Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Positions of the Week

Usually I like to present a reasonably close game, but this was a week of drubbings. Therefore, rather than an entire game transcript, here are some interesting positions (anonymized to protect my sources):

Game No. 1
Route 20 Chess Club
Freeport, Ill., May 17, 2011

White to move. White has just played 1.Bb5+, which black has answered with 1...c6. Has white played a clumsy, thoughtless check that dooms him to lose a tempo -- and his d-pawn, and another tempo after that -- or does he have an ace up his sleeve? (Highlight to reveal answer.)

Black's queen is a goner after 2.Nd5!! White already has an almost insurmountable winning advantage, but black can salvage some dignity with 2...Qxb5 3.Nc7+ Kd7 4.Nxb5 cxb5, taking two white pieces for the doomed queen.

Black, hopelessly outgunned, is after a stalemate. Can he get one? (Highlight to reveal answer.)

Sadly, no: 1.Qf4! (1.Qf6+ g5 2.Qc3 g3+ 3.Qxg3#) 1...g5 46.Qg3#. The actual game went 1.h3!? gxh3? (1...Kg5 2.h4+ Kxh4 3.Qd8+ g5 4.Qd6 g3+ 5.Qxg3#) 2.gxh3?! (2.Qf4#) 2...Kxh3 (2...Kg5 3.h4! Kxh4 4.Qf4+ Kh3 5.Qg3#) 3.Qf3+ Kh4 4.Qg3#.

Game No. 2
Route 20 Chess Club
Freeport, Ill., May 17, 2011

This time it's black's turn to be tricky. In this otherwise equal-looking position, what can black do to give white a real headache? (Highlight to reveal answer.)

1...Nd2! threatens a royal fork on f3. 2.Nd4 stops the threat; 2...Nxb3 3.Nxe6, and black has the advantage.



Amazing queen trap! What moves lead up to this position? Was it a standard opening? Great novelty!

Anonymous said...

No, not a standard opening. The game began 1.d4 d5 2.c4 b6 3.cxd5 Qxd5 4.Nc3 Qa5 5.Bd2 Bb7 6.e4 e5.

Post a Comment