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It’s Your Move: daily chess puzzle #307

March 31, 2016

White to play and win


Spassky-Stein, Moscow 1971


Spassky missed the win, played 1 Rc8+ Bc8 2 gh+ Kh7 3 Qd3=.

The win is impossibly hard to find. I got the initial idea, of reversing the move order and  played 1 gh+! Kh7 2 Rc7+


But after 2…Kh8, then what?

The answer is the lovely 3 Rf3!!


met with by 3…Be4


which is answered by the equally beautiful


and White wins. If you can’t appreciate the depth and beauty of this, stop playing chess.

Going back to the start, after 1 gh+, if 1…Kh8, then 2 Rc8+, and if 2…Kh7 3 Rc7+ we have the main line; or if 3..Bc8, the pressure is off e4, so that 4 Qd3 wins.

Finally, my engine tells me even in the line Spassky played, 1 Rc8+ Bc8, then 2 Qd3 is winning, rather than the equalising 2 gh+. However: it is too deep for me to see, though I can understand when the engine shows: 2…hg 3 Qd5+ Kg7 4 Rc3!! is the engine’s main line, shifting the rook into a new line of attack.



From → Chess

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