Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Sunday Puzzle

This position is from a game played in the seventies, namely Liddel-Silman (i.e. Jeremey Silman, famous chess author), San Diego, Black to move.

There is a crushing move for Black here. Can you find it (without the aid of a computer!)?

I messed it up totally, seeing that 1...Bd7 threatened a checkmate which can only be stopped by 2.Bf1, I thought the White bishop was simply overloaded, and chose the poor 1...Nxe4. I saw 2.Bxf4, but didn't see that after 2 ... Bd7, 3. Bf1 had everything covered, and then my (Black) king looks exposed to White attack. Annoyed with myself, I checked the winning line which is elegant. I must admit, I simply missed the point of the tactic behind the first move of the correct line which, when you do see it, makes calculation easier.

Good luck!

Black to move

SOLUTION:

1...Ng4+!!

If 2. hxg4, Qxg4 and the threats, as Kevin pointed out, are unstoppable. First off, checkmate is threatened by 3...Qh4#. White cannot avoid this and save the Bishop. This was the key line to see - the rest is much easier.

If 2. Kh1 then f2! The pawn thrust finishes White off because if the White rook moves then either it allows the pawn to promote, or the Bishop is lost.

13 Comments:

At 1/23/2011 10:41 PM, OpenID craigbenno1 said...

Bknight E2. next move BQ A6.

 
At 1/23/2011 11:03 PM, OpenID diglot said...

1... Bf3 is good but seems to be neutralized by 2.Rf1

1... Ng4 was the move that immediately leaped out to me, though after 2.Kh1 (2.hxg4?? Qh6#) it seems to come out equal after a few exhanges. 2... f2 3.Bxf4 fxg1=Q 4.Kxg1 exf4 5.hxg4 Qxg4 and it looks like it will end a draw

By the way, I love chess!

 
At 1/23/2011 11:13 PM, OpenID diglot said...

Oops I meant,

1... Be3 is good but seems to be neutralized by 2.Re1

 
At 1/23/2011 11:24 PM, OpenID diglot said...

Lol, I just realised I had set the position wrong on my chess board (I forgot the black pawn on h5).

I think the answer must still be 1...Ng4. The only difference now is that if Black responds with 2.hxg4 then 2...Qxg4 gives Black a decisive advantage (so does 2...Kh1).

 
At 1/23/2011 11:33 PM, OpenID diglot said...

Oops, I meant to say that 2.Kh1 still gives Black the advantage

 
At 1/25/2011 8:51 AM, Blogger Nazaroo said...

Pk4 gives drawing chances

 
At 1/25/2011 3:38 PM, OpenID craigbenno1 said...

My move kills it; check and mate in two moves.... I have not seen any way to prevent it.

 
At 1/26/2011 12:52 AM, OpenID craigbenno1 said...

There is a pre-emptive move for white; if it moves its Castle from B8 to A8...Which would allow white to move into B8. This would easily be over come by black moving its bishop from c5 to d6

 
At 1/26/2011 3:07 PM, Blogger Yuriy said...

@craigbenno1: if you move Bbishop*E2 and I was playing white. I would move the King back one to A8. And have the choice of blocking the BQ with WQA7 or WBA7. White could also bring WB up to C8. -- basically BBE2 + BQA6 does not guarantee anything

 
At 1/27/2011 5:45 AM, OpenID craigbenno1 said...

Yurily...you have made a good move.. however...

Which will you block me with...

 
At 1/28/2011 3:34 AM, Blogger Yuriy said...

Well, I would do WBa7 and you would counter with BBa7. I would follow with WQa7 and then we would exchange queens. That would leave white with a rook and a bishop. Black would have a knight and a bishop. But white would be down 2 pawns (3 v 5). It would drag on for awhile and white would loose.

The better alternative would be to move WBc8 which would cool things down. Also, the pawn on d5 would be covered by the queen (considering the BB would be moved to e2).

Its been a few years. Have I missed anything?

 
At 1/28/2011 3:59 AM, Blogger Yuriy said...

I realized that I inverted the board, sorry to confuse everyone.

 
At 1/29/2011 3:31 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Great suggestions guys - I have put the solution up. Kevin of Diglot hit the jackpot!

 

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