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It’s Your Move: daily chess puzzle #332

April 25, 2016

Examine: 1 Rd6 Rc1+ 2 Kh2 Qe5+ (hitting the LPDO Rd6)

3321

Tal v Szymczak, Lublin 1974

 

Solution

3 Qf4 would lose: Queen’s come off, and White has insufficient fire power to mate or promote the e pawn.

So 3 f4! when 3…Qd6, and it is fairly easy to see that White has the “anchor” of a draw by repetition. I always like it when I have such a safety blanket.

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But woe is me! Despite spending a long time on it, and despite setting the pieces out on the board (but not moving them) I simply couldn’t see what Tal saw.

And, as always, when you see the win, in hindsight it becomes obvious. And worse, I saw the winning move 4 Bh5! but rejected it because of 4…Qe6[]

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The optical illusion I missed was that after 4..Qe6, 5 Qf8+ wins: the f4 pawn guards two escape squares, so Black is forced to interpose his Q on f7, where it is captured with mate.

Simple? But I was blind to it.

 

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