Monday, February 22, 2010

Black To Play and Win

Here's a nice little puzzle to get your little grey cells working this Monday. This position is from Healey-Stone, London League 2010, and was played on the board next to me. Black's next move puzzled me at first, and it certainly took me a minute or two to work out why it won. See if you can do better.

11 comments:

ejh said...

I don't suppose 1...Bd1 2.Re3 Bg4 does the business?

Tom Chivers said...

Yep.

Happy Birthday, to Angus French!

Martin S. said...

Yeah, happy birthday, Angus.

Jonathan B said...

Angus' birthday must be a lucky day - I got this right too!

ejh said...

I'm pretty sure that if it had happened in a game it'd have ended up in this series. I can very easily imagine saying to myself "right, Bd1 and then Ng4 - no, that doesn't go anywhere, let's try Ng4 first...nothing, let's look at Bd1 first again" and so on. I'd probably only have about two minutes left anyway, which as it happens is about how long I took to solve the puzzle.

Oddly, I also think I found it rather easier to solve the puzzle from the diagram on the screen than I do normally. I wonder if this is because you're closer to the White side - and that as after Bd1 the bishop's closer to White's side of the board than most of the White pieces, you're sort of right in among the action in a way that you're normally not.

Jonathan B said...

What you've described was pretty much my thought process. I'm not sure how I got to ... Bg4 in the end. Sudden flash of inspiration perhaps - that and the feeling that I was on the right lines so I should keep trying to make the idea work.

In a real game I wouldn'thave know there was definitely a win there though. I doubt very much I would have found the move (or more exactly the second move).

Anonymous said...

That's a cool combination. In itself and because: a) all the pieces are still on the board; and, b) a piece which is usually a problem piece in this opening has made excellent use of itself.

Thanks for the birthday wishes!

Angus

Tom Chivers said...

Indeed. There can't be many games of chess that feature a piece reaching the eighth rank (excluding captures) with all pieces remaining on the board.

ejh said...

Which induces me to ask - did White resign? Because if he did, how many examples are there of people resigning with all the pieces still on the board?

Anonymous said...

Oh no. White didn't resign. There were still many twists and turns although I was still winning throughout. Going the exchange up is far from an automatic win in many positions,as I'm sure you know and indeed your post implies.
Andrew

Anonymous said...

In reply to ejh's query above - it is extremely rare for sure, but IIRC Tim Krabbe's website gives a few examples. Plus many other weird and wonderful happenings, of course ;-)