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Friday, June 18, 2010

Chess Puzzle: Are you thinking right?

Hi Everyone!

Look at this very interesting position after 22.gxf3:

Black to Play. What would you do?

  • Black seems to win a pawn by force on the h-file. It's a long procedure but Black can take Rook to the h-file with 22. ... Rh6 and park one Rook on h4 also hitting the d pawn.
  • All pieces should get moving particularly the King. So, it's better to go 22. ... f5 and get the King into the action. White really cannot do much.
  • 22. ...Nc8 would get the Knight active and take him on to a great post at f5
  • It's not a good idea to take the Knight to the back rank. Better to activate him via d7 and think about controlling e5 and c5.
  • 22. ... h5. Activating the King is still important but better to do it via h7 than f7.
Take your time figuring out the correct answer. None of these answers are all wrong. This position is from a Seger-Sadler, Bundesliga, 2005 game. You will enjoy seeing the way the game continued.

These are five very logical answers. However, leaving the e-file that is well controlled doesn't seem very profitable. It's better to improve one's pieces.

The game proceeded thus: 22. ... Nc8 23. Kf1 Ne7 24. Rc2 Nf5 25. Ne2 Rh6 26. Bg3 Rxh3 27. Rd3 Rh1+ 28. Kg2 Re1 29. Rdd2 h5 30. Kh3 Kh7 31. Kh2 Re6 32. Bb8 Nh4 33, Kg3 R6xe2 0-1

This is because mate would follow with 34. Rxe2 Rg1+ 35. Kh3 Nxf3 and g4 mate follows. Same happens if the King tries to escape to h2!!!

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