Chess Puzzle of the Week (203): Solution

In the game between Charles Hugh Sherrard and George Archer Hooke (Birmingham St George’s v North London 12 Apr 1898) White found the winning combination.

The first thing to note is that the black queen is attacking our rook on c1, so the attractive 23. Qxg6?! fails to 23… Qxc1+ 24. Kh2 Qf4+! and Black wins.

The correct solution is 23. Nxh7! (not so hard to find once you’ve rejected Qxg6) 23… Bxh7, and now the beautiful quiet move 24. Kh2!. White wants to prevent Black capturing the rook with check, and also prefers to keep the rook on c1 so that Black can’t defend h7 by playing Qxc2. (24. Re1 is the other good move, but Kh2 is much cleaner.)

The game concluded 24… f6 25. Qg6 Kh8 26. Rxh7 Qe7 27. e6! f5 28. Qh5 and Black resigned

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

You can read my first article on George Archer Hooke here. The next instalment will be published within the next few days.