Today’s winning 5-second tactics

Marcel Duchamp’s hands, New York City, 1959-60


gm  Nepomniachtchi, I


gm  Wojtaszek, R

TCh-RUS Men Sochi 2015.5.1   Position after 59 moves.  White is a pawn up but the presence of opposite colour Bishops significantly reduces this advantage. Much more worrisome for Black is his awkward King location: it is almost mate! Fortunately for Black, the direct try 60.Kh3 (threatening mate in one move) can be met by 60…Rh1+ , forcing the White monarch back…Is there some idea in the position where White can both use his extra pawn and mate threat to win?



Molchanov, N  (2153)


im  Bellia, Fabrizio  (2446)

ch-Euro Seniors Eretria 2015.4.30  Position after 15 moves. An easy one for those readers who partied too much last night!



cm  Gamback, Bjorn  (2141)


gm  Sturua, Zurab

ch-Euro Seniors Eretria 2015.4.29  Position after 22 moves.  White is a pawn up and one would expect an experienced grandmaster like Sturua to win without too much difficulty. However, the awkward position of the White King makes difficult this task. Should White retreat his Rook to defend the first rank 23.Rd1 there could follow …Qb6 and …h5 with initiative, or even 23…Qd7.

After long thought (no doubt) Sturua found that the best way was to push forward into sharp tactical complications…



At first sight obvious (23…KxN? 24.Rg5+! etc wins easily) but infact not simple at all.



Very good!  If now 24.Rg5? h6! 25.Nh5+ hxg5 26.Nxf6+ Kf8  and White has no more than a draw and if instead the immediate 24.Nh5 then after 24…Rd1+ 25.Kg2 Qxc5 26.Nxf6+ Kf8 it is also unlikely that White would win, though this last variation is slightly better for White than the previous.


24. Nf5!!


The only move, and one which Sturua had to have forseen.  If Black takes the Rook with 24…QxR then White wins with a King walk after 25.QxN Rd1+ 26.Kg2 Qg1+ (what else?) 27.Kh3 etc.  Because of this point, White now wins effortlessly.

In the game continuation Black found nothing better than the defensive 24…Ne8  and White won painlessly after 25.Rd5!? ( 25.Rc6! Rd1+ 26.Kg2 Qg1+ 27.Kh3 f6 28.Rxf6 is even more energetic ) 25…Rxd5 26.Ne7+ Kf8 27.Nxd5 Qg6 28.Qh8+ Qg8 29.Qe5 Qg6 30.Qe7+ Kg7 31.Qxe8 Qh5 32.Qd8 Qh3+ 33.Kg1 1-0



TCh-RUS Men Sochi 2015.5.1  Wojtaszek, R–Nepomniachtchi, I: 60.c5!! bxc5 61.b6 1-0  The unfortunate position of the Black King prevents Black from stopping the pawn from Queening.  For instance, 61…Ra2+ 62.Kh3 Rb2 63.g4 mate.

ch-Euro Seniors Eretria 2015.4.30 Bellia, Fabrizio–Molchanov, N: 16.Bxf7+! We don’t see a lot of these animals now a days…16…Kxf7 17.Qb3+! The point that Black had overlooked earlier. 17…Nd5 18.exd5 ( 18.Rxd5? allows Black to escape after 18…PxR 19.QxP+ Kf6! ) 18…Nc5 19.Qf3+ Kg8 20.b4! and White had no problem converting his advantage

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