Chess Puzzle of the Week (126)

I was reading some 1978 New Zealand newspapers, as one does, the other day, when I came across this interesting position. Luis Chiong (Philippines) was playing White against Manuel Aaron (India) in a tournament in Kuala Lumpur.

I have two questions for you.

  1. What is White’s best continuation here?
  2. How would you assess the position? Advantage for White, equal chances, or advantage for Black?

Chess Puzzle of the Week (125): Solution

Some of you complained that this wasn’t a real puzzle as White is losing whatever he plays. I quite often choose to post puzzles with a difference.

Here, I wasn’t asking for White’s best move: I was asking how John Burke, in a losing position, set up a swindle.

The solution: John set the trap with 31. Rab1 Rxb1 32. Rxb1, when Black, thinking his opponent had blundered, snatched at the bait, playing 32… Nxc3. John then uncorked the beautiful 33. Qa6!!, which eventually won a piece and the game.

As John said, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

A position for David Smerdon, I think.

You can play through the complete game here.

Thanks to John for submitting the game and annotations. If you’ve played any interesting games or moves you’d like featured on our website, please get in touch.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (125)

This week’s puzzle is taken from a recent game between John Burke (Richmond) and Mike Dams (Epsom), played in the Surrey Online League.

John, playing white, was a pawn down in a bad position here, but spotted the opportunity to set up a beautiful swindle which enabled him to turn the tables. Can you work out what he played?

My thanks to John for submitting this game. If you’ve played any interesting games online recently, do send them to me, preferably with some brief annotations. Any other articles connected with chess will also be considered.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (124): Solution

The solution to last week’s puzzle: in the game Englisch – Schiffers (Frankfurt 1887) Black won with 32…Bxf2+! 33. Kxf2 Qd4+ 34. Kf3 f4! and White resigned because 35. h3 would be met by Re3+.

This was taken from Chess Rivals of the 19th Century by Tony Cullen (McFarland). My review of this highly recommended book has now been published.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (123)

It’s always an exciting day at the Chess Palace when the latest issue of The Problemist arrives through my letterbox.

The March 2021 Supplement includes an article by David Shire features some endgame studies by the great Leonid Kubbel which he considers suitable for introducing competitive players to the art of chess composition.

Here the good news is that you have an extra knight, but the bad news is that the black b-pawn is about to promote.

It’s White to play and draw, then. Your move!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (122): Solution

Last week’s puzzle was taken from the game Bledow – von Bilguer (Berlin 1839).

The game continued: 8. Qf7+!! Nxf7 9. Bxf7+ Ke7 10. Bg5+ Kd6 11. Bxd8 Kxe5 12. f4+! Kf5 13. Bg5! and White won 20 moves later. Lovely stuff!

This was taken from a new book, Chess Rivals of the 19th Century (McFarland), written by Tony Cullen, whom some of you may remember from his chess playing days at London Central YMCA and, more recently, Wimbledon.

My review will be published on British Chess News within the next week or so, and I’ll no doubt be returning to this book later for some more spectacular 19th century tactics.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (122)

This week I’m taking you back to the year 1839. We’re in Berlin to watch a game between Ludwig Bledow and Paul von Bilguer. We’ll discover how chess was played 182 years ago.

It’s time for White to play his 8th move. What would you advise him to play? How far ahead can you calculate? How would you assess the position?

Give it a go: you know you want to!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (121): Solution

A popular idea amongst problemists is the Four Corners theme, in which all four corners of the board are used within the solution, possibly also including the try play.

This position, taken from an article by Amatzia Avni in the March 2021 issue of CHESS, is from a game between the great Ulf Andersson and Chiel van Oosterom (Haarlem 2012).

Ulf chose the wrong corner for his queen, playing 51. Qa8?, with the idea of Rh8 followed by mate, but Black was able to defend and the game resulted in a draw.

Instead he could have won using some nifty geometry: 51. Qa1! Rf6 52. Qh1! (heading for h8) 52… Qh6 53. Rg8+!.

If you found the solution, Euclid would have been proud of you.