SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Below are some 20 tactic exercises for the student to test his present level of skill. All come from master and grandmaster praxis, past and present. Some are relatively easy, some are more difficult and some are VERY difficult!
Your mission–should you accept it–is to try to solve them all in an hour and a half or less! Solutions later tomorrow. GOOD LUCK!
“I should and can play better. That is going to be the challenge for me.”
― Andrew StraussPART lgm SHERBAKOVgm SVESHNIKOV
From the Soviet Championship (Moscow) 1991. Black has been steadily outplayed and now White is about to gain the fruits of his labour…Sveshnikov has managed to re-create a very famous tactical motif. Do you see it?WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!—————————————gm SPEELMANwim Van WEERSEL
From last weekend’s 4NCL team championship. White’s last move was to play her Queen to a6, offering the exchange of Queens. White seems solid enough, and the presence of opposite-colour Bishops reinforces this idea. HOWEVER, this position is anything but drawish…(!)BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN!—————————————-SPENCERgm Van KAMPEN
Also from last weekend’s 4NCL. Here the White Knight is clearly superior to the Black Bishop, and together with Black’s fragile King position a mating net is close at hand.WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!————————————–KOURTSEVA,J
4NCL this past weekend! Black seems alright with his centralized position and safely castled King. But appearances can be deceiving…(!)…and here they most certainly are!
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
From the Soviet Championship in 1964. Lagging in development, Black wants desperately to exchange White’s always-dangerous King Bishop; only then can he castle.
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
From the Soviet Championship, Moscow, 1920. The future world champion was still living in Russia and taking part (when he could) in strong tournaments. Here he clearly stands better and is a pawn up to boot. HOWEVER, one slip and I am certain that Grigoriev would happily punish his rival! Grigoriev was a world-famous chess study composer and one of the brightest talents at that time. So don’t you slip up!
BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN!
From the Soviet Championship, Leningrad 1960. Black has somewhat misplayed his opening and now finds himself facing an unpleasant attack. (This game was fully analyzed by Polu in his book Grandmaster Preparation.)
HERE, curiously, White is lead astray and mistakenly chooses a weaker line of attack. Correct is 16.Qh5! when Black does not have an adequate defence. After the forced 16…Nf6 Polugaevsky (and Petrosian !) overlooked 17.Bf4! Qxf4 (there is nothing better):
QUESTION 1: WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
INSTEAD, POLUGAEVSKY PLAYED 16.Bxf7+ (?!) –in his book he gives this an exclamation mark! The game continued 16…RxB 17.Ne6:
Polu writes ”The point of White’s combination.”
Here Petrosian continued 18…Ba6?! (Polugaevsky, who mistakenly thought he was winning here, thought this was the best defence and even gave it an exclamation mark) 19.Qe3! Re7 20.Qb3+! with a winning game. Petrosian resigned a few moves later.
HOWEVER, BLACK IS NOT LOST IN THE ABOVE POSITION! AND HE SHOULD CONTINUE:
18…QxN! 19.e5 (Polugaevsky wrote:”…this advance should win quickly”) 19…Qe8! 20.e6 arriving at the position below:
HOW DOES BLACK SAVE HIMSELF?
From this past weekend’s 4NCL. Black has grabbed a hot pawn and now seriously lacks coordination. White, on the other hand, has all of his pieces developed and controls the whole board.
WHAT IS THE FASTEST WAY FOR WHITE TO WIN?
wgm/ im CIUKSYTE,D
From the 4NCL this past weekend. White has an obvious positional advantage. The two Bishops are clearly stronger than the two Knights. Many would now be tempted by 27.Qg4, but Black can put up fiesty resistance with 27…Ne5! INSTEAD, White deserves better, much better!
WHITE TO PLAY AND CRUSH BLACK!
From the 36th San Sebastian Open just the other day. White has just played the tricky 22.Bg6!?, when Black erred with 23…PxB?? and after 24.Qxe6 wins easily , as Black must give up the Queen.
In the above position, the truth is that Black is not doing so badly and certainly does not deserve to lose!
TEST YOUR TENACITY: WHAT IS BLACK’S BEST DEFENCE?
END OF PART 1