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Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #107

September 21, 2016

Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.

Black to play and win.


Havasi v Monticelli, Budapest, 1929



Once I saw it was Black to play- the book doesn’t indicate which side it is to move (!) I immediately realised it was a back rank mate theme, exploiting the looseness of White’s Queen.

So I first tried 1…Qb5??: but this loses to 2 Qb5 Rd1+ 3 Nf1 and Black has nothing.-a small detail being 3…Rfc8 loses to 4 Bb7, and 4…R8c1 loses to 5 Qe8 mate;

Then, 1…Qc4?? : same thing.

So finally 1…Ba6!!, and everything works.


2 Bc6 Be2, and Black is the exchange up, for which White has no compensation, and Black can also exchange White’s last rook, making the ending a mopping-up.


Finally, my engine also says that 1…Qa4 is also winning, because it continues to look at d1: the difference between it and 1…Qd7 being that it is the Rd8 which can lend on d1. But 1…Qa6 is ‘less convincing’ since 2 Bg5 reaches a lost Q+R ending (2…Bg3 3 Bd8 Rd8 4 hg Be4 etc)



When writing these blogs, I typically look at Megabase to try to find the game: normally quicker than typing the position in fresh, and also more interesting because I can have a quick look at the game.

For today’s puzzle, I found several Havasi-Monticelli games, either 1-0 or 1/2-1/2, no 0-1. So I almost moved on, but decided to have a dip into the games first, and saw that in fact, White won the present game.  Black actually played 1….Qd7 and the game went on: 2 Qf2 Qd1+ 3 Qg1 and a fairly long game continued. Black actually resigned (presuming he didn’t just lose on time- it was move 47) in a technically drawn position- or I think it might be, if  ultimately it became a R+B v R ending:




3r1rk1/pb3ppp/1pq1p3/4P3/4B3/5PN1/PP2QbPP/R1B4K b – – 0 20

From → Chess

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