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Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #135

October 20, 2016

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

And not just another puzzle, but a gem of a puzzle, and really hard: or I found it so. But all the more enjoyable when solved.

White to play and mate Black


Efim Korchmar v Abram Poliak, Ukraine 1931



After looking and looking, and putting the pieces out on the board, I tried most moves, without success. I then did a Purdy based analysis, also noting John Nunn’s LPDOs, thinking (correctly) that the first move must be a double attack. See my anecdote about what Levon Aronian told me about double attack.

So, 1 Nb4! and then it started to come into place.


Black can avoid mate by for instance 1…Rd7, but is clearly lost after 2 Na6 ba and 3 c4 or 3 Bf4; but the fun begins after 1…ab, when 2 Qd6! is the point, removing the defender of e8: the N was tied to defending e8 in the opening position.


Black’s best is 2…Qd7, since taking the Queen loses to 3 Re8+ Rf8[] 4 Rg7+ Kh8[] 5 Rf8 mate. After 2…Qd7 I was delighted to find the magical move 3 Qd5!!, exploiting the fact that the Qd7 is now tied to e8.


The fun doesn’t stop here. White threatens 4 Rg7+, and if 4….g6 5 Rge3! 1-0, so 4…Kf8 when the lovely 5 Rg7! breaks through nevertheless.


The Black Q is LPDO if 5…Rg7, so instead 5…Qd5 but then 6 Rg8+! and 7 Re8+ mating.


Lovely: great piece play.

Probably my favourite puzzle in the book so far.

The game isn’t in Megabase 2012 (my latest version of Megabase) but I have uploaded it here. It is a nice game to play through, to see how White’s attack in the  Ruy Lopez Steinitz defence developed so ‘easily’.


3b2k1/1pp2rpp/r2n1p1B/p2N1q2/3Q4/6R1/PPP2PPP/4R1K1 w – – 0 19

From → Chess

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