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Daily Chess Puzzle

February 12, 2020

Today’s problem is from an old edition of Chess Magazine. I don’t know which one, because, as is my habit, from time to time I photocopy a page to solve on walks or on trains etc; and my copy doesn’t show the magazine date.

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

You can tell from the Chessbase evaluation that “something happened”. Aronian missed something in the position below.

Capture

Aronian Levon - Nakamura Hikaru (29...Rc4)

Aronian v Nakamura, Saint Louis Rapid 12/8/2018

Solution

I doubt I would ever, not even in a month of Sunday’s, have played the move Levon missed: 1 c3; Komodo gives it as the only move which gives a winning advantage; all other moves, including Levon’s 1 d7, losing.

Aronian Levon - Nakamura Hikaru (30.c3).jpg

1 d7 lost to 1…Rb4; from this can be seen that 1 c3 is “simple” prophylaxis. If Black doesn’t mate White, e.g if he plays 1…Bc3 2 Nc3 Rc3, then 3 d7 and the pawn queens, since 3…Nf6 loses to 4 Qg7 mate.

Aronian Levon - Nakamura Hikaru (32.d7)

FEN

4nrk1/5pp1/1q1P4/1p6/2r1N2P/p6B/PbP3QP/1K1R2R1 w – – 0 30

From → Chess

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