SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Friday already? And the end of the month of November! Why does the time just fly when we are having fun? December will be the end of 4-years of almost-daily activity on this blog…curiously, one of the reasons I started ‘doing’ this blog was to develop a daily habit of writing. All for creating the necessary discipline for writing a serious chess book!
While I have not put the idea of writing a book on hold (infact, I have just recently had some concrete discussions with a potential publisher), I have discovered that I actually like writing this blog! And I look forward to my 5th year of activity in 2013…
ANYWAY, here are some chess tactics for the more serious of my readers. Enjoy! I will put the solutions up (as well as the others–I had fallen behind) sometime on Sunday.
From the 2012 World Senior Championship in Greece. Position after 32 moves. White has a dominating position with his Knight keeping the Black Rooks in harmless mode. Black is hoping that when the Knight retreats he will be able to counter attack along the g-file.
WHAT IS WHITE’S STRONGEST CONTINUATION?
From Mexico. Position after 33 moves. After a tough and complicated struggle–where the advantage seemed to pass back and forth– the smoke has cleared and it looks like the game should be a draw.
Now Black has a draw: 34…Qf4 35.Kb2 Qd2 36.Nc2 PxP and White has nothing better than a perpetual check, as the reader can check for himself.
INSTEAD, probably wanting more, Black played the natural
Black is counting on 35.PxP? Qxg6 etc and Black has all the winning chances.
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
From the UNAM tournament in Mexico. Position after White’s 30th move. Looks like White is holding, but that is not the case.
BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN!
From the 2012 World Senior Championship. Position after 18 moves. In the game continuation White rushed things with 19.Nxg6?! and thru away all of his advantage. But there is better, much better!
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
From the Bora Kostic Memorial in Serbia. Position after 31 moves. Black had just sacrificed his Queen in order to advance his pawn to b2, threatening to promote. Running short of time, White must be very careful not to fall into any of the tricks that Black has set for him.
Completely wrong now would be 32.Bd3 as after promoting on b1 White has to watch out for the mate on h1! Not so bad would be 32.Rb4, which would lead to a position with 2 Rooks for the Queen, but White would still have his work set out for him.
INSTEAD, White found the most precise idea:
Now if Black promotes then he gets mated after Qf6-Rg4-Qd6, all with checks! And if instead 32…Rg8, then White will also mate with Qf6, Rg4 and h5-h6!! Even if Black promotes he can not defend the mate on g7.
In all of these variations the Rook lift to g4 is decisive. So Black played to prevent this:
Probably Black’s best chance!
The whole point of White’s 32nd move! Taking the Bishop will get mated once more with the Queen check on f6 followed by the Rook lift to g4. And promoting is not dangerous as there is no mate on h1 (the Black pawn on e4 blocks it) . Regardless of what Black does, White will continue his attack with Qf6.
WHITE WON IN JUST A FEW MORE MOVES