Chess Puzzle of the Week (233): Solution

This position is taken from a game played in 1879 at odds of the exchange between Joseph Blackburne and G Zucko. I found it in The Ink Wars: Romanticism versus Modernity in Chess by Willy Hendriks: my review of this book will be published within the next week or so.

The obvious attacking moves don’t work. 1. Nf6+ is met by 1… Bxf6 2. Qxf6 Qe1+ 3. Kg2 f3+, and the seemingly brilliant 1. Qf6 meets a spectacular refutation: 1… Qe1+!!, which will leave the knight pinned after 2. Kxe1 Bxf6.

Blackburne, a brilliant tactician and one of England’s finest ever players, found the even more spectacular winning move 1. c3!!, when the bishop capture will block the black queen’s route to e1.

If you found c3 and also spotted Qe1+ in reply to Qf6 I’m very impressed.

Click on any move to play through the variations here.