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Daily Chess Puzzle

January 7, 2018

Today’s problem is from the 1972 book “Chess Combination as a Fine Art”, a book based on articles published in the 1950s-1960s by Kurt Richter.

Since the start of 2018, I have decided to adopt the style of only saying which side is to play: and not giving an idea if the move wins or otherwise, unless on occasion I think signposting would be helpful. Instead, the problems are posed with the instruction to decide what you would play, as in a game.

White to play

Van1

Vanka v Skala, Prague 1960

 

Solution

1 b4! to give the Bc1 access to the long diagonal with tempo; Q moves, say 1…Qb6′ 2 Qf6+! and if 2…Kf6, 3 Bb2+ mates.

van2

Checking with my engine, 1 b4! is firm favourite; 1 Bd2 Qc5 2 Qd3 is also assessed as winning, as is 1 f5, and I suspect others. But 1 b4! is most categorical.

 

FEN

r1b2r2/pp2npkp/3p1pp1/q2P4/3QPP2/8/PP2B1PP/R1B2R1K w – – 0 1

 

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