Chess Puzzle of the Week (196): Solution

Last time I left you with a defensive puzzle. I asked you to find Black’s best defence in this position.

This position comes from the game between Edgard Colle and José Aguilera Bernabé, played at Barcelona in 1929, which I took from a wonderful article on Colle written by my online friend Neil Blackburn (simaginfan on which you can read here. While you’re there it’s well worth reading his many other articles as well.

White had sacrificed two pieces for a quick and dangerous attack. Black wasn’t able to find a defence, trying 17… Nf6 and resigning a few moves later. It’s not so easy (I very rarely set you easy puzzles) but there was a defence.

The move is 17… Rf5 when White will continue 18. Bxf5 exf5, at which point he has two tries.

19. Rae1 Nf8! 20. Re8 Qxd4+ 21. Kh1 g6! 22. Qxg6+ Qg7 Qxg7+ Kxg7


19. Rxf5 Ne5! 20. Rf4 Bg4! 21. Rxg4 Nxg4 22. Qxg4

when Black is holding on: Stockfish considers Black to have an advantage in both variations.

Here’s the complete game. Click on any move for a pop-up board.

If you found Rf5 and analysed both critical lines you have great defensive skills. Learning to defend well is just as important as learning to attack well – but learning to attack has to come first.