Chess Puzzle of the Week (83)


I’m currently taking advantage of lockdown to work on my next book, Chess Puzzles for Heroes. I’ll write a lot more about this, and, in general, about the Chess Heroes project (designed for those up to about 100 strength) later.

One of  the chapters will be called Trick or Treat. You’re given a move to analyse and you have to say whether or not you’d play the move. You also have to provide analysis to justify your answer.

This week’s puzzle was submitted by Richard Thursby. It’s Black’s move (Richard Thursby – Ian Henderson TVL 2010). Is Bxd4 a trick or a treat? Richard requires analysis, not just a one word answer. An ideal opportunity for our C and D team players to get some solving practice!


Chess Puzzle of the Week (82): Solution


This position was taken from On the Origins of Good Moves, the outstanding new book by Dutch IM Willy Hendriks: my review will be published very shortly.

In Hendriks-Hoffman (Groningen 2007) White won a pawn with 16. Nxd6+! Qxd6 17. Bxa6 Rxa6 18. dxe5 Qxd1 19. Rexd1!, the point being that 19…Nxe4 loses to 20. Rb8+! Nxd8 21. Rd8# – as played (as some of my readers noticed) by Morphy in the opera house.


Chess Puzzle of the Week (81): Solution


In last week’s puzzle, with Black to move, I asked you to choose between Rb8 and Bxf2. IM Tom Rendle made the wrong choice: 21… Bxf2 lost a piece to 22. e5+ Kxe5 23. Nd3+.

Most games are decided by tactical points like this rather than brilliant sacrifices. Questions of this type will feature in my forthcoming book Chess Puzzles for Heroes, which should be available towards the end of this year.


Checkmate Covid-19

The ECF is running a 24 hour blitz tournament, starting this evening, to raise money for the British Red Cross.

If you’d like to support this very worthwhile cause, play some blitz and perhaps win a prize, you’ll find more details here.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (81)


An easy question this week, to give everyone a chance.

From the English Online Blitz Championship the other day. IM Thomas Rendle, Black, to move against Koby Kalavannan of Surbiton Chess Club. Should he choose Rb8 to defend his b-pawn, or capture a pawn himself with Bxf2?


Chess Puzzle of the Week (80): Solution


Last week I left you with this Mate in 2 composed by Norris Easter (2nd Prize, BCPS 001. Ty., 1926).

The solution, as discovered by Chris Baker, is 1. Ka8, unpinning the knight to threaten Nd7#. 1… Rxc5+ and Rxd6+ are both met by 2. Ne4#. 1… Kf6 is met by 2. Ne8# and 1… Nf6 runs into 2. Nc4#.



Chess Puzzle of the Week (79): Solution


In this position I missed a beautiful win: 24… Qxf2+! 25. Kxf2 Bd4+ 26. Kf1 and now the quiet move Nf5! threatening Ng3# as well as Ne3+. The best White can do is 27. Nxe4 Ne3+ 28. Kg1 (not 28. Kf2 Ng4+ 29. Kf3 Nh2#) 28… Nxd1+ 29. Kf1 Rxc1 30. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 31. Bxd1 Re8 leaving Black the exchange ahead with an easy win.

I hope you did better than me and found the winning move!