Monday’s Chess Tactics Quiz

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All of the following examples are taken from the Baku Olympiad that is taking place as you read this.  Solutions at the end. Good luck!

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It is never easy to play the former World Champion! Here Kramnik has all of his pieces around the enemy King.  Surely there must be a way to put White quickly out of his suffering?!

BLACK TO PLAY AND CRUSH!

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Another easy one! It is Monday, after all!

WHITE TO PLAY AND MATE IN TWO!

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Position after 26 moves. Despite Bruzon’s efforts to play solidly, something has gone wrong. Just sufficient to look at Black’s sorry creature on b7…However, that by itself will not likely be enough to win the game.

There is a trick in the position that helps White in his task…Do you see it?

WHAT IS WHITE’S CRUSHING CONTINUATION?

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Black’s sorry position after just 21 moves.  A classic case of being greedy and munching a pawn instead of finishing one’s development. Yes, it happens to strong grandmasters too!

WHITE TO PLAY AND CRUSH!

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The young American grandmaster has a beautifully centralized game, and his Knights are ready to pounce on Black’s head.

WHITE TO PLAY AND CRUSH!

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There is no doubt that White is better, you just need to look at who has all of the pawn weaknesses, and whose King is winging it on the Queenside…in the game continuation Volokitin played a very creative (and risky) line of attack beginning with 22.Nb6!? Be8 23.Nd4!? exd4 24.Rxe8! Rhxe8 25.Bxc6 Re2? 26.Bxb7! and went on to win the game.

HOWEVER, from the position above, there is a much simpler and riskless line that is good enough to win.  Do you see it?

WHAT IS WHITE’S STRONGEST LINE? 

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WHITE TO PLAY AND CRUSH!

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A rather good example at why one should never let one’s guard down in chess, even for one moment! White is, effectively, just a piece up for nothing. Ofcourse, Black has a pawn for it, and a few tricks, but hardly enough in a serious game like this…INSTEAD, tragedy struck, when he played 28.Rag1…(‘All is fair in love and war…’)

BLACK TO PLAY AND MATE IN 3 MOVES!

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A tough fight!  Black is marginally better in the game, but if 36.c5!? it is still a game. Perhaps Alex thought that he was going to get the better of things after his 36.f4…or maybe he was trying to win ‘for the team’ (which was being crushed on the other boards)

BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN!


SOLUTIONS

42nd Olympiad  Baku  2016.9.3  Atabayev, Yusup-Kramnik, Vladimir: 39…Na4! 0-1 After  40.bxa4 Rxe3 ( or 40…b3 ) follows and it is not pretty.

Olympiad Women  Baku  2016.9.2 Khotenashvili, Bela-Lagutina, Olga: 38.Ng6+ 1-0 Mate next move!

42nd Olympiad Baku  2016.9.4 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof-Bruzon Batista, Lazaro: 27.Nf5! Bf8 28.Rbd1 Black is tied hand and foot and can not do anything to prevent White coming in thru the centre. 28…gxf5 What else? 29.exf5 Nf4 30.Bxf4 exf4 31.f6+ Kg8 32.Qf5 Nxf6 33.Qxf6 Bg7 34.Qf5 Red8 35.Bd3 Rd5 36.Qh7+ Kf8 37.Nh4 Qd8 38.Nf5 Qf6 39.Ne7 1-0

42nd Olympiad Baku  2016.9.4 2016.9.4 Volokitin, Andrei-Fridman, Daniel: 22.Rd1! Qxe2 23.Qb4+ 1-0  Forced mate.

42nd Olympiad Baku  2016.9.3 Robson, Ray-Gourlay, Iain: 32.Ngf5! 1-0  After 32…PxN 33.Nxf5 f6 34.Qxh6+ and 35.Re3 is curtains.

42nd Olympiad Baku  2016.9.3 Volokitin, Andrei-Ashiku, Franc:  22.Ng5! (threatening Nf7) 22…QxN 23.Nxd6 Na5 (what else?) 24.Qb6 with an easily winning game

22.Nb6 Be8 23.Nd4 exd4 24.Rxe8 Rhxe8 25.Bxc6 Re2 26.Bxb7 dxc3 27.Na4 Kc7 28.Bxa6 Rb8 29.Qc4+ Kd8 30.Qxe2 cxb2 31.Nc3 Qe5 32.Nb1 Qxe2 33.Bxe2 Ke7 34.Bd3 Ke6 35.Re1+ Kf6 36.a4 Ra8 37.Bb5 Bh6 38.Re2 Bc1 39.Rc2 d5 40.Kf1 d4 41.Ke2 1-0

Olympiad Women  Baku  2016.9.2 Gaponenko, Inna-Silva, Ana Ines Teixeira Da:  28.Rxg7+! wins immediately. After 28…Nxg7 29.Qf6! and the game is as good as over, as the reader can easily verify.

42nd Olympiad Baku  2016.9.4 Cubas, Jose Fernando-Stupak, Kirill:  (Just 28.Qe3 and if 28…Qh5 29.Bd1 Rh4 30.Bxf3 etc should win) 28.Rag1?? Qxh2+ 0-1  White gets mated!

42nd Olympiad Baku  2016.9.3 Colovic, Aleksandar-Mamedov, Rauf: 36.f4??  Bxf4! 37.gxf4 Qh4 and out of nowhere Black has a winning attack! 38.Qc8+ Kg7 39.Qg4 Ra1+ 40.Kg2 Qe1 41.Bf3 h5 42.Rxh5 Qg1+ 43.Kh3 Qxg4+ 44.Bxg4 gxh5 0-1

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