White to play - and win. (Ratner, 1926.)
puzzle on the blog. I do this when I've found a position that either amuses me, or one where I think the solution is particularly aesthetic, like this one. I like to try to say something worth reading related to the position as well. If I were to post that last link again, I would for instance certainly add this comment from Goran:
There is funny story behind this game. It was two german players, champions of neigbhoring cities, that were playing the match. The guy with white pieces had to hurry and catch up the last train to go home, and in this position he moved quickly 1. Nxe5. After his oponent took 1. ... Bxd1, he resigned and rushed to the station. On the way, he was still thinking about the "blunder" and then he found brilliant idea how to continue the game. He goes back to the cafe and resumes the game to deliever great combination. Of course, then he had quite a walk home.On the other hand, this position was not so popular with Justin - who quite correctly observed, also in the comments, that: "The only problem with the puzzle is that the key move is a bit obvious given that it's a puzzle." From an aesthetic point of view - maybe it's not such a big deal. But when you know it's a problem - the position is indeed loaded with an absolutely enormous clue. You sort of know what the first move has to be, and then work at filling in the blanks.
This got me wondering. What do you really want to see in a puzzle? A quick tactical test? A novel idea? Just some fun, unusual moves? A really tough brain work-out? You don't mind, provided I don't whitter on too much? Well - I post the above position with such questions in mind - since Lasker, no less, said of this composition that it "comes near to the ideal." High praise indeed.
But what I want to know is - do you agree . . . ?