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Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #108

September 22, 2016

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

 

xxx (see below) to play and win (i.e. decide which side is to play first)

1081

Vidmar v Euwe, Karlovy Vary {per the book, Karlsbad per Megabase) 1929

Solution

The book doesn’t say which side is to win: normally it is obvious, and when it isn’t obvious, a quick look at the players’ names makes it all clear: Alekhine v unknown, simul, is likely to be 1-0 (though not always: puzzle 111 is a case in point, where the well known player loses).

Here, I struggled for a while, thinking that White is so much material up he can win prosaically (and he can) so ‘it’ must be a Black to play and win, and yet he doesn’t have enough pieces to do anything, particularly since White’s pieces control the long white diagonal.

I then thought ‘it must be a quick forced win for White’ and immediately found it: in hindsight, I suspect I have seen the position before.

1 Re8+ Bf8 (1…Kh7 is prosaic: 2 Qd3+ and 3 Qf5+ exchanges the queens) 2 Rf8+! Kf8 (else 3 Rf7+ 1-0) 3 Nf5+

1082

3…Ke8 4 Qf8+! and 5 Rd8 mate; or 3…Kg8 4 Qf8+! all the same, and if 4…Kh7 5 Qg7 mate.
Nice, but probably a position I have seen before and should have remembered.
FEN
6k1/5pb1/1p1N3p/p5p1/5q2/Q6P/PPr5/3RR2K w – – 0 34
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