Wednesday’s chess tactics quiz!


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TCh-CHN   2016.7.26  Fang, Yan–Xu, Yinglun.  Yesterday! Let’s start today’s work with a Rook and Pawn ending. Both sides have passed pawns, but White’s are more advanced, and therefore has the better chances of winning the game.  But he must exercise caution, as the hasty 40.b5?! (threatening 41.Rb6+ and 42.Rc6) would allow the clever 40…Kg7! when White must fight for a draw (!), as the reader can easily verify.



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17th Karpov Poikovsky  2016.7.26  Gm Motylev, Alexander–Gm Jakovenko, Dmitry. Position after White’s move, 22.Rd8, which came with a draw offer which was accepted(!). Fascinating! White is threatening Rxf8+ and Qd8 mate; Black, for his part, is threatening to capture one of White’s Bishops….

While a draw is actually a fair result in this game, it took me quite a while to understand why! And even so, I think that both players should have played on! If only because it is a very tricky position. For instance if now 22…g6 (luft!), then White wins with 23.RxR+ KxR 24.Qd8+ Kg7 25.Qf6+ and 26.e6!

So my challenge to you, dear Reader, is



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Dutch Open  Dieren   2016.7.26  Gm Debashis, Das–Vos, Tjark. Position after 22 moves of play. The grandmaster has played the opening recklessly against his less experienced rival, and now finds himself a pawn less with a shattered pawn structure.

It is clear that White would be satisfied with a draw, if he could somehow get a perpetual against the enemy King.  Tempting, therefore, is 23.Rxe6!?, when 23…PxR?! 24.RxP+ PxR 25.Qxg6+ gives a draw.  But the clever 23…Bf6! would refute White’s idea, and after 24.Rxf6 Qxf6 25.Rh4 Qg7 26.Qxg7+ Kxg7 27.Bh6+Kg8 28.Ne4 Nd5!  Black is simply better.

Another unsuccessful idea is 23.Ne4!?, trying to get in Ng5 or Bg5, but Black successfully defends with 23… Qxd4! 24.Ng5 ( or 24.Bg5 Bxg5 25.Nxg5 Qg7! ) 23…Qg7!

But there exists a very clever resource in the above position that would allow White to save his game.  Do you see it?



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Quebec  Open  U2000  Montreal  2016.7.23  Morin, Louis–El-Adraoui, Mourad. Position after 18 moves of play. White had earlier sacrificed a Knight to open the Black King position, hoping that he could take advantage of it. It is not easy, however.  If White now tries to bring in the Rook with the immediate 19.Qh3 (planning 20.Re3 and 21.Rg3) then Black can successfully defend with 19…Ndf6! 20.Re3 Bc8! followed by BxN.

However, Louis Morin, a resourceful tactician, had forseen a very clever idea….



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Quebec  Open    Montreal  2016.7.25  Gm Lesiege, Alexandre–Fm Barbeau, Sylvain. Position after 31 moves. Both players had aimed for this position and Black–having an extra pawn–must have felt satisfied.  If White tries to win it back with 32.Ng5(?!) Bd5 33.Re1 then the simple 33…Bg7! would be very strong. However, Lesiege had forseen a clever resource in the position above that gives him the advantage…




TCh-CHN   2016.7.26  Fang, Yan–Xu, Yinglun: 40.Kb1! 1-0  If 40…Rc4 41.b3 Rc3 42.Kb2 Rc6 43.b5 and 44.Rb6+ and 45.Rc6 (note:43.Rb6 should be good enough also); Ori f 40…Rc6 then 41.b5 as in the last variation.

17th Karpov Poikovsky  2016.7.26  Motylev, Alexander–Jakovenko, Dmitry: 22…f6! 23.exf6 ( 23.Rxf8+ Kxf8 24.exf6 Qc1+ 25.Bf1 Qxc3 26.fxg7+ Kxg7 ( or 26…Qxg7 27.Qd8+ Kf7 28.Qxc7+ Kg8 29.Qd8+ Qf8 30.Qg5+ etc ) 27.Qe7+ with a perpetual ) Rxd8 ( 23…Qxc3?! 24.f7+ Kxf7 25.Rxf8+ Kxf8 26.Qd8+ Kf7 27.Qxc7+ Kf8 28.Qxb7 with advantage ) 24.f7+ Kxf7 25.Bh5+ g6 26.Qf6+ Ke8 27.Qh8+!? (trying to win?. Ofcourse, White had a perpetual with Qe6+) Kd7 28.Bg4+ Kc6 29.Qxd8 Nxc4 30.Bf3+ Kb6 31.Bxb7 Qxc3 with na even game 

Dutch Open  Dieren   2016.7.26  Debashis, Das–Vos, Tjark: 23.Ree4!!  ( Beautiful! Talk about Rooks and files, well this is certainly weird. White wants to play Rh4)23…Nd6?? ( Correct is either 23…Nd3!? 24.Rh4 Bxh4 25.Rxh4 Qxh4 26.Qxh4 Nxc1 27.Ne4 Kg7 but White has a forced repetition if he wants; or the immediate 23…f5, which allows 24.Rxg6+ with a draw ) 24.Rh4 Bxh4 25.Rxh4 Qxh4 26.Qxh4 Nf5 27.Qe4 and Black does not have enough for the Queen.  Rfd8 28.Be3 a6 29.Bb3 Rd6 30.Qb7 Rcd8 31.Ne4 Rc6 32.Bd2 Nxd4 33.Ng5 Rf8 34.Bxb4 Rc1+ 35.Kg2 1-0 

Quebec  Open  U2000  Montreal  2016.7.23  Morin, Louis–El-Adraoui, Mourad: 19.Qg3! Very strong move, deflecting the Bishop and gaining time for the attack 19…Bf6 (19…Bh8 would be answered the same way) 20.Qh3! Bg7 21.Re3!  Decisive  21… Bxe4 22.Rxe4 Ndf6 23.Rh4 Qd7 24.Bxh6 Nxh6 25.Rxh6+ Kg8 26.Rxf6 Rfd8 27.Qg4 1-0 

Quebec  Open    Montreal  2016.7.25  Lesiege, Alexandre–Barbeau, Sylvain: 32.Rd8!! Re7?? (After the correct  32…Bc6! 33.Nd4.Be7 34.Rxe8+ Bxe8 White is only a bit better ) 33.Ng5 e5 ( 33…Bd5 34.Bf6 ) 34.Nxe4 1-0

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