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Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #173

November 30, 2016
Another puzzle from Dragoslav Andric’s 1981 book “Matni Udar”.
White to play and mate Black
1731
Cortlever v Donner, Beverwijk 1950
Solution
I failed to solve this puzzle. Whilst I did examine all biffs and therefore looked at 1 Bh6+!! I couldn’t see its power. In the game, White played 1 Nc3 aand the game was drawn in the ending (after 1…Qh5 2 Qh5 gh 3 Rb7 Nc3 4 Rdd7 Rhf8)
But 1 Bh6+!! wins:
1732
1…Rh6 (1….Kg8 2 Rd8+ Rd8 3 Qd8+ Kh7[] EXAMINE) 2 Qf6+!! (I failed to see why the precursor 1 Bh6+!! made Qf6+ so strong: it enables the N to reach g5) 2…Nf6 3 ef+ and mate by a combination of Ng5 and Rd8+.
It took me a while to “understand” this combination. The advantage of 1 Bh6+!! is two-fold: enabling White’s N to reach g5, and also with Black’s Rook on h6 after it captures the B, an escape square for Black’s King is blocked. I am not at all surprised that Cortlever missed such a coup.
FEN
r6r/pb1R1pk1/1p2p1pp/3nP3/7Q/2N1B3/P3qPPP/3R2K1 b – – 0 28
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