Chess Puzzle of the Week (140): Solution

Last week’s endgame study (Yochanan Afek 1973) solves like this:

1. Rxb5+! Kxb5 2. Ne5+ Ka4 3. Nd7 Be2! 4. Bxe2 Rb8+ 5. Bb5+!! (5. Ka2 Rb2+! 6. Kxb2 is stalemate) 5… Rxb5+ 6. Ka2 and Black is in zugzwang: the rook will be lost either by a capture or a fork.

My review of How to Study Chess on your Own by Davorin Kuljasevic, my source for this and other recent puzzles, is now available here.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (140)

Davorin Kuljasovic, like many recent authors of chess improvement books, recommends the regular solving of endgame studies as an important tool to improve your rating.

He gives this one, composed by Yochanan Afek in 1973, as an exercise. It’s White to play and win. You could challenge yourself, he adds, by solving it blindfold!

Off you go, then!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (139): Solution

Last week’s puzzle, taken from Davorin Kuljasevic’s new book How to Study Chess on your Own (my review will be appearing elsewhere shortly) is some analysis from the Sicilian Najdorf.

White’s sacrificed a queen to reach this position and can conclude with 30. Rf7+!! Kg8 (or 30… Kxf7 31. Bc4+ Kf8 32. Nd7#) 31. Rf8+! Kxf8 (or 31… Rxf8 32. Bc4+ Rf7 33. Re8#) 32. Nd7+ Kf7 33. Bc4+ Qd5 34. Bxd5#.

Kuljasevic points out that in the three variations in the solution White mates with three different pieces: knight, rook and bishop.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (139)

This is another position from Davorin Kuljasevic’s new book How to Study Chess on Your Own.

You’re playing White and had to consider whether to sacrifice your queen to reach this position. Are you losing, can you force a draw, or is there a way to win?

You tell me!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (138): Solution


Fritz Emil Giegold stern 1967

Last week I left you with a mate in 4 which, you might have guessed if you’re familiar with this composer, was the work of the wonderful Fritz Emil Giegold, whose compositions, I think, are particularly suitable for OTB players.

Congratulations to Chris Baker, and anyone else who found the solution: 1. Ra3 b4 2. Ra4 b3 3. Rh4 Kxh4 4. Nf3#

I took this from a book I’m currently reviewing: How to Study Chess on Your Own, by Davorin Kuljasevic. You’ll be able to read my review on British Chess News within the next week or so.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (137): Solution

I had Black against Julien Shepley (to move) in this pawn ending from an RTCC arena game the other day.

I asked you to analyse 40. Kf3 and 40. Kd3.

The answer in brief is that 40. Kf3 draws, as do 40. b5 and, perhaps less obviously, 40. g4. For instance, 40. Kf3 a6 41. g4! f4 42. Ke4!

The game continued 40. Kd3? a5? 41. bxa5 bxa5 and the game was soon drawn.

I could have won, though. 40. Kd3? a6! (the only winning move, threatening b5 to prevent White securing a protected passed pawn) 41. c5+ bxc5! 42. dxc5+ Kd5! or Ke5! and Black will secure the full point.

Very instructive, I think. A position well worth studying in depth. It’s so important – and so difficult – to excel at pawn endings.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (137)

This week, one of my favourite subjects: king and pawn endings.

White to play. I want you to analyse two moves (you can, if you want, analyse any number up to 10, but these are the two moves I’m interested in).

a) Kd3

b) Kf3

Do you have a preference, or are they both the same? Do either, or both, of them win, draw or lose?

Chess Puzzle of the Week (136): Solution

On this day in 1858 (perhaps I should present themed anniversary puzzles every week) Howard Staunton and John Owen reached this position against Paul Morphy and Thomas Wilson Barnes. The White team are faced with the double threat of Rxb8 and Bxe2. Do they have a way out?

The game continued 27. Qh2? Bxe2 28. Rd7 Qh6!, when the Black allies maintained their extra piece, winning a few moves later.

There was a draw for the taking, though.

27. Qf4! prevents Qh6 and should lead to a peaceful conclusion after 27… Bxe2 28. Rd7.

The main point, which you had to see to gain full credit, is that if Black tries to keep the bishop with 28… Be7, White can force a perpetual check by continuing 29. Ne6 Qf6 30. Rxe7! Qxe7 31. Qe5+ Rg7 32. Qb8+ Rg8 33. Qe5+.

Alternatively, 28… Qxb2 29. Qxh4 Qa1+ 30. Kh2 Qe5+ 31. Kg1 and this time it’s Black who has to take the perpetual check.