Today’s chess tactics quiz

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“There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

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Part I: French Team Championship (Top-12)

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CRITICAL POSITIONS


SOLUTIONS

(The positions on the left are odd-numbered; those on the right are even-numbered.)

1.) TCh-FRA Top 12 Drancy 2016.6.1  Bacrot, Etienne–Sokolov, Andrei: 15.Rxg4?! would be a mistake because after 15…Rxc3! 16.bxc3 Qc8!  Black would gain the upper hand

2.) TCh-FRA Top 12 Drancy 2016.6.1  Brochet, Philippe–Vaisser, Anatoly: White’s attack is all bluff, though in practice it is often not so easy to call this bluff.  Black can get a decisive advantage with  18…Qxe5!  then if  19.f4 Ne4! (The only good move) Black stops White in his tracks. While if 19.Nf3 Qd5! 20.Bxf6 ( 20.Rd1 hxg5! 21.Bh7+ Nxh7 22.Rxd5 g4!!) Qxd3 and White is busted.

3.) TCh-FRA Top 12 Drancy 2016.5.31  Moussard, Jules–Marcelin, Cyril: 26.Bxf5 Re1+!! 27.Rxe1 (27.Kc2 Qxf5+ 28.Rxf5 Bxf5+ 29.Qxf5 Rxg1 and Black is not the least bit worse) Qxf5+ 28.Qxf5 Bxf5+ 29.Kc1 Kf7 and if anyone is better it is Black!

4.) TCh-FRA Top 12 Drancy 2016.5.31  Moussard, Jules–Marcelin, Cyril: 26.Rxf5 26…Qe7!!  One of the finest moves that I have seen in a while.  White has nothing decisive and must actually work to avoid being worse!  27.Rxd5! Rxh3! And the game should end in a draw, as the reader will have some fun working out.

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