Chess Puzzle of the Week (253): Solution

From a game played the other day between Bibisara Assaubayeva (2469) and Shrook Wafa (2111) (FIDE-WWTC-Pool-A 2023 Bydgoszcz, 2023.09.06).

I asked you on Monday how White should continue here.

The winning line is 20. Bb6 (obvious enough) 20… Qa6, and now the rather less obvious 21. Qf1!, when Black has no good reply to the threat of Be2. The best she can do is 21… Nd7 22. Be2 Nxb6 23. Bxb5, winning the exchange.

The game actually continued 20. Bb6 Qa6 21. Rxc8? Rxc8 22. Qxe7 Re8? (something like Rb8 or Qa8 would have kept her in the game) 23. Qxe8+! Nxe8 24. Rxe8+ Bf8 25. Be2!, when again Black has no way of breaking the pin. If she does nothing White will continue with Rb8 followed by moving the bishop on b6.

An unusual position, I think, with the unbreakable pin on the f1-a6 diagonal.

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