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Daily Chess Puzzle

May 9, 2019

Today’s problem is from the recent Grenke Classic. As is my habit, I am writing this blog many days in advance; in fact, whilst watching the final round live on the FollowChess iPad App. Magnus has just won again, so dominating the field.

 

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

Carlsen Magnus - Vachier-Lagrave Maxime (17...Nxf3+)

Carlsen v Vachier-Lagrave, Baden-Baden 29/4/19

 

Solution

Watching the game live, and playing guess-the-move, I chose 1 Bf3, a move I would always play, to keep my pawns intact/ not isolate my d-pawn. Stockfish likes it, and White is better, but like Magnus, it prefers 1 ef!, a move I would barely consider- consider and reject.

Its point? I think it is to proceed with f3-f4, without weakening White’s king; the effect of f3-f4 is to undermine the strength of Black’s c5-d6-e5 pawn phalanx.

Carlsen Magnus - Vachier-Lagrave Maxime (19.f4).jpg

Magnus went on to win a fine game, in the final round. By the time the above position had been reached, his only potential challenger for the winner’s postion was Fabiano Caruana. Fabiano v Aronian was heading to a draw in the Marshall, which happened a few moves after this position, but Magnus pressed and succeeded, showing his dominance and adding to his rating points.

FEN

1rr3k1/5pBp/3p1np1/q1p1pb2/8/1PNP1nPP/P2QPPB1/R1R3K1 w – – 0 18

From → Chess

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