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Daily Chess Puzzle

April 19, 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

s1

Skagiatmetov v Demin, Orenburg 1964

Solution

A perfect example of Purdy’s dictum on threats.

Imagine the threat could not possibly be executed. Then what would be my best move? Try out each attractive move separately, considering each one as follows. Visualise the whole position as it would be after this move of yours, and then work out whether the opponent would gain by executing his ‘threat’.

1 d7!! Be4+ 2 Ka1 Bd5

s2

3 Ne6!! 1-0

Lovely.

s3

When entering the starting position into Chessbase, to print the diagrams, my engine says that 1 Ka1!! is equivalent- and, I would say, more stylish. And, strangely, it thinks 1 Qd3!! is strongest of all (+8 vs +7, so both overwhelmingly winning).

I wonder if any human would think of 1 Qd3 or 1 Ka1??

FEN

6k1/7p/2pP4/p4bq1/4QN2/6P1/PP5P/1K1R4 w – – 0 1

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