Chess Puzzle of the Week (127): Solution

Last week’s puzzle was from an online game between Richmond star Mike Healey and Ginger GM Simon Williams. I asked you whether or not Black should play Bxa4 here.

The answer is that 22… Bxa4? (Bd7 was better) is met by 23. Bh3 Qc6 (there’s no better square: the queen will eventually be forced there anyway) when the black minor pieces are short of squares. Now Mike played 24. Ne5, missing the win of a piece with 24. b3 Bb5 25. c3 Bxc4 26. bxc4 when the knight is trapped.

No matter: after various adventures (you’d expect no less from two such creative players) Mike eventually won the game when Simon, with only 6 seconds on the clock, allowed a mate in 1.

You can play through the game here.