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Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #401

August 10, 2017

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

Black to play and mate White



A pure trip down memory lane. I clearly remember this position, and the joy as a twelve year old seeing it, possibly for the first time in the February 1975 British Chess Magazine (BCM): I say possibly, because, oddly, the game isn’t given much profile in that magazine, which I had a look at in writing this posting.

A really liked Rafael Vaganian, who to my pre teenage eyes was (i) Russian [I suspect he was Armenian] and (ii) stylish; and the fact that he lost to someone I had not heard of, in fine style, with Na1!! was really notable. It has been nice to see Rafael playing in Biel last month, the first I have seen of him for many years.

So, 43 years later, the ‘solution’ came to me instantly. 1..Bf5


2 Qa8 Qd6+


3 Kc1 Na1


4 Qb7 Qc7+!! – the final joyful coup.


Vaganian resigned, rather than permitting 5 Qc7 Nb3 mate.



However, there is a spoiler

4 Qb7?? is a mistake. 4 Bc4! is considerably stronger, and my engine says is 0.0

After 4 Bc4! Qc7 5 Nc3 Qc4 6 Qd8 just about holds the balance. I have played a few variations out with my engine: White’s king is checked into the open board, so in human chess terms Black is having all the fun, but the engine regards the line as equal. 

Also, 3 Kc3 is just about playable, though I think Black is better and White would have a tough time holding on. The real mistake was therefore 4 Qb7??


r1b1Q3/pp3ppk/1q5p/8/8/P3P3/1PnK1PPP/3N1B1R b – – 0 19

From → Chess

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