Chess Puzzle of the Week (63): Solution

puzzle63

On Boxing Day I left you with a choice of captures on c5. Which one will enable you to share the point with amateur heavyweight boxing champ and future world chess champion Max Euwe? His opponent, Jacques Davidson, made the wrong choice. I hope you did better.

Black has to play bxc5 here. You might want to avoid creating isolated pawns by taking with the queen. It’s a natural enough choice to make but to play chess well you have to ask the Magic Question “If I play that move what will happen next?”.

So we look at White’s Checks, Captures, Threats and Violent moves (CCTV) and find: 1… Qxc5? 2. Qd8+ Kg7 3. Qxf6+! Kxf6 (sacrificing to decoy the king onto a square where he’ll get forked) 4. Nxe4+ and White, with a modicum of care, will win the pawn ending.