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Daily Chess Puzzle

April 10, 2019

Today’s problem is from one of my games: a move I found when analysing the game recently, when preparing for another match against the same opponent.


As is my custom, I only say 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: what moves would you consider? Look for candidate moves

Beardsworth Allan - Shaw Robert (37...Rf8)

Allan Beardsworth v Robert Shaw, Stockport 10/4/17



I only looked at 1 h3 and the move I played, 1 Kb4; both are good, and I managed to win the game, but my engine’s first choice is a move I didn’t even consider.

1 c4!!

Beardsworth Allan - Shaw Robert (38.c4!!)

Should I have seen it? I think I should, but had blinkered thinking, and regarded the Queen side pawn structure as blocked.

But if I have done as Purdy said, and examined all biffs maybe I would have considered it;

Or if I had considered all pawn breaks, maybe also?;

or if I had talked to my pieces, I would have seen that the Bd2 is not very happy and that on b4, it would skewer the king and rook;

if if I had done another thing Purdy said, look for pins, I might have found it : the alignment on the a3-f8 diagonal of K and R.

Purdy on nets, pins and ties, Fine Art, vol 2, pg 205
Some things are hooey,
and most others lies;
But forks you mustn’t miss,
nor pins, nets, ties.
Or if I had followed AlphaZero, and looked to sacrifce pawns for open lines, maybe I would have found it.

Or if I had followed Jacob Aagaard’s advice and addressed his three questions, I might have found it.

Aagaard’s three questions
1. What are the weaknesses? (potential targets)
2. What is the worst piece? (improve position)
3. What is my opponent intending? (prophylaxis)

Or if I had followed another of Jacob’s words of wisdom, and brought all pieces to the party, I would have found it.

But despite knowing all these mantras, I didn’t even look at it, it was beyond my vision.

I wonder how many readers spotted it, or have “systems” in place to not overlookl such hidden moves?

(By the way, 1 c4 is best, but relies on some tactical lines to work; had I seen it, I still might not have played it. To be honest, I think I should have played 1 h3 which is a mean, prophylactic, move. The fact that 1 Kb4 is very strong doesn’t absolve me from finding a good move, and then looking for a stronger one.



5r2/1p2k3/4pb2/1p1p2pr/3P4/PKP2R2/1P1B1R1P/8 w – – 0 38

From → Chess

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