Chess Puzzle of the Week (60)

puzzle59Last week I asked you what White should do about his threatened queen in this 1978 RJCC game.

The answer is: nothing! Instead he can win by playing 1. Bc4.

A few variations (in Chess Puzzles for Heroes you’ll get points for each one you find):

1… fxg5 gives White a choice of double checks: 2. Nf6+ Kh8 3. Rxh7# (an Arabian mate) or 2. Ne7+ Kh8 3. Ng6# (a pin mate).

Black can defend by moving his king: 1… Kh8 when the quickest win is 2. Rxh7+ Kxh7 3. Qh5+ Kg8 4. Ne7# or 4. Nxf6#

So Black’s only defence is to block the diagonal: 1… Be6. Now White has to find 2. Qg4, offering his queen again. Black still can’t capture: his best try is 2… f5 when White has 3. Qh5 (Ne7+ is also good) h6 4. Qg6 Kh8. White is winning but the best moves may not be so easy to find: my silicon friend tells me Rxh6+, Rd3 and Rd2 (so that RxR isn’t check after a future knight move) will all bring home the point with best play. I’ll leave it to you (or your computer) to analyse this further.

puzzle60

Returning to Jonathan Rowson (his new book The Moves that Matter is highly recommended here at the Chess Palace), this week’s puzzle comes from M Cavanagh – J Rowson Dundee Open 1996. Black is a piece up but his king is not at all safe. How should he resolve this complex position?