Chess Puzzle of the Week (57)

puzzle56

I left you with this position last week. I missed a beautiful, study-like continuation:

1… Na5! when we have three variations (I wanted them all for full marks: yes, I’m mean!)

Obviously, 2. Rxa5 c2 and Black promotes.

So White has to bring his rook back to stop the pawn:

2. Re5 c2! (after the immediate Nb3 White can defend with Re2) 3. Re1 Nb3! and again Black promotes.

Instead White can try 2. Rb5+ Ka8! (the only move: Black must avoid potential checks) 3. Rb1 Nb3! (in this variation the immediate c2 is answered by Rc1) 4. axb3 c2! and yet again Black promotes.

In the game Estick – James (from a London League match between RTCC 2 and Streatham in 1986) I played Nxd4 and the game was drawn a few moves later.

 

One of the chapters in Chess Puzzles for Heroes will be called Spot the Blunder. I spent yesterday evening at the launch party for Jonathan Rowson’s new book The Moves that Matter (and it was lovely to bump into Nette on the train home) so decided to look at some of his old games.

puzzle57

This is a position from Jonathan Rowson – John Richardson (Walsall 1977) which would fit right into Spot the Blunder. Black, to play, is doing fine here, but, as they ask on A Question of Sport, what happened next?

I’ll write more about both The Moves that Matter and the Chess Heroes project later.