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Daily Chess Puzzle

January 10, 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

ric1

Richter v Baratz, Prague Olympiad, 14/7/1931

 

Solution

What would you play as White? Well, I doubt if I were White I would even think of 1 e4!? as Kurt Richter played.

For sure, it doesn’t win; but it is the engine’s first move, indicated to give White a slight advantage, and it certainly changes the flow of the game.

A few moves later, this was the position:

ric2

White is a piece for a pawn down, and yet the longer I leave the engine on, the more it likes White’s position. Maybe 1e4!? is an Alphazero type postional sacrifice?!

The full game is in Megabase 2018: 1-0, 29: Black quickly returned the piece in order to castle, but the game was then one-sided.

FEN

r3kb1r/pp1n2pp/2p1p3/3p1p2/1q1P1P1B/2N1PQ2/PPP3PP/4RRK1 w kq – 0 14

 

 

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