Chess Puzzle of the Week (105): Solution

There was a discussion about a particular opening variation on Twitter the other day: Black plays Qe7 and Bb6 in the Giuoco Piano. This reminded me that, many years ago, I’d played a thematic game on the white side of that line, so I decided to dig it out.

This was R James – L Szeri Richmond 2 v Willesden (London League) 1978. I was, uncharacteristically, you might think, tempted to sacrifice: 15. Nxg5 hxg5 16. Bxg5 with ideas of Qf3 and Ne3-d5 to follow, and I later won the game. But we both missed 16… Qf8 breaking the pin because of 17. Bxf6 Qh6+ 18. Ne3 Qxf6 19. Nd5 Qh6+ 20. Kb1 Kd8, when White probably doesn’t have enough compensation.

So, to answer last week’s question, I should have just continued quietly with 15. Bg3, with a clear advantage.

Congratulations to everyone who spotted the Qf8 defence and, as a result, chose Bg3.