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Daily puzzle: my pick of wonderful moves from 2016

January 5, 2017

I am  starting the New Year with a fairly random selection of moves seen during 2016: skewed to the last few months, since I only thought of making such a selection in December, and then had to try to recall some of my favourite moments.

Black to play:
what would you play:
what candidate moves would you consider? 
what features of the position do you notice?
the move played improves Black’s position, that is all: you won’t find this particular position in any “find the winning move publication”.
caruanacarlsen1
Caruana v Carlsen, Baku Olympiad 11/9/16

Solution

1 …c5!!

 

A move I would never think of playing, because I would never see the follow up move. I watched this game live, and was astounded by Magnus’s move, and couldn’t see the point, and yet knew there had to be one.

I tried, live, to fathom the move, unsuccessfully: the purpose only became obvious after the next moves were played, and then I was struck with the power of the imagination of top players.

caruanacarlsen21

2 dc and now 2….Bc3!!

caruanacarlsen3

Magical: somehow, Magnus sees the weaknesses of the interrelationship’s of White’s pieces. The Be2 is tied in CJS Purdy terms to the Nc4; the Be2 is itself an LPDO: these factors come together to enable the combination.
For the game continuation, see my Cloud Database (which I think, but am not sure, was pasted from Chessbase.com, my main source of chess news).

FEN

r2r2k1/pp2ppbp/4b1p1/P1pn4/2NP4/2P3P1/1P2BPP1/R1B2RK1 w – – 0 18

ChessBase Cloud
 
The game can be found here:
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