## Sunday, December 27, 2009

### The twelve puzzles of Christmas

Platov, 1905

White to play and draw

Jonathan B said...

I think I'm going to struggle with this. Got a two hour car ride to think about it now.

Anonymous said...

1 f4 looks like it wins. Obviously I'm missing something, but that must be the first move.

Anonymous said...

Last comment was by PG!

Anonymous said...

Have now spotted 1 f4 Bxh3 2 Bxh3 Qe8

PG

dfan said...

That was really cute!

ejh said...

What was?

Superchess said...

After 1.f4 Bxf3 try Be1+ instead.White is either winning the Queen for his White squared bishop or getting perpetual check.

Anonymous said...

1.f4 Bxh3 represents best play by both sides. Then I was initially attracted to 2.Bxh3 Qe8 3.Bf1 (to prevent ...Qe2+) a6 (only move as the queen must guard both d8 and e1) 3.Bc3 after which Black must give up his queen and... White wins! Unfortunately the rather big hole in this analysis is 3.Bf1 which unguards the g4 square, so relieving the queen of sentry duty.

I reckon White needs an improvement at move 2...

James

Campion said...

piggy-backing on everyone else's hard work, how's this for a suggested solution?

----------

After 1 f4 Bxh3 2 Be1+ Kg4 3 Bxh3+ Kxf4 4 Bd2+ , it looks like White can keep the checks going by moving the dark-squared bishop along the a5-e1 diagonal, since the Black king can't approach without allowing white to skewer Black's queen with the other bishop.

Anonymous said...

1. f4 Bxh3 2. Be1+ followed by Bxh3+ and then checking the King on the a8-h1 diagonal.

ejh said...

Morning all (and sorry for the delay in passing comments).

How shall I put it? We're still lacking a full solution.

an ordinary chessplayer said...

Then how about 7...Kb8 8 Be1 a5 9 Bg3+ Ka7 10 Bf2+ Ka6 11 Bf1+.

Whichever bishop white is left with can easily deal with the a-pawn.

Getting closer?

ejh said...

Close enough to be a dual solution, though not perhaps the most economical...

Campion said...

Previous comment was done in groggy small-hours haze, but still, 7 Ba5+ Kb8 8 Bg2 looks funny/vicious enough to be a composer's intended solution.

Anonymous said...

After 7. ... Kb8 just trap the queen with 8. Bg2.

ejh said...

It is so. I discovered the puzzle at Chessbase.