Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chess Quiz

Hi there, everyone

Here are some positions that I've recently either played or come across. See what you can make of them. I'll post complete games (for the games that are mine) soon, but in the meantime feel free to suggest answers here.

These aren't traditional "White to move and win" problems, but have more of the messiness and uncertainty of the situations in which we actually make most of our decisions over the board.


Black is doing the Nimzovich "restrain and blockade" thing on the queenside, and he steps up the pressure with
16...Nd7 17.f4 Nc5 18.Be2 Re8, giving us this position:

How should White respond to the pressure on the e-file?


Black has just played the moves 7...e5xf4 8.Be3xf4 Qa5-b6, forking White's pawns at b2 and d4. How should White respond?


After this game was over, one of the other players told me "You could have won on move 12! Just play e5 and sac the bishop on h7!" Was he correct? Does 12.e5 Nd5 13.Bxh7+ win?

Later in the game, I did manage to play Ng5 and Bxh7+ (without saccing anything) but in the meantime Black managed to get the queens off and find annoying outposts for his knights:

Find a win for White. There are actually two ways of implementing the same idea.


Black to move. His next two moves are going to be 47...Kc3 and 48...Kxb3. What should White's next two moves be?


Black has just played 11...Be7 here. What's the idea behind this move? What issues does it raise?

A few moves later, this position arose. White has been building up for some time now, has a lead in development and greater center control, and has been looking for a knockout. What should he play?


My opponent made a "known error" in the opening and is about to lose one of his knights. After 17...Nxd4 he got happy again and played 18.Nb5. I think he was hoping the pin on the d-file would allow him to regain the piece but 18...Bg4 corrected that. Now after 19.Re1

I can maintain my extra piece plus get the queens off with Nxb5. However, my opponent is ten years old and won't resign unless he's faced with something like mate or loss of his queen. Make him resign.

A fun one for the end:

White has just played 18.h3. What is Black's best line here? And after 18...Nxd3+ 19.cxd3 Bc8 20.g4 f6 (which is not Black's best line):

How should White win?

Bonus points: spot the thematic similarity between this situation and the one in the previous question.

Let me know what you think!