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Daily Chess Puzzle

March 5, 2018

Today’s problem is from the same game as yesterday’s. Seeing the ending on YouTube, I recalled I saw Jon’s fine game when it was played, thirty years ago.

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.

Black to play

p3

Psakhis v Speelman, Hastings 1987

Solution

Well, I would never, ever, play the move Jon played. I would always meekly move back 1… Nd5 or 1…Na6 but Jon played the stunning 1…Na2!!

p4

 

One point is 1 Rc2 Nd4 2 Rd2 Nb3, and the Na2 won’t be trapped. Lev played the stronger 2 Rc4 met with by 2…Nd4

p5

White played 3 b3, and eventually the game reached the position in yesterday’s puzzle. My engine tells me that, contrary to what I thought, 3 Ra1 is winning: 3…Nb3[] 4 Ra2 Rd1 5 Re4+! Kf7

p6

6 f4; and now the point of 5 Re4+ is revealed: 6…Nd2+ 7 Kf2[] Ne4 and the Re4 is protected, 8 Be4.

p7

And the engine gives +2, which means White must be able to untangle.

FEN

3r4/4k2p/1pnr1pp1/p1p5/1n6/P5P1/1P2PPBP/1RR1BK2 b – – 0 21

 

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