Sunday morning’s 5-sec tactics!
“The future is uncertain but the end is always near.”
Position after 11 moves. White and Black seem well centralized. However, is it really good to have the Black Queen ‘centralized’, surrounded by so many hostile pieces? You decide!
HOW CAN WHITE GET A BIG PLUS?
gm Zhao Xue
Position after White’s 34th move (34.Kh1) A rather unusual position. There is no doubt that it would have already been checkmate had Black’s King castled on the Queenside! What on earth are all of White’s pieces doing there? ON THE Kingside, however, both Kings are resident, and unfortunately for the former World Champion from Bulgaria, it is her King that is about to be mated!
BLACK TO PLAY AND MATE IN 8!
Position after White’s 14th move (14.Pxg6) Apparently this has all been played before(!)… and is considered atleast equal for Black! The question is how should Black recapture on g6?
BLACK TO PLAY AND LOSE!
(Not one of Caruana’s best efforts!)
Kosteniuk,A–Nakhbayeva,G: 12.g4! This wins decisive material advantage 12… Nh6 13.Nd6+! exd6 14.c4! The Queen is trapped. 14… Qxf3 15.Qxf3 dxe5 16.Be3 Nxg4 17.Bxc5 O-O-O and now simplest is 18.0-0-0 when the win should be a question of technique.
Stefanova,A–Zhao Xue: 34…Nxf2+! 35.Kg2 ( Otherwise it is mate in 3: 35.Rxf2 Qa1+ ( the same thing is 35…Qe4+ 36.Rg2 Qb1+ 37.Rg1 Qxg1# )36.Kg2 Qg1+ 37.Kf3 Nd4# ) 35…Bh3+ 36.Kxf2 Qd4+! 37.Ke1( 37.Kf3 g4# ) Qa1+ ( Good enough, but quickest is 37…Nc3+! 38.Nxe8 Qd1+ 39.Kf2 Qd2+ 40.Qe2 Qxe2+ 41.Kg1 Qxf1# ) 38.Kd2 Qb2+ 39.Ke1 (39.Kd3 is better, but it will soon enough be mate) … Qc1+ 0-1
Nakamura, Hikaru–Caruana, Fabiano: Here correct is 14…fxg6! with a perfectly adequate game. For exemple, 15.g4 e5 16.Qh2 h6 17.Bxh6 Bxh6+ 18.Qxh6 Qg7!= as in Postny,E 2635 – Givon,A 2407 , 2013 ch-ISR 2013. HOWEVER, Caruana was having an off day and either forgot the theory or simply his hand moved the wrong piece: 14…hxg6?? This loses at least a piece for nothing. After 15.Bxd4! Qxd4!? ( 15…Bxd4 16.Qh6! Qd6 17.Rxd4 Qxd4 18.Qh7+ Kf8 19.Qh8+ Qxh8 20.Rxh8+ Kg7 21.Rxd8 etc ) 16.Qe1 Qxd1+ 17.Nxd1 Black can resign with a clear conscience.