Chess Puzzle of the Week (90): Solution

puzzle90

All chess players should be familiar with the double bishop sacrifice. Last week’s puzzle (Dizdarevic – Miles Biel 1975) is an interesting example.

Tony started off, as you do, with 13… Bxh2+! 14. Kxh2 Qh4+ 15. Kg1. If you recognize the pattern you may well continue 15… Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Qg4+ 17. Kh1 Qf3+ 18. Kg1 Rf6 with mate to follow.

But there’s a slight problem: Instead of taking the second bishop White can play 16. f3 when either Bxf1 or Bh3 will lead, according to the engines, to an equal position.

Tony, of course, had foreseen this, and continued with the brilliant 15… Bf3!!, threatening Qg4 or Qg5, and if 16. gxf3, then Rf6 is mating. In the game, White played 16. Nd2 (there’s nothing better) and here 16… Bxg2 wins because the 2nd rank is now closed. The game concluded 17. f3 Rf6 18. Nc4 Bh3 and White resigned: a humiliating defeat in just 18 moves for the 2425 rated Emir Dizdarevic.

Pattern recognition is important, but you still have to calculate!