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Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem was seen in a recent Sunday Times column; it took me a few moments to solve, and I thought it was pretty and worth sharing.

 

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.

 

Black to play

Blomqvist E - Stupak K (28.gxf4).jpg

 

Blomqvist v Stupak, Stockholm 2019

Solution

1…Bc4! and White’s defences are overrun: If 2 Bc4, ef+ wins the exchange.

 

Blomqvist E - Stupak K (28...Bc4)

FEN

5rk1/5p1p/1p2b1p1/8/1P3P2/P3p3/3rBP1P/3RR1K1 b – – 0 28

 

Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem is from an old edition of Chess magazine. Not sure which one: I photocopied the page, to take on walks, and the date isn’t on the sheet.

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.

Black to play

McClement A - Giroyan G (28.Qe4)

McClement v Giroyan,  Albena 12/9/11

Solution

1..Bb6! overloads White’s pieces. After 2 Rf8+ Kf8, if 3 Qc6 Bd4+ 4 Kf1 Bc6 Black is winning:

McClement A - Giroyan G (31...Bxc6)

Though I suspect White has at least some survival chances in practice.

In the game, White played 3 Bf2, and after 3…Bf2+ 4 Kf2 Qb6+ 5 Qe3[] Qb2+

McClement A - Giroyan G (32...Qb2+)

it is game over.

FEN

1R1b1rk1/1b3p1p/2qpp1p1/8/3BQP2/P2P4/6PP/R5K1 b – – 0 28

Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem is from an old edition of Chess magazine. Not sure which one: I photocopied the page, to take on walks, and the date isn’t on the sheet.

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.

Black to play

Lisko F - Aulin Jansson J (44.Kb5)

Lisko v Aulin Jansson, 28/9/11 Slavia

Solution

1…b3! and in the game White played 2 a4, met with by 2…b2, and either the pawn promotes, or White is mated.

Or 2 ab Qb3+ 3 Ka5 Bd7! and Black mates.

Lisko F - Aulin Jansson J (46...Bd7)

For instance, 4 Qb4 Qa2+ wins the queen.

FEN

2b5/2p2k2/3p4/1K1P2B1/1p4pP/8/P2Q1P2/1q6 b – – 0 44

Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem is a gem seen on Chessbase.com; I thought it worth sharing, and wanted it saved on my site for the delight it gave me.

 

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

Adhiban Baskaran - Sethuraman SP (11...Qf6)

Adhiban v Sethuraman, Tehran 17/7/2008

Solution

1 Qh5! Qd4 2 Qa5!

Adhiban Baskaran - Sethuraman SP (13.Qa5!)

A beautiful concept, threatening mate, hitting the weakness is Black’s position, the Pc7.

2…Qb6[] 3 Qb6[] cb[] 4 Na4

Adhiban Baskaran - Sethuraman SP (15.Na4!)

The game isn’t over, and readers who want to understand the position more should look at the Chessbase article of 3rd May 2019.

FEN

2kr1b1r/1ppbnppp/p1p2q2/8/3NP3/2N3B1/PPP2PPP/R2Q1RK1 w – – 0 12

Daily Chess Puzzle

Today’s problem was seen on Twitter, a tweeter posting he had seen the position on Puzzle Rush. It is a gem worth sharing.

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

Pos96

unknown, Puzzle Rush

 

Solution

1 Qc6! hitting the LPDO Nd7; if either rook moves to d8 to defend it, or the N moves, there is the same consequence. Let us use 1…Nf6: 2 Nd5!

Pos97

And White wins a piece: 2…Qc6 3 Ne7+ forks the king and the LPDO Queen.

Lovely.

FEN

1r3rk1/p2nbppp/4p3/P7/3P4/2N2Q2/1Pq2PPP/R1B2RK1 w – – 0 1

Daily Chess Puzzle

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 (32...Kg7)

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

 

Solution

1 Bd5! protects the a-pawn tactically. I do feel Magnus combines postional pre-eminence with tactical mastery. Without one of these skills, he wouldn’t be as strong as he is.

1…Bd5 2 Qe5+ and 3 Qd5:

Carlsen Magnus - Vachier-Lagrave Maxime (35.Qxd5)

And Magnus shephered his a-pawn forward and Black resigned after a few more moves.

 

FEN

1Q6/5pkp/q3b1p1/8/6P1/7P/P4PB1/6K1 w – – 0 33

 

Daily Chess Puzzle

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