prosaically after 3 Nf7+ Kg8 4 Nh6+, and in some lines there are sacs: e..g 4…Kh8 5 Bd4+ Bf6 6 Qf6+!! echoes the 2…Kg7 line: 6…Nf6 7 Rf6 and a horrible check is unavoidable.

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