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Daily Chess Puzzle

March 12, 2018

Today’s problem is from the recent Aeroflot Open. I happened to look on Playchess at the some of the games played, and, as is my habit, looked first at the short 1-0s or 0-1s.

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

k1

Kamsky v Antipov, Moscow 27/2/18

Solution

Had I not seen the game, and had this been a problem, it would have been too hard.  In a game, I would doubtless have played 1 Bg3, and the game would have gone on. 1 Re7+!! is of course a move I would have looked at, but the complications would have been too difficult for me.

(As an aside, the engine’s second choice is 1 Bf4!, the cute point being 1…Nf4 2 Re7+! and if 2…Qe7 3 Nf5+ and 4 Qg4+;   2…Be7 3 Nf5+ Kf8 and 4 Qh6+ picks up the LPDO Nf4).

But after 1 Re7:

k2

We can discuss 1…Qe7?? 2 Nf5+ as trivial; but neither 1…Be7 (as played) or 1…Ne7 are easy. In fact, 1…Ne7 in particular is very difficult.

At each stage, there are lots of lines: rather than give them, today I will leave the positions after either sensible capture to my readers: it is, I think, a good task for thinking through with clock, set and board.

To maybe help, below is the final position in the game after 1..Be7 2 Nf5+

k3

FEN

2r2b1r/1pBqn1kp/5pn1/1N1p3Q/P2P2pN/8/2P2PPP/R3R1K1 w – – 0 20

 

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