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Daily chess puzzle: Check Mate #410

August 20, 2017

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

And, as with puzzle 404, there is a twist.

White to play and mate Black

4101.JPG

Nikitin v Kuznjecov, USSR 1975

Solution

The only move to think of is 1 Rc6+!.

The engine says Black’s best is 1…Kb8 2 Re6 and +3; but the only thing needing calculating by a human is what happens after 1…Kc6 2 Rc1+

4102

Firstly, 2…Kd6 loses beautifully to 3 Qe5+!! fe 4 de+ Kd7[] 5 Bb5 mate. This was the game continuation.

4103

Just showing how narrow the line is between victory and defeat in chess, 3 Qe5+!! is the only move which wins: any others, Black is better or winning. So I am not sure in practice if I would have dared 1 Rc6+, since I don’t know if I would have found 3 Qe5+!! or been totally confident in it.

Secondly, 2…Kd7 loses either prosaically to 3 Qb5+ Kd6[] 4 Qc6 mate; or prettily by 3 Bb5+ Kd6[] 4 Qe5+! and 5 de mate.

The engine says Black’s best is 2…Nc3+ 3 Rc3+ Kd6 but at +17, it thinks White is better. I agree.

Twist

What do I mean by “by a human”? Answer tomorrow (big hint: there is something better for one of the sides than the line I have given)

FEN

3r3r/p1k1q2p/Bnp1pp2/3n1p2/3P4/5NP1/PP2QP1P/1KR4R w – – 0 1

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