Chess Puzzle of the Week (66)


Continuing the game Eamon Rashid-Farokhi-Andrew Bamford (RJCC 1993) from last week’s puzzle, White missed the winning Bd4, or even Qd4, instead playing h6, after which Black had the advantage. It wasn’t so easy for him to defend, though, and a few moves later they reached this position.

White to move again. Again there are two winning moves. This time I want you to find and analyse both of them.



Chess Puzzle of the week (65): Solution


Last week I asked you to analyse this position from a game played at Richmond Junior Club in 1993. Eamon Rashid-Farokhi was white and Andrew Bamford black.

The move I wanted you to look at was 1. Bd4 (Qd4 is also strong, but this is even better) when Black has to defend g7.

1… Rg8 is met by 2. Qg2 when Black has no defence to the beautiful threat of 3. Qg6+, forcing mate.

1… Bf6 loses to 2. Bxf6 gxf6 when 3. h6 and Qd4 both win, but the prettiest move is 3. Qf4 when there’s no sensible answer to the threats of Qxf6 and Rg6, this time sacrificing a rook on the same square as the queen sac in the previous variation. For example, 3… f5 4. Rg6 fxg6 5. hxg6+ Kxg6 6. Rh6+ when I’ll leave it to you to work out the mates.

1… f6 enables White to sacrifice on g7 rather than g6: 2. Rxg7+ Kxg7 3. Qg5+ is White’s quickest win.

Congratulations to Mike Healey who was the first reader to provide the full answer I required.

Imperial College v Richmond 14-01-20

Our first match of 2020, against the students of Imperial College, newcomers to the top flight, gave us a much needed point.

The university team had a very strong top board but the grades of their lower boards declined very rapidly thereafter.

Gavin lost on board 1. Mike was unlucky on board 2, losing on time by a second in a position where he had queen against pawn. Lower down there were fewer problems, and we scored a comfortable victory.

Imperial College Richmond
1 Li Tian Yeoh 260 1:0 Gavin Wall 224
2 Sourav Bhattacharjee – 1:0 Mike Healey 217
3 Juan Manuel Arteaga 167 0:1 Andreas Wetscherek 193
4 Wasim Ahmed – 0:1 Caspar Bates 200
5 Elliott MacNeil 156 ½:½ Martin Benjamin 181
6 Desmond Chan – 0:1 John Burke 175
7 Antonios Georgantas – 0:1 Chris White 180
8 Jonny Vincent – 0:1 John Bass 176
9 Imran Rahman 137 0:1 Mike Smart 170
10 Kene Nwegbu – ½:½ Chris Baker 168

Thanks to all who played and congratulations to the winners.

Best wishes to our opponents for the rest of the season.


Chess Puzzle of the Week (65)


This week’s puzzle comes from a game between Eamon Rashid-Farokhi and Andrew Bamford, played at Richmond Junior Chess Club in 1993.

White to play: what is his best move (you might want to tell me the second best as well), how might Black defend, and how should the game continue? The more you tell me the more points you score!

Giuoco Fortissimo

As promised, something about the opening of Chris White’s game on Monday.

We start like this:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 (The old main line of the Giuoco Piano. These days 5. d3 is very popular.) 5… exd4 6. cxd4 Bb4+


Now White (that’s Chris!) has to make a critical decision. Traditionally, the choice is between Bd2 and Nc3. Bd2 has long been considered about equal, and the engines don’t disagree. Nc3 is the main romantic choice: if you know the theory and your opponent doesn’t you stand a pretty good chance of scoring a brilliant victory, but the main line was more or less refuted in the game Barczay-Portisch half a century ago. Various attempts have been made to revive it over the years but none have been very convincing.

If you play 3… Bc5 with black you need to know the theory: you’re not going to be able to find the best moves over the board.

There’s been some recent interest in Nbd2, which the engines consider as good as Bd2 and might surprise an unwary opponent. Chris, though, chose a fourth option, Kf1, which I seem to recall Gavin recommending to me years ago.

Chris takes up the story:

This line is only really a footnote in the books, I think they just give …d5 as the answer and leave it at that.

7… d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Nc3 Bxc3 10. bxc3 0-0 11. Ng5 (threatening Ba3) 11… h6 12. h4 hxg5 13. hxg5 g6 14. Qf3 Nb6 (14.. Be6 loses to 15. Bxd5)

Now I played 15. Bb3 which is still good, but the magic move is 15. Qf4! +-

Actually at the time Qf4 was my first thought, as 15… Nxc4 16. Qh4 is obviously mate. But after 15. Qf4 Kg7 I figured black is ready to meet to 16. Qh4 with 16…Rh8 and we have stalled. However…………….


15. Qf4 Kg7 16. Ba3! does the trick. Black’s R is attacked but he can’t go 16…Rh8 while the WQ is still on f4 since 17. Qxf7#.

But if our young star leaves the R on f8 (let’s say he grabs a second piece with 16… Nxc4) 17. Bxf8 and there is no decent recapture. 17… Kxf8 18. Rh8+ or 17… Qxf8 18. Qf6+ and 19. Rh8#

(RJ: I would add that 12… hxg5 is either very brave or very foolish, quite probably both: Stockfish 10 prefers either 12… Na5 13. Bd3 Nf6 or the immediate 12… Nf6 when Black is OK. Even then it’s not so easy to defend. A very highly rated player quickly went wrong in the game Ehmann (2305) – Beikert (2414) Sasbach 2018: 12… Na5 13. Bd3 c5 14. Ba3 f5 15. Bxc5 hxg5 16. Bxf8 Nxc3 17. Qc2 Qxd4 18. Rc1 Kxf8 19. Qxc3 Qxc3 20. Rxc3 g4 21. h5 1-0. Black might also look for improvements earlier in the game: 9… Nb6 or Be6, or 10… Be6 are engine suggestions.)

Hounslow B v Richmond C 06-01-20

Richmond C’s third match of the season saw a visit to Hounslow where we were faced with opponents who outgraded us on the top three boards.

Huw Williams reports:

Paul had a quick game and lost. I was down two pawns, but managed to win one back at the end and my opponent offered a draw. Colin lost a close game, then Rob won his game. Masoud was a pawn up, but with opposite bishops and a draw was agreed. Our last chance was Omar and he had a rook v bishop with six pawns each. As soon as Omar’s rook reached the seventh rank with check, his opponent resigned.

Hounslow B Richmond C
1 J J Padam 139 ½:½ Masoud Molazadeh 129
2 Peter Hawran 131 1:0 Paul Evans –
3 Calum Kinloch 131 1:0 Colin Dailley 106
4 Barry Fraser 105 0:1 Rob Hunter –
5 Pavan Kumar Kota 103 0:1 Omar Anbagi 108
6 John O’Toole 98 ½:½ Huw Williams 97

A good result: well done everyone.

You can play through Omar’s game here.